The high from the USMNT winning the Nations League seems to have worn off rather quickly. A 3-0 win over Mexico and a 2-0 win over Canada gave way to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Jamaica. The USMNT has only won five of its last fifteen games, dating back to June of 2022. In those fifteen games, the squad only managed to score multiple goals three times.
But one of the things about the USMNT is that it frequently gets chances to pad stats against vastly inferior opponents. Such is the case in this Gold Cup. The USMNT looks to bounce back from a poor performance against Jamaica with a game against St. Kitts & Nevis.
Poor performance against Jamaica
Needing an equalizer in the 88th minute against Jamaica is not a good place to be. Jamaica had won just twice in the last two years. In its last 10, it was winless. The USMNT turned to Brandon Vazquez to salvage a draw against the Reggae Boyz on Saturday night. He was the only outfield player to step up. He took advantage of a dismal Jamaican clearance to get the Stars and Stripes back on level terms. Not only did he save a point, but he saved face for the USMNT.
First off, it was Matt Turner. The Arsenal goalkeeper put together five clean sheets in six games at the Gold Cup in 2021. A crucial penalty save in the first half prevented the USMNT from falling into a two-goal hole.
St. Kitts & Nevis a surprise test for USMNT
St. Kitts and Nevis at least provides the USMNT a chance to right the wrongs from Saturday. The island nation earned a spot in the Gold Cup prelims by winning their Nations League group ahead of Aruba and the French overseas territory St. Martin (not to be confused with the former Dutch overseas territory St. Maarten). It also earned promotion from Nations League C up to Nations League B. There, it will compete with the likes of Guadeloupe and St. Lucia.
At the Gold Cup preliminary round, St. Kitts and Nevis used a pair of penalty shootout wins to qualify. This is the nation’s first trip to the Gold Cup.
The roster called in by manager Austin Huggins does feature three players based in the US: defender Ezrick Nicholls at the University of Tampa in the Division II Sunshine State Conference, midfielder Raheem Somersall with North Carolina FC in USL League One, and midfielder Ronaldo Belgrave of FC Miami City in USL League Two.
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Wednesday’s game is another late kickoff scheduled for 10 p.m. ET. CityPark in St. Louis, a first for the USMNT. The last time the squad played in St. Louis was in 2019 against Uruguay. That, as well as a 2015 World Cup Qualifier against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were at Busch Stadium.
Coverage of the Gold Cup group stage game is on FS1 in English and UniMas in Spanish. The Gold Cup TV schedule has full listings on each Gold Cup game.
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