After barely getting by Martinique, the United States now takes on Nicaragua in the last match of the 2017 Gold Cup group stage. The July 15 match kicks off at 7:00 PM ET so be sure to watch every thrilling second.
The United States has pretty much booked its trip to the knockout rounds. Having narrowly defeated Martinique after a disappointing draw against Panama, the USMNT enters this game with Nicaragua with 4 points. Even if they lose, they could still advance to the next round. Judging by their weak performance against the French region’s team, the US could very well lose to La Azul Y Blanco. If the Americans want to ensure their spot in the tournament, they better bring their all to the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Otherwise, they’ll have to watch the rest of the Gold Cup from the bleachers.
Though the United States wasn’t fielding its strongest team, to see them come so close to losing to Martinique, of all teams, was jarring. The Americans didn’t even score in the first half. The first goal of their game came at minute 54, when Omar González, 28, finally found the back of the net. Jordan Morris, 22, doubled the score for the Americans ten minutes later, but Kevin Parsemain, 29, scored on a goal that keeper Brad Guzan, 32, “should have done better to save,” according to ESPN. Kevin wasn’t done, as he took a shot at the 76th minute that soared over Brad’s head and into the net. It took Jordan Morris picking up the second-half of his brace to break the 2-2 tie. After connecting with a Gyasi Zardes, 25, pass, Jordan blasted the ball to give the US a 3-2 win.
“I think we made it really tough on ourselves. We could’ve done much better. That’s the disappointing part, the fact that we let up two goals,” Omar Gonzalez said following the game, according to Sports Illustrated. “Moving forward, there’s a lot to learn from this, and I’m happy that we never gave up. But there’s definitely things we could improve on.” Hopefully coach Bruce Arena, 65, has made the proper adjustments to his lineup to make those “improvements.”
As it is, the US might have gotten a break by having Nicaragua as their final opponent. The winless Pinoleros first fell 0-2 to Martinique, before suffering a 1-2 loss to Panama. Though, they were able to score against Los Canaleros, so there a chance that Nicaragua ends this run at the Gold Cup with a win after all?
Who do you want to win this match, HollywoodLifers? Do you think the USA will get its act together?