Cuba Outplays the US in Havana

873866 small Cuba Outplays the US in Havana

Reuters Photo

Three points is three points I suppose. But tonight’s game unlike last months qualifier in Guatemala City has me very concerned about the state of play regarding the US Team. Against a side that in its own stadium last month gave up three relatively quick goals to Trinidad and Tobago, the US had to grind out a result again dependent on some clutch goalkeeping and quite frankly some mistakes by the Cuban team.

Right now the United States lacks the technical skill nor the clean finishing or awareness in counter attacking situations to ever put away the opposition. The bad giveaways by defensive midfielders continues to be a trademark of this team with its current lineup and the inability for the strikers to finish the chances created for them against respectable opposition is painful to watch. In the last twelve matches, the current set of US strikers, Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson have scored in only one match: the 8-0 rout of Barbados, while every US goal in the other matches has come from midfielders or defenders and typically off set pieces.

Today’s performance was substantially worse than the game many have criticized the US for in Guatemala City last month. Again thye most solid players were the keeper Tim Howard and the two center backs, Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu. The performances of DaMarcus Beasley and Mo Edu in particular were forgetable. Given Scotland’s loss today to FYR Macedonia in Skopke perhaps both players feature on one of the two big sides in the SPL because of the lack of Scottish talent, not because of their individual qualities. Beasley in particular is becoming less and less useful as a player as time goes on.

A word on the atmonsphere tonight: Give the Cuban players and supporters a lot of credit. Despite the political tensions which I am in particular familiar with because of where I live (South Florida) the event tonight was perfect except for the lighting, with a polite crowd, and some good sportsmanship among both sides. Football really can overcome the problems politicians and dictators cause.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
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2 Responses to Cuba Outplays the US in Havana

  1. Aaron S. says:

    That is total nonsense. The US played badly in Havana, but to say that Cuba outplayed them is just your usual hyperbolic, overly-negative crap.

  2. Really? says:

    Not once do you mention how the Cubans outplayed us which only lends itself to the propaganda which is your article's title. If you're looking for readers, I guess it worked, but its totally inaccurate. on the contrary, I thought we were super proessional in our approach to the game, and perhaps our style of play actually shows that we are becoming more mature on the world football stage. to grind out a victory like that in an away qualifier instead of pressing the game when unnecessary, and spreading ourselves out defensively and then possibly conceding a goal might be boring but sometimes that what it takes in these kinds of games. If we hadn't scored in the final minute of the first half the game would have looked like you wanted it to with more creativity and chances on goal, but we didn't have to play like that to get the result.

    Did you even watch (think about) the game?

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