USfanTV: The US wins the 2017 Gold Cup – a look back at a bizarre tournament

As much as we criticize the CONCACAF Gold Cup at USfanTV, as much as we feel it’s a watered-down tournament that could be considerably stronger, it sure feels good to win it, doesn’t it?

The US capped a bizarre tournament with a 2-1 win over a tough Jamaica side that would have been even tougher had star goalkeeper Andre Blake not been knocked out with a hand injury.

In the end, the US was able to peak at the right time to win the tournament, but it didn’t always look like we’d get to this point. Continue reading “USfanTV: The US wins the 2017 Gold Cup – a look back at a bizarre tournament”

USfanTV: The 2017 Gold Cup Final is here! So who’s gonna take it?

Can you feel the excitement in the air? No? Well, at least try to pretend it’s there, because the USMNT has a chance to win a trophy for the first time since the 2013 Gold Cup tonight!

Bruce Arena joked yesterday CONCACAF needs more parity, because Jamaica keeps finding itself in the Gold Cup final. The Reggae Boyz, of course, whipped the Yanks in 2015 to make the final, only to lose to Mexico. So they’ll be looking to complete their run to the cup tonight, and we’ll be going for revenge.

Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake is playing out of his mind, which makes my 3-1 USA prediction fairly curious. But I actually do think, considering the way we finally put it together the other night against Costa Rica, that the US may be peaking at the right time.

If Mexico had won, I think I’d be a lot more nervous–not because I think that version of Mexico is any good (Jamaica is actually better), but because the thought of losing to Mexico and the ensuing bragging would drive me nuts. If Jamaica pulls it off, I’ll genuinely be happy for them.

We’ll see you tonight after the match!

@patrickmccraney

USfanTV: USA 2 Costa Rica 0 – We’re headed to the Gold Cup final!

Interesting weekend. The USMNT put together its best match of the Gold Cup, beating Costa Rica 2-0 last night in Dallas. Super-sub Clint Dempsey had an assist and a goal, which put him level with Landon Donovan at the top of the all-time US scoring list.

We take on Mexico or Jamaica Wednesday night in Santa Clara in the final, and Simon Preston from Reggae Boyz Commentary joined us on the show to preview tonight’s match.

So those are the good things. The bad? I mangled my finger with a hedge trimmer, and it’s really hard to type. Like, this took me 20 minutes. So this is the extent of my post-match write up.

See you Tuesday night for a preview of the final! Let’s hope I don’t do anything stupid between now and then.

@patrickmccraney

USfanTV: USA wins 2-0 after El Salvador takes CONCACAF to a new level of shame

This is not a sentence I thought I’d ever write, but the USMNT survived a nipple-twisting and a biting to advance to the Gold Cup semifinal after beating El Salvador 2-0 in a dirty, sloppy match in Philadelphia.

Defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj both scored late in the first half, but other than those four or five minutes, the match was hard to watch.

For huge stretches of the game, the US–once again–had trouble connecting passes and making basic defensive plays. If we want to actually win this tournament–and it’s clearly there for the taking–Bruce Arena will need to stop changing all eleven starters and start developing some continuity. Our semifinal opponent, Costa Rica, is light years ahead of this El Salvador team, which seemed more interesting in causing an injury or baiting someone into a fight than actually trying to win. Canadian ref Drew Fischer clearly wasn’t interested in stopping El Salvador’s antics, either.  Continue reading “USfanTV: USA wins 2-0 after El Salvador takes CONCACAF to a new level of shame”

USfanTV: USA v. El Salvador match day preview

Our guys are in Philly tonight taking on El Salvador–which, as you may know, translates to “The Salvador”– in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USMNT hasn’t been particularly great in this tournament, but we should be vastly improved with the addition of a bunch of guys wearing numbers in the 20s.

Group stage stars Kelyn Rowe and Dom Dwyer are unfortunately gone, but we’re bring in Tim Howard (#24), Darlington Nagbe (#25), Michael Bradley (#26), Jozy Altidore (#27), and Clint Dempsey (#28), all of whom should start. FC Dallas’ Jesse Gonzalez (#29) also joins his first US camp after completing the paperwork on his one-time switch, but I don’t expect he’s starting over Howard.

On last night’s show, Chris gave a couple different options of what he thinks Bruce might do with the starting XI, but if we’ve learned anything from this Gold Cup (or the Mexico WCQ before it), we really have no idea what Bruce is going to do. One thing’s for sure, though–those veterans aren’t being brought in to sit.

