It wasn’t always pretty, but the US got the result it needed in the Gold Cup opener against Honduras. The US currently sits top of Group A with three points, Panama and Haiti are tied for second with a point apiece while Honduras sits in last with zero points. The new focus for the US is the second group game against Haiti.
There’s something about Clint Dempsey playing in his home state of Texas. Dempsey got both goals for the US on Monday night, but if the US is going to win this tournament the rest of the team is going to have to play much better. Jurgen Klinsmann alluded to this in his praise of the USWNT after their Women’s World Cup triumph, saying that he saw a team start slow, but continue to get better as the tournament progressed. This may be the case with the USMNT in the Gold Cup as well. Ventura Alvarado looked lost and was culpable on the Honduras goal, while Gyasi Zardes did have some good touches in the Honduras penalty area, but was poor on the night. Michael Bradley played decently enough, but the biggest disappointment for the second game in a row was Jozy Altidore, who just appeared lazy on the night.
Haiti comes into this game having snatched a point from Panama in the 85th minute on Monday night. Haiti comes into this game unbeaten in seven of their last eight, but having only played twice in all of 2015. Six of the player on their roster play their club soccer in the US, but entirely in the lower leagues of the US Soccer pyramid. The man who got the goal against Panama is Duckens Nazon who won just his third cap for Haiti on Monday night. Overall this is a very young Haiti squad with only three players over the age of 30 (34 year old defender jean-Jacques Pierre, 32 year old defender Kim Jaggy and 32 year old defender Frantz Bertin) and five players aged 23 or younger. Only one player in this squad has at least ten goals (forward Kervens Belfort who plays his club soccer in Cyprus).
• The last time the US played Haiti was in the 2009 Gold Cup in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
• Clint Dempsey has now scored three goals in four appearances in his home state of Texas.
• On Monday night Michael Bradley received his 100th cap, the 15th US player to hit the century mark. Tim Howard was the most recent in 2014.
• Eight players made their Gold Cup Debut for the US on Monday: Guzan, Chandler, Alvarado, Brooks, Johnson, Yedlin, Zardes and Zusi.
• Michael Bradley has played every minute of 2015 for the US and Gyasi Zardes has appeared in every game for the US.
When and where
Friday, July 10
FOX Sports 1, UniMas
USA trails 5-6-5
2 USA Haiti 2
Next Game Up
USA vs. Panama
Kansas City, Kansas
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