KAYSERI, Turkey – After watching his team squander some good scoring opportunities and dangerous attacks through its first two Under-20 World Cup matches, US playmaker Luis Gil has a rather simple solution to unleashing their full offensive potential against their next foe, Ghana:
Create more shots.
With the US needing a victory in their Group A finale (Thursday, 1 pm ET, ESPNU) to continue their adventure in Turkey, they'll have to take advantage of a Ghanaian team that has leaked four goals in consecutive losses. The Americans have scored once in each of their games, but know an offensive outbreak against Ghana will give them a greater margin of error.
"I think we just need to shoot more," Gil told reporters at Wednesday's pregame press conference. "We can be more aggressive in taking on guys one-on-one, get them on their heels early so that way we'll make space [for shooters]."
The Real Salt Lake midfielder hit the lone US goal in their tourney-opening loss to Spain on a spectacular individual play, but had a potentially game-tying penalty kick saved in game two against France. When asked by MLSsoccer.com whether it was easy to forget the spot failure, he took a brief pause before answering.
"A little bit," said Gil. "Every single player misses a PK. It's just about how you bounce back in the next game."
Gil and his teammates will be hoping they all bounce back enough to guarantee at least one more game in their World Cup run.