DUSTIN BECK - Wednesday, June 15, 2011
After a ninth minute strike from Jozy Altidore, the United States held on for 81 minutes to defeat Guadeloupe and advance to the knockout stages of the 2011 Gold Cup.

The Yanks came out with only two lineup changes in what unexpectedly became an absolute must win for the team.

Chris Wondolowski started up top replacing the youngster Juan Agudelo. For Wondolowski, it was his first start in the tournament after appearing as a substitute in the loss to Panama over the weekend.

The second change to the lineup was moving team captain Carlos Bocanegra to centerback in place of the struggling Tim Ream. Bradley then inserted Eric Lichaj into the left back position which he played extensively at Leeds United.

The rest of the lineup remained the same with Jozy Altidore being the other striker, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey on the wings with Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the central midfield. The backline saw rock solid Steve Cherundolo at right back with Clarence Goodson making his third consecutive start in central defense.

The Stars and Stripes got the result they needed even though it was once again a less than impressive outing. The only goal of the match came in the ninth minute when Altidore took a pass from Bradley, made a couple of dribbles and ripped a bomb from 32 yards out into the top right corner.

While the Nats were seemingly always in control partially because of the inability of Guadeloupe to move forward, the Americans were never able to get the second goal they needed to seal things up.

The US produced plenty of chances with Clint Dempsey missing several key opportunities. The Fulham star missed chance after chance to finish things off and after his final shot was pushed wide right in the late stages of the game all he could do was give a half-hearted grin as he knew it just wasn't his night.

Tim Howard was rarely forced into action playing in goal and seemed to have his defense well-organized with the addition of Lichaj and team captain Bocanegra now in the middle. Both moves looked like positive changes from Bob Bradley.

There were no cards in the match and all players will begin the next stage on a clean slate as card accumulations will not carry over to the knockout stages.

The Stars and Stripes will face Jamaica on Sunday at 3:00 EST. The Reggae Boyz have been blistering through the tournament both winning their group and going undefeated. In the first three games, they have scored seven goals and have yet to concede one.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 5:47 pm
Defense was better organized. I thought Dempsey and Altidore were strong. OK, Dempsey had a finishing 'mare, as they say at the Fulham site, but he was creative and made chances. Biggest thing I don't understand is why everyone is on young Bradley's case. Is it because they don't like his dad? In every game -- even the patheticest Panama one -- he's had very solid link up play, is dangerous with outside shots, is strong on defense and is a spark in the attack. Lichaj was fun to watch, but he was exposed several times and will make us nervous against stronger competition, I'm sure.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 4:52 pm
i agree with almost everything the posters have said. i'm as big a fan of US soccer as there is and have followed the nats since the '94 cup, but i don't see them beating jamaica. i see a jamaica v mexico final in the future.

to only beat guadaloupe by one goal is pathetic. this team is unable to break any team down in the middle and relies totally on their outside back to be their biggest weapons.

Jozy and dempset have been our only consistant offensive threat (forget about dempsey's finishing). donovan has been absent and neither agudelo or wondo have done anyhting to show that they are able to play for the nats. players are out there, but BB is unable to put together a competent team.

1-0 against Guadaloupe in not acceptable.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 4:00 pm
While I wasn't happy we only won 1-0 you can bet your house that Dempsey is going to play against Jamaica with a huge chip on his shoulder, he knows he should have gotten at least 2 goals. If we have a motivated Dempsey and an in form Altidore we're gonna score some goals against Jamaica.

The biggest positive to draw from Guadelupe is the defense looked really strong. Cherundolo showed a motor that wouldn't quit, Bocanegra showed leadership in the middle that was lacking and cost us 2 goals against Panama. Lichaj always impresses me when he's on the field, he's got some excellent pace and he is great in transition. He needs to work on his defending skills and will have some bad games but I think that that back 4 is the way to go the rest of the way.

