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U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT vs. Martinique: Live Commentary

After a frustrating performance against Panama, the U.S. Men’s National Team has a chance at a little redemption against a very different opponent on Wednesday night.

The U.S. is set to take on Martinique on Saturday night in the second match of the Gold Cup group stage. Martinique took down in Nicaragua to leap to the top of the group, but the USMNT enters as a strong favorite to push towards the top of the group.

Only three players remain in the starting XI as Omar Gonzalez, Kellyn Acosta and Brad Guzan begin the match on the field. Joining them is newcomer Cristian Roldan, who is set for his USMNT debut.

The SBI staff will be offering updates and analysis in the comments section below, so feel free to follow along, and as always, please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions below.

Enjoy the action.

74 comments
  • Ryan Tolmich

    Hey all. Plenty of rotation as expected tonight. Roldan obviously the most intriguing starter. Interested to see how Acosta bounces back.

    What are you looking for tonight? Any bold predictions?

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        Arena said he was impressed after the Ghana game and said he expects him to play. My thoughts? Probably gets in the last game and then maybe heads back to England to sort out his club future.

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  • OldNslow

    Happy to see the new blood, but wondering where the creativity will come from. I’m guessing Arriola in this lineup. Good to see Roldan partnered with Acosta though.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Arriola definitely has it in him. Agudelo should be big as well, and don’t write out Acosta bombing forward.

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  • Old School

    Great opportunity for Lichaj to start making a case for his plane ticket to Russia. There’s very little standing in front of him on either side of the pitch.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Absolutely. Given Villafana’s recent struggles, definitely plenty up for grabs. Yedlin is penciled in at RB and Zusi is probably pretty locked in as a backup at this point, but LB is VERY up in the air.

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      • Old School

        Interesting take.

        I know versatility is paramount in the World Cup with 23 players. Even acknowledging Arena is hellbent on trumpeting the MLS banner, but I don’t feel comfortable with Zusi playing a match or two at rightback within the World Cup.

        Conversely, I think Lichaj’s ability to play both fullback positions offers verstality, too. All that’s left is Lichaj proving it – starting tonight against inferior competition.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ryan Tolmich

        Still obviously contenders at RB. Chandler always in the mix, obviously. Garza/Ream in on that left back spot. At this point, Beasley may play in four more World Cups. There’s plenty of depth on both sides but, at this point, Yedlin is the only one truly locked in.

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      • Old School

        Also of note, if I recall correctly Lichaj has an outstanding throw-in, too. An underrated/overlooked weapon at times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • recovered amishman

        If Lichaj can’t outplay Zusi at right back, his preferred position, I’m not sure how much he can offer at LB.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ryan Tolmich

        Definitely. Glad Lichaj is getting his chance after so many years in the cold. Club performances should merit a WC spot, but the same could be said of Timmy Chandler. Gotta show it over the next few months.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      3′ Chance for Morris early on a cross from Zardes but he can’t get a decisive tough on it.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        11′ Morris just wide once again. Header from a free kick is just a foot or two past the post.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        20′ Ball gets out to Zardes who takes a touch before skying the shot.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        31′ Zardes on target this time, but it’s a simple save.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        32′ Martinique off the post! Closest chance of the day and it goes to Martinique, who hasn’t done much until this point. Hedges gets beat on the sequence and the U.S. loses a runner inside the box. Pretty fortunate.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        44′ Save Guzan! Martinique has created SEVERAL chances. USMNT simply not playing well, and Martinique could certainly have a goal or two.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        HALFTIME: Not a good half for the USMNT. Very sloppy and it’s 0-0 headed to the locker room.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        OFF THE BAR! Inches away as Arriola’s shot from inside the six smashes off the bar. Rough miss. Have to put that in.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        51′ SAVE GUZAN! Miscommunication from Hedges and Guzan and a chance for Martinique.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        CHANCE FOR ARRIOLA! Gets to a loose ball but his shot to the near post doesn’t do much besides generate a corner kick.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        GOAL GONZALEZ! Arriola RIPS one from deep and it’s parried right to Gonzalez, who taps it home from close range. USMNT can exhale a bit.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        64′ GOAL MORRIS and now you can fully exhale. Good work out wide from Eric Lichaj, who darts out to the right to get on the end of a pass from Bedoya. Lichaj whips it to Morris, who fires first time for the goal. Great stuff and it’s 2-0.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        66′ GOAL MARTINIQUE! Parsemain gets one back IMMEDIATELY. Fires one from range and it sneaks under Guzan, who should have saved it.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        Bedoya JUST high. Great chance for the Union midfielder but he skies it. Pontius now coming on for Arriola.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        75′ GOAL MARTINIQUE! Initial shot is blocked away by Guzan but a deflection leaves him helpless as Martinique levels it at two apiece.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        76′ GOAL MORRIS! And there goes the tie. Morris fires home a Zardes cross for his second of the night. Can they exhale again or nah?

