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USMNT Closes Out Gold Cup Group Stage On Top

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The USMNT were looking to end the Group Stage of The Gold Cup as group leaders, after Panama obliterated Martinique 3-0 in Cleveland earlier in the day. With that win, it put Panama in first place of the group, but the USMNT were looking to reclaim that as they looked to defeat Nicaragua.

Bruce Arena has made numerous changes to the lineup to ensure there is no sort of fatigue having their third match in six days. The USMNT starting XI is outlined below:

Jorge VillafaƱa

Matt Miazga

Matt Besler

Kelyn Rowe

Chris Pontius

Joe Corona

Alejandro Bedoya

Bill Hamid

Dax McCarty

Dom Dwyer

Graham Zusi

The American Outlaws packed FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, getting ready for a chance to witness the USMNT clinch first place in Group B. The Americans came out with a lot of pressure, attempting seven shots with four on goal in the first 45 minutes of the game.

One of those shots on goal, came from a cross from Alejandro Bedoya, to Joe Corona inside the box. Corona made a few defenders slip and fall and took a shot off his back foot, the shot skipped across the field, and skimmed past the goalie making the US lead 1-0 in the 36th minute. The USMNT went into the half with the lead and the momentum, knowing they were about to seal an advancement to the next round.

Coming out of halftime, The Americans looked to continue to fluster the Nicaraguans and continue adding the pressure.

Which did not take long as Bedoya passed to Dwyer and Dwyer attempted a shot but fell, on the rebound Bedoya came back and passed to Kelyn Towe, who maneuvered around the defense and chipped it into the back of the net between the goalie and the goal post to make the lead 2-0. The USMNT still needed one more goal to take first place in Group B of the Gold Cup, which came in the final minutes of the game.

In the 88th minute, Matt Miazga scored the group clinching goal to send the USMNT to the top of the group.

Now the USMNT advance to the next stage and will be watching the next set of games to see who they will be facing in the next round, which will be the third place team from Group A or Group C. The USMNT are looking to win the Gold Cup again, especially with the recent additions of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore to bring in the depth and strength against future opponents in The Gold Cup.

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