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List of Americans Abroad

Reserves provide lift, U.S. blanks Honduras 2-0 in Gold Cup.

U.S. encounters little resistance and blanks Grenada 4-0 in Gold Cup.

Despite surprising lead, U.S. wilts and Brazil wins Confederations Cup.

U.S. shocks Spain, advances to Confederations Cup final, with tenacious effort.

Strong effort sends U.S. past Egypt 3-0 and to improbable Confederations Cup semifinal berth.

American shortcomings are again obvious and Brazil wins easily in Confederations Cup.

Shorthanded Americans cannot hold off skillful Italy in Confederations Cup.

U.S. survives early lapse, to rally past Honduras in important qualifier.

Costa Rica humiliates Americans 3-1 in World Cup qualifier.

Hejduk, others unavailable as Americans visit Costa Rica for qualifier.

Altidore's three goals lead strong U.S. effort in win over T&T.

U.S. responds to poor effort with late rally to draw El Salvador 2-2.

U.S. continues home domination of Mexico by starting final qualifying with 2-0 victory.

Final round of World Cup qualifying opens with weakened Mexico.

Kljestan shines in dull U.S. victory over Sweden.

CONCACAF draw has Americans facing Mexico to open final round of qualifying.

Cooper, Adu lead U.S. to dominant, if meaningless, decision over Guatemala.

Qualifying loss to ascendant T&T means little to U.S. men.

Cooper says no to invitation to join U.S. team in qualifying.

U.S. bursts into final round of qualifying by demolishing Cuba 6-1.

Improved U.S. attack sinks T&T, nears advancement to final qualifying round.

Americans score first victory in Guatemala in ugly qualifier.

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Analysis

Late goal allows U.S. deep reserves to manage Gold Cup draw with Haiti.

By Robert Wagman
SoccerTimes

(Sunday, July 12, 2009) -- An extremely inexperienced version of the United States men managed a last-second goal, good for a 2-2 draw with Haiti to conclude Group B play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and advance to the quarterfinals in front of 24,137 yesterday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

With midfielder Stuart Holden striking, deep into stoppage time, the U.S. finished 2-0-1, its seven points enough to win Group B and to extended its 25-match unbeaten streak (23-0-2) all-time in Gold Cup group action. The Americans are unbeaten in their last 56 matches at home against CONCACAF opponents -- those from the region of North America, Central America and the Caribbean -- dating back to a 3-2 loss to Honduras September 1, 2001, in a World Cup qualifier at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

With advancement to the quarterfinals already secured, U.S. coach Bob Bradley cleared his bench for Haiti. He used six players making their first career national-team starts, including four who were making their first-ever international appearances -- goalkeeper Luis Robles, defender Jay Heaps, and midfielders Sam Cronin and Colin Clark.

The result was not pretty. The U.S. was disorganized on attack for most of the night and, after a series of defensive gaffes to start the second half, fell behind in a match for just the second time in the last seven Gold Cup tournaments.

After Vaniel Sirin and Mones Chery scored in the 46th and 48th minutes to give Haiti an unexpected 2-1 advantage shortly after intermission, the Haitians bunkered in for the balance of the match. Despite Bradley rushing three more experienced players into the match as the second half wore on, the U.S. had little luck breaking down the Haitians until Holden pounced on a loose ball 28 yards from goal in the third minute of stoppage time. He let loose a blast that found the top right corner of the net on what proved to be the last play of the match.

Holden got things going early for the U.S. when in the sixth minute he threaded a pass between two defenders to striker Davy Arnaud in stride. Arnaud controlled the ball, cut back to his left and put it under charging goalkeeper Jean Zepherin for his first international goal. Holden then came close again in the 24th minute with another long range blast that Zepherin pushed up under the crossbar. The ball rebounded straight down and did not cross the goal-line.

Between the two similar Holden blasts, the Americans did very little.

The Haitians, who are very fast, but not overly skillful, played the U.S. dead even through the first half and had several good chances that were thwarted by some good goalkeeping by Robles. The Americans, meanwhile, could not mount much of a threat offensively, and when they could, were the victims of some poor finishing.

