U.S. 3 – Antigua and Barbuda 1: the knee-jerk reaction

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TAMPA, Fla. – It wasn’t great, not by any stretch.

Considering the water-logged conditions and a team committed to defense, a win by a smaller margin than most of us expected is hardly a disaster.

BUT, this must be said: it will have to be better Tuesday, especially in the offensive final third.

The United States just wasn’t sharp in there. Herculez Gomez got a goal of effort and persistence. And he was full of hurry and hustle. But at some point, he has to find ways to be dangerous with the ball, not just in harassing defenders and poaching from inside the 6.

The Jose Torres experiment of necessity at left back can now be marked “incomplete” as he needed to leave shortly after the break due to an ankle contusion. So, that’s three left backs down. As I said earlier, U.S. officials are quietly hopeful that Fabian Johnson can be ready by Tuesday’s date down in Guatemala.

As for Oguchi Onyewu’s latest appearance. Sigh. What more can we say?

I’ll have more thoughts in about an hour. For now … it’s down to the locker room to see that they all have to say about it.