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USMNT cruises past Cuba to book place in Nations League semifinals

Scoring early and often was what Gregg Berhalter wanted from his team in Tuesday’s Concacaf Nations clash with Cuba, and the U.S. Men’s National Team didn’t need long to get things going.

The Americans needed just 36 seconds, in fact.

A Josh Sargent goal in the opening minute helped set the tone for a comfortable USMNT victory, as Jordan Morris’ added two more goals on the way to a 4-0 win in the Cayman Islands.

The victory helped the United States secure first place in its Nations League group, edging out Canada on goal difference. The USMNT will now move on to the Nations League semifinals in June, joining Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica. The semifinal matchups will be determined by Tuesday’s matches, including Mexico’s match with Bermuda.

Paul Arriola helped open the scoring when he served a ball toward the front of goal, where Sargent jumped in to bundle it past Cuba’s goalkeeper just 36 seconds into the match.

Morris made it 2-0 in the 26th, collecting a flicked header from Weston McKennie, settling it with an excellent touch before lining up a right-footed shot for the finish.

Morris scored his second of the night in the 39th minute with plenty of help from Aaron Long, who sent a deflected shot floating toward goal before Morris got a final touch on the ball just before it was set to cross the line.

The second half was a plodding affair, with the Americans struggling to find a rhythm. They finally found a second-half goal in the 66th minute when Tyler Boyd back-heeled a Reggie Cannon cross into the path of Sargent, who notched his second goal of the night from close range to make the score 4-0.

The Americans nearly found a fifth goal when Alfredo Morales volleyed home a dangerous shot with his first touch after entering as a replacement for Weston McKennie, only to have Cuban goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez make a stunning reaction save.

USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan recorded two saves to notch the 20th shutout of his national team career, making him the fifth American to reach that mark.

The victory marked the first win on the road for the Americans since 2016, breaking a stretch of 11 road matches without a victory.


  1. I’m not shocked at the score-line, and was actually fairly pleased with how some of the players performed. Where I’m still having difficulty is with some of Berhaulter’s player selections and tactics.
    1) Stop with Trapp & Lovitz. Neither is worth a damn and should not be called up for a game during a FIFA date where you can/should be getting your “A” list players. If we’re playing a weak opponent (Cuba) than use the opportunity to blood a young player who may have a future. These 2 don’t.
    2) The past 2 games have proven that Bradley is not needed. We played better in these 2 games without him than we have recently with him. Time to put a close to Bradley.
    3) Roldan….I don’t love him or hate him. He’s a versatile player so I don’t mind his being called up as the 23rd man as cover for injuries. But he is not a starter and most of the time shouldn’t be seeing the field.
    4) Tactics – We don’t have any outside backs who are strong defensively right now (Yedlin, Dest, Cannon, A. Robinson, etc…), so move to a 3 back system to lighten their defensive responsibilities while maintaining their attacking play. We have enough CB’s who are worthy (Brooks, Miazga, Long, CCV, M. Robinson, EPB, Ream – personally not a fan) and more prospects in the wings (Richardson, Glad, Trusty). Set the tactics to support the strengths of the players you have currently in the pool. Build a solid foundation defensively while our young players gain experience and sharpen their skill-sets with their clubs.
    5) We need to get & stay healthy. Steffens, Pulisic, Adams, McKennie & Brooks are key players for this team. We need them healthy and contributing at the top of their abilities.
    Weah, Morris, Jozy, & even Arriola are important contributors for this team, either as starters or for a change of approach to better match up against certain types of opponents. This is especially true in CONCACAF where some of the games can be brutally physical, played on crap field, and with poor officiating.
    6) Past time to drop the dead weight (Trapp, Bradley, Lovitz) and either bring back some players (Fabian, Green, Holmes, A. Robinson, Hyndman) or try new players.

