SANTA MONICA – The USMNT had two big World Cup Qualifiers this past week, and although they did get a last minute goal and earn one point, their performance was overall disappointing. First, they took on Costa Rica on Friday and were shut out 2-0. Then, just a few days later they faced off against Honduras and fans were sitting on the edge of their seat for the entirety of the match. Honduras scored a goal in minute 27, and it took the USMNT until the 85th minute of play to score one of their own. They managed to tied them 1-1 and at least walk away with a point. However, these past two games revealed several weak spots for the USMNT.
First of all, the USMNT needs to be more than just Christian Pulisic. Pulisic is an incredibly talented player, however, the USMNT needs more offensive pressure from other players. The defenders are on top of Pulisic and he needs someone else up front to work with him and take some of the heat off of him. This also reveals a bigger issue, showing the lack of teamwork the USMNT has displayed. They need to add some passion and transform their play to work completely in unison with one another.
However, the biggest question that lingers after this game is: what does all this mean for the USMNT World Cup dreams? Well, thanks to their last minute goal and tie to Honduras, things are still looking okay.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 5, 2017
The USMNT are currently sitting in third place (although they are tied point wise with Honduras and only beat them out by goal differential.) The USMNT really want to stay in the top three and not have to play an additional do or die match like the fourth place team will have to. If they can win their next two matches they will essentially guarantee qualification, however, if they play like they did this week, things won’t be looking so good.
Right now Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup. Next, the USMNT will play a World Cup Qualifier against Panama on October 6, at 4:30.
Photos by ISI.