RICH FIDLER - Friday, July 24, 2009
Head coach Bob Bradley and the United States have advanced to the Gold Cup Final for the third straight tournament with their two goal victory over Honduras at Soldier Field on Thursday evening.
Bradley went with the same starting eleven that defeated Panama in extra-time last weekend, except for a single change among the back four. Start's Clarence Goodson replaced Jimmy Conrad after the Kansas City Wizard suffered a concussion against the Panamanians.
The American's held the run of play early in the game, as the US looked to get on the board first with the forward tandem of Davy Arnaud and Brian Ching.
Stuart Holden nearly put the American's ahead in the 43rd minute but his free kick was punched over the bar and then his club teammate Ching slammed a shot off the crossbar, showing the American's they were close.
Goodson would get the Americans first goal just second before the whistle indicating half-time when he powered home a Holden cross to give the Red, White and Blue a one goal lead heading in to the break.
Neither team made any substitutions at the half but the American's would have a trio of chances from Robbie Rogers, Goodson and Holden in the first 12 minutes saved by the Honduran 'keeper.
The American head coach would go to his bench for the first time in the 76th minute when DC United's Santino Quaranta, a goal scorer in the first match-up between these two teams, would replace Rogers in the midfield.
Honduras best chance came in the 85th minute when Carlos Costly was played in to the area by former Ohio State midfielder Roger Espinoza. Troy Perkins rushed off his line to secure a big save to keep a clean sheet.
FC Dallas' Kenny Cooper would replace Arnaud just four minutes from the final whistle, and would make his mark seconds from the final whistle with a simple finish from inside the six-yard box.
The US will face regional rival Mexico, who won the other semi-final over Costa Rica in penalty kicks, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey with the hope of raising the Gold Cup trophy for fifth time overall.