To start the second half, the U.S. defense fell into almost total disarray. Forty-four seconds in, Leonel Saint-Preux turned U.S. left back Jay Heaps in circles and sent a nice cross to the far post over the heads of the ball-watching U.S. central defenders and Robles to unmarked Vaniel Sirin, who easily headed the ball into an open net.

Just two minutes later, Saint-Preux again beat Heaps to the end-line and just as Robles seemed ready to collect the ball, Heaps made a lunging clearance that went directly to Chery 30 yards from goal. Chery took one touch and hit a hard drive that sailed onto the upper left corner of the net before Robles could get back into position.

With the lead, Haiti bunkered in. Despite the insertion of midfielder Kyle Beckerman, and strikers Charlie Davis and Brian Ching the U.S. could do little until stoppage time when Ching pried the ball loose from a Haitian defender. The ball rolled loose allowing Holden to run onto it and strike a bullet that partially redeemed the Americans and clinched first place in the group.

Davies was available because he was able to delay his return to Europe following his transfer from Sweden's Hammarby to French Ligue 1 side Sochaux. He had been due back in Sweden on Friday.

"I think when you look at everything, it is a good experience for these players," Bradley said. "After the fact, you can look at things and understand that it will help them down the road. I think we had some stretches in the game where we were pretty solid. We had a number of guys who made plays where they kept the ball alive, got a cross in, helped regain possession, and all those things led to Stuart scoring a goal to equalize. I think there were some good things, but when you look at the consistency of the whole game, it would fit with the fact that this is a group that hadn't been there before."

The U.S. will play Panama Saturday in the quarterfinals at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.


U.S. Player Ratings

Starters

Goalkeeper Luis Robles - 5: A bit shaky at times, he nevertheless made several quality saves.

Defender Brad Evans - 5: Probably the best of the U.S. defenders, but was not put under as much pressure.

Defender Jimmy Conrad - 5: As the veteran in the back, he should have done much more in organizing a defense that was often out of position and running around. Played well in one-on-one situations, but lacked a presence one might expect from a captain and veteran. .

Defender Michael Parkhurst - 4.5: Lost contact with his man on Haiti's first goal and did a lot of disorganized running around.. Generally it was not a good night for him.

Defender Jay Heaps - 3.5: On the positive side, he pushed forward all night and at times was an offensive threat with some well-placed crosses. But as a defender, he was simply woeful, looking as if he simply is not equipped to step up to the international level.

Midfielder Santino Quarenta - 5: He could not match his heroic winning goal from Wednesday against Honduras. He did not seem to fit in well with the rest of the midfield and began to tire in the second half, coming out shortly after the hour.

Midfielder Stuart Holden - 6.5: Was the salvation for the U.S., not only for his late strike and clever pass on the opening goal, but for some all-around good play. Just about the only American player who looked like he belonged.

Midfielder Sam Cronin - 4.5: He had almost no impact on the match and seemed lost at times.

Midfielder Colin Clark - 5: He provided some good defensive work, but was of little help offensively. A forgettable appearance.

Forward Kenny Cooper - 4.5: At times, he worked hard, but to very little effect. He was easily controlled by the much faster Haiti defense.

Forward Davy Arnaud - 6: Had a high work rate in a match that saw him do some very good things, include score the first goal, but also saw some defensive lapses that might have been costly. Took a clumsy yellow card.

Reserves

Forward Charlie Davies (63rd minute for Cooper) - 6: Gave the U.S. some measure of attack, but could not do much as Haiti was defending in numbers. He did add quality to the American front line.

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman (63rd minute for Quaranta) - 5.5: Brought on fresh legs that allowed the U.S. to take control of the midfield, but he too had little luck offensively against the packed-in defense

Forward Brian Ching (76th minute for Clark) - 6: In a short appearance, he worked hard and made the play that pried loose the ball that led to the tying goal.

SoccerTimes Player of the Match: Stuart Holden.


Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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