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USA vs. Martinique preview, TV times and team news

It’s a safe bet to say that the USMNT did not get off to the start that most fans and players wanted it to see at the Gold Cup with a less than stellar 1-1 draw against Panama in Nashville on Saturday. But Panama has been something of a thorn in the side of the US for a few years now so the result was not entirely shocking or unexpected. The US now has to put that behind them and focus on winning the next two games of the group stage to ensure advancement into the knockout rounds. The first of those two final group games is against Martinique.

As mentioned above, the performance by the US against Panama on Saturday was less than stellar. Only two players really stood out in any kind of positive way. Dom Dwyer, continued to grab all of the headlines, scoring his second international goal in just his second international game (a great one time finish, something nobody else on the US team seemed willing or able to try) while Brad Guzan made more than a few outstanding saves. Other than those two it was lackluster and poor performances from everybody else. Kellyn Acosta was among the worst with poor services on numerous set pieces (despite scoring a great free kick against Ghana before the tournament), Alejandro Bedoya spent most of the afternoon sending passes to nobody and the all four members of the backline had issues dealing with a Panamanian attack that didn’t feature their best player. There was one almost criminal instance where late in the game with the US on a counterattack, Dax McCarty was just strolling down the center of the field without a care in the world. Bruce Arena summed it up nicely in his postgame press conference when he said, in part, “We didn’t play well. We played ok.”

Martinique however is flying quite high right now. They won their Gold Cup opener (also in Nashville) by beating Nicaragua 2-0 and currently sit first in the group as the only team with three points. This is Martinique’s second Gold Cup appearance in the last three tournaments and funnily enough they also won their opener on 2013, beating Canada 1-0 on a 93rd minute wonder-strike by Fabrice Reuperne (who is not on the current roster). One of the odd things about Martinique is that while they are part of CONCACAF, they are not a full FIFA member as they are considered to be part of the French Football Federation. So the Gold Cup is about as big as it gets for the players of Martinique. Despite being a small country, they do feature some players who ply their trade internationally. Defender Jordy Delem plays for the Seattle Sounders and forward Steeven Langil (who got the winner on Saturday against Nicaragua) plays for Legia Warsaw. And given that they are part of the French Football Federations they do feature a pair of players from French clubs: defender Antoine Jean-Baptiste of Villenfranche and forward Anthony Angely of Poitiers.

Notes:

• Saturday was the first time ever that the US has failed to win their opening game of the Gold Cup.

• With a draw against Panama on Saturday, the US and Panama have now drawn in each of the last four meetings.

• The current Group B standings are as follows: Martinique (3 points), USA (1 point), Panama (1 point) and Nicaragua (0 points). The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout rounds while the two best third placed teams advance as well.

When, Where

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL
9pm ET
TV & streaming: FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, DIRECTV NOW, FOX Soccer Match Pass, Sling Blue and fubo Premier (7-day free trial)

All-Time Series

USA leads 1-0-0

Last Meeting

7/14/03
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, MA
USA – 2
Martinique – 0

Current FIFA Ranking

USA: 35
Martinique: N/A

Next Game

7/15/17
Gold Cup Group Stage
USA vs. Nicaragua
First Energy Stadium
Cleveland, OH

SEE MORE: Schedule of Gold Cup games on US TV and streaming

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