Log line: Better. Still a lot left to do.
Score: USA 1 Honduras 0
Starting US lineup:
Formation: 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 (I’m tending more towards the latter as Findley was advanced a bit too much for me to call it a straight 4-5-1 and the play suggested it more often than not)
1ST HALF: The US came out looking a bit more composed than they have the past coupld of matches. That said, they still looked a bit too unaggressive in the final third.
The forward play was very hit or miss. Mostly miss when it came to Barrett and hit when it came to Findley (when he’d actually float back into the match that is). In fairness to Findley, his role was to roam a lot more than he is normally used to. He has played wide right for Real Salt Lake a number of times and is still learning to position. I think if he is going to have a future on the senior team that will be his place. He has the pace and the vision to play there once he masters it. His ability to finish and his deft touch, put on full display during a chance in the first half that was not a goal only due to the heroics of the Honduran goalkeeper.
Honduras were on the defensive for the most part but they certainly made the most of their chances and had at least 2 occasions in the first half where they could have taken the lead. The offside call on the disallowed goal when Cervi came WAY too far off his line was an extremely lucky break for the US.
2ND HALF: started off with another Honduran near goal before the US settled down again and took the game back into their grasp. Nothing spectacular but they took hold of the match. There was a penalty early on when Davies came in for Zizzo (I would have pulled Barrett instead but…) and was pulled down in the ares. Davies, despite only being on for less than 5 minutes, lobbied to take it and missed wide.
The rest of the second half was more of the same. Ebb and flow. US controlling most of the possession with Honduras getting some half chances here and there looking dangerous on all set plays as they seemingly had free headers every time out.
DEEP into stoppage time, Davies hits the ground again (and it wasn’t a dive again!) but this time Gaven (who should have taken the first PK) steps up and ices the game for the US and put us at the top of Group A.
Man Of The Match: tough call really. no one really stood out head and shoulders. Davies winning 2 PK’s would normally be a lock but the missed PK and some dumb dives takes it away from him. Findley played well as did Holden as did Gaven and Orozco. I think I will have to go with Gaven for his good play and showing Davies how to tuck in a PK.
UP NEXT: second place team in Group B. Haiti is in the driver’s seat right now and with as bad as Mexico and Canada have been playing, I’m going to have to go with them to take it. Mexico just doesn’t look like they have the youth team they had a few years ago. (yes, I realize there are 4 or so players who had to stay with their clubs, but the US is in the same situation so there is little excuse especially in the weak group they are in)