CONCACAF said on Wednesday that there were a few untouchable positives for United States coach Gregg Berhalter to take away from the team’s 1-0 win over Haiti in Kansas City, Kansas.
“The clean sheet, the solid teamwork on Sam Vines’ eighth-minute header goal, the energetic play of Shaquell Moore, and, of course, the three points for the win,” CONCACAF said.
“We still need to go to another gear,” Berhalter told CONCACAF. “We didn’t create enough and we didn’t finish enough chances.”
Undoubtedly, CONCACAF said the rhythm of the US was affected when experienced winger Paul Arriola suffered a hamstring injury shortly after the goal and had to abandon the match.
“Paul is really drilled on how we want to play, so there was a big loss,” Berhalter said. “I missed the urgency to score more goals. It was way too slow.”
CONCACAF said the US managed to control possession and got into Haiti’s half with regularity, yet was often disrupted in finishing, lacking the final pass and shot.
“There were some good moments,” Berhalter said. “I liked the start of the game; it was nice and aggressive. From there, it was hit and miss with some good things and then not enough.”
CONCACAF said a lot of the USA’s initial attacks were created by Moore, who Berhalter praised.
“He got coach’s man of the match today,” said Berhalter, pointing out that Moore, who plays in Spain for Tenerife, is not in full match shape yet. “He’s not even in preseason, he’s been training on his own.”
CONCACAF said Moore’s individual initiative to stay fit helped his effectiveness.
“I’ve been training at home with a personal trainer,” Moore said. “I’m still working my way up to match fitness.”
CONCACAF said one of the main reasons the US was often stymied in front of goal was the good work of Haitian goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre.
“In only his second game for Les Grenadiers, Sylvestre was masterful in the box, organizing his defenders well, coming out in timely fashion for crosses and corners, and making multiple impressive stops when US shots did get off,” CONCACAF said.
“I’m always going to give my all in the field,” Sylvestre said postgame.
Despite the loss to the US, CONCACAF said that Haiti, by keeping the score low, may play an important role in the final Group B standings, with goal differential being the first tie-breaker.
“Sylvestre and Haiti will look to make that count,” CONCACAF said.