Friday, November 13, 2015

U.S. Opens World Cup Qualifying with 6-1 Win

Five Thoughts on the U.S.'s 6-1 Win over St. Vincent & The Grenadines

1) Yes, the U.S. won this match, and won big in the end, but a 6-1 win over a team like St. Vincent & The Grenadines really doesn't tell you a whole lot. In fact, it's probably more significant that the U.S. trailed in this match than it is that the U.S. won by five goals. The St. Vincent goal was a result of a bad clearance and soft defending, and it's still unclear if the U.S. has settled on a starting back four moving forward. This much is for certain, we'll know a lot more about the U.S. after Tuesday's match against Trinidad and Tobago. On a side note, the St. Vincent goal scorer, Oalex Anderson plays in the USL for Seattle Sounders FC 2 which means you might see him in a Sounders uniform next season. Anderson, who just turned 20, has already scored 10 goals for St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

2) One of the biggest stories of this match is the fact that the U.S. was able to get both Matt Miazga and Darlington Nagbe onto the field which means that both will (hopefully) be a part of the U.S. soccer team for years to come. Miazga was being actively courted by Poland while Nagbe was born in Liberia and still eligible to play for them. Now, having appeared for the U.S. in a Qualifier, they're both "Cap-Tied" to the United States. Obviously it's too early to tell what kind of impact they'll have, but adding a center back and playmaking midfielder into the mix are never a bad thing.

3) Three of the six U.S. goals came as a result of set pieces, but what was interesting was that it was Fabian Johnson taking the kicks early on instead of Michael Bradley. The result was a free kick that deflected in off the wall, and a pair of corners flicked on to players making a back post run. Johnson, who started in the midfield instead of outside back, was dangerous all night and if Klinsmann can afford to keep him in the midfield, that could be a huge boost to the U.S. attack moving forward.

4) All Bobby Wood does is score big goals. He's scored four times (all this year) for the U.S. and his four goals are as follows: 1) Game Winner against the Netherlands, 2) Game Winner against Germany, 3) Extra time equalizer against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, 4) Equalizer in World Cup Qualifying against St. Vincent & The Grenadines. I know Clint Dempsey's still out there, but could Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore be our solution up top? We should know more after we see the Trinidad and Tobago game next week, but there's no question that Bobby Wood is for real.

5) With a pair of goals, Jozy Altidore moved ahead of Brian McBride and into fourth place on the all-time scoring list with 31 career goals for the United States. Altidore now needs just three goals to catch Eric Wynalda for third place.

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