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USMNT vs Honduras: What we learned

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Well, we survived somehow. Let’s just not put ourselves in that position again ok?

The United States managed to escape from Honduras with a 1-1 draw thanks to a late equalizer from Bobby Wood. It was ugly. Now that our hearts have stopped rapidly beating, here’s what we learned:

Get Europe in there

Bruce Arena decided to make a number of changes after the loss to Costa Rica, and the results were a starting XI that had MLS players + Pulisic and Gonzalez. Honestly, we won’t get too far in any World Cup if we keep doing that. I’m not an anti-MLSer by any means, but if you are gonna bench the likes of Geoff Cameron, Bobby Wood, and Fabian Johnson for players like Omar Gonzalez, Jordan Morris, and DaMarcus Beasley, there are going to be issues. Sure Johnson and Cameron had really rough outings against Costa Rica, but I would still bet on them over these guys. Don’t even get me started on some of the other Europeans that should at least be in the squad.

The outside backs are a mess

Let’s face it. If we are forced to start Graham Zusi and DaMarcus Beasley as outside backs, there is a problem. Beasley was a great player and is sure to be a USA legend (he probably already is), but he should not be the starting LB right now. We need to find someone else. Zusi is also a good guy, but he shouldn’t be near the field as a RB. Sure, DeAndre Yedlin would normally start and Eric Lichaj had an iffy Gold Cup, but what about Timmy Chandler (or most other players that are natural right backs). Sure, Chandler hasn’t shown stellar form in a USA shirt, but he at least could have done what Zusi did all day. Overall, we really don’t have good depth at RB, and we don’t have a clear, reliable starter (or deputy) at LB since Jorge Villafana can be a little shaky.

We need something besides Pulisic

Over the last two games, teams have targeted Christian Pulisic in more ways than one. They are hitting him hard and marking him tight. In both games, he has shown a lot of frustration, and that could all be relieved a bit if we had another option that could draw away the defense. We need to find someone else that can pose a threat and take some of the defensive pressure off Pulisic otherwise he will be facing an army, and even he can’t take on an entire team alone.

The honeymoon is over

Bruce Arena didn’t lose any of his first 14 games in charge. That was nice while it lasted. The honeymoon phase of his second tenure is now over, though. The USMNT looked really rough Friday and Tuesday, and Bruce needs to get them back into good shape before the next set of games in October.

Bobby Wood is clutch

I remember when Bobby Wood finally started to pay Klinsmann back for his faith a few summer ago. Wood scored a few clutch game winners in the summer of 2015 against the Netherlands and Germany. After that, he went on to dominate 2. Bundesliga in the following season before moving to Hamburger SV. Well, he did it again. He was subbed on late in the game to help his team try to steal a point, and he did it. Sure he got a good bounce and scored from inside six yards, but he got himself in a good position to get a loose ball and finished quickly and calmly.