BRIAN SCIARETTA - Saturday, June 9, 2012
The United States earned three points in their opening World Cup qualifier with a 3-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda but the team struggled in many areas of the game.

The US got on the board quickly in the 9th minute when forward Herculez Gomez flicked on a corner. Antigua keeper Molvin James tried to collect the ball but it fell to US captain Carlos Bocanegra who buried the shot.

The US team dominated possession but it wasn't until the 44th minute when they would extend their lead. On the play Landon Donovan was brought down in the box and was awarded a penalty. On the ensuing kick, Clint Dempsey stepped up and converted with a hard shot down the middle.

In the 64th minute Antigua and Barbuda cut the deficit to 2-1 when Peter Byers took advantage of poor defending from Oguchi Onyewu by dribbling around the Sporting Lisbon defender and firing a shot past Tim Howard from 10 yards.

In the 71st minute the US would move up 3-1 when Herculez Gomez pounced on a scramble in front of the net and shot past an out of position James from close range.

The US team failed to impress against a team widely viewed to be the poorest in the semifinal round of CONCACAF. The US outshot Antigua 17-5 but were unable to break through the Antiguan defense frequently despite their advantage in talent.

Most notably the US was unable to control the wide play and stretch the defense. Antigua defended the middle well and the US insisted on attacking crowded middle nearly every time.

The US will now have to regroup for an important game on Tuesday away at Guatemala. Playing on the road in CONCACAF has always been a difficult task for the American team and Tuesday will be a test.

The US will likely be without left backs Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo, and Jose Torres who played left back against Antigua but who left the game injured.

The US is attempting to qualify for its seventh straight FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.
Hugh Mcdonough
Saturday June 9, 2012 5:45 pm
USA needs new CB's like Seb Hines, Whitebread, and RB Adam Henley.
We hope Chandler reconsider his decision , and come back to USA.
Bring in Freddy Adu. USA need decent strikers, recruit Italian born american strikers, Spanish born american strikers, Brazilian born American strikers etc. USA should beat Geutamala.
USA will need Kreisweter,Brooks, Huzeler etc. What about Hoilett ?

USA you can do it, yes you can. Good Luck USA.
Saturday June 9, 2012 3:50 pm
Actually, I thought the first half was pretty decent. You have to remember that the conditions favored A&B--a water-logged field hindered the fluid passing game. They got their two first half goals in utilitarian style. The last 20 minutes were rubbish, though, and there were some shocking mistakes defensively.

Not sure why LD is getting bashed--he had a hand in all three goals, if I remember correctly.
Saturday June 9, 2012 3:12 pm
Gooch just played his last game for USMNT if Klinsy is smart. He is just to slow and clumsy. This game also showed that we need to. Ring back Brek Shea for some speed on the wings. Does anyone know if Llegett is healthy?
Saturday June 9, 2012 3:06 pm
Our US Nats need to focus on the final third of the field. There were a few obvious mistakes on D, but overall this is not our weak point. It's definitely finishing on goal opportunities. Our passing in the midfield is getting better, but we need to try other players in the midfield. Demps should be moved to striker only. Pair him with one of the "other guys" as no one has really stood apart from the forwards. My choice is still Altidore, but would like to see more of Boyd or Davies. Torres has had a chance lets see Adu! Jones and Bradley in the middle, Donovan and Freddy as wingers. Fabian needs to play more. Onyewu looked a step slow. Overall don't forget in Europe that Antigua would be considered a "minnow". Good International teams beat minnows by scores of 5-1 or 6-0. Only a mediocre performance for their first WC qualifier. Need a spark! Freddys waiting and ready.
Saturday June 9, 2012 2:27 pm
The US team looked terrible. They should have won this game by a much greater margin. Gooch has to go. Donovan looked terrible most of the game. Where are the probing offensive passes? These guys need to get their act together of they won't get out of this round.
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