DAVID SMITH - Monday, June 13, 2011
The Stars & Stripes will try to recover from the weekend's humiliation against Panama and secure their place in the knockout round on Tuesday evening when they face winless Guadeloupe in Kansas City.

Saturday's 2-1 loss to Panama was by far one of the biggest shocks in the recent history of the US program, as a complete and total lack of attacking creativity combined with a number of defensive frailties to sent Bob Bradley's squad to their first-ever group stage loss in the Gold Cup.

The outcome of this surprise sees the Americans entering the final game of the phase in second place, and needing at least a draw in Kansas City's Livestrong Sporting Park against the tiny island nation of Guadeloupe to assure passage to the quarterfinals.

While Guadeloupe have performed admirably so far in the tournament - nearly coming back from a 3-0 disadvantage against Panama despite playing a man down, then losing a narrow 1-0 decision to Canada on a penalty - anything but a win would be an utter and complete calamity for Bradley's team.

The game will almost certainly see several lineup changes, due to yellow card issues by several players, although even moreso as a result of needing a change after several poor performances on Saturday.

Unfortunately for Bradley, the lackluster play against Panama extended to nearly every player on the field including several locked-in starters.

Jermaine Jones will likely start on the bench, as the combination of a yellow which ultimately led to Panama's opening goal along with a weak performance in the midfield and a petulant display upon his substitution in the second half will make Maurice Edu a far more inviting option.

Central defender Tim Ream is a prime candidate to also be shifted to bench duty as he has yet to show that he has fully adjusted to the international game, although whether this means a straight one-for-one substitution with Oguchi Onyewu or a shifting of team captain Carlos Bocanegra to the middle from the left side remains to be seen.

As he has been one of the lone bright spots on the attack, Clint Dempsey could be shifted to the top to join Jozy Altidore, as the two have teamed up nicely on several occasions. This would send youngster Juan Agudelo to the bench to occupy the role of second-half spark-plug which he has become familiar with at Red Bull New York, and potentially put either Alejandro Bedoya or Sacha Kljestan in the starting eleven on the wing.

Guadeloupe have been unable to finish either of their first two group games with all 11 players on the field, first having MickaŽl Tacalfred sent off for violent conduct against Panama, then being forced to play the final 86 minutes of Saturday's game against Canada with ten men after Jean-Luc Lambourde was ejected for a studs-up challenge.

As both defenders should be suspended for Tuesday's game, this could leave the team somewhat short-handed in the back, which can only be good news for a US team looking for any break it can get.

For the Americans, several players are on threat of suspension from yellow cards. Bocanegra, Jones, Altidore, Bedoya, Michael Bradley and Clarence Goodson all enter the game carrying one caution, and will miss any potential quarterfinal game should they pick up a second. Single cards are wiped out after the group games, likely tipping coach Bradley's hand to get any of them who do start off the field as quickly as possible to avoid having to plan without them for any future games.

The US can still win Group C with a win, should they win the game and Canada beat Panama immediately beforehand. Likewise, even what would amount to an embarrassing draw would put the team through, while a calamitous loss would throw everything in question.

The game is set to kick off at 8pm local time in Kansas City's Livestrong Sporting Park.
Billy Bob
Tuesday June 14, 2011 1:27 pm
The U.S. will ease to victory over Guadeloupe.
Tuesday June 14, 2011 12:43 pm

It is painfully confusing, why people dont understand a simple solution to Altidore. He is dangerous when he gets good service.....simple. He and Freddy Adu have played alot together when they were playing in the youth squads and did well together. Why? Freddy can serve it and Jozy can finish. Its not rocket science. Guadoloupe does not provide any stiffer comp than the U-23 WC top teams these two guys had success against, like Brasil. Give Fred a start and see the improvement. It seriously cant get any worse than the Panama game. Freddys not gonna miss at point blank range like the MLS guy. Big deal he scores a lot in the MLS. This is national team soccer, not some third rate league that doesnt mean much.
We need a big win tonight, not 2 or 3 goals but 5 like our rivals down south. We need to show we can dominate offensively a team we are better than, before we beat teams that are better than us.
Monday June 13, 2011 10:00 pm
A loss to Guadoloupe would be a total disaster. The US needs to have a true #10 on the field to help break down defenses. the lack of a true playmaker is this teams biggest deficiency. Altidore catches a lot of criticism, but he has no service. All his haters need to realize that he has a goal and an assist in this tourney so far, and almost has the game saving assist if wondo didn't choke. If we can get him the ball facing goal i feel he is a legitimate goal scorer. even messi couldn't score if he doesn't get the ball.
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