The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team started its bid for a spot in the World Cup with a good, albeit shaky, win over Antigua.
The U.S. Soccer team won the match 3-1, but coach Jurgen Klinsmann wasn’t entirely happy with his team’s performance. Antigua, ranked 105th (79 spots below the US) was able to keep the game closer than the Americans had hoped.
“The guys know they can step it up, and they will step it up…. There’s not the expectation just to kind of overrun Antigua or whatever country maybe that looks kind of weak on a piece of paper. They came here. They played the game — not of their life, but for them it’s big time. They gave everything they had… It’s important the players understand what they did OK and what was not so OK. They’re going to hear that from me.”
Antigua had a few close goals during the match but Klinsmann said he was satisfied with the win.
“At the end of the day, I think the three points is the starting point that we wanted to have.”
Carlos Bocanegra gave the U.S. Soccer team its first goal just 8 minutes into the game. Clint Dempsey and Herculez Gomez also added to the point total to secure the American’s first win during the 2012 World Cup Qualifying tournament.
According to the Boston Globe, the Americans have qualified for the World Cup for the last six consecutive years. The team did not, however, qualify for this year’s Olympics.
The U.S. Team will face Guatemala on Tuesday for the semifinal round.