- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 12, 2012
- 0 Comments
- 2014 World Cup Qualifying, Features, Graham Zusi, Herculez Gomez, Jurgen Klinsmann, USMNT
I have to say I feel a little weird about the way I watched last night’s US-Jamaica game. For starters, I watched it on my DVR, two hours after it ended. I had a family engagement that I had to go to yesterday (for short, as some of you know yesterday was also the anniversary of my mother-in-law passing away from cancer so things were a little more important there yesterday than soccer), so watching the game meant watching it late without anyone else around.
Anyways, I didn’t know the score of the game by the time I began watching it. I turned Twitter off, and ignored Facebook as well. I knew both would be littered with comments and photos from the game.
In the end, it was well worth the wait.
A few things jumped out at my in the 1-0 win. For starters, the US didn’t play that well but they did do enough to get the three points. That is what matters in the end. They still will need some help elsewhere to insure their placement in the Hexagonal part of qualifying but this win certainly got them back on track.
Aside from that here are a couple things I took away from it all.
Zusi played very well
I love the gutsy call to include Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi in the starting lineup. What Zusi does well on the field is not over think things. He gets forward when he is suppose to, he doesn’t lose the ball much, and he gets back on defense when needed.
Lack of D-mids certainly helped
Not playing with three or what even felt like four defensive midfielders last night was a big plus. Danny Williams covered a ton of ground. The fact remains in the way Jurgen Klinsmann sets up his lineup, he needs a super athletic defensive midfielder and Williams may just be the right guy for the job.
Sure Williams brings a little less in terms of ball skills to say Kyle Beckerman or Maurice Edu but what he has is tons of upside to his game. He’s athletic, quick, intelligent and most of all he didn’t make a ton of costly mistakes. That last one is huge in my book.
Gomez shows exactly how important he can be
I love watching Herculez Gomez play. I always have. Even in his bad days at Colorado or Kansas City, he was a stud in the making. Just as it is with most players, he needed the right system and set up to be successful. Right now he is proving that we need more guys like him and we have to find them quick.
His goal in the early stages of the second half was all the US needed, even when Jamaica pressed late.
Still a ways to go from here
Even with the win and seven points, the US still has some work to do. Next month’s qualifiers will be huge as the US need just take care of business like they have so far. With games against Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda left, the US has one clear objective – six points and nothing else.