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Gyasi Zardes Ends the Year in Frustrating Fashion

The LA Galaxy forward should have buried two chances against Trinidad & Tobago in World Cup Qualifying, capping a woeful night with the USMNT.

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Frustrated.  I'm sure that's how Gyasi Zardes feels, and that's also how US fans felt watching Gyasi Zardes struggle with the US national team tonight against Trinidad and Tobago.

A few days ago in the first World Cup qualifying game, a better second half was ideally a step in the right direction.  But tonight, touch and finishing eluded Gyasi Zardes from the start of the game all the way to the minute he was subbed.  He was unfortunately the US's worst player on the night.

He started the game at his preferred forward position, and his runs were decent.  He stretched the field with Jozy Altidore, and provided an outlet when Jozy dropped into midfield.  That resulted in two opportunities, both from Jozy - one from the left, and one from the right - that should have been buried.

In particular, the open header he had on an excellent cross from Jozy Altidore in the 47th minute should have been a goal, but instead he clanged his header off the crossbar.

Gyasi's passing game on the night wasn't terrible, only 5 misplayed passes, and he actually had 1 key pass up the left.  BUT, in the box he was pretty darn bad with three missed shots and an epically bad shank that should have been a decent cross across the 6.  In addition, his misplayed passes were unfortunately in promising positions in the attacking third.  He was where the US attack went to die.

Defensively there isn't much to say since he was positioned so far up the field.  He had 1 recovery, 1 interception and 1 clearance.

Gyasi's wasn't the only abject performance of the evening (it sure wasn't), but more is expected of him at this level now that he's earned a spot.  And according to Jurgen, a starting spot.  Gyasi Zardes tied Claudio Reyna tonight for most caps in his rookie year with the USMNT.

If European scouts were watching, these two games also didn't help Gyasi's sale value.

Luckily for Zardes he now has a few weeks to rest, and gear up for the upcoming LA Galaxy season (if he's still in LA), and potentially January USMNT camp.  LA needs him to improve if they want any shot at Santos Laguna in CCL play.