KRIS LINDSAY - Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The United States overcame a slow start to cruise past Azerbaijan 2-0 Tuesday in the first game of a three game send off prior to the FIFA World Cup.
Substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson tallied for the United States, who needed two late goals to beat the stingy Azeri defense.
Forward and US Captain Clint Dempsey was a late scratch for coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Dempsey pulled his groin in the pre-game warm up. Forward Chris Wondolowski was the late addition for the Americans.
Wondolowski nearly made an immediate impact, finding himself wide open in the center of the box twice within the first 15 minutes of play, only to have both headers land in reach of the Azeri keeper.
Chances seemed at a minimum for both teams for the remainder of the first half. The Azeri offense did little to test the Americans, but the USA did not test the opposing keeper either.
The breakthrough finally came in the 75th minute, when Diskerud poked home a rebound that originated from a Michael Bradley strike. The goal was Diskerud's third goal of his international career.
Just minutes later, the USA finished off the game courtesy of Aron Johannsson. A beautiful service on a corner from Brad Davis found the AZ forward alone at the near post where he made no mistake.
The United States return to action Sunday afternoon, where they will face Turkey.