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U.S. Men's National Team

Dwyer, Acosta lead USMNT to friendly win over Ghana

It took just 19 minutes for Dom Dwyer to make his first U.S. Men’s National Team impression, and it was a strong one in what ended up being a confidence-boosting win ahead of the Gold Cup.

Dwyer joined Kellyn Acosta on the scoresheet on Saturday at Rentschler Field as the USMNT topped Ghana, 2-1, in a pre- Gold Cup friendly.  Three of the four new faces made appearances as Dwyer, Kenny Saief and Kelyn