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The United States left it late but took control after the hour mark in a chippy game against Fiji to win 3-0. Cade Cowell marked his return from suspension with the team’s second goal, and absolute banger from distance which put the game away.
The game turned on Cowell’s performance. It took until the 66th minute for Cowell to assist Diego Luna in the opening goal before Luna returned the favor with Cowell scoring his rocket in the 88th minute. Then, right before the final whistle, Caleb Wiley scored to add a slight padding to the United States’ goal difference, which would matter if Slovakia loses to Ecuador but defeats the United States. Micky Varas has to be prepared for everything, but the goal now is simple. Just win and you’re through.
With the team struggling to score in their opening match against Ecuador, the difference that Cowell made returning from suspension is clear. Hopefully now the team will only improve as the World Cup goes on. They’re battle-tested after winning the Concacaf U-20 championship and it is helping so far with the team needing to wait until the second half to score in both of their matches so far this tournament.
Curve it like Cade ⤴️ @Cc4Official
🎥 » @FOXSoccer pic.twitter.com/j6RMH7LJq3
For players like Cowell, strong showings when they’re on the fringe of the senior team could earn a Gold Cup look as well. There is always an incentive to perform well with a trophy on the line but attacking spots with the senior team are wide open which is where Cowell’s creativity and inventiveness comes into play.
Even with the addition of Folarin Balogun into the attacking pool, there is always a need for players who can create their own chances in space. It’s something that San Jose has helped shape Cowell to do, but he has to turn the talent into goals. With 0 goals and one assist this season, it’s a far cry from the eight goals and eight assists that he has registered in league play over the last two years. But at only 19, the sky is the limit for what he can do with this team, which is one of many reasons why the future is bright for the World Cup in 2026 on home soil.
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