POWERED BY

U.S. Men's National Team

Jordan Morris scores late winner to lead USMNT to Gold Cup title

Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

With just minutes remaining in Wednesday’s Gold Cup final, the U.S. Men’s National Team was in need of a hero and it was Jordan Morris who stepped up.

The USMNT forward fired an 88th minute game-winner, leading the USMNT to a 2-1 win over Jamaica in Wednesday night’s Gold Cup final. Morris’ finish led the USMNT to a second Gold Cup trophy in three tournaments.

After losing his mark on what proved to be Jamaica’s equalizer early in the second half, Morris found major redemption with just two minutes left in regular time. A cross in from Gyasi Zardes opened up the Jamaica defense, and a deflected clearance fell right to Morris. The Seattle Sounders forward rocketed a shot past three Jamaica defenders and into the back of the net, sealing the trophy for the USMNT.

The USMNT proved to be largely dominant in the first half, but it was an injury that proved teh true turning point of the opening 45 minutes. After parrying away a Jozy Altidore shot, Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake stopped a Kellyn Acosta rebound at the expense of his own hand. The injury forced the Philadelphia Union goalkeeper off with Dwayne Miller coming in to replace him.

Miller was all but helpless on Altidore’s opener, though. On a free kick about 30 yards out, Altidore curled a shot into the upper left corner, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 45th minute.

Just five minutes into the second half, though, that lead evaporated on a corner kick. Je-Vaughn Watson found himself wide open on the back post after easing past Jordan Morris, and the Jamaica defender volleyed home from close range to restore the deadlock at one apiece.

Both teams had chances in the second, even if the USMNT controlled a bilk of the possession. The USMNT had two in quick succession as the half wore on with Clint Dempsey striker the post a few minutes after Morris forced a big save out of Miller.

Miller could do nothing when Morris got another look in the 88th minute, and it proved to be the game-winning goal the U.S. needed to win the program’s sixth Gold Cup.

25 comments
  • TheFrenchOne

    To me, the best player of this final (and the last few games) was Nagbe, hands down. He holds the ball so well, made so many stellar runs, got hacked down in good spots, and never lost his cool. He needs to be in the US midfield with Pulisic (and Bradley is a given). Arriola impressed as well.

    Altidore had a nice summer revival. I’m always surprised when he scores on a dead ball, but he’s done it fairly consistently over the years. He worked hard out there and made good things happen.

    I had been high on Zardes the last 2 games, but he put in a bad shift tonite. He looked terrified with the ball at his feet. Morris wasn’t good either, but that goal will get him a pass.

    Like

    • johnnyrazor

      No goals or assists in the ten matches he’s played for Arena. One goal and one assist in twenty USMNT appearances, that’s not good enough for an offensive minded midfielder.

      Like

      • mikezissou

        stats are like bikinis, they show a lot but dont show everything.

        nagbe has been great, he keeps the ball and moves it. it makes it easier for everyone else

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ronniet

        he’s not an attacking midfielder, nor is he a striker, so for me those stat mean nothing but more importantly they seem to mean nothing to Bruce Arena who has been effusive in his praise for Nagbe. Darlington wasn’t brought into the team to score goals or to necessarily provide assist but to maintain possession and to get the ball in the areas for the creative players to make it happen.

        Liked by 1 person

  • danny kissinger

    Bradley and Nagbe both excellent. I give them the highest grades So nice watching the US dominant possession and look so comfortable on the ball. Nagbe- I worry that he holds onto the ball so much that he will get hacked to pieces at times. He will need to learn to protect himself a little better and sometime make the simple pass to protect his body and wait for the right time to dribble around multiple players.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheFrenchOne

      Unfortunately that is the plight of undersized players who play his style. You see Messi get mauled consistently. You have to hope the ref does his job. But I thought he did exactly what Bruce told him to do, be more selfish with the ball abs push the attack with his runs. That ball was tied to his feet, he was stellar.

      Liked by 1 person

      • danny kissinger

        I thought of the Messi example. But he also does a lot of one touch passes. I think this sortof balances out the times he will just dribble people, even though he knows at any time he could probably dribble half the other team if he wanted to. So if defenders are also half expecting a quick pass, that can help Messi get that split second extra to position his body right before contact. However, this one touch passing and spacing is possible because of the style of play of Barca and to a lesser extent Argentina.

        Like

  • Calabazas

    That second goal was just a matter of time. Jamaica looked just barely above amateur for most of the second half

    Like

  • Barry

    Commented about it at the end of the live thread, but it bears mentioning again: that “..puto..” chant has to be stopped. It’s moronic and repulsive/ homophobic.

    FIFA & CONCACAF have to step in and levy penalties.

    Like

      • Old School

        That was my sentiment exactly. I laughed immediately when I heard them and imagining the money those fans wasted anticipating seeing Mexico in the Final.

        Yet another reasons I routinely point out the absurdity my fellow Americans vomit up nonsense by saying they cheer for Mexico in tournaments because they believe Mexico carry the CONCACAF banner and represent the region or us, indirectly.

        No, they really don’t. Not in any way, shape or form.

