I’m heading up to Kansas City tomorrow for the U.S.-Guadeloupe match. A lot of this trip was about seeing Livestrong Park, the shiny new ground at Sporting K.C. that is supposedly such a high-tech dream machine.
But this little trip just got a lot more interesting. Now, the United States needs a result. Badly.
I think the U.S. will get what it needs Tuesday night in the Midwest. But safe arrival into the Gold Cup’s second round isn’t really the issue. (Well, it certainly will be if things go horribly wrong – but I just don’t see that happening, especially considering that the entire first round serves only to eliminate four teams. #Whatever.)
The issue now is how much harder Bob Bradley and his men just made things on themselves. Now there are fatigue issues to deal with. Now there are tough personnel decisions ahead. Now there are yellow card issues to deal with. Now there’s a tougher opponent lurking for the quarterfinals (perhaps Jamaica, which brought a good team.) And there is a fresh round of questions about Bradley, the Gold Cup roster and how he’s using the 23 he brought.
Last night, for instance, in desperate need of more offense, perhaps something different on offense – Alejandro Bedoya was the best he had to offer off the bench? Yikes.
If you need to know more about a very bad night for the United States, my SI.com analysis and ratings are here. Otherwise, get ready for a wildly interesting Tuesday night.