In what was, at least on paper, the USMNT’s toughest competitive opponent thus far in the Gold Cup the team started very strong, coming out firing in the first several minutes. The team would just miss out on a couple of good chances, thanks to good work from Andre Blake and shots going just wide before opening the scoring in the 9th minute. The goal came off a fantastic team sequence that featured seven or eight American’s touching the ball, a pinpoint pass from Michael Bradley, one touch pass from Reggie Cannon, and lethal finishing from Weston McKennie:
The goal was impressive and McKennie performed very well on the night but he would come in second in the SSFC Man of the Match rankings with a 8.089. The US would continue to dominate and fourteen minutes into the game it looked like it would be a rout with the team continuing to create very dangerous opportunities. Unfortunately, the match would be postponed moments later as the fans and teams were sent to safety due to a thunderstorm.
Jamaica would take the opportunity to regroup and the US was still strong but not as dominant for the remainder of the first half after the restart. It wouldn’t be until shortly after the second half began that Christian Pulisic, who was already having a strong game, would add his name to the scoresheet following up on a Jordan Morris shot that Blake probably feels he should have done better with:
The US would give up a goal to Jamaica following a bad turnover by Gyasi Zardes and some flat footed defense by Matt Miazga but then it was Christian Pulisic again, extending the US lead back to two goals and icing the game in the 87th minute:
Pulisic’s creativity and dangerous chance creation on the night, highlighted by his brace, was enough to earn him Man of the Match honors with a lofty 8.788 score.
The full SSFC rankings were as follows:
Zack Steffen - 7.000
Reggie Cannon - 6.890
Matt Miazga - 5.863
Aaron Long - 6.395
Tim Ream - 5.776
Michael Bradley - 6.365
Weston McKennie - 8.089
Christian Pulisic - 8.788
Jordan Morris - 5.658
Jozy Altidore - 6.577
Paul Arriola - 5.871
Gyasi Zardes- 3.707
Cristian Roldan - 5.129
Daniel Lovitz - 4.926
The young American’s in particular stepped up on Wednesday night, will it be enough to get a result against Mexico on Sunday? Cannon and Altidore in particular preformed well relative to what we’ve seen from their positions to this point in the tournament, did they earn a second start? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.