USMNT Report: Why The USA's Latest Win Isn't Good EnoughThe Yanks just got a lackluster 1-0 win over Haiti, while Mexico just smashed Cuba
by Herb Scribner | Friday, July 10, 2015
The United States’ latest victory was got the team 3 points, but it might not be good enough if it wants to be a serious contender in the 2015 Gold Cup.
In front of more than 47,000 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, at Gillette Stadium, Clint Dempsey scored in his fourth straight game to lead USA to a 1-0 victory over Haiti.
While the victory showed some bright spots for the USA, especially in the second half, it’s still a step behind Mexico, who opened up the cup with a 6-0 victory (granted Cuba did lost seven of its players and its coach). The Americans will need to improve across the board if it wants to make a deep run in the Gold Cup.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Gyasi Zardes — The Los Angeles Galaxy striker showed an improvement on the wing in this game. His assist to Dempsey, a perfect and precise pass in the middle of the box, was the highlight of the match. Zardes and Dempsey are proving to work well together up top, which is a great sign moving forward for the young American.
ANALYSIS: It’s hard not to expect to the United States to perform well against Haiti. Still, with Mexico beating Cuba 6-0 in its opener on Thursday night (even despite the team's visa troubles), a 1-0 victory over Haiti is a bit of a bummer.
Still, there’s a lot to be excited for in this match. The attacking trio of Zardes, Graham Zusi and Dempsey has been working well. Aron Johansson also had a few good looks in the game, especially the goal that was called offside at the end of the first half. This shows that the current attacking tandem is really working out for the United States, and can only improve.
It’s especially working well for Dempsey, who’s now scored in the last four USA games and ties the second-longest streak for the Americans. Dempsey’s really been on since he received his US Open Cup suspension, which is a good thing for the USA since Jozy Altidore clearly isn’t scoring in this tournament — he’s on the downward direction of the wave. So the USMNT will surely need Dempsey if they want to make a deep run.
Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud played well in the midfield. Diskerud played a lot of time on the ball and made some impressive attacking runs, proving to be more of an attacker than Kyle Beckman was in the previous game. Still, Beckerman’s final few minutes reminds us that he’s still the top pick when it comes to creating space and cleaning up the midfield.
It was nice to see Brad Evans back again in the defense, but he let too many runs go on the right. Similarly, Greg Garza let some strong Haiti runs on the left, which forced goalkeeper Brad Guzan to make some impressive saves to keep the USA ahead. Haiti also had a few attacks in the box that might have gone in if Haiti was a more quality side. The USA was outshot 21-6 overall. Top sides like Costa Rica and Mexico will capitalize on those chances, which could spell doom for the United States.
This was an exciting game for the USA. There were a decent amount of attacking runs and opportunities, but the US failed to capitalize on many of them — easy ones that more competitive teams can easily convert on. Meanwhile, Mexico is pounding its opponents 6-0. It’s still early and a lot can happen in a cup. But the USA needs to do better on its opportunities if it wants to seriously contend against its blazing neighbors to the south.
NEXT UP: July 13, 2015 — 2015 Gold Cup: United States vs. Panama, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas. 9:30 p.m. EST, Fox Sports 1, UniMas.