U.S. Achieves Goal And Wins Group

USMNT, Gold Cup
Joe Corona scored for the US, but also missed a penalty kick.

Gold Cup Group Stage

United States 3
Nicaragua 0

Goals: USA: 37’ Joe Corona (assist Alejandro Bedoya), 56’ Kelyn Rowe (assist Alejandro Bedoya), 88’ Matt Miazga (Graham Zusi)

Overview: The final match of the Gold Cup Group Stages provided yet another test for Bruce Arena’s side. Following its spotty performance against Martinique just days earlier, the U.S. was improved against Nicaragua. The team going forward was more cohesive offensively and the defense and goalkeeper Bill Hamid had only a few nervy moments. Needing a three goal margin of victory to win Group B, the Americans achieved the mark despite twice failing to convert from the spot. Dom Dwyer and Joe Corona both had penalty kicks saved by keeper Justo Lorente. Arena, who is using the Gold Cup as a testing ground for new players, completely overhauled his starting 11 from the Martinique match. Once again, Dwyer and Kelyn Rowe were among the best players for the United States and could both find their way onto the U.S. World Cup Qualifying roster later this year. In addition, Alejandro Bedoya also had a solid match assisting on two of the team’s three goals.

Notes:

  • A total of seven players on the field for the USMNT were graduates of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Program, including all three goal scorers.
  • Kelyn Rowe and Matt Miazga recorded their first international goals.
  • Bruce Arena made 11 changes to the team that started against Martinique on Wednesday.
  • Saturday’s match was the first meeting between the U.S. and Nicaragua, the 97th different national team the U.S. MNT has faced since beginning play in 1916.

Quotable:
USMNT Head Coach Bruce Arena…
“Clearly a good result for us. A game where I would think that you could say we wasted some opportunities and made it pretty difficult on ourselves. I’m pretty proud of our team. They kept battling and they knew they needed to get three goals in the game today and they did it in the end. At the end of the day we still came out on top and I’m pleased with that.”

What’s next:
The U.S. men return to action on July 15 with its third and final Gold Cup Group Stage match against Nicaragua. Game time is 7 p.m. Eastern time at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.