  2. My thoughts. Roldan isn’t going anywhere cause he is a dam good player.
    Should he be a back up? Sure. Get guys to show up and he will be.
    Plus he is a holding mid, we don’t have an attacking one, so here we are.
    Morris is the best performing Nat team player, for a long time, zero doubt, included Pulisic.
    Sargent. You should love him, he is our player. He isn’t as good as Zardes though, so don’t give GB an F on the other page of this site for sitting a guy that had trouble controlling the basic balls to him.

  3. This game highlighted what has been obvious for a while now, Roldan and Lovitz don’t belong on the squad let alone getting as many minutes as they do. Every manager has their “favorites” but this is rediculous. Gregg is the worse because he has both his “favorites” and a commitment to a system that doesn’t maximize the potential of this particular pool.

  4. I have been very down on things and completely agree you can’t take much from this, but I also will say I don’t really think you can sit there and say “ONLY 4 GOALS?!” because while we were certainly superior, one, crap field conditions level the playing field a lot, superior passing and ball handling gets mitigated, superior may be a stretch for us, but you get it. Second, don’t have to agree with it, but can’t really blame some guys if they go into “don’t get hurt” mode once the top spot was locked up clearly. I am hugely looking forward to games against strong opponents, I don’t think we are ready but it’s the only true measuring stick, can we play a top 20 team and compete or will we suffer a 3-0 drubbing without much going on for us.

    I’m anti Beerholder but these games all you can really do is what you are supposed to, ultimately we did that 3 times failed once, but we need to see better competition to judge guys more accurately.

    • I am not all that worried. Look how Mexico struggled against Bermuda. Us winning 4-0 is okay. I dont get why people wanted them to blow hem out like, US WNT did Thailand at the WC 13-0

  5. Stu kept bringing up Cuba didnt have their best players and had issues getting their best players available. He never said the reason why though.

  6. This is or should be the norm. No pat on the back or praises for anyone (as a matter of fact I think we “stalled” in the second half). With a revenue budget of over 100,000,000
    (FY 2018, Form 990 – 2018 Audited Financial Statements) we better win against these CONCACAF teams that don’t even have a fraction of what we invest in out program!!!! One thing I’m glad about is that GB was moving around relevant players yesterday and hopefully continues to do so….

  7. Well, the knockout game against Honduras will be much more interesting. Definitely want to get to the final. Looks like we are stuck with Berhalter for awhile. Really, I hope he succeeds.

  8. Hard to say much about a game like this. Any meaning associated w the game was obliterated after 40 seconds. Still, Roldan found a way to express his insufficiency. Guy has an unholy number of caps given his exceptionally limited attacking contributions, and still found a way to be mostly anonymous against a seventh rate team. And no, he did not get “unlucky” on his (open) diving header. Just failed to put it away.

      • Never followed Lovitz just think he sucks with USMNT but was laughing this morning when I saw he got traded for 50k in allocation money because he was out of favor in Montreal. So a non playoff MLS team doesn’t rate him but Greggy B does

    • I totally agree. Roldan is useless and should be done. Add to that Lovitz and almost in that group …. Yedlin.

      This was a terrible team and yet only 4 goals? Worse than that, few shots. GBs offense does not generate chances and its not Sargents fault. He got 2 on his own. Crossing was terrible, passing in the final 1/3 poor. Lots of possession and thats all. Imagine this against Mexico. We would get smoked. GB has to move on from some of these guys. Dest was great against Canada ….. so GB starts useless Lovitz …. why? He almost caused a PK and Montreal just dumped him for nothing. Trapp…. still getting called in and hasnt played in 2 games….why not call in somebody from U23 and give them the time? These two games proved we DO NOT NEED BRADLEY anymore. We cannot beat good teams with him jogging around

      • I was with you, then you added Yedlin… and then I spent a day rolling on the ground laughing my ass off. I couldn’t even type a reply.

        Dude is a starting premier league RB. GTFO with these absurd requests for different players. Until we are Italy, if you start in the Premier League, Seria A, Bundesliga, or Primera, you start on our team. That’s it. If there are two guys at the same position, then you move one to a slightly different position, and you start both.

        haha, yedlin not good. haha

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