The United States Men’s National Team play their second match of the 2023 Gold Cup group stage tomorrow night in St. Louis against St. Kitts & Nevis. The USMNT had to come back to draw Jamaica 1-1 on Saturday night in Chicago, completing a very shaky start to their Gold Cup title defense. Now, they must get back on track in an effort to win the group and avoid the side of the bracket that could include Canada and Mexico.
They play St. Kitts & Nevis, who defied all odds in making it to the Gold Cup. They defeated Curaçao and French Guiana on penalties in the Gold Cup Prelims to set up this matchup, the first time the two teams have played against each other. They are reeling from a 3-0 loss to Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday, so they will play like there is no tomorrow because the Sugar Boyz are still playing with house money.
D (1-1) - Jamaica - Concacaf Gold Cup Group A
W (2-0) - Canada - Concacaf Nations League Final
W (3-0) - Mexico - Concacaf Nations League Semifinal
D (1-1) - Mexico - Friendly
W (1-0) - El Salvador - Concacaf Nations League
St. Kitts & Nevis
L (0-3) - Trinidad & Tobago - Concacaf Gold Cup Group A
D (1-1) - French Guiana - Gold Cup Prelims
D (1-1) - Curaçao - Gold Cup Prelims
W (2-0) - Aruba - Concacaf Nations League
W (3-1) - St. Martin - Concacaf Nations League
What To Watch For
The USMNT need much crisper play. The USMNT had some very sloppy play against Jamaica and it felt like they were lucky to get out of there with the draw. They are the better team, but their advantages can be neutralized if they play sloppy and without effort.
Take shots. St. Kitts & Nevis doesn’t have a great defense, and it led to 3 goals against Trinidad & Tobago that the Sugar Boyz would probably want back. The USMNT needs to drill shots on every chance they have moving down the field, and follow up rebounds. St. Kitts will not be able to withstand that pressure.
Don’t underestimate the Sugar Boyz. There is a reason the Sugar Boyz have made it to this point, so underestimate them at your peril. The USMNT still needs to play sharp to win, but if they look down to their opponent, the Sugar Boyz will be happy to take advantage.
There will likely be some squad rotation for this match, as BJ Callaghan looks to see who can be consistent in pushing the ball forward and getting some goals. So, we could see a lineup that looks like this:
Matt Turner’s in goal, but the back line looks mostly different. DeJuan Jones sets up on the left, Julian Gressel on the right, with the centerback pairing being Miles Robinson and Bryan Reynolds.
In the middle, Alan Soñora gets a chance alongside Gianluca Busio and Aidan Morris. Up front, Cade Cowell gets a shot on the left, Djordje Mihailovic on the right, and Brandon Vazquez gets the start after his goal to save the USMNT on Saturday night.
The USMNT recover to win 4-0.