USMNT vs. Martinique: 2021 Gold Cup Odds, Live Stream and ScheduleJuly 15, 2021
The United States men's national team continues group-stage play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against one of the confederation's minnows Thursday.
Gregg Berhalter's side faces Martinique in its second contest at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City. The USMNT fought to a 1-0 win in its opening game with Haiti. Thursday's match is expected to be more straightforward.
Martinique fell 4-1 to Canada in its Group B opener and has allowed 17 goals over its past three Gold Cup appearances. Three of those concessions came against the USMNT in the 2017 group stage.
USMNT vs. Martinique Info
Date: Thursday, July 15
Start Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports app and FoxSports.com
Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook): USMNT -1200 (bet $1,200 to win $100); Martinique +2200 (bet $100 to win $2,200); draw +1200
Martinique is an interesting foe for the USMNT in that the sides only meet competitively in CONCACAF competitions.
The Caribbean nation is not a registered member of FIFA, so it can't participate in World Cup qualifying. But Martinique's CONCACAF charter means it is able to enter the Gold Cup, and it has qualified for each of the past three competitions.
The majority of Martinique's squad plays in the domestic league, but there are some French-born players on the roster.
Crotone striker Emmanuel Riviere, who played for Newcastle United between 2014 and 2017, is the most notable player in the squad. He scored in the group opener against Canada.
Traditionally, Martinique's defense has been its biggest weakness, as goals have flowed in from its higher-rated opponents.
In 2017, Panama and the USMNT put up three goals each on Martinique. Mexico and Canada totaled seven goals against the island territory in 2019, and the latter tallied four Sunday. Consequently, the USMNT is expected to breeze past Martinique to set up a showdown for first place with Canada in the Group B finale.
Martinique tested the USMNT for a 10-minute stretch back in 2017, when Kevin Parsemain scored twice in eight minutes. Jordan Morris quickly answered with his second goal of that match to finish off a 3-2 victory.
If the USMNT exploits the same defensive lapses Canada did Sunday, its attacking players should feast in the final third.
Gianluca Busio should be one of the chance creators inserted into the fold by Berhalter. The USMNT looked more dynamic when the Sporting Kansas City player entered late in the second half Sunday. He should take the starting position of Jackson Yueill, who has underwhelmed in his past few appearances in central midfield for the USMNT.
Berhalter should let the 19-year-old Busio have a chance to showcase his talents in a low-pressure situation to see what he could bring to the squad later in the tournament.
A case could be made to add Orlando City striker Daryl Dike to the setup as well. He is behind Gyasi Zardes on the Gold Cup depth chart, but he is deserving of more playing time versus a weaker foe.
Dike is carrying a ton of confidence from his successful loan spell in the English Championship with Barnsley, and a few strong performances in the Gold Cup could boost his transfer value if European clubs come calling.
Berhalter might be obliged to rest a few starters from the Haiti win to get some players minutes and to rest the first-choice stars for the Canada match Sunday. He will have to replace Paul Arriola because of an injury he picked up against Haiti. Reggie Cannon (hamstring) is not yet available for selection at right back.
Barring a significant upset in Group B, the USMNT and Canada will play for first place Sunday. Canada plays Haiti in Thursday's first match.
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