US vs. Honduras
Featured also at Cardinal Publishers Group, July 2015
Kicking off the Gold Cup competition the US played Central American rival, Honduras. Unfortunately for Honduras, they outplayed the US on the field but lost on the scorecard as Dempsey knocked in two. The play was back-and-forth, the US had better scoring opportunities, while Honduras had plenty of dangerous moments around goal but none of them – save for a few – seemed to have any shock value. In other words, there was never any substantial trepidation around them scoring. For some reason, each chance predictably went wide or over the goal, even on sure-opportunities that “my grandma” could put in. Chippy play amounted to an intense game; however, Honduras was dragging their feet by the end, looking very fatigued. This opening win in a Gold Cup game marked "thirteen out of thirteen" opening wins for the US. Pretty good. “Pretty, pretty good,” as Larry David would say.
As a good preparation for the World Cup, the Gold Cup is a good test for where the team needs to be. Looking three years down the line, Klinsmann must be noticing Dempsey has slowed down a little bit. In years past, say, ten years ago, Dempsey was extremely quick on the dribble with a burst, which he lacks now. He was never “Donovan fast” but he was quick. If Donovan and Cobi Jones were to race, Donovan would win in a fifty-yard or one hundred-yard dash. However in a shuttle run, from a distance of ten or twenty yards, Cobi Jones would probably have the edge. Quick and fast are different. Dempsey will have to avoid injuries to make the squad in 2018 and use what speed he has left, along with his experience. For US fans, should the team qualify, this will likely be Dempsey’s last World Cup appearance. First things first would be the Gold Cup…and Dempsey is clearly the best player on the field, keeping the team dangerous, while keeping opponents off balance. The next game should be an easy win for the US, hoping to go undefeated.