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Dike’s double leads USMNT to six-goal romp over Martinique

Martinique figured to have trouble dealing with the U.S. men’s national team attack when the teams lined up at Children’s Mercy Park on Thursday night, but Daryl Dike set the tone for a night that wound up being even more high-scoring than expected.

Dike made a statement with a pair of goals, and came within a scoring decision of a hat-trick, to help propel the USMNT to a 6-1 victory over Martinique on Thursday night.

Gregg Berhalter made seven changes to the squad that squeezed out a lackluster 1-0 win against Haiti in the USMNT’s Gold Cup opener, and two of the changes combined for the opener 14 minutes in. Matthew Hoppe’s excellent cross found Dike in the penalty area, and the Orlando City striker headed it home.

Just seven minutes later, it was Dike involved once again, as a Gianluca Busio shot rattled off the crossbar, and the forward followed up with a header toward goal. A Martinique defender attempted to clear Dike’s header, but wound up putting it into his own net on a play that was initially ruled an own-goal, then changed to a Dike goal, but ultimately changed back to an own-goal

Leading 2-0 at halftime, the Americans came out firing in the second half, with Miles Robinson heading home an Eryk Williamson cross in the 50th minute to make it 3-0.

Dike did find a second goal in the 59th minute on a beautiful sequence that saw him work a give-and-go with Cristian Roldan before dribbling through the Martinique defense, overpowering the underdogs before finishing his chance to make the score 4-0.

Martinique pulled a goal back in the 64th minute on an Emmanuel Riviere penalty kick after Kellyn Acosta was whistled for a foul in the penalty area on Kevin Fortune.

That goal would come back to haunt the Americans, who responded through a Gyasi Zardes finish just six minutes later, and just two minutes after entering as a replacement for Dike.

The Americans tacked on a sixth goal in the 90th minute when Nicholas Gioacchini finished off a Busio pass in a connection of players with Kansas City ties to make the score 6-1.

That is how the final score wound up, and the Martinique penalty kick cost the Americans a chance to catch Group B leader Canada on goal difference, meaning the USMNT must defeat Canada in Sunday’s group finale in order to finish in first place in the group. Canada posted its second consecutive 4-1 victory earlier on Thursday, defeating Haiti handily to maintain its hold on first place in Group B.

The USMNT takes on Canada at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday in a match that has sold out.

Comments

  1. Terrible passing throughout the match. Still have a hard time beating a press. Busio better going forward. Not a big improvement over Yueill playing out of the back. Him or Williamson. Scoreline really didn’t tell the story. Team actually improved with subs – more controlled possession in the Martinique end of the field. Looked more dangerous. This team probably would have lost to Haiti. They kept passing it or dribbling right into Martinque players – so many turnovers. That can’t happen against Canada or any knockout opponent. They will pay.

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    • Were you watching the same game as the rest of us? We actually could no longer keep possession once subs were made. We had like 70% until then. You might want to re-watch with glasses on.

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  2. Really liked what I saw from Hoppe. His touches were very clean and he knows where’ he’s going before receiving the ball, so key. And Dike, that last goal and each touch he took to set it up then the finish at pace and dragging a defender. Bro give me more of that. Saw a few glimpses from Busio but need to see more of him to give a real thought so I’ll leave that others, the glimpses though look bright.

    I went back and rewatched the NL final earlier this week. In the moment you’re on your seat and not noticing certain things. Really love how that squad came together. No quit, no laying down. Pulisic’s leadership that game really stood out to me rewatching it. And McKennie’s heart and fight. Weston was there anytime MX was starting their nonsense.

    We all know this but this group and generation has a ceiling that is higher than anything we’ve seen before on the NT. Dare I say I do think with a few things going our way we could be actual contenders for a Ballon d’Or in 2026 or 30.

    Belgium was on a similar path/generation starting in 2010/14. There’s a high correlation between UCL minutes played per team roster in the preceding 2 years and WC success. Our ROC on UCL minutes played among our roster over the preceding 2 years is off the chart. That Rate of Change is actually unmatched compared to any other nation in recent past. Belgium is the only one close to increasing their rosters UCL minutes played as much as ours.

    Rewatching the NL final our fight and leadership on the field combined with all this talent breaking thru in at UCL level tells me we have some beautiful years ahead boys. The future is very very bright. Bring shades and sunscreen.

    And be ready to explain the game to all the bandwagon fans as they come, when they complain about the offsides rules just get used to it, you’ll be explaining all that stuff a lot over the next ten years.

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  3. pines looked as bad as expected. i didn’t understand that selection. he was literally coming off a viral “posterize” counter where he got faked out three times on a goal-break by NYC.

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  4. it clicked for me last night that yeuill is the one who drags the pace down to snail buildup. it’s like mastro’s walking pace passing but without the orthopedic activities other way. you put someone else out there and magically tempo appears.

