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USMNT overcomes early deficit to crush St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Jermaine Jones USMNT St Vincent and the Grenadines

The U.S. Men’s National Team started the journey to the 2018 World Cup by proving its superiority over St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The Americans just had to overcome an early hiccup to do so.

The U.S. won its initial World Cup qualifier by a lopsided 6-1 mark at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday night, but only after conceding a goal five minutes in. Oalex Anderson stunned Jurgen Klinsmann’s side by capitalizing on some porous defending, but the Americans’ quality shone through as the Group C match wore on and they netted six unanswered.

Jozy Altidore led the way for the U.S. with a brace, and the U.S. also got scoring contributions from Bobby Wood, the returning Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron and Gyasi Zardes.

Klinsmann was not only able to help the Americans pick up three points in the lopsided affair, but he also cap-tied a pair of newcomers. Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga entered the game in the 64th minute to make their debuts and cement their statuses as U.S. players.

Anderson got St. Vincent & the Grenadines off to a team start in the match, as he pounced on a poor clearance from centerback Geoff Cameron, who had been sucked out of position. Anderson then raced by a flatfooted DeAndre Yedlin at the top of the penalty area before placing a shot inside the far post.

Wood took some of the increasing pressure off the U.S. by bringing it back on level terms with his fourth international goal. Some good passing saw captain Michael Bradley slip Yedlin deep into the penalty area, and the speedster’s ensuing short cross was neatly headed by Wood into the back of the net.

The Americans began to find their rhythm after, and dominated possession while bombarding St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ goal with a flurry of chances.

A free kick from Johnson, who was making his first appearance for the U.S. since being sent home early from last month’s camp, put his side ahead for good in the 29th minute. After Altidore drew a free kick from 19 yards out, Johnson struck a ball that deflected off the wall.

Another set piece saw the Americans push the lead to 3-1 two minutes later, as a well-drawn up corner kick ended with a wide open Altidore nodding home from a yard out. Altidore started the play inside the goal, but peeled away from the crowd of players to get himself all alone at the back post.

The U.S. continued to assert its power on the Caribbean nation in the second half, and Cameron joined in on the scoring fun in the 51st minute with a bending header that tucked inside the near post.

Zardes also tallied seven minutes later, receiving a through ball from Altidore and slotting it past onrushing goalkeeper Winslow McDowall.

Up next for the Americans is a road trip to Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday that will surely serve as a bigger challenge.


  1. Bradley and Jones have no business sharing the same midfield. Said it before, but just to repeat, at this stage in his career, Jones is a poor man’s version of Bradley. They’re both box-to-box, but Jones is slower, less technical, more inclined to pick up a red, more inclined to injury, and overall less effective.

    Why would you want to pair Bradley with a partner who only mimics Michael, and does so poorly, at this point?

    Why not pair Bradley up with someone who complements him? Let Bradley lie deep, and stick in someone with more playmaking sensibilities.

    • Because you wanted a calming defensive presence in the center of the pitch for the first round of qualifying, and against St V&G Jones was the perfect guy to stop any transition they tried to make. Is it the pairing going forward probably not. Secondly, Bradley doesn’t want to be the deep lying DM that so many people want him to be.

      • Beg to differ. You don’t need a “calming defensive presence” against the likes of SVG. Secondly, regardless of whatever Bradley has stated in interviews, stats show he’s much more effect, has a greater impact on the game when he’s picking up the ball and passing, moving forward from a deep lying position. In a more advanced role, he tends to disappear. He needs the momentum of moving the ball out of the back to spark the attack.

    • Bradley is not a pure defensive midfielder, he is a CM. We need to play a 3 man midfield (either 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3) that incorporates a true DM (McCarty, Trapp, Williams, Kitchen), a true CAM (Nagbe, Feilhaber, Nguyen, Kljestan), and Bradley as the link in between. This way, Bradley adds hustle in defense to help the DM, but Bradley is also supported by the CAM in supplying passes to the attack and creating chances. This is the only way for the USA to play well and get results.

  2. I’m more encouraged by the fact that Klinsmann put the players in their natural positions than the result itself. Hopefully we can see more of that Tuesday. To nitpick though I still don’t like the CM pairing of Bradley and Jones that we started with. Against better opposition we probably would have been exposed.

    • 16 months ago the CM pairing of Bradley and Jones was good enough to get us out of the toughest group in the WC. Is that good enough competition for you?

      • Costa Rica was in a tougher group ….. AND THEY WON IT. Only in Amerika for JK fanboys was that the group of death. Italy, Uruguay and England, all World Cup Winning nations. You know we got lucky on that header by Brooks against Ghana.

