And wouldn’t you know it, front and center was Sporting KC string-puller Graham Zusi, who had his best (by far) game in his young international career. Zusi got off an opportunistic pot shot that hit the cross bar in the 6th minute, cranked a close range rebound shot off the Jamaican keeper’s foot a few minutes later, and sent a blistering left footed volley just over the bar toward the end of the first half.
Yes, Zusi should have scored. It would have been the perfect cherry on top of a great performance that saw the relentless midfielder comfortably going forward, threading passes along the right flank, and serving a few dangerous crosses into the box.
In my book, Zusi was the man of the match, even though he got subbed off in the middle of the second half in favor of the more defensive minded Maurice Edu when the US prematurely decided to pack it in.
“[He was] the best player on the field the first half, “ wrote Soccer America’s Ridge Mahoney. “His presence and connections with Cherundolo on the right flank spearheaded the US first-half dominance.”
And there’s about a dozen more just like that.
But despite the US’s dominance, they still only squeaked out a 1-0 victory, and the goal they did get was due to Jamaican keeper error on a set piece.
But a win’s a win, right?
The final game in this group stage is now set up very nicely. And don’t look now, but it’s at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on October 16th against Guatemala.
That game’s going to be crazy and hopefully will feature local hero Zusi heavily again.