The United States won Group D Wednesday night in the Gold Cup to advance to the quarterfinals. The men’s national team trotted out a new-look lineup against Panama, leading to a slow-paced 1-0 squeaker in Kansas City.
Jozy Altidore scored in the 66th minute for the deciding score. His bicycle kick led to a raucous reaction from the crowd at Children’s Mercy Park.
This means a quarterfinals matchup against Curacao in Philadelphia on Sunday (8:30 p.m. EST, FS1 and Univision). The island nation finished second in Group C to Jamaica, who ousted Panama 1-0 the game before.
The U.S. is still working to restore its image after missing out on the World Cup in 2018, so don’t expect Gregg Berhalter to take his foot off the pedal, even against a Curacao team in only its second-ever Gold Cup.
Offensively, Curacao has only scored twice in three games so far this tournament, including a 1-0 loss to El Salvador, a 1-0 victory over Honduras and a 1-1 draw to Jamaica. Leandro Bacuna and Jurien Gaari are the only goal scorers, so far.
“I don’t think they could be a dangerous team, they are a dangerous team,” Gregg Berhalter said about Curacao. “[They get into a] lot of flexible movements offensively, they get into high positions with their fullbacks, the wingers are tucking inside overloading the middle of the field, and they have good players. We’re familiar with all the players that play in Holland, we’ve been watching them for a while and it’s a good team.”
Let’s look at the USMNT’s chances in this quarterfinal match.
USA vs. Curacao Chances & Predictions
As of June 14, the Americans are ranked No. 30 in the FIFA World Rankings. Out of all the island nations, Curacao is the only one outside of Jamaica that poses a threat at this time to the USMNT. The squad ranks No. 79 in the most recent FIFA/Coca-Cola world rankings, whereas the Jamaicans rank No. 54.
The former Dutch province (formerly Netherland Antilles) also has never played the United States.
The United States defense has kept opponents out of the nets in the first three games, while also tallying 11 goals total. While this game might be tighter than expected, the Americans should squeeze through to the semifinals.
With a depleted roster, the Americans beat a fading Panama squad. Both team were already qualified for the quarterfinals, so Berhalter chose to toss out younger players. Expect the full complement of weapons, including Christian Pulisic, Michael Bradley, Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola on the attack.
The pick here is 3-1.
Starting XI for U.S. Men vs. Curacao
USMNT Roster for Gold Cup
|1||GK Zach Steffen|
|2||D Nick Lima|
|3||D Omar Gonzalez|
|4||M Michael Bradley|
|5||D Walker Zimmerman|
|6||M Wil Trapp|
|7||F Paul Arriola|
|8||M Weston McKennie|
|9||F Gyasi Zardes|
|10||M Christian Pulisic|
|11||F Jordan Morris|
|12||GK Sean Johnson|
|13||D Tim Ream|
|14||D Reggie Cannon|
|15||M Cristian Roldan|
|16||D Daniel Lovitz|
|17||F Jozy Altidore|
|18||F Jonathan Lewis|
|19||D Matt Miazga|
|20||M Djordje Mihailovic|
|21||F Tyler Boyd|
|22||GK Tyler Miller|
|23||D Aaron Long|