USMNT Finish Group Stage with Disappointing Draw

Jurgen Klinsmann used the United States’ meaningless final match in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage to field an inexperienced squad. It was a hot and humid evening in Kansas City that gave nine of the starters from the second group match the night off.

The US was able to get a result thanks to the retention of captain Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan in the starting eleven. Guzan made six saves in the match, while Bradley would score the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Panama.

For the most part the performance by the US was underwhelming. Panama needed a win in this match to secure their future in the tournament. The pressure of the Panamanians caught the Americans flat-footed in the first half, but they were bailed out by an early offside call and a reshuffling of the bench in the second half.

Guzan did have a perfect view of the Blas Perez opening goal after 34 minutes. Luis Tejada turned and lost Ventura Alvarado while World Cup hero John Anthony-Brooks lost his man who smashed the cross past Guzan. This was the first match that the 22-year-old center backs were made a starting pair for the US.

Panama's Blas Perez

Despite going down a goal in the first half that did not mute the loudest and greatest performance by an American on the night. The usual capacity crowd at Sporting Park created a special atmosphere during the match that was admirably recognized by Klinsmann and the players post-match.

Two halftime changes birthed a renewed spirit into the game for the US. Clint Dempsey replaced Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin replaced Alfredo Morales. Dempsey’s desperate one touch pass put Alejandro Bedoya into the goal area. Bedoya picked out the run of Bradley whose sliding back post finish electrified the US supporters. Bradley joins Dempsey as the only players to score in the tournament for the US.

Neither side wanted to finish the match with a draw, but a winning goal was not to be. Brad Guzan made three saves in the final 20 minutes to keep the result. Kyle Beckerman teased the supporters with a left rocket that bounced off the advertisement boards and around the back of the net.

Although the team does look like at times that it is on the brink of disaster, the USMNT has remained undefeated in the past eight matches which included a string of six straight wins. Though we may not agree with Klinsmann’s decisions on paper or at the beginning, it seems as though he usually pulls it together at the end of the day.

John Anthony-Brooks received a yellow card in the 16th minute against Panama. The center back will miss the US’s quarterfinal match on Saturday due to the tournament’s yellow card accumulation ruling.

The US will find their opponent after the  Group C match between Cuba/Guatemala concludes on Wednesday evening.

Quarterfinal matchup scenarios:

Guatemala win – USA vs. Guatemala

Draw – USA vs. El Salvador

Cuba win – USA vs. Cuba

 

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About the author: Henry Hauck

 

I love watching American soccer grow, I collect official match balls & dabbling in photography.

Website: http://hhfooty.com/

 

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