The USMNT will look to get back on track in their 2023 Gold Cup campaign when taking on St. Kitts and Nevis at CITYPARK in St. Louis, Missouri on June 28. It’ll be the first ever meeting between the two countries, setting up an exciting fixture.
The Stars and Stripes are coming off a draw against Jamaica, nearly avoiding a shocking defeat – which would’ve been their second ever defeat in the group stage – but the late heroics of substitute Brandon Vazquez earned the Stars and Stripes a point as the game ended 1-1.
USMNT interim head coach B.J. Callaghan wasn’t all that disappointed with the result, given all the players that started the game did not feature for the US in their Nations League victories over Mexico and Canada.
But there’s no getting around it: St. Kitts and Nevis are underdogs in this matchup. The country, that has a population of around 55,000, is playing in the Gold Cup for the first time ever. Though it’s a historic moment for the country that is neighbors with Montserrat and Antigua and Barbuda, they remain largely unprepared after losing 3-0 to Trinidad and Tobago in opening game of the competition.
St. Kitts and Nevis saw just 34% of possession but were able to conjure up 10 shots across the 90 minutes.
Now, the US sits in third place in Group A with one point, and St. Kitts and Nevis are in last place with 0 points after Matchday one. Will the USMNT find their form again as they look to repeat as winners in this year’s Gold Cup, or will St. Kitts and Nevis pull off an upset of epic proportions similar to Jamaica’s triumph over the US in 2015?
When is kick-off? 9:30 PM EST
Where is the game being played? CITYPARK
TV channel/live stream? UniMas, TUDN, FS1
What time does TV coverage start? 9:15 PM EST
The Sugar Boyz are lead by head coach Austin Huggins, who played for St. Kitts and Nevis from 1993-2004. He’s been in charge of the team since January of 2022, with a 3W-2L-3D record.
Huggins will look to lean on players such as Romaine Sawyers, who plays for EFL Championship side Cardiff City in England, in the midfield and goalkeeper Julani Archibald, who plays for W Connection FC in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League.
St. Kitts and Nevis have gone unbeaten in four out of their last fives games, with the one loss coming against Trinidad and Tobago. They defeated Aruba twice while also toppling Saint Martin once and drawing against them as well.
Defender Miles Robinson is still with the squad despite a lingering hamstring injury he picked up against Mexico in the Nations League semifinal. However, he joined Aaron Long for independent training as the two remain questionable for time against St. Kitts and Nevis. The US shouldn’t need them to ensure victory and, instead, will look to lean on Matt Miazga and Jalen Neal in the meantime.
Julian Gressel, who was called up to the squad but was excused from the first game due to the birth of his child, is back with the team and could feature against the Sugar Boyz.
The Stars and Stripes are unbeaten in their last five outings, drawing against Jamaica and Mexico in an international friendly while knocking off the likes of Canada, Mexico, and El Salvador. The USMNT are expected to keep that unbeaten strike alive against St. Kitts and Nevis.
The US should prove to be too much to handle for St. Kitts and Nevis, even as the squad is still getting aquatinted with each other. The USMNT will probably have the lion’s share of possession and create a host of chances to give themselves confidence ahead of the final group stage game against Trinidad and Tobago, the team that stopped the American side from qualifying from the 2018 World Cup.
USA will have plenty of looks at goal between forwards Jesus Ferreira, Brandon Vazquez (who should be in line to start after scoring as a substitute), and Cristian Roldan and should be able to capitalize. The Sugar Boyz just may not have the quality to matchup with the USMNT despite impressing many to qualify for the Gold Cup.
Prediction: St. Kitts and Nevis 0 – USA 5