The U.S. Men’s National Team, behind Clint Dempsey goals, is going on to the Gold Cup Semifinals for a match with Jamaica, who won Group B over CONCACAF power Costa Rica without their star goalkeeper from Real Madrid, Keylor Navas, and defeated Haiti in the Quarterfinals by a score of 1-0. USMNT defeated Cuba, who only scored only one goal in the full tournament (Guatemala), 6-0.
To start the match, Alvarado showed his lack of improvement with a terrible turnover. Bradley later that minute did the same, but Cuba could not capitalize on either. Cuba turned it over on that second possession, the U.S. then went forward, and Dempsey was fouled. Alvarado showed a bit of redemption with good defense and a steal a couple minutes later. In the fourth minute, Chandler got the ball after Zardes couldn’t get it and crossed it beautifully to Clint Dempsey, who headed it home from 6 yards to make it 1-0! It was Dempsey’s 45th goal for the U.S., 2nd all-time behind Landon Donovan’s 56! Three minutes later, Cuba nearly got a nice ball from a chip that was taken away by the U.S. Beckerman, a minute later, send a beautiful ball to Bedoya, who sent it towards Bradley and it was saved by the keeper. Another minute later, it happened again except there was no shot and it was cleared by Cuba. One more minute later, a ball by Cuba was blocked and taken by Johannsson, who sent a nice ball to Zardes, but Zardes had a bad touch and crossed it too later. This was a beautiful period of offense from the Yanks. Dempsey then turned it over and Cuba nearly sent a nice ball in, but Guzan came off his line and took it. Johannsson and Bradley had some beautiful passes back and forth, and the last one was a chip from Johannsson to Bradley, but Bradley overran the ball and couldn’t get a shot off. Some more beautiful passing occurred in the 14th minute when Dempsey sent an incredible no-look chip to Johannsson, and Aron was fouled. On the free kick, the ball was a short pass to Fabian Johnson, who sent an incredible chip in to a free, open Gyasi Zardes, who put it home! 2-0 U.S.! Cuba tried to get something out of the next possession, but failed to do so. An incredible long ball was sent in from Omar Gonzalez to LA Galaxy teammate Zardes, and Zardes’ was just too much towards the keeper for Johannsson to put it home. Cuba’s counter was blocked by Ventura Alvarado’s face. Cuba and the U.S. then traded turnovers for a bit. Incredible dribbling by the U.S. came in the 22nd minute and they continued to pass it around, looking for a hole. Dempsey sent a good ball towards Bedoya, but he was not ready to make his run. Cuba was offside on the next possession. The U.S. then stole the ball, but play was stopped after a Cuban was “injured” on the steal. Zardes later had a very impressive dribbling performance and was fouled. Bedoya then showed his own incredible dribbling, but Cuba stole it. Michael Bradley sent a beautiful ball to Dempsey, who couldn’t keep to ball, and it went right to Bedoya, who was laughably called offside as he was about to shoot. The U.S. stole it once again, and again, Michael Bradley with a beautiful ball to Dempsey (this time a through ball), and Dempsey’s shot was blocked right to Johannsson, who took it out and passed to Zardes instead of going for his own shot. Zardes’ shot was blocked. Cuba then had an impressive counter, but it was stolen again. A couple minutes later, an incredible deep chip by Bradley went to Johannsson, who was on his run and onside, and he chipped it over the keeper who was off his line. A fantastic goal by Aron Johannsson and incredible ball to start it by Michael Bradley! After that goal came a rare mid-match water break for a couple minutes and the match continued as it was all game, an incredible ball by Bedoya to Johannsson and Johannsson was possibly fouled in the box, but it was not called. Cuba was still unable to get anything going after 35. Fabian Johnson sent a good ball out to Bedoya, who went for a through ball in traffic and it was stolen. Bradley attempted a run, but a nice slide tackle by Diz Pe took it away. Cuba got their first good chance in the 39th, they had a good run by Maikel Reyes and his ball was taken away from Jorge Corrales by Alberto Gomez, who attempted a weak shot right to Guzan as he was falling back. Andy Vaquero sent a nice cross into Maikel Reyes a couple minutes later, and Reyes headed it over the bar. Reyes was the only somewhat impressive player for Cuba at this point. Bradley sent another good ball from long range, but it was too far for Johannsson and went to Guerra. Bradley did it once again to the right side of the goal to Zardes, who went for a shot due to the keeper being off his line, but it went just over the bar. Alvarado then made a bad sliding tackle and fouled Reyes. Corrales took the free kick and Timothy Chandler got away with a penalty, jumping on Angel Horta. Beckerman sent a long ball towards Zardes, but Zardes was not ready for a run. But Horta unwisely headed it into the middle of the danger zone and Dempsey nearly scored, but Napoles slid in to keep it away from Clint. Bedoya made a run with the ball and Vaquero had to slidetackle Bedoya and the U.S. got its first corner. Bradley kicked it too far, but Johannsson kept it in beautifully and Omar Gonzalez was there to tap it in! 4-0 U.S. in the 45th minute! Cuba drew a free kick with half a minute left in the first half, but the hard, dangerous kick went right to Guzan. It was halftime.