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  5. re GB and selection, some people are taking a “scoreboard” approach but neglecting who the scoreboard is against. the deal is at a world cup a single “clark” lineup mistake can be game- and tournament-defining. and dude between games 1 and 2 is not even close to sorting it out right in a prompt fashion. “well, but last gold cup he sorted it out over time.” gold cup. but world cup is not going to be as easy or consequence free, and even then he never quite got it right vs mexico. dude still thinks roldan is good.

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    • also, broken record but this is just a weak concacaf cycle and you cannot draw broader lessons from games in the region. look at our record outside the continent. that is where some of these errors and inefficiencies are and will be punished.

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      • Funny because just yesterday you were talking about how great Martinique was and how they were going to run all over us. We couldn’t possibly play 3-4-3, and needed to sit back in a 4-5-1 to protect the backline.

      • JR: play the right people then. based on his starting lineup we looked like trash. if he mis-evaluates the team or plays favorites so bad the team looks grotesque, i can’t assume he had better players in reserve.

    • If you watched club matches you probably could have figured it out but you only count NT performance as important.

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      • you’re confused. you scout club. you evaluate international. to see if it translates. i actually have advocated broad experimentation based on promise. i just think when they get their first cap it’s back to zero for our team. otherwise you’re double-bookkeeping. wondo doesn’t get credit for 20-whatever league goals when he misses the belgian sitter. you either can do the thing in the shirt or not. some cannot do both. not complicated.

        and let’s be real, you were defending his lousy first choice because you defend whatever he does. he flips around you defend that too. how about get it right the first time?

  6. It may be Martinique but putting Acosta as a RB was silly. Roldan would’ve fit better at RB at that point in the match. You would think a vet like Acosta would’ve some type of awareness but given a penalty against a none FIFA team was an airhead move. Mediocre is as mediocre does!

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    • to me it was silly because with our lead we didn’t need a card or to prevent the chance at all costs, and he could trust his teammates and turner to try and fix it. just not smart soccer. and you also maybe position yourself where you can make that tackle outside the box.

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  7. canada played both teams to 4-1. you couldn’t have a clearer disparity between games showing the coach’s selection effects on outcomes. one game we looked like a terror that might do something. the other game we barely won. when the subs came into game 2 we started to stutter again. the right coach and you would more generally be getting the top end outcome because only an idiot would pick GB’s first game favorites.

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    • If you were Canadian you’d find plenty to complain about Herdman. They were outplayed by Haiti for much of the match and only stretched the lead when Haiti ran out of gas down to 12 available field players and missing their two best strikers (not sure they’ll be able to play Sunday). Herdman got all his players on yellows off except his best midfielder who picked up a needless time wasting yellow. If your so afraid of losing your 3 goal lead against a 10 man team missing it’s two top forwards you probably weren’t playing well.

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      • no, the deal is you make one “bradley starts clark” decision in one game and your tournament may be over. and he had about the whole XI wrong or did you watch the game? night and day. you can avoid consequences when it’s haiti and martinique. try the swiss, england, brazil, etc. his first choice defense is going to burn us, his selection is going to burn us.

        and, no, if he had won two gold cups running and 99% of his games, no, i wouldn’t be complaining. this is we barely beat haiti then destroyed the next team. you make that bad a favoritism mistake at the world cup and we’re done.

    • Yeah. I was definitely seeing a Bundesliga forward out there…and truthfully, at first blush, he looked like a better one than Josh Sargent to my eyes, who has just never impressed me all that much. Granted…Martinique. And I wanna see that against somebody with a pulse before I’m sold. But then, we’ve seen him score hat tricks in the Bundesliga too, and I was starting to see why. That guy is straight-up legit, man. He’s a find.

      He and Dike actually seemed to play real well off each other, which was cool to see. They don’t take up the same space on the field at all and they have complementary skillsets.

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  8. Dike was good, but then it was to be expected. I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t done as well as he did. I hadn’t expected much from Hoppe and I thought he was one of the better US players. Considering the opposition so far, I think it’s still too early to be able to judge the quality of this team.

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    • Pretty much agree w this take. Also need to put some respect on that finish from Zardes. Really high quality. Lotta guys made good cases for themselves today, but yes, it will be more interesting to see how they do against Canada.

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      • Why did Zardes even get in the game? We have a lot of question mark players, and he is not one of them. When he subbed in, the game was already in control, and we were through to the knockouts. Play the kids and find out if they can play.
        If we can’t beat Canada, it doesn’t really matter that we finish 2nd in the group, we are already also rans

    • Dave, obviously the reason was rest for Dike ahead of the match Sunday. I mean who on the bench did you want to see replace Daryl? Lewis? Giaocchini was already in the game at that point.

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      • I agree…. I actually thought the most interesting aspect of the subs was who went off…. the likelihood that we’ll see them again v Canada.

      • we should not be playing starters sunday. i have a feeling GB does it but take your advancement and play who shows up. more important the first choice are fresh for knockouts than precisely who they face. we would likely have to beat mexico sometime anyway.

    • i kind of felt like among this bunch it sorted out dike then zardes then nico. nice for nico to get a goal but on the first two games that’s how i’d rank them out. the more interesting question, on a fair planet, is how they would stack up with sargent and pefok in open competition.

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