USMNT opens Gold Cup with a not so convincing win

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USMNT opens Gold Cup with a not so convincing win

The U.S. Men’s National Team played this Tuesday, July 6th, against Honduras its first game of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. This match was tougher than

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The U.S. Men’s National Team played this Tuesday, July 6th, against Honduras its first game of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. This match was tougher than it should have been, but luckily the game ended 2-1 for the U.S. with 2 headers from Clint Dempsey.

The U.S. put out a poor performance that appeared sloppy and disorganized, but it was just enough to give them the win and get the 3 points that they wanted. However, if they want to go further in the tournament, they will have to step it up.

[quote_box_center]”It wasn’t our best performance,” Dempsey said. “But we’re happy to get three points in the first game.” [/quote_box_center]

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann used the 4-4-2 diamond formation, though it seems some of the players were lost on the field and did not understand their positioning. Because of the gaps Gyasi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin were creating by not positioning themselves correctly, Michael Bradley and Kyle Beckermann were not able to perform well either.

After the U.S. scored their second goal, they relaxed a little bit and that’s when Honduras came back firing at them with everything they had and scored their goal as well. Honduras came close to scoring more goals multiple times giving the U.S. a hard time.

[quote_box_center]”They came out really aggressive,” Dempsey said after the game. “They were causing us some problems.”[/quote_box_center]

Californian player Gyasi Zardes from LA Galaxy didn’t seem to fit well with this diamond formation, as he is more of an attacking player than defensive, and the winger in this situation needs to play both roles. Zardes is not used to playing in the position Klinsmann put him and that caused the U.S. some trouble. He had a couple of good moves inside the box but wasn’t able to produce anything out of it. It just wasn’t a good night for him as he was one of the players that had some guilt in the goal from Honduras, and he had both a poor clearance putting the defenders in a bad situation and a bad turnover later in the game.

California native Chris Wondolowski from San Jose Earthquakes didn’t have a fantastic night either, but he was able to pass the ball around and hold-up when needed as well as making some good runs up top that unfortunately ended up unrewarded.

Nick Rimano, the California native who plays as a goalkeeper Real Salt Lake City did not play this game, as Brad Guzan played for the entire 90 minutes having a nearly flawless night.

Honduras noticed the weakness the U.S. had and took advantage of them many times. For example Jorge Luis Pinto, Honduras’ captain noticed the gaps and started creating more plays going through the sidelines. Another Honduras player who took advantage of the U.S. weakness was Ariel Najar, as he noticed the lack of connections between DeAndre Yedlin and Tomothy Chandler on the right wing. Because Yedlin he was trying to defend more, he wasn’t was productive up top.

The U.S. left a lot of space open for Honduras to attack by having their players too far apart from each other, and unable to connect the wingers with the center midfielders.

Klinsmann needs to find a solution to his midfield problem before the next game. One option could be Alejandro Bedoya who can play both as a winger and as a center mid, however Klinsmann already mentioned that Bedoya is still not fit enough to play the tournament. There are multiple other situations Klinsmann could work on, however, the one thing we know for sure is that Bradley and Beckermann definitely need help.

The good thing for the U.S. is that their have a relatively easy group, and some of the most dangerous opponents have important players injured. Mexico and Costa Rica, for example, they are not even close to full strength.