By Ryan Fleming
Sure, there is something that can be said that the United States Men’s National Team did indeed defeat Guadeloupe, 1-0; a team that isn’t even a member of FIFA (this competition is essentially their World Cup). You could also point to what it really means, not too much.
With the win the Yanks advance to the elimination round of the Gold Cup, taking on a Jamaica team that could very well provide an upset and the way Bob Bradley’s team is playing, I wouldn’t look past that possibility.
Tuesday night’s game started rather ominously, with Guadeloupe pressing early, providing for a rather heart-stopping moment when a ball from a corner kick found its way through the seemingly-sleeping defense all the way to Tim Howard. The ball was eventually cleared, but what could have been absolutely devastating for Bradley, who seems to be on the hot seat after every game, served, at least immediately, as a wake-up call.
US forward, Jozy Altidore, who surely didn’t spend a dime at the bar (indeed if he did go to one afterwards), put the Yanks up 1-0 with a rocket from outside the box — an area where the USMNT doesn’t strike from usually. As one of the most under-performing players in the last couple years, Altidore’s goal awoke deep, long forgotten memories of the promise he once had. What Bradley could use most is Altidore playing at his full potential — something that really, still even today, isn’t fully known.