The USA is a heavy favorite to win the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. They began the regional tournament with an expected dominate victory over Belize and Cube and had some room to play some U.S Men’s National Team members who are on the outside looking into the World Cup team.
These players include USMNT stars that were injured for long periods of time, like Stuart Holden, and players who never really got their USMNT career started, like Chris Wondolowski. Both have had outstanding games in the tournament so far.
However, the Gold Cup also presents a unique opportunity to see how American players from the MLS compete against international competition. One such player is the Philadelphia Union’s star striker, Jack McInerney.
McInerney was not used in the blowout match against Belize or against Cuba. If Jürgen Klinsmann wants to improve his younger, less internationally experienced strikers, he is going to have to put them into games.
It’s not like McInerney wouldn’t have been able to do as well of a job as Herculez Gomez against Cuba. Gomez was out of sync for the entire game. Obviously, Wondolowski would be a better choice with the form he has been in, but Brek Shea played poorly as well. Landon Donovan could’ve moved to more of a winger position, and Wondolowski and McInerney could have been up top.
There is no reason for McInerney to have not played so far. He is in absolutely spectacular form in the MLS; his team is even tied for second place in the Eastern Conference. He has scored 10 goals in 17 games for the Union; Wondolowski doesn’t even have that many for the San Jose Earthquakes.
I get that Klinsmann wants to win by huge margins and test out different formations against teams in the Gold Cup, but Cuba and Belize were two teams that the US should have been able to beat with B teams. His reserves should have been given an opportunity to perform.
There is no doubt in my mind that the two strikers that start in the 2013 Gold Cup Final for the U.S. will be Wondolowski and McInerney – if only Klinsmann would give him a chance. When McInerney finally gets his chance to shine for the national team, don’t expect him to disappoint.