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Gold Cup Recaps: Lineup change revives USMNT attack

Daryl Dike dominated against Martinique

Martinique v United States: Group B - 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team returned to play on Thursday with a matchup against Martinique. Compared to the last game for the stars and stripes, it was a much better performance.

Gregg Berhalter unveiled a new look starting XI for the matchup with seven changes. Matt Turner is one of the few players to stay in the lineup.

Up top Matthew Hoppe makes his national team debut as he will be paired with Daryl Dike up top. Also Gianluca Busio, Cristian Roldan, James Sands, George Bello, and Eryk Williamson entered the starting XI.

From the jump the USMNT looked much better in the attack. They were able to earn a free kick from a dangerous location thanks to Williamson and Busio nearly scored a beautiful goal but the ball sailed just wide.

The stars and stripes would strike early as Hoppe sent a cross into the box and Dike headed it home in the 14th minute. The Orlando City SC striker dominated the game and looks like someone who can compete for a starting spot in Gregg Berhalter’s starting XI for future international competitions.

The United States would continue the scoring effort as less than 10 minutes later they would score due to a Martinique own goal which was later changed to Dike’s second goal of the game would then be turned back to an own goal.

Hoppe also had an impressive performance. He showed some amazing skill and played a part in both of the United States goals.

Also in peak CONCACAF fashion, the referee blew the whistle for halftime before the game clock had even reached 45 minutes.

Soon after the second half kicked off the United States would add to their goal scoring. A failed corner attempt would recycle itself to a Williamson ball into the box and Miles Robinson would rise up and head the ball home for his second international goal. It was also Williamson’s first assist of his international career.

In the 57th minute Hoppe came off for Nicolas Gioacchini while Shaq Moore would come off for Kellyn Acosta

Dike would soon get his second goal as he was a one-man wrecking crew against Martinique’s defense in the 59th minute. He concluded his great movement with a beautiful chip to put the USMNT up 4-0.

Turner would get his chance to step up as Kellyn Acosta made a mistake in the box giving Martinique a penalty kick. Sadly, Turner was unable to make the save this go around and the United States lead was reduced.

In the 68th minute Dike would be replaced by Gyasi Zardes and two minutes later Zardes would score giving the USMNT a 5-1 lead.

In the 79th minute Donovan Pines would make his USMNT debut coming on for Walker Zimmerman while Williamson would come off for Jackson Yueill.

The United States capped the night off with 90th minute goal from Gioacchini that was assisted by Busio. Gioacchini had a lot of close calls so USMNT fans were happy to see him finally slot one home.

Revolution fans will be pleased to see Turner having success at the international level. While New England’s goalkeeper didn’t have another clean sheet, it’s hard to complain about not stopping the penalty kick. While Turner has been very successful stopping PK’s, you can’t stop them all.

Overall Turner had a much better night for the USMNT. He made some quality saves and his distribution improved greatly. The highlight of the night had to be his amazing one-on-one save in stoppage time.

There is no doubt that the star of the night was Dike. He couldn’t be contained and showed why he will likely end up in a Major European league soon enough. When it comes to World Cup Qualifying and future international competitions, it will be hard for Berhalter to leave Dike out of his plans.

A 6-1 win is a reason for excitement but now all eyes focus on Sunday’s matchup against Canada that is sure to be a match that you won’t want to miss.