The U.S. Men’s National Team played their final warm up game before the 2017 Gold Cup on Saturday— a dicey 2-1 victory against Ghana in which Chicago Fire captain Dax McCarty earned Man of the Match honors.
McCarty went the distance in this one, playing every minute of the match and impressing along the way. Paired with 21-year-old FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta in the middle of the park, the veteran Chicago Fire player was asked to put in a physically demanding shift.
At first, the two Americans struggled to make their partnership work. But once McCarty allowed Acosta to go forward freely, the center of the park became the pair’s playground.
From his deep-lying position, McCarty was able to pick out a number of tight passes to send the USMNT into the attack. One play in particular stands out, as in the 14th minute the Fire player threaded the needle through the middle of the park to find the feet of Joe Corona. The Club Tijuana midfielder flicked the ball into space for Dom Dwyer, but the new American didn’t connect properly on the final strike.
All in all, it was an encouraging performance from McCarty and the rest of this young U.S. team. As always, they should be competitive in the Gold Cup, and can hopefully get the USMNT back to the top of CONCACAF.
The United States begins Gold Cup play on Saturday, July 8 when they take on Panama at 3:30pm CDT.