Second half changes: Brad Evans in for Timothy Chandler (injured knee) and Joe Corona in for Kyle Beckerman. In the 47th minute, some incredible short passing led to a Bradley chip up to Bedoya, who tried a through ball in the box, but it was taken away. Gonzalez sent a ball to Evans, who sent a through ball in to Dempsey, and Dempsey was fouled just outside the box. Bradley’s free kick went a bit over the bar. Vaquero sent a very nice ball in for Reyes, but Guzan came off his line to grab it. Omar Gonzalez dribbled the ball right to Reyes and Cuba could not capitalize. An incredible move by Dempsey gave the U.S. a good chance, but they took it out a bit later. Bradley sent a great backheel for Zardes, to Bedoya, to Dempsey, back to Bedoya, and passed to Johannsson whose cross was blocked for a corner. Bradley sent a great ball which Dempsey beautifully headed, but it went right at the keeper, Guerra. A beautiful move by Reyes led to a ball by Reyes to Perez. Fabian stuck his leg out to block the pass. Dempsey sent a great ball to Bedoya and his cross was blocked once again. Napoles’ long shot was off wide and high. Cuba then made a sub, Perez coming out, Coroneaux coming in after 56 and a half. Jurgen yelled for the U.S. to go forward and Corona immediately responded with a great chip to Zardes, and he sent it in to Bradley, and Bradley’s shot was saved for a corner. Bradley’s corner was headed away by Cuba. Coroneaux sent a weak ball to Reyes, but Reyes had a chance, but three Americans kept him from getting a shot off. Evans was fouled hard by Napoles, who got a yellow card, the first card of the match. Reyes had a fantastic run, but his ball was too far. Bradley’s deep ball for Johannsson was not hit nearly hard enough and taken by Cuba. Evans’ deep ball to Johannsson was then over hit. Evans sent a great ball to Johannsson, but he lost it behind him. Zardes then got the ball and took a bullet, but it was blocked. Bradley gave it to Corona, whose cross was also blocked. Bradley sent a nice ball to Evans, and his cross was for Johannsson, who was grabbed by Horta and drew a penalty! Dempsey took the penalty and got a cheeky penalty goal, his second cheeky pen of the tournament and his fifth goal of the tournament. 5-0 USA! A steal from Reyes and great dribbling led to a shot, but it was way off. DeAndre Yedlin was then subbed in for Johnson. Some nice passing by Cuba occurred and Alvarado was unable to get the ball, but Guzan was there. Zardes passed it to Dempsey, back to Zardes, and Dempsey was unable to shoot Zardes’ return through ball. Mikail Reyes with another good run, but no one was near. Yedlin got his first big play of the match when his rare slow, weak ground cross was cleared by Cuba. Cuba then subbed out Luis for Lopez. Yedlin had a ton of space and gave a nice ground cross toward Dempsey that was stolen by Diz Pe. Diz Pe sent a ball to Reyes, but he was just offsides. Johannsson gave a deep ball across the pitch to Yedlin, and Yedlin, who was double teamed, made a NASTY play in between them (almost like he nutmegged them, but it was in between players instead of legs).
Yedlin’s cross was blocked though and taken by Guerra. Cuba had a good free kick, but Reyes was offsides. Johannsson had an incredible dribbling play and ball to Bradley, but Bradley was unable to get a shot off. Johannsson with a good run gave it to Bradley again, but Bradley’s long shot was blocked. Yedlin once again with some incredible dribbling and pace and his cross was blocked again. Yedlin at RW is insane! Yedlin was the corner taker, but gave a short pass to Bradley, who crossed it and Omar Gonzalez headed it out. Diz Pe took a long shot and it was just a bit wide with 13 minutes to go. A long ball went towards Dempsey, and Gomez headed it right in the middle of the danger zone, and Bradley took it, and passed it to Dempsey, who made an incredible shot!! It was Dempsey’s first ever hat trick for the U.S.! 6-0 USA! Cuba went forward but nothing came from it and a good run by Zardes came, but he was unable to cross and passed it to Corona, who passed it across the pitch to Yedlin, and Yedlin’s great cross was towards Johannsson and it was a foul on Aron. The U.S. got a free kick in the 81st and Bradley’s ball was headed away by Cuba. Bradley’s chip a bit later was with no one around. A dangerous cross by Cuba was taken nicely by Bedoya. Bradley sent it to Yedlin who crossed it to Dempsey who may have been fouled in the box, but didn’t get it. Eventually it was a U.S. corner. Bradley’s corner nearly went in, but it was touched before it hit the top netting by Guerra. Bradley’s second corner nearly went in again, but it went past and Corrales touched it before it went out. Before the third corner, a Cuban player got a cramp. He was taken off the pitch. Yedlin had it this time and gave a short pass to Bradley who crossed it in, and Guerra jumped into two U.S. players and all three were down for a while as Corona took a shot that was blocked. Those three were Guerra and then U.S. center backs Gonzalez and Alvarado. In the 89th minute, Alvarado let a ball through his legs and Napoles had a shot blocked by Gonzalez, Cuba got a corner. The corner was headed away by Corona. Cuba got a nice cross headed away. The 90th minute hit, two minutes of stoppage time. Mikail Reyes showed some nasty dribbling skills, but had to pass it across the pitch. The match ended a bit later with no real threats from either team. The Yanks win 6-0, with a hat trick from Clint Dempsey, and goals from Gyasi Zardes, Omar Gonzalez, and Aron Johannsson.
Post Game Notes:
- Ventura Alvarado is a pretty good on-ball defender, but his off the ball defense, positioning, and passing is terrible.
- Clint Dempsey is having an incredible Gold Cup, with 5 goals in 4 matches!
- DeAndre Yedlin needs to be a permanent right wing, he is absolutely nasty at right wing.
- Aron Johannsson is playing very well, even though he isn’t getting many goals.
- Michael Bradley’s deep passing is extremely impressive.
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