USMNT: 3 thoughts from steady win over Paraguay

CARY, NC - MARCH 27: Kenny Saief
CARY, NC - MARCH 27: Kenny Saief /

The USMNT was victorious in their only fixture of the international break. Here are three thoughts from their 1-0 win over Paraguay.

An extremely young USMNT side put on a show for the fans in Cary, North Carolina as they recorded their first win of 2018. A successful first-half penalty conversion from Bobby Wood proved to be the difference after Tyler Adams used his pace to win the spot kick.

Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded the clean sheet in net with the USMNT defense holding fast despite some close calls.

Here are three thoughts from the match.

3. Not phased

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Despite being a very young squad, the USMNT never looked intimidated to be out on the pitch. In fact, for a team with 17 players under the age of 24, they handled themselves very well. It got chippy at times, especially towards the end, but the Americans did not let themselves get pushed around and looked like a team on a mission.

Most of these players seem fully aware they are the future and they did not disappoint on Tuesday night. Although it wasn’t a perfect performance, there are certainly some very exciting players coming through the ranks.

2. Pacesetters

The pace the USMNT showed was dangerous and proved to constantly be a problem for Paraguay to contain. Adams won a penalty when he was sent through on goal by Marky Delgado and was a prelude to one of the biggest strengths for the USMNT of the match.

The midfield was never in danger of being outpaced and did a very good job of using their speed when they could. Andrija Novakovich was unlikely to not to score late in the match when he simply outran the defender and Tim Weah, likewise, was a problem for Paraguay to contain off the bench.

1. Lack of creativity

Now that the good has been covered, it is time to focus on one of the things the USMNT were lacking in the match. Creativity appeared to be missing throughout the match with only one chance created from open play as the U.S. failed to produce the chances it needed in the final third.

The U.S. played out wide basically the whole night which did not yield essentially anything on target in terms of scoring opportunities. At best, the U.S. should have used their speed more down the middle in order to exploit a Paraguay defense that struggled with pace.

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Overall, a win should be credited as a success but there is still a lot to be figured out about the team, including the coaching situation.