The United States Men’s National Team have certainly been through some hardships over the course of the last few years in the wake of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Now, though, with a new American wonderkid popping up every other week, there’s a high level of confidence heading into qualification and next year’s tournament.
Before all of that, though, their primary focus needs to be on the Gold Cup as their pursuit of winning the trophy continues. They went head to head with rivals Canada last night and after an intense battle, the USMNT managed to come away with a very narrow 1-0 win.
Fastest goal ever
USA decided that they weren’t going to play around here and within 20 seconds of kick-off, they were 1-0 up. Shaquell Moore picked up the ball after a neat passage of play and managed to charge through before hitting the back of the net, putting the Americans into a real position of comfort heading into the rest of the game. They know that they need to start ties like this as fast as they possibly can, and they’ve got the quality within their ranks to pull it off.
Canada need more
Even though Canada were seemingly the better of the two nations based on the balance of play, they just couldn’t quite take that next step towards causing the United States problems. In all honesty this looked like quite a lethargic performance from a team that knew they were already into the quarter-finals of the tournament, which isn’t what you want at this stage in proceedings. Sure, they could come out firing once the knockouts get underway, but we need to see more attacking intent as opposed to just some nice holding play in the middle of the park.
Caution for USMNT
Even though they looked great defensively, this still didn’t look like an assured and confident United States side. In fact, at points it seemed as if they were a relegation-threatened team who just “happened” to take a fortunate lead against a superior team. They haven’t been that convincing in the Gold Cup anyway and if they’re serious about winning the whole thing, they need to get creative.
They have more attacking options than most of the other teams in the tournament combined. If they can just utilise them in the right way, they should be able to stroll their way through to the final.
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