US set for second Gold Cup match against Martinique


Panama 2, Nicaragua 1 Panama used a quick second-half rally to beat Nicaragua, 2-1, in a rainy Gold Cup bout. With the top two teams in the group advancing to the quarterfinals, the USA should be one of them.

Keep it right here for score updates and highlights from US vs. Martinique with our live blog.

One of just three holdovers from the starting lineup last weekend, Gonzalez scored his second global goal after Martinique failed to clear a corner kick.

The result puts the four points in the group, which should be enough to move on, with one game to go in the group stage. After all, this event's featured the current World Cup holders (Germany), arguably the best player in the world (Ronaldo), the USA main arch rival (Mexico) and the 2018 World Cup hosts.

The Americans doubled their lead in the 64th minute, thanks to a substitute making a big impact.

62nd minute, 1-0 USA: U.S. manager Bruce Arena is making his first sub.

Germany won it July 2 in St. Petersburg, Russia, defeating Chile 1-0 in the final. Although the Yanks generated eight corner kicks and a few unsafe free kicks with their control of the ball, they were beaten to almost every one by a Martinique defender. After defender Kellyn Acosta's corner was deflected out of the box, forward Paul Arriola shot from the top of the key.

The Cup is held every two years and features teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. That physicality started to show in the second half. Martinique would answer nearly immediately as Parsemain's shot from distance beat Brad Guzan in the 66 minute.

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The 26-year-old was active in the first half Wednesday, able to find the ball far more than his teammates, but his touch and decisions let him down far too often.

Morris then scored his fourth worldwide goal in the 76th minute when he ran onto a service to the middle of the box from Gyasi Zardes and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa. The service from the flanks has been good for the Americans.

"This venue is among the best in our country, so we're excited about it", Arena said.

Then just moments later, Jordan Morris made it 2-0 with this fine front-post finish. Jordan Morris was the star in Tampa with two goals, but he was already a likely inclusion for the 2018 squad.

Next up is group leader Martinique on Wednesday and USMNT must come out with a win to take over the group. From 30 yards out, Morris surged forward and put the ball to the left for winger Gyasi Zardes, whose bouncing cross across the box found Morris as he continued his run.

Except that I could barely force myself to watch spurts of it (It would have helped in the US or Japan [another country I have lived in] had qualified for the tournament).

On a humid night in Tampa Bay, a squad of seasoned professionals, albeit a squad without much experience at the ever-hyped global level and without much time playing together as a unit, took to the pitch of Raymond James Stadium.