After an impressive start to the Gold Cup campaign, the U.S. are seeking to continue their run through the tournament as they take on Curacao on Sunday.
While there may have been doubts over the quality of Gregg Berhalter’s side before the start of the tournament, these have been answered by thumping wins over Guyana, Trinidad and Tobag and Panama, leaving the USMNT atop Group D.
Now, standing in their way is an upstart Curacao side that surprisingly qualified from their group ahead of the likes of Honduras and El Salvador.
|Game||USA vs Curacao|
|Date||Sunday, June 30|
|Time||1:00am BST / 8:00pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Fox Sports 1 / Univision Deportes / Univision||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be available to watch via FreeSports.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Steffen, Johnson, Miller|
|Defenders||Lima, Gonzalez, Zimmerman, Ream, Cannon, Lovitz, Miazga, Long|
|Midfielders||Bradley, Trapp, McKennie, Pulisic, Roldan, Mihailovic|
|Forwards||Arriola, Zardes, Morris, Altidore, Lewis, Boyd|
Gregg Berhalter changed his entire line-up for the last match against Panama but is expected to rotate heavily the other way for this encounter having named an unchanged XI for the first two games. Jozy Altidore, who got the winner last time out, has staked a claim for a start, however.
Possible USMNT starting XI: Steffen; Lima, Zimmerman, Long, Ream; McKennie, Bradley, Pulisic; Boyd, Altidore, Arriola
|Goalkeepers||Room, De la Paz, Pieter|
|Defenders||C. Martina, Lachman, Gaari, Carolina, Shermar Martina|
|Midfielders||Bacuna, Maria, Bonevacia, Carmelia, Statie, Constancia, S Martina, Vapor|
|Forwards||Antonia, Arias, Benschop, Gorre, Hooi, Nepomuceno, Van Kessel|
Goalkeeper Eloy Room, who is PSV’s back-up goalkeeper, and Leandro Bacuna are the star players on the Curacao roster and the players to watch out for.
Their wide players are likely to be defensive, and as such this formation could effectively become a 4-5-1.
Possible Curacao starting XI: Room; Gaari, Martina, Lachman, Statie; Bacuna, Hooi, Maria; Nepomuceno, Arias, Antonia
Betting & Match Odds
The U.S. are strong favourites to win this match with Bet365, priced 1/8. A draw is available at 371, while a shock Curacao win is on offer at 18/1.
It’s been a case of so far, so good for Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT in the 2019 Gold Cup, playing its first competitive football since being shockingly eliminated from the 2018 World Cup at the qualifying stage.
Poor pre-tournament results and performances cast doubt as to how the team might perform, but it has responded in the most emphatic possible terms, becoming the first to qualify from the Gold Cup group stage with three wins from three, score more than 10 goals and not concede at all.
The competition has been modest, however. Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama all stepped up but were all beaten with relative comfort, and the expectation on Sunday is that Curacao will receive similar treatment.
The islanders, who have been dubbed the ‘Cinderella of the Antilles’ are the surprise package of the Gold Cup thus far, having qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
A 1-0 win over Honduras was their first in the competition in its current format, as well as a first since 1969, while their qualification to the knock-out rounds was sealed by a stunning strike from Jurien Gaari in the last minute of their 1-1 draw with Jamaica.
If Curacao’s qualification was only sealed at the last gasp, the U.S had the luxury of being able to rotate their entire squad for their last meeting against Panama.
“The decision to start 11 new players was an easy one to be honest,” Berhalter said. “We believe in the group, we believe in keeping the group together, we believe that everyone can contribute to this team for the team’s success, and we wanted to show that. The guys have been training really well and they deserved this opportunity.”
Cristian Roldan, who was given his first start of the tournament, added: “In this tournament we have to use all 23 guys and we had a game plan going into it. We kept a shutout, kept them to one shot, zero corners, [we’re] pretty happy with it.”
With the ‘A’ team having had a week off, the U.S. are expected to make it four wins from four and progress to the semi-finals without too much fuss.