The conditions for the USMNT’s clash with Honduras were quite sadistic.
As it pushed for a spot in Qatar, the US team traded comfort for percentage points, choosing to play Wednesday night’s games in the frozen tundra that is Minnesota. Temperatures dipped below zero, players struggled to adapt, few people had fun. It was the coldest qualifier in USMNT history.
Two Honduras players were treated for hypothermia.
The USMNT put its first-half demons to rest on Wednesday night, scoring twice in the opening 45 minutes.
USMNT Scored Three Goals From Set-Pieces
The first goal came via a Kellyn Acosta free kick, giving the USMNT its first set-piece goal of the qualifying cycle. Given the weapons, the USMNT has at its disposal, that stat was baffling, but it’s now one that is in the past.
Weston McKennie was the one on the end of Acosta’s free-kick, which didn’t look too dissimilar to the one that set up Miles Robinson’s Gold Cup winner last summer. McKennie, one of the USMNT’s biggest weapons on set pieces, showed once again why he was this window’s MVP by continuing his goalscoring form at the perfect time.
The second goal came from another set piece with Acosta delivering the ball in again. This one was fired home by Walker Zimmerman who, after a bit of pushing and shoving, was able to turn and fire into the back of the net late in the first half.
The third goal was scored by yet another set-piece. With the ball bouncing in the box, Christian Pulisic, a player that has struggled mightily in recent weeks, pounced to fire the US ahead 3-0 just moments after he was introduced into the game after being benched in favor of Jordan Morris.