The USA ‘made England respect them’ by forcing The Three Lions ‘into their shell,’ insists former American international Herculez Gomez… but the ESPN pundit claims fans ‘should feel they deserved more’
Praise for the United States men’s national team continued to trickle through the soccer media after the team’s 0-0 draw with a more talented England squad.
ESPN’s Herculez Gomez – a former USMNT international – offered praise to the team on the Futbol Americas show with co-host Sebastian Salazar.
‘There’s results and then there’s performance,’ Gomez said. ‘You can get a result, doesn’t necessarily mean you had a great performance. They had a great performance.
‘It was risky and we’ll get into that but the performance in general the way they made England respect them, the way they made England sit back – you earn that respect, you make a team go into its shell by your play it was really something to hang your hat on for this young – very young – US men’s national team.’
ESPN’s Herculez Gomez offered praise to the USA in their 0-0 draw with the English on Friday
The USMNT earned itself a confidence boosting point in their 0-0 draw against England
Gomez also made the point that this team was on the front foot much more than in their 1-1 draw against Wales to open the group stage.
‘Something that was a marked difference from the game against Wales is once the US lost control of the game against Wales they never seemed to get it back,’ Gomez explained.
‘This game ebbed and flowed, but generally whenever England threw a punch the United States responded.
‘Not only did they respond in possession and those stints of possession, but they responded in the way they tackled and the way they covered ground and they way they made the opponent respect their speed. Respect them one-v-one. Respect how dangerous they could be. Respect how brash they were at times.’
Even with Harry Kane in attack for England, the Three Lions were held to just eight shots
Gomez also seemed to notice a difference in the performances from England – who thrashed Iran 6-2 to open their 2022 World Cup campaign.
‘This English side did not look like the same England side that beat Iran by six goals. It looked like a different team and credit to the US men’s national team for earning that respect against them.
‘Gareth Southgate has an array of talent at his disposal, and yet he made them look mediocre. He made them go into a defensive posture and never got them out of that.’
Three of England’s shots were on target – with all of them being saved by Matt Turner in goal
Gomez stressed that this American team looked very different than the one that showed up to play Wales – especially in how they responded to pressure.
‘When they got punched in the face versus Wales, they cowered, they became a small team in a defensive position to absorb pressure.
‘That wasn’t the case today. I think they learned from that Wales game. And it should make a lot of fan lament what they saw. It should make a lot of fans feel like they deserved more.’