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US clinches Group A with win over Haiti

Granted, they should have won their game against Haiti by a greater margin, but the US men’s soccer team would have been in trouble had they played a better team than the 79th world-ranking Haiti.

US clinched Group A of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory over the Haitians in a game that saw a very poor referee decision take away a clear goal, but they clearly are not at their best.

Gyasi Zardes was an immediate impact for the US team, contributing to the only goal of the game just a minute after first coming onto the field.

Gyasi Zardes was an immediate impact for the US team, contributing to the only goal of the game just a minute after first coming onto the field.

Manager Jurgen Klinsmann made seven changes to the starting lineup after the team struggled in a victory over Panama. To his credit, he really is trying to search for the best starting XI possible. He just has not found it yet, but he is getting clear clues as to what it might involve.

Within seconds of coming onto the field at halftime, Gyasi Zardes made a huge impact and led to the games only goal. He took a long fed up the field and over top of the defense and though he could have taken an attempt himself, he recognized he was at a very harsh angle, slide the ball back to Clint Dempsey and the he blasted the ball into the back of the net with a straight-away shot.

Dempsey has scored all three of the team’s goals at the Gold Cup.

Zardes came into the game for Jozy Altidore who is still recovering from his hamstring injury and playing limited minutes during this event. Zardes’ pace and speed are just incredible and the development the 23-year-old has had over the past year make it appear he might just be the next face of American soccer.

Young striker Aron Johannsson should have scored a goal late in the first half after taking a shot feed from Altidore and putting the ball into the lower right corner past the Haitian goalkeeper, but the assistant referee raised his flag to signal he was off sides. Johannsson clearly wasn’t.

But Haiti out-shot the USA 15-5, a disparity that just would not be remotely acceptable against greater competition. In the 56th minute, Haiti has their best chance to net a goal. Haitian striker Duckens Nazon used his elite speed to get past the American’s back line in a quick counter-attack. Nazon found himself in an one-on-one situation against US goalkeeper, who made an incredible play to run up towards Nazon and made a tremendous save.

But that was just one of the dangerous attempts Haiti made.

As Klinsmann attempts to find America’s best back line he will at last have a free game to tinker around. The Team’s next game on Monday at 9:30 pm has no baring on the group standings as the six-points USA already has, has clinched the Group for the Americans.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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