So what should we expect to see tonight? Continue reading “USfanTV: USA v. El Salvador match day preview”

USfanTV: USA 3 Nicaragua 0 – Much better as the USMNT is on to the quarterfinals

The United States had its first good performance of the 2017 Gold Cup, beating Nicaragua 3-0 in Cleveland.

We move on to the tournament quarterfinals as the winners of group B, meaning we won’t find out who we’ll play Wednesday in Philadelphia until Sunday’s games are over. But, the team should get a lot stronger, with Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Darlington Nagbe, Tim Howard and Jesse Gonzalez all joining the roster.

It could have been that Nicaragua just didn’t care to put up a fight, but the US was much better than the previous two matches–actually linking up and creating chances, albeit mostly from the wings. Joe Corona buried the first goal after taking several (probably too many) touches, Kelyn Rowe continued to shovel coal into his own hype train engine with his pretty touch and finish on the second goal, and Matt Miazga proved Bruce Arena should remember his name after smashing home the third. Continue reading “USfanTV: USA 3 Nicaragua 0 – Much better as the USMNT is on to the quarterfinals”

USfanTV Live: USA 3 Martinique 2 – The USMNT is in trouble

We told you it would be close. We told you Martinique wasn’t a terrible team, like some others had said.

We did not expect this.

For the second-straight match, the US looked disconnected, and had no creativity in the central channel. Our teen wonderboy is off with Borussia Dortmund, and it appears there’s no one on this roster good enough to back him up in Russia next year. Bruce Arena’s decision to not add either Sacha Kljestan or Benny Feilhaber to the 40-man roster seems like a pretty bad decision at this point.

Sure, we won 3-2, and grabbed the three points we needed heading into the match with Nicaragua on Saturday in Cleveland. But, we looked like a collection of guys all vying for World Cup spots, and not an actual, you know, team. That’s on Bruce, and he needs to find a way to change it before Saturday. It also shows we’ll need to bring in some of the bigger names if we have any hope of winning this thing.

So who was good? Continue reading “USfanTV Live: USA 3 Martinique 2 – The USMNT is in trouble”

USfanTV: The French Guiana/Florent Malouda debacle, and a US-Martinique preview

After last night’s show, news broke that French Guiana would start former France international Florent Malouda against Honduras, which will likely result in a 3-0 forfeit.

I thought we’d reached peak CONCACAF in the last Gold Cup with Mexico’s run of shady late-match penalties, but this may end up being worse once goal differential comes into play.

To break this down: A French overseas department based in South America, which isn’t even eligible to play in FIFA sanctioned tournaments, fielded a cap-tied player from the motherland. This was illegal because while the Gold Cup isn’t a FIFA event, CONCACAF still abides by FIFA rules for this tournament. CONCACAF told French Guiana Malouda was ineligible ahead of time, but the team decided to tell CONCACAF to get fucked and not only started him, but made him captain, knowing they’d lose the match before it started. Was this just a matter of pride (like the Mexican fans who keep yelling puto in CONCACAF’s face), or was it something more sinister? A 3-0 victory for the opposition (and, potentially, another one if CONCACAF lets French Guiana pull this shit again) can do a lot to screw up the standings. Continue reading “USfanTV: The French Guiana/Florent Malouda debacle, and a US-Martinique preview”

USfanTV: The USMNT hits a wall, but Nashville still rocks

For the first time in the 25 or so US matches I’ve attended, I actually gave serious thought to leaving early. Around the 70th minute the of US’s 1-1 draw with Panama in Nashville, I’d had more than enough of the heat and blanket of humidity, and I just wanted to leave.

My job was to sit there in the front row and yell, and my performance was pretty weak. I can’t even imagine what it felt like to run hard for 90 minutes in that weather, which probably explains why the game was such a dud. After the match, there were more Dasani bottles littered around the American Outlaws section than beer cans, which should tell you something.

Lackluster team performance aside, there were a few bright spots: Continue reading “USfanTV: The USMNT hits a wall, but Nashville still rocks”

USfanTV Live: Is Kellyn Acosta the next USMNT star?

We’re off to Nashville for Saturday’s USMNT-Panama Gold Cup opener, but before we leave we knocked out a quick show where we look ahead to the match, express our sadness over Kenny Saief’s injury, complain about FIFA’s flawed rankings that now have us at 35th, ask whether Kellyn Acosta is the next US superstar. and debate how hot we’re willing to go at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken tomorrow night. Continue reading “USfanTV Live: Is Kellyn Acosta the next USMNT star?”