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Jordan Morris leads USA to top of Group B

Cristian Roldan plays a full 90 in 3-2 win over Martinque

Bruce Arena made eight changes from the team that drew with Panama. The biggest of those was the insertion of Jordan Morris as the second forward alongside Juan Agudelo. Cristian Roldan also started and is now only able to represent the United States. Morris netted two goals (64’, 76’), including the game winner, in the 3-2 victory that put the Americans at the top of Group B in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Former Sounders forward Kevin Parsemain put a scare in USMNT fans, as he created danger and scored twice (66’, 76’). Omar Gonzalez opened the scoring in the 54th minute when he knocked in a rebound. Morris then put away a cross from Eric Lichaj that put the Americans up two goals.

Yeah, that was his left foot on a near post run. Morris moved well most of the night. In the first half, he was mostly trying to create for his teammates. In the second it was his team helping him.

Zardes collected his assist by helping Jordan get his brace.

It was the type of performance that is more representative of Jordan’s 2016 than his struggles in early 2017. He was healthy, quick and potent. He now has three goals in his last five games with the United States. He also won the Man of the Match from CONCACAF.

Cristian Roldan was slow to start. In the first half he was often passive, sitting back as a pure defensive mid. He did take one corner after Kellyn Acosta’s first half corners didn’t create danger. Roldan’s second half was more similar to his Sounders play. The aggression was there in defense. He was willing to get forward and insert himself into the game. If Arena remembers the second half he will use that first half to show Roldan how to improve. Cristian will learn from it.

Jordy Delem was probably Martinique’s second best player. His cousin and former Sounder Parsemain was their best. Delem frequently stifled American attacks with last minute blocks and tackles. He showed that as a central defender (RCB in a three-man line, mostly), he is capable against strong MLS players.

The USA is now at the top of the group due to tie-breakers. Panama is second with Martinique in third. The US plays Nicaragua on Saturday July 15 at 4 PM on FXX.

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