The qualifying games for the World Cup are over for 2012. The U.S. Men’s National Team looked energized and reinvented as their biggest star Clint Dempsey, who plays in the English Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur, seemed his old self scoring a brace while defender and captain Carlos Bocanegra added another goal to see the squad through into the next round.
The U.S. finished on top of Group A with 13 points. Jamaica also advances after a 4-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda and equally qualified to the final six of CONCACAF on goal difference.
People, who like to watch attacking soccer would have enjoyed the first half of the USMNT vs. Guatemala match. However, the second half was not as exciting or entertaining, even the commentators were talking more about what was happening in the Jamaica vs. Antigua game. The U.S. played to keep the score and they did a pretty good job of that. This time they did not get lucky and deserved the three points, which guaranteed them a spot in the hexagonal – final round of World Cup qualification.
In front of the 17,000 people at the Sporting Park stadium in Kansas City the USMNT performed well, but they also learned what they need to work on in the next four months – communication and defense. The U.S. started poorly with the former but quickly recovered. In the final round, when they are playing better teams like Mexico, they may not get a chance to score almost immediately. Last nights match was another game when the U.S. had to come from behind and they did it with class, but that also raises the question whether they can do the same when they play away in the Hexagonal.
The American’s put pressure on Guatemala from the beginning and did not let them gain momentum even after the early goal. That is promising for what’s coming in the hexagonal. However, the fact that Jurgen Klinsmenn’s team can go to extremes in terms of their play on the pitch over the course of few days, is not promising. The last official game of 2012 was the first time the U.S. won a match in this stage by more than one goal since the opener against Antigua and Barbuda, as Yahoo
Sports reports. When the team is following instructions and plays aggressively and have ball possessions, they impress. The U.S. will play one more match, a friendly against Russia, in which they can try to do that again and make it a consonant in their game.
The U.S. team had the ball. That is always the best way to keep the other team from scoring when the defense is clearly off. Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi and Michael Bradley played an important role in the U.S. convincing win with assists and redirecting the game in offense.
For one of the first times under their newest manager the USMNT finally played a game which they won convincingly. Manager Klinsmann and the rest of the coaching staff still have much to teach the team, but it looks as if they have found a style – aggressive and attacking soccer, keeping the ball in possession, leaving no holes in the midfield.