Also Jermaine Jones had a great game, I think the only real question mark left on the team is what to do about striker, one thing that works well is bringing on Bedoya in the second half and moving Dempsey up, Bedoya's been impressive but I don't know if he's a starter. I wouldn't mind giving it a shot with him at LM and Dempsey at striker if it doesn't work out you can sub in Agudelo and move Dempsey back to midfield
Wednesday June 15, 2011 2:06 pm
The US Players look pathetic. Zero motivation they appear hopelessly inept and devoid of energy. No winning spirit, No creativity, no cohesive play, I have seen colonoscopies that are less painfull than watching this team play. It makes me sick like malaise and no national pride. where some teams are winning by 5 goals and more the USA should be putting up touchdown scores against this level of competition. It makes me sick that we don't have a federation that manages this team without the merciless go for a kill attitude. They labor against a country with less people than that of Kansas City!!! Boo Boo get your act together or lose any credibility!!
B Potter
Wednesday June 15, 2011 1:46 pm
Jozy was big, strong and alone! Dempsey tried to do too much. Donavon was boring. Jones was uninspired. He needs to watch Edu from the bench!!!! Jones slows down the attack. Defense was better. Outside backs played well. Bradley needs to sit Jones. With Edu in the middle MBradley can get forward in support.

Overall it was concerning to watch a 1-O win over a exhibition team. To me is was as bad as the loss to Panama.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 1:43 pm
Bradley really didn't give himself many options with the roster he brought. The midfield starters look tired and the midfield subs look terrible. I can't see how Wondolowski could justifiably play in another game at this level. Robbie Rogers has never developed. Kljestan is marginal, hence playing at Anderlecht. Freddy Adu hasn't played yet for a reason. If Bedoya is so adept at creating chances why are they never converted? Whether it's arrogance or ignorance, the U.S. setup for this tournament was flawed from the get-go. There's no way we beat Mexico at this point in time.
much adu
Wednesday June 15, 2011 1:24 pm
Ok a win is a win, but this has to be a new low point for the USMT program. Our finishing of offensive plays was at best pathetic. Altidores rocket shot was impressive, but aside from one quality pass to Altidore from J. Jones which Altidore was unable to capitalize on, this game on offense was horrific. I again have to address the mysterious neglect of Freddy Adu. He was chosen on the original 23 and even though Bedoya was a replacement for Feilhaber, he has played alot and suited up for most of the games?! Adu has not even been able to suit up for these past four games!! Adu alone is not the answer for our worries, but for the love of humanity get him in the game!! He WILL NOT miss a ton of shots directly in front of goal and although a middy, he could play a better forward than Wondolowski blindfolded and with both legs tied together. Anyone who argues this is just flat out in denial. Coach Bradley is petrified that if he lets Freddy play 90 he will show his son up or some of his other socal favs like Rogers on the wing, for their lack of creative play.
Lets call a spade a spade. Coach is too entrenched with his favorites to see clearly. He needs to utilize his best players and stop with the experimentation or go coach in the MLS. Hurry, Hurry as El Tri awaits!
Wednesday June 15, 2011 12:31 pm
This is all becoming troubling. I feel like the longer we struggle like this the more vulnerable we become. In any competition, skill and preparation are a large part of success, but I believe confidence is just as important. I think the mental state of the team as a whole is in a fragile place right now and I can't tell you why. All I know for sure is that we are not watching the proud and focused team we saw at the world cup last summer. Things just seem disjointed. I don't sense the team unity with this group. Last night was tough to watch. There should have been nothing to worry about late in the game, but there was because the team is not doing the simple things they should be doing like putting away unmarked headers or tap ins in front of goal. We really need to beat Jamaica. I think, considering how good the Reggae Boyz look, it will be a lift to our confidence moving forward. Losing will be pretty bad for the program. I'm pretty sure Bob would lose his job and that will mean the new coach will have the unenviable task of trying to reestablish confidence throughout the program and reestablishing the USA as a power in the region. This Jamaica game is huge.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 9:46 am
Something needs to happen. Other than from a few, the pride of playing for your country just doesn't seem to be there. It appears to me that Bradley & Donovan are a large part of setting that tone in both words and actions.
Wednesday June 15, 2011 9:32 am
So many scoring opportunities wasted, especially by Dempsey. He chose to show boat on a sure tap in and it cost us. Jamaica has been aggressive on offense and stingy on defense. The US has it's work cut out for them
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