clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USA vs. St. Vincent & Grenadines, 2018 World Cup qualifying: What we learned

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The United States Men's National Team got the job done against St. Vincent & the Grenadines. After a shock start by the massive underdogs that saw them go ahead of the U.S. within five minutes, order was restored soon after and eventually the inevitable destruction began.

A victory over the 129th ranked nation in the world is always supposed to be a given when you're the USA. A shaky start from the back line is a small cause for concern, however the recovery by the squad after being pegged back was nice to see. When playing such an over-matched opposition, you have to look at the minute details and be hypercritical of the performance. Here are a few things that we learned (And of course all of these come with the caveat "Yes, It was only St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but..."):

Fabian Johnson needs to be in the midfield

The U.S. have to find the right combination of fullbacks to allow Fabian Johnson to start as an attacker. He was the most dynamic player on the field in this match. His incisive runs split apart the St. Vinny defense several times opening up space for his fellow attackers. We've already determined that he's our best player at three different positions on the field, but it's in the midfield that he's most comfortable and most dangerous. Unfortunately, the lack of options at the fullback spots usually relegates him to one of those roles. Jurgen Klinsmann must do whatever he can to rectify that problem and get Johnson pushed up the field.

Poland is mad

Matt Miazga is ours! You can't have him, Poland. Nanny nanny boo-boo!

The 20-year-old centerback was eligible to represent both the USA and Poland at the international level since his parents are both Polish. Now that he's appeared in an officially sanctioned FIFA match for the USMNT he's cap-tied to the USA forever. GOTCHA!

This is great news for American soccer fans as Miazga has an extremely bright future ahead of him. His 26 minutes against Vinny Heat were nothing more than a showcase appearance that involved him casually stroking passes around the field. He looks the part as one of the USMNT's centerbacks of the future. Only time will tell if he fulfills his massive potential. At least if he does, it will be for the USA.

The back line is still a mess

They gave up a goal to Vinny Heat. This is a team the U.S. should have a clean sheet against 100 out of 100 times. Instead, they conceded a goal in the first five minutes of the match. And it wasn't even a fluke goal, it was a legitimate goal that ripped apart the right side of the defense. First it was Geoff Cameron getting caught way out of position, leaving DeAndre Yedlin to defend in front of his own goal by himself. That's never a good thing. Oalex Anderson blew by him like he wasn't even there and finished past Brad Guzan.

That was the only mistake of the match, but one that should have never been made. Against competent competition mistakes like that will be repetitive and even more glaring. We're talking about two Premier League players getting beat by a player from Seattle Sounders' reserve team. That's just completely unacceptable at the international level.