RECAP: UNITED STATES 2 - 0 HONDURAS
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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.
Eldin
Sunday July 26, 2009 2:43 am
I would like to see Cooper start in the final alongside Ching. Arnaud did well in the group stages, but he was poor against Honduras. Arnaud and Quaranta would be good options off the bench late in the game if necessary.
duriseti
Saturday July 25, 2009 8:50 pm
One point that is so easy to forget about Altidore is his youth. He is a man-child and people expect adult veteran action out of him. He just needs to get playing time to develop his consistency and his cache of moves.

Once he gets comfortable with using those broad shoulders and that speed, it will get ugly for defenders who guard him.

He just needs playing time.
ICEMANofALFRED
Saturday July 25, 2009 1:28 pm
Well I'm still not really fully sold on any of our Strikers, but I must say seeing Clarence Goodson play has been a pleasure since we've been a bit light at Stopper as well. Before this Gold Cup series I was barely aware of him, but he looks to have a real shot now of at least being in the pool for South Africa next year.

I think I'd still be happier if Bradley brought back a player or two for the final, because we still appear to be a bit thin on subs, notably on defense. I don't know what the situation is with Cherundolo and his German club, but he's the player I would most like to see brought back if it's possible to do so. Still, there is the qualifier on August 12th to think about, and these guys are trying to either establish themselves or solidify their positions in the pecking order so it might be something of a problem doing that.

I still believe Logan Pause is in a bit over his head at DMF and would prefer to see Ricardo Clark in at the ball winning DMF spot, he's MLS based so it wouldn't be that jarring a move, but I suppose that's unrealistic at this point. With Jermaine Jones coming into the squad and Marice Edu back from injury, Clark might soon just find himself as the odd man out on the National team.
dude
Saturday July 25, 2009 11:43 am
Honestly, John, I don't think you're giving Davies and Altidore their due. Or Dempsey, for that matter.

It would be great to have an absolute dagger up top, in the mold of Villa. But honestly, I think Jozy is a dangerous finisher, and every second on the pitch, both against concacaf and world powers, he is learning.

If this kid reaches his potential, he should beat Donovan's scoring record, and become a monstrous presence up top.

It took a while for Drogba to become Drogba. Give him time, and minutes. Even if Davies looks better now, he is helped by Jozy's lurking presence.

Enough said about Holden. Very exciting player.

As a DC fan, I hope Quaranta gets a look also. I think he would be valuable as a midfielder/striker hybrid on a roster that doesn't have many skilled forwards.
duriseti
Friday July 24, 2009 8:35 pm
Goalscorer24,

You are correct sir, I just saw the reply and he was even with (or even a little behind) the ball.

I also thought Ching was in unusual form last night. His touches were unusually clean for him. I wonder how much of this is simply a product of growing confidence.
John
Friday July 24, 2009 6:29 pm
Holden has been impressive, indeed. It's amazing how solid the U.S. midfield looks right now.

We're just missing a world class striker or two from being a really exciting team and a World Cup mainstay.
duriseti
Friday July 24, 2009 1:32 pm
I continue to be blown away by Holden. How come we have never seen more of this guy until now? I know people are going to bag on me for saying this, but he is an Iniesta type player.

Cooper showed me more last night. He seemed more active. I do think he was offsides though -- tough to say.
The Waco Kid71
Friday July 24, 2009 1:32 pm
Nope, Holden played the ball back to him. so, even if he was in front of the last defender, the ball moving away from goal on the pass makes him onside. Holden is golden. The baby-faced assassin will be a sub in the WC.
Goalscorer24
Friday July 24, 2009 1:28 pm
Duriseti, Holden was hurt that last time he was getting ready to play for the US national team. That is why we have not seen him until now. Also Cooper was not offiside, even though he was past the last defender, he was even with the ball when it was played to him.
Charlie
Friday July 24, 2009 1:15 pm
Love to see the B-C team stepping up !

Holden is really emerging - so great that he has had this opportunity to showcase his considerable talent, and as with the Confederations Cup, could be an audition for a move-up to Europe.
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