U.S. Rolls 4-0 Over Guatemala In Last Gold Cup Tuneup

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by Deny Gallagher
USMNT writer

In their final friendly before the Gold Cup, the United States Men’s National Team took care of business defeating Guatemala 4-0.

The United States turned a gift into a statement as Timmy Chandler, Clint Dempsey, and Chris Wondolowski built on an early Guatemalan own-goal to put an exclamation mark on the victory.

It was a mediocre first ten minutes for the United States as the team missed connections and showed a real lack of chemistry going forward. A bit of fortune for the United States in the 17th minute quickly changed the game as Jozy Altidore was brought down in the box while attempting to get on the end of a Fabian Johnson cross. The Toronto man stepped to the spot, but his penalty was denied by keeper Paulo Motta.

Two minutes later, Jozy was  let off the hook for his failed opportunity as Carlos Castillo headed a DeAndre Yedlin cross into the back of his own net to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

The United States began to grab a hold of the match after the first half hour, but still missed that extra gear that was on display last month. The own goal remained the difference in the first 45 minutes of play.

Guatemala nearly answered in the 47th minute as a botched Brad Guzan save gave Jose Contreras a wide open shot. The effort went just wide to keep it at 1-0.

The visitors would continue their assault in the opening minutes of the half giving the U.S. backline fits, but were still unable to find the equalizer.

The crowd in Nashville got little bit more comfortable when the tone of the match shifted in the 58th minute. Embattled defender Timmy Chandler attempted a long-range effort, and found the back of the net from a different area code.

Things got even better for the United States in the 73rd minute. After second half sub Gyasi Zardes retrieved a cross that was nearly out of bounds, the LA Galaxy man found Bradley in the area. A clever display of ball control added to a nightmare showing for Carlos Castillo as he brought down the American captain in the box to force a PK. Clint Dempsey stepped to the line and put his 41st international goal right down the center with ease.

Once the United States attack got rolling, it was not going to be stopped. In the 86th minute, Clint Dempsey played a beautiful ball over the top of the Guatemalan back line to find Zardes. The midfielder showed off his dribbling ability and made a simple pass to an on-rushing Chris Wondolowski who tapped in the fourth goal of the evening.

At the end of 90 minutes, the United States made a statement, beating Guatemala by a score of 4-0 in the final tune-up before the Gold Cup.

Despite the score line, the United States will need to play better than they did in this one if they hope to hoist North America’s most coveted trophy at the end of July in Philadelphia.

The United States begin their quest for CONCACAF supremacy on Tuesday at 9:30 pm, when they take on Honduras in the first match of the Gold Cup.

All matches from the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup can be seen on Fox Sports 1 and UniMas.

  • Altidore dreadful.if Dempsey doesn’t stay healthy and fresh,we got problems up top. Wondo old,not sure Johansson is in…