KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, June 19, 2019
A pair of goals from Tyler Boyd and one each from Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes saw the United States Men's National Team kick off their Gold Cup title defense with a win over Guyana.
The scoreline may have seemed liked it was a comfortable win for the red, white and blue, but they still have a long way to go until any fans see them gel as a unit. At least it was a bit better compared to the embarrassing showings against Jamaica and Venezuela in their friendlies prior to the tournament.
Head coach Greg Berhalter decided to field seven MLS players in the starting lineup along with Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie. Boyd, who made the one-time switch to play for the US, got the start ahead of Jozy Altidore.
After going scoreless for some time, Arriola would break the deadlock just before the half-hour mark when McKennie went out wide to the left to send the ball into the path of the winger, and he was able to curl his shot around Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke.
The US would have to wait until the second half to add to their goal tally when Boyd finally scored his first goal for the team in only his second appearance in the 51st minute. Captain Michael Bradley would send a pass over the Guyana back-line and Boyd brought it down neatly before firing his shot past a flat-footed Clarke.
It did not take long for Berhalter's men to extend their lead as they were fortunate to score their third four minutes later. Arriola cut into the inside of his marker from the left side and unleashed his shot which was blocked by a Guyanan defender. However, Gyasi Zardes was in the right spot as the ball deflected off of his head and into the goal.
Boyd rounded out the scoring for the Americans in the 81st minute when he took a pass from Arriola before taking a couple of steps past his marker to fire his shot into the back of the net.
So the US ends up with the win, but questions still remain as to whether they will get any better.
The team sits atop Group D with their next game coming Saturday against Trinidad and Tobago in Cleveland, Ohio.