I'm still working out my format for this kind of story since international management is different. I do lots of mini updates instead of fewer big ones since there aren't as many matches as in club management.
Carlos Bocanegra will miss the rest of the Gold Cup since he sprained his ankle and will miss 6 weeks. The US is unable to call up another player at this time. While the American supporters are savoring the US's play as of late, a small but vocal contingent isn't liking that the US is sending a full squad to the Gold Cup since Mexico only sent their B squad.
Gold Cup Quarterfinal
Mexico B 0 - 1 United States
Thankfully, Clint Dempsey's superior dribbling and running created the difference, otherwise it would have been a much longer night for the United States. Still, they did not even allow a shot on goal against Mexico and have their tournament clean sheet still on.
It is really surprising that the US's opponent in the Gold Cup Final would be another member of their group, Canada. The US defeated Canada 2-0 in what was a dead rubber for the US since they had already secured qualification and the top spot in the group.
Sebastien Le Toux has suffered a twisted ankle during training and will be out 2 weeks. The US is unable to call up a replacement, but with one match left and Le Toux unlikely to crack the lineup anyway, it isn't seen as a big deal.
The United States narrowly won the Gold Cup Final over Canada, but everyone is talking about Michael Bradley's vicious foul that caused him to be sent off, when he elbowed Atiba Hutchinson in the head. Nathan Limior said in the post match press conference, "Michael Bradley is an important player to us, but he did an incredibly stupid thing tonight, and I let him know that. He is a great player and has no need to rely on that kind of hooliganism that has no place in soccer." The United States had an early lead on Tim Ream's set-piece goal, and held onto it for dear life despite being shorthanded.
After the press frenzy died down, Carlos Bocanegra made his own announcement, that he was stepping down as US team captain. He would remain available for the team, but wanted to see someone younger take up that role. Nathan Limior responded by promoting Landon Donovan to captain and Brad Guzan to vice captain.
Other Gold Cup Fallout:
Clint Dempsey named Gold Cup MVP
Brad Guzan named Gold Cup Goalkeeper of the Tournament
Landon Donovan's goal against Guyana and Jozy Altidore's goal against Canada (Group Stage match) finished 1st and 2nd respectively as Goal of the Tournament
Michael Bradley handed a further two match ban for his vicious foul in the Final.
Here is the roster who will be traveling to Jamaica for the next World Cup qualifying match:
- Chris Pontius was originally in over Herculez Gomez, but Pontius fell ill with the flu.
- The US will use a 4-2-3-1 against Jamaica, and there is more of a focus on attacking midfielders.
- Oguchi Onyewu is a notable absence, but his lack of pace will kill us against Jamaica.
- The media is complaining about the absences of Besler, Bedoya, and Jermaine Jones.
- BREAKING: Benny Feilhaber will miss the match due to injury, Jermaine Jones has been called up instead.
The United States have ensured qualification for the 2014 World Cup after only six games after defeating Jamaica 2-0 in Kingston. With a set-piece goal from Omar Gonzalez and a lovely goal from Jozy Altidore where Landon Donovan had an incredible amount of choice with who to cross to as many American attackers packed the Jamaican box. Qualification was expected, but not this cushy, and the United States manager, Nathan Limior, will have to combat complacency and keep his squad in form in the run-up to the World Cup in 2014.
- Alejandro Bedoya, Edgar Castillo, and Ricardo Clark are reintroduced to the squad. I wanted to get some new faces in and test them against live fire, I am confident that they will be good in this team.
- The media is asking questions about Clint Dempsey's aging, but he is still a fine player and I will ride him until the wheels fall off
- Other clamored-for players by the media not included are Besler and Daniel Williams. They are fine players, but we can only shirt 23 players and having too many good players is a good problem for the US to have.
BREAKING UPDATE: Stuart Holden is injured and is forced to leave the squad. Daniel Williams will take his place.