Preview: U.S. MNT continues Gold Cup campaign Wednesday vs. Martinique

Dom Dwyer - USMNT vs. Panama - July 8, 2017

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Martinique
CONCACAF Gold Cup Group stage
Wednesday, July 12 | 8 p.m. CT | FOX, Univision, UDN
Raymond James Stadium | Tampa, Florida

Following a 1-1 draw with Panama to open its 2017 Gold Cup campaign, the U.S. MNT will look to kick things up a notch and take three points from Wednesday's Group B opponent Martinique.

Panama gave the U.S. difficulties throughout the 90 minutes with its combative play last week, leaving the Yanks walking away with just a point despite being favorites. On the other side, Martinique opened its Gold Cup account with a solid 2-0 win — its third win in its Gold Cup history — against Nicaragua. The overseas soccer department of France is set to play the U.S. for the first time in 14 years, and only the second time in history.

U.S. Look to Dethrone

After the first round of matches, Martinique sits at the top of the Group B standings. Despite its two-goal performance against Nicaragua and the U.S. MNT’s result against Panama, the Americans will come out as the heavy favorites.

Exciting new U.S. MNT faces such Kelyn Rowe and Kellyn Acosta have shown excerpts of brilliance for the red, white and blue in their international debut campaigns. With the U.S. likely needing to win its final two matches of group-stage play in order to sit atop Group B, the Yanks will need to come out strong against this Martinique squad.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Two caps. Two goals. Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer’s international career is off to a phenomenal start. Not only has he been able to bury shots in the back of the net, but his off-the-ball play has been giving opposing backlines headaches.

Dwyer’s action has opened the eyes of the nation, but maybe more importantly the eyes of Bruce Arena, who will decide if his audition is worthy of a selection to the World Cup roster in 2018. So far, Arena has praised Dwyer’s effort and hustle, which are traits that he said are required for international play.

Dwyer will be attempting to break through a Martinique defense that has proved rather difficult for opposing forwards. In its last eight international matches, Martinique has allowed 0.63 goals per game. Dwyer’s ability to knife in and out of the box could cause that impressive Martinique goals against average to rise up.

USA Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, MEX), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, ENG), Matt Miazga (Chelsea, ENG), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana, MEX), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana, MEX), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)

Martinique Roster

GOALKEEPERS (3): Loic Chauvet (CS Case-Pilote / MTQ), Kevin Olimpa (Platanias FC / GRE), Emmanuel Vermignon (Club Colonial / MTQ)

DEFENDERS (7): Sebastien Cretinoir (Golden Lion de Saint-Joseph / MTQ), Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders / USA), Gerald Dondon (Club Colonial / MTQ), Antoine Jean-Baptiste (FC Villefranche / FRA), Florian Narcissot (Club Franciscain / MTQ), Karl Vitulin (AS Samaritaine / MTQ), Nicolas Zaire (Club Franciscain / MTQ)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Stephane Abaul (Club Franciscain / MTQ), Daniel Herelle (Golden Lion de Saint-Joseph / MTQ), Christof Jougon (Club Franciscain / MTQ), Djenhael Mainge (Club Franciscain / MTQ), Jean-Manuel Nedra (Aiglon du Lamentin / MTQ), Yann Thimon (Golden Lion de Saint-Joseph / MTQ)

FORWARDS (7): Anthony Angely (Poitiers FC / FRA), Yoann Arquin (Mansfield Town / ENG), Johan Audel (Beitar Jerusalem / ISR), Steeven Langil (Waasland-Beveren / BEL), Johnny Marajo (Club Franciscain / MTQ), Kevin Parsemain (Golden Lion de Saint-Joseph / MTQ), Gregory Pastel (RC Riviere-Pilote / MTQ)