        Like

  • Joe Dirt

    A 16 year old won the Golden Ball on a team that failed to make the semis. Joel Campbell’s injury may keep him out the qualifier in September. Even though we won the cup I was underwhelmed by this team and hope we continue to try to find upgrades at key positions, Cdm, Lb, wide mid. Not sure Bradley deserved Golden ball with only 3 games in the tournament. Bah humbug too.

    Like

  • johnnyrazor

    Like the rest of the tournament, it wasn’t pretty, but we got the result we needed.

    -Nagbe has to do more, he has to be more decisive in the final third. His dribbling is pretty and was able to draw a lot of fouls tonight which was certainly positive, but a lot of times it goes nowhere. It’s hard at times for guys to play off of him because they are never sure when he’s going to play to them. Look at Dempsey and Pulisic they’ll make one pretty move to break down the defender, but then it’s shoot or play the pass. For me it’s not a question of should he start, he should, it’s can he help us become next level (quarterfinals of WC).

    -I know tonight was the third game in eight days, but what I see that makes Pulisic so much better than the rest of the squad is his movement. Watch after almost every pass in the final third CP makes, he’s moving, usually towards net. Tonight guys would pass and stand, it was really easy for Jamaica to maintain shape when the only movement was on the wings. We talk about the young players learning from the vets, some of the older guys need to learn from the kid.

    -I think it’s safe to say Arena ranks the following Omar>Miazga, Zusi>Lichaj, and everybody>Agudelo.

    -Morris did a good job of responding after the Jamaica goal by the man he was marking, but he scares me when he has to defend as a wing player. I hope Bruce doesn’t make that switch against more possession minded clubs.

    -For me the 2nd string back line we saw tonight the difference isn’t that they make more mistakes, it’s that Brooks, Yedlin, Cameron, and will say FJ is that first group is so much more athletic that they can usually make up for it. If one of the first string is out its ok, but with most of those guys susceptible to injury it gets dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mikezissou

      would it great for nagbe to score goals? of course. But to say he has to do more? what are you watching? he plays a sound technical and tactical game and makes it easier for everyone else to do their thing. Hes the only person in the player pool who does it as well as he does

      Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        He keeps the ball that’s great, he draws fouls that can lead to free kicks in dangerous spots also good. However, he doesn’t even make the pass that leads to the pass that scores the goal. If we want the US to get past the round of 16 at the WC he has to be better. For all his technical skill and elusiveness with the ball if he isn’t shooting or passing it to someone who is in position to shoot its no more beneficial than a back pass to the keeper.

        He doesn’t let guys do their thing because no one can make a run because they can’t stay onside because he will spin three times and reverse field four more times, so everyone just stops moving. The only guy who does “his thing” is Villafana because he has plenty of time to get forward, but half the time he is just trying to stay out Nagbe’s way.

        Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        JohnnyRazor: what Nagbe does is consistently move the ball 40-50 yards upfield and playing it to the wing so that someone can cross the ball or play it to the flag. Unlike Bradley who elude 2 opponents with dribbles but then passes back to our CBs, Nagbe dribbles, pushes forward, has the ability to turn on a dime and wait for his teammates to join on the play. I guess we just have different expectations of what an 8 should be doing on a field. I think he could compliment Pulisic very well, assuming he remains consistent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ronniet

        @johnnyrazor, i mean everyone can do more, but what your missing is his ability to change the game by drawing defenders to him with his herky-jerky, stutter stepping dribbling that leads to lay offs for his teammates. Some one has already stated this and i agree totally and that’s our team doesn’t move well off the ball, Pulisic aside, so in essense players like Nagbe and Bradley usually find themselves waiting for players to either show for the ball or to get in dangerous positions. I think DN is always looking to put pressure on the defense, attacking 1v1 and if you watched last night his intent was to always get the ball in the 18yd box whether it was to Jozy or trying rto get to the end line himself. His scoring boots will come with this team, i think he is still trying to find his role , as is Bruce!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Twomilerule

      Johnny, the contrarian! You don’t want the US to play long balls and chase the game. Yet you don’t want tight clean possession flipping the field into dangerous areas?

      Like

      • Johnnyrazor

        No I want him to drive upfield and pass it to someone and continue his run into space so the defense has to make a choice. Especially in that lineup he needed to provide more scoring opportunities. I don’t want Nagbe to be good I want him to be great.

        Like

      • Old School

        I don’t want Nagbe to be good I want him to be great.

        He’s, what, 28 years old? I’m not sure how high the ceiling can go at the stage in ones career while playing in an admittedly lower quality league. I think expectations of being “great” is really asking a lot without considering reality.

        Like

  • Dennis

    I think not enough credit is given to the Jamaican fullbacks. They did outstanding jobs the entire tournament in preventing good service from the flanks. They faced multiple situations when they had to defend 2 attackers, yet the crosses coming in were seldom very good. That was true against both Mexico and the US. Mexico never really adapted and continued to try and put in weak high crosses that Jamaica CBs dealt with pretty easily. At least some of the time the US played hard low crosses that pinged around and resulted in some chances (and one US goal).

    Either the US needs to find wingers who can reliably beat quality defenders, or they must vary the attack to keep the defense off-balance.

    Like

  • two cents/lowercase letters guy

    so will the usa play in the next confed cup? that’s what excites me about all of this.

    Like

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer