Friday, June 8, 2012

USMNT Win Over Antigua & Barbuda In World Cup Qualifying

Article by Luke Lohr

Lackluster though it may have been, the US Men's National Team earned a victory over CONCACAF minnows Antigua and Barbuda by a score of 3-1.

The victory was unimpressive and uninspiring as the United States struggled to score in a wet match that proved far more difficult than it should have been. Carlos Bocanegra put the US off to a fast start with a goal in the eighth minute, leading US fans to think the match would be an easy one. It was not. Clint Dempsey's penalty kick in the 44th proved to be the winning goal and Herculez Gomez struck in the 72nd to seal the match for the US. Antigua and Barbuda's goal came from substitute Peter Byers.

Interestingly, Jose Torres started the match at left back as Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo were both out due to injury. While he showed well against lackluster opponents, a hard challenge forced his night to end early. Oguchi Onyewu replaced him in the 57th minute, which sent Bocanegra to the left. Onyewu did little to inspire confidence even against the paltry opponent, leading many to speculate that his days with the national team are likely over.

A win is a win as they say and the United States will cling to it, but the weak showing is a full reminder that the USMNT system is slow to adhere to Jurgen Klinsmann's plan. They'll have to step it up against Guatemala on June 12th, where they will play in Guatemala City, a less than hospitable place.

This goal for Herculez Gomez sums up the US run of play. Dirty, ugly, and just enough to get the job done.


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