      • That group was arguably as difficult but England won the world cup in 1966 and Uruguay in 1930 so I’m not sure how that’s relevant. Anyway, who’s we El Tri fan?

      • When was the last time Portugal or Ghana won anything? Uruguay was just four years before semifinalist and we know their tradition. England is England and has most of the times been ahead of both Ghana and Portugal in FIFA rankings (yes today they count) and Italy, we all know about Italy.

      • Bradley was played in a more advanced position during the world cup so it wasn’t a true pairing. Do I need to remind you how bad we looked at the World Cup? It never seems to look right with both of them out there at the same time

  3. I was impressed with crowd for who the US was playing, although the field in the 2nd half left a lot to be desired. St. Louis shows again why they need an MLS team there, then a NFL team there.

    • Trying to get good grass on the infield this time of year in St. Louis was always going to be a problem. Really lucky the game was played at one end each half a more even match and the turf at that end would have been really bad.

    • I remember a time when the one real hotbed, and maybe the only real one, for soccer in the US was St. Louis. I’ve always wondered why we didn’t play more games there or why they don’t have an MLS franchise. BTW, talking about long ago US soccer, anyone remember when the one notable US player was Kyle Rote, Jr.?

  4. Learned nothing from this game – it unfolded exactly the way it should have (minus the early goal). Typical reactions too, a few JK fanboys trying to crow about this win over fishermen and teachers and some panic merchants predicting we’ll lose the next game. Reality is that even with JK as coach it would be tough not to qualify for Russia, just like we have for the last 7 world cups.

    • Agreed, but if we see the same lineup Tuesday it may show JK is learning or at least evolving. Yedlin at back (although scary) Johnson in midfield and Bradley playing deeper.

    • I guess you missed a previous post of mine a few days ago since you continue to accuse me of being a fanboy (see above). My point is that the quality of the US players is about the same as it has been for the last 10 years or so and the idea that we will do a lot better with another coach is unrealistic. Somebody once said you are as good as your record says you are. That’s true in all sports.

      • Agree! In addition one of JK’s objectives is to change to a more possession oriented style and that obviously isn’t working due primarily to the complete lack of passing skills by the US player pool. I personally think that the lack of skills has surprised JK. I believe he thought that he could find the players to implement a short passing, possession game. Sorry about that! The funk that the team is in has a lot to do with the fact that they are being asked to play a style that’s way above their skill level. The answer is either to suffer through this and wait and hope for the skills to arrive OR fall back to the old kick and run! While patience is needed the short-sighted whiners are having none of that! With the caliber of US fans it’s hard to see a bright future.

    • We are screwed. This is the guy that predicted a “cake walk” to the gold cup final after the group games and a win against Mexico in the CONCACAF cup because “Klinsmann as never lost to Mexico”

      • Not true. I said it “should have” been a cakewalk – and it absolutely should have. I also said we “should” get 16 points minimum from this group and we should. Doesn’t mean we will.

        I did note a few times that JK had never lost to Mexico but never predicted we would win. I actually did think we win but obviously I was wrong.

  5. The scoreline is flattering. Three goals aided by deflections and poor set piece defending. Can’t play like that against T&T. I predict a 2-1 loss next.

  6. the key for the U.S. Is they have to press the other team, try to get the ball from the other team. Not just step in front of the other team and try to contain defensively. They have to be aggressive.

  7. Tough to take anything from this, but may wind up being a nice confidence boost for the US boys. GZ and Altidore looked disconnected in 1st half but much better in 2nd. Nice to see 4-3-3. Midfield of FJ, MB and JJ is interesting. Bobby Wood looked good in the first.

      • Now we’re good. We trash the Granadines and we are on our way to the semis in Moscow. How great is our coach. He finally found the winning combination.

    • I think St. Vincent and the Grenadines lost because their coach chose the wrong formation and has no tactical awareness. They never really pressed the US.

      • I see some people here aren’t smart enough to figure out analogies. BTW yesterday I was reading an account of the France v. Germany friendly which France won 2-0 and a poster commenting on the game, obviously a German fan, complained bitterly that Loew experimented too much and didn’t pick the right players. I guess to be a successful coach you have to win every single game. Bob Bradley can testify to that.

      • Dude you’re not that clever, we got the analogy. I don’t mind experimenting during friendlies, as long as it’s done with a clear purpose and reasoning behind it. Not Klinsmann’s method of just throwing crap against a wall and seeing what sticks

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