Ecuador lost to the US national team 1-0 in a friendly on Thursday in Orlando. On paper, the result sounds about right – both countries have had ups and downs in recent years but the US edging the South American opposition sounds like a tight game.
But Ecuador head coach Hernan Dario Gomez paid tribute to his opponent following the match, and had high praise for the adversary in defeat.
"This is the best United States team that I have faced, I have done it for many years and with different selections," Gomez said after the game, praising the "strong and dynamic" group assembled by USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter.
Gomez hails from Colombia, but had seen the US up close in recent years, leading Panama in their successful 2018 World Cup cycle, culminating in the Canaleros' first trip to the World Cup in their history, at the expense of the USMNT. He also won the Concacaf Coach of the Year award in 2015. The 63-year-old Gomez also managed Guatemala from 2006-08, so his knowledge of Concacaf runs deep.
Ecuador will take on Honduras at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, with Gomez promising to make major changes in preparation for this summer's Copa America tournament.