The American men’s national team will have the Gold Cup started tomorrow when they meet Haiti in Kansas City. USMNT is participating as one of the main teams hoping to challenge Mexico for the Gold Cup title. They go into a Haiti side that qualified for the Gold Cup by beating St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Bermuda in the Gold Cup Prelims, but also withdraws as a nation from the events that took place early Wednesday morning. Haiti hopes to help heal a nation with their game in the Gold Cup and play inspired ball, and the USMNT will hope to ask those doubters who believe their list is not good enough to compete against Mexico.
W (4-0) – Costa Rica – Friendly
W (3-2) – Mexico – Concacaf Nations League Final
W (1-0) – Honduras – Concacaf Nations League semifinals
L (1-2) – Switzerland – Friendly
W (2-1) – Northern Ireland – Friendly
W (4-1) – Bermuda – Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims
W (6-1) – St. Vincent & the Grenadines – Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims
L (0-3) – Canada – World Cup Qualifier
L (0-1) – Canada – World Cup Qualifier
W (1-0) – Nicaragua – World Cup Qualifier
What to look for
Set the tone. That USMNT would like to get off to a good start and put Haiti on its heels early. It will require energy to be there from the opening floor and the team will have to match Haiti’s intensity in all aspects of the game.
Establish the high pressure. We have not seen what could happen when USMNT is aggressive in the high press, but they have a few players who know how to do it effectively. Pulling Haiti to make a mistake should be the key, because when it does, the USMNT can break the counter and continue to keep the pressure on Haiti’s halfway.
Make their presence felt. The US players who start the match have a chance to present themselves as a player who can be reliable when USMNT plays in competitive matches. Many have written off this team as a team that can impossibly compete with Mexico in the Gold Cup. To show that they have the moxie to box with the best, they need to make sure that their presence is felt in this fight. It will not silence critics, but it will let some know that USMNT has a deeper pool of players than one would be led to believe.
Prediction for lineup
In the first match of the Gold Cup, one would expect head coach Gregg Berhalter to come up with the lineup he believes is the most reliable. It may include some familiar faces:
Matt Turner gets the start as number 1 between the posts, while the back line consists of veterans like Reggie Cannon and Walker Zimmerman. Sam Vines and Miles Robinson are also on the back line.
Jackson Yueill is a player that Berhalter loves, so you have to believe he gets nodded at 6. Sebastian Lletget is another guy that Berhalter knows can play the type of tempo that this formation requires. Cristian Roldan operates out of midfield, but can also come up in a central attacking role.
Paul Arriola can always be encouraged to give a work percentage required for a high pressure and Berhalter will have it on the right side. Jonathan Lewis gets the nod on the left wing and Daryl Dike gets a chance to show he can be the 9 America is looking for.
USMNT have started well against Concacaf teams lately and this match is no exception. Haiti is struggling with some heavy hearts and they will not be able to match what the USMNT will be able to bring. 3-0 to USA.