USA vs Antigua: Americans Must Improve Play to Have Extended Success
The United States will not continue to win this ugly. If they play the way they played against Antigua moving forward, they will be in for World Cup heartbreak.
The final tally was 3-1, and that may sound like an easy win, but you have to consider the competition. Antigua is ranked 105th in the FIFA rankings. The USA is ranked 28th—this team really shouldn't have scored a goal against the Americans.
Here are the highlights from the match:
The vast majority of the players on the Antigua roster hail from Antigua Barracuda FC of the USL Pro league. That is a third-tier league in the American Soccer Pyramid. That is two tiers below the MLS on the American Soccer food chain.
If the Americans can't dominate a club like this, what's going to happen when the competition ramps up?
What grade would you give the USA after this match?
The good thing is there is time to work out the kinks.
The next three matches are very winnable. They have two matches scheduled against Guatemala—one is Tuesday, June 12 in Guatemala, the other is on American soil. The second match takes place in October in Kansas; it'll be interesting to see if the Americans play better at home.
Sandwiched between the two matches with Guatemala is a match with Jamaica. This also takes place in the United States, and will be September 11 in Ohio. You can expect the stadium to be filled with emotion and patriotism for this match.
The USA must bring a little more to the field than they did against Antigua. If they don't, they may not give the home crowd much to cheer about.
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