United States Needs a Shorthanded Win

Michael McGowanSenior Analyst IJuly 18, 2009

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 11:  Kyle Beckerman #5 of USA battles  Haiti during 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup competition at Gillette Stadium on July 11, 2009 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. USA and Haiti played to a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Conferations Cup was an eye opening experience for United States Soccer and its fans.  They played mediocre soccer and were able to make it to the final.  In that final, they came up short against Brazil, but only because of their depth.  This Gold Cup was a great situation for the US to find depth.  Only 2 players from the Confederations Cup were selected to come play for the Gold Cup tournament. 

Today, at 8pm EST, the United States faces off against a decent Panama team.  They will do so without 4 of the 23 players they entered this tournament with.  The Gold Cup squad is made up of players needing a second chance to earn their spot on the World Cup Qualifying Team or players who are young, and right on the cusp of getting on that team.  The player with the biggest question marks surrounding his name is Freddy Adu, and he is gone, back to Europe along with Steve Cherundolo, Michael Parkhurst, and  the best player on this team, Charlie Davies.  The United States also lost Benny Feilhaber who also returned to his club. 

Not only does the United States need to step up and win this game to advance and play either Canada or Honduras in the Semifinal round.  They also need to find that player who can come in and contribute when they need a goal or a defensive stop in a World Cup Qualifying match. 

United States Soccer will not be satisfied just making it into a big tournament or qualifying for the World Cup.  It is time to show the world they can compete with the big teams such as Brazil, Argentina, Italy, and Spain.  They will have to do that with Depth.