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U.S. Men's National Team

SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Omar Gonzalez

Photo by Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After a rocky start to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Gold Cup quarterfinal match against El Salvador, Omar Gonzalez stepped up to save the day.

The 28-year old Pachuca defender scored his second goal in as many matches on Wednesday night, using his head to finish off a Michael Bradley free kick in the 41st minute to give the USMNT a much-needed 1-0 lead. Combined with a shutout performance in defense, especially in the second half against immense pressure from El Salvador, Gonzalez earned the SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors.

Gonzalez’s goal could not have come at a more vital time. El Salvador came out swinging in the early parts of the match, nearly seizing the lead on several occasions, as the UMSNT struggled to find their footing. Anxiety levels around the stadium were rising as many saw the USMNT struggling to put away what should’ve been a certain win, but then Gonzalez’s head found Bradley’s perfectly placed free kick and alleviated all the pent up tension in the building.

His performance was impressive enough to beat out fellow goalscorer Eric Lichaj, assist-man Michael Bradley, and impactful winger Paul Arriola for the Man of the Match honors.

Who was your USMNT Man of the Match? Which players stood out to you on Wednesday?

Share your thoughts below.

9 comments
  • OldNslow

    Omar was good at times and the best of the defenders, but that’s not saying much. He still had a couple head shaking moments as he always does; one that should have resulted in a goal when the ball bounced in the box. I thought Nagbe was steady. Nothing flashy, but otherwise calm and kept possession, aside from a turnover in the second half. I also thought Zardes was decent, but overall I don’t think anyone was great.

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    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

      I thought Arriola, Zardes, Nagbe and Bradley were all decent. The back line was a complete mess. Each defender having his own moment or 2 in the spotlight of bad.
      Dempsey was most disappointing to me tonight. His play for the Lichaj goal was fantastic, but he was invisible for 95% of the game. He is still our best goal scorer/creater but we will need more from him for longer stretches if hes going to keep a starting position. He was not our worst player, but the expectations are much higher with him.

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  • Cj

    Wow How do you not give that to Howard. Nobody on that back four was decent. Only reason I would give Lichaj or Gonzo a 5 rating were their goals. Miazga needs to be out there more than Gonzo.

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  • I scored three goals in one game

    I think when there isn’t anyone who stands out just don’t give anyone a MOTM. It shouldn’t be a default award. If anyone deserved it, it should probably go to altidore for not reacting to getting bit and titty twisted

    Liked by 1 person

    • NC Jeff

      You know, that’s a pretty fair point … could even argue the bite should’ve not just been a red card, but a penalty, as I believe the corner had just been taken and thus the ball was live. I still can’t believe the last few words of your post actually happened in a continental, knockout round quarterfinal match. Sure puts CONCACAF in a wonderful light.

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    • johnnyrazor

      Omar was bitten as well, so maybe a bite and a goal, rate above a purple nurple and a bite?

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  • Twomilerule

    MOTM was Bradley. He held the team together and the combos played with Nagbe were the only control the USMNT had in the match. Bradley delivery on he set piece put Gonzo in and may have scored regardless of a slight touch.
    US passing percentage was around 78% and mid sixties in the attacking half. Dempsey showed little with ball retention, distribution, attacking, and shots. For the position he played last night that is terrible. His performance is nothing new considering his recent form for the Sounders. Dempseys lone impact was what he can offer but not longer offers that for 90 minutes.

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