BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The US national team cruised to an unspectacular but comfortable 2-0 over Canada in Detroit, Michigan in their opening of the 2011 Gold Cup.
US head coach Bob Bradley started a lineup that consisted of many familiar faces. Of the starting 11, eight were on the 2010 US World Cup team. Central defender Tim Ream, midfielder Jermaine Jones, and forward Juan Agudelo were making their debuts for the USMNT in international competition.
The US dominated early in the game and nearly took the lead in the 11th minute when Carlos Bocanegra just missed from six yards on a pass from Michael Bradley.
The United States took the lead in the 15th minute when Jozy Altidore connected on a shot to the near post that beat Canadian keeper Lars Hirschfeld. On the play Michael Bradley played the ball to Donovan on the right wing. Donovan then found Altidore in the box who finished off his second touch.
In the second half Canada would increase their pressure. In the 51st minute Simeon Jackson beat Ream off the dribble but Carlos Bocanegra was able to clear the ball from danger.
In the 61st minute the US would take a 2-0 lead when Landon Donovan and Altidore connected down the left side. Altidore then sent a pass across the box that was deflected by Agudelo. Dempsey made a sliding run at the backpost and hammered it home.
Howard helped preserve the shut out with some solid saves in the second half. Late in the game Canada's Ali Gerba unleashed a shot from just inside the US box but Howard was able to push it over the bar.
With the win, the US moved into first place in Group C of the Gold Cup with Panama defeating Guadeloupe 3-2 in their opener.
Next up for the US is a game against Panama on Saturday, June 11 at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.