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  • Old School

    Random Question: Can you change numbers during the competition? Just thought about this if Arena calls in another wave of players after the Group Stage, seeing Roldan wearing Altidore’s number.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Gotta give Dwyer a rest at some point. Morris deserving of another shot. Should get plenty of looks, in theory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        for sure, I meant in terms of who should be higher on the depth chart. I understand Morris playing this game and I support that. Barring a drop in his form and talent, Dwyer should be right after Duece, Jozy and Wood; with Wood being his next target should he progress, etc

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        If we were to rank right now, think Dwyer has pushed up into that fourth spot. Jozy top, then Wood, then Dempsey. Morris just hasn’t been in good form this season. To be fair, Dwyer hasn’t either, but he has the USMNT goals on the resume. This is Morris’ chance and, thus far, he’s missed twice.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Cravin' Frottage

    This is getting embarrassing. Bunch of exhausted dudes with concrete shoes on. Martinique has probably had all three of the best chances.

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  • EMason13

    Tough half to watch. Hedges and Morrow were disappointing and Zardes may look good against Martinique but can’t compete against top international competition.

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    • johnnyrazor

      I am not sure why anyone is surprised. This roster has no true #10 and once again the US brings out the empty bucket with two deep midfielders. As per usual we are having trouble connecting the midfield with the forward line. This formation worked when Dempsey and Donovan were the wing players, Arriola and Zardes are not those two. Bruce wagered we could get out of this group without a creator in the middle, but I’m not sure who is on the prelim roster that can play that role either unless Pulsic is cleared to return.

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  • Ryan Tolmich

    Rough half for the USMNT. Think Acosta has done okay. Arriola could have done better, but was one of the more active attackers. Liked Lichaj’s game while Zardes’ struggled a bit. That said, expect changes soon. No cohesion from midfield to the attack as there’s no real link.

    Who do you want to see get involved in the second half? Who do you want off?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cravin' Frottage

      Think I’ve seen seen about enough of Roldan in a US shirt for one lifetime. Then again, I’m not sure I saw him at all in the first 45….

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  • I scored three goals in one game

    I hope the young kids in Europe get some first team mins cuz the majority of these players don’t look promising

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Could obviously be another Julian Green situation but, all things considered, the one with the best chance is Carter-Vickers. If he gets in the Tottenham first team consistently, could definitely vault into the CB situation. Not sure if we’re counting Horvath, but if we are, he’s probably the best bet to push for that third GK position.

      Other than that, might be too much ground for some of these younger guys to makeup. McKennie at Schalke if he can get going with the first team.

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  • Nate Dollars

    arena won’t do it, but if we’re really trying to win the group, both zardes and morris should be subbed at half. morris has been invisible, and zardes has just been incredibly wasteful.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Would definitely expect Morris to stay. He’s had two chances, and he missed them, but he didn’t receive much service after that. Ideally, I think the USMNT brings in a No. 10 and switches things up that way for a bit.

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      • Nate Dollars

        yeah, i’d be shocked if arena pulled morris at this point; and i admit i missed the first 15 minutes, so morris may have looked better then. that said, i’d still pull zardes for corona.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        Zardes a contender to come out for me as well. Killed far too many attacks, but you can also spin it that he’s been involved in plenty of USMNT attacks. Think a more technical player would be helpful, though.

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    • Nate Dollars

      and since ryan asked who we would sub in, i’d say dwyer for morris, and corona for zardes.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        Think Corona would be a good addition. Could also use the chance to prove himself again after struggling last game.

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  • Old School

    I don’t see any game-changers on the pitch. Other than Dwyer, I’m not sure there’s any on the bench, either.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      You mean you didn’t see Omar Gonzalez as the game-changer? Haha Funny how things happen.

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  • johnnyrazor

    Anyone know what the ticket price is for a group stage game? Not a lot of people there, I know the weather was questionable, and the opponent not attractive.

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  • HTM

    Zardes is so bad… squanders so many opportunities and has such bad touches at critical times.

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  • I scored three goals in one game

    Sit Wood, sit altidore, sit Dempsey, sit dwyer, jsmooth has a left foot. Pay that man

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  • johnnyrazor

    In the too early to panic category … if we lose to Martinique is Arena fired?

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    • Nate Dollars

      nah; just like with klinsmann, arena was hired for a specific goal. klinsmann’s was to get us to the next level; arena’s is simply to get us to the world cup.

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      • Ryan Tolmich

        Could have lost this game 18-0 and he’d be fine. At the end of the day, a B-Team Gold Cup isn’t going to change Arena’s trajectory either way. This whole exercise is all about finding 3-4 guys to compete for a World Cup and maybe finding 3-4 guys to build up for his successor.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Certainly a bit different than the Panama game, that’s for sure haha

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  • Cravin' Frottage

    Roldan is very ripe garbage. Only time he touches the ball is to give it away.

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    • Ryan Tolmich

      Definitely not the audition he was looking for, but too soon to write him off. He’s playing deeper than he’d like in this system. Tough debut, but give it time.

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  • johnnyrazor

    Arena certainly hasn’t been able to fix the set piece defense trouble that started under Klinsmann.

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    • Cravin' Frottage

      Pretty uninspired at the offensive end too. Six million corners all easily defended by a bunch of semi-pros.

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  • Ryan Tolmich

    Signing out for now so I can get to writing. Lots of fun talking to everyone. Be sure to check up on SBI throughout the night and tomorrow morning for plenty of USMNT coverage.

    Like

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