USA vs. Haiti preview: USMNT aims to win Gold Cup

Much of Gregg Berhalter’s time as U.S. head coach has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. From the downs of the year-long hiring process to recruit him to the ups of making it to the Gold Cup Final in 2019 without ever trailing, to the downs of losing to Canada for the first time in over 30 years. Since that loss to Canada, however, it’s been mostly the ups as the U.S. has gone unbeaten in twelve of the thirteen games they’ve played. That stretch includes winning the inaugural edition of the Concacaf Nations League Final over arch-rival Mexico in a game that saw the U.S. concede early but fight back and win 3-2 in extra time. Now the gears and mentality shift to a full tournament focus as the U.S. beings the Gold Cup and is looking to win it for the first time since 2017. The first step on the road to that goal is against Haiti.

As expected, the roster for the U.S. is something of a B squad with many of the top European based players such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, and Josh Sargent all taking a break before the European club season kicks off next month. In their place is a roster consisting almost entirely of MLS-based players. In fact, only four of the 23 players are based in Europe — Reggie Cannon of Boavista in Portugal, Shaq Moore of Tenerife in Spain, Nicholas Gioacchini of Caen in France, and Matthew Hoppe of Schalke in Germany.

The dearth of European based players isn’t necessarily cause for alarm though. Of the 23 players on the roster, only two are over the age of 30 (goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson). Among the defenders are Miles Robinson and George Bello of Atlanta United, as well as Walker Zimmerman of Nashville SC. In midfield, the player to watch is 19-year-old Sporting Kansas City footballer Gianluca Busio. To complement him are several players with over 20 caps each: Cristian Roldan, Sebastian Lletget, and Kellyn Acosta. Up front, the one to watch is Daryl Dike who is back with Orlando City after a short loan to Barnsley in England where he bagged nine goals in 19 appearances.

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

Haiti’s spot in this Gold Cup was solidified earlier this month after winning a pair of Gold Cup Qualifying games that were played in Fort Lauderdale: 6-1 over St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and 4-1 over Bermuda. Their roster for this tournament features five players who currently ply their trade for clubs in the U.S.: goalkeeper Bryan Sylvestre of Miami FC, defender Francois Dulysse of New England Revolution II, midfielders Derrick Etienne and Zachary Herivaux of the Columbus Crew and the Birmingham Legion respectively, and forward Ronaldo Damus of Orange County SC. But the man to watch for the Haitians is forward Duckens Nazon of Sint-Truiden in Belgium, who has 23 goals in 44 international appearances.

Notes:

1. The U.S. will play all three group stage games at Children’s Mercy Park. The last time the U.S. played three consecutive Gold Cup games in the same stadium was at the 2003 edition of the tournament.

2. The U.S. is in Group B with Haiti, Canada, and Martinique.

When and where to find the game on U.S. TV

Sunday, July 11, 2021
Children’s Mercy Park
Kansas City, Kansas
9pm ET
Live on FS1, Univision, TUDN and fuboTV

All-Time Series

Series tied 6-6-5

Last Meeting

Friday, July 10, 2015
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
USA 1-0 Haiti

Current FIFA Ranking:

USA: 20
Haiti: 83

Next Game:

Thursday, July 15, 2021
Gold Cup
USA vs. Martinique
Children’s Mercy Park
Kansas City, Kansas
10pm ET
FS1, UniMas and TUDN

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