The United States will be expected to win tonight over Haiti in their second Gold Cup game, and they'll be expected to do so in style. However, CONCACAF and stylish play are pretty much like oil and water, and judging from Haiti's approach against Panama there will be precious little space to entertain in. That means the USMNT will get to practice their bunker-busting, which is a valuable skill in this region (and one we'll see tested throughout the next year or so in qualifying).
The job for the US tonight involves starting fast, keeping the ball moving at a good clip - which won't be easy due to the new sod laid over turf at Gillette Stadium - and making Haiti pay when they do make a mistake or find themselves disorganized. If the USMNT does those things, this should be a handy win. However, history in this fixture points to the game being more complicated than it should be.
USMNT Projected Starting 11: It wouldn't surprise me to see more players rotated out than retain their spots. It's a summer tournament that the US expects to go to the final in, so it's necessary. That means Brad Guzan is one of the only holdovers in goal, behind a new back four of Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, and Greg Garza. Kyle Beckerman will retain the #6 role. The rest of the midfield seems likely to be Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley, and Mix Diskerud. Up front, look for Aron Johansson to be partnered with Chris Wondolowski.
Match previews: Our preview is mostly about the horrific temporary surface this game will be played on, but it has other things to say as well. Stars and Stripes FC wants to see Gonzalez and Diskerud on the field, while Matt Doyle broke down the things the USMNT needs to do against Haiti to make sure they get the expected win at MLSsoccer.com
What are you drinking: It looks like I'll be going with a bottle of Lagunitas Pils. Or two bottles. Probably two. OK, definitely two and possibly three.
Prediction: I think Haiti will be perfectly comfortable leaving the US all of the possession, but I have a hunch the US will turn it into some early chances. In the end, I think both
Kevin Bacon Johansson and Wondo get themselves goals before Haiti pulls one back. There will be a stressful 10-15 minutes as a result, but DeAndre Yedlin will score a third once the game starts to open up. 3-1 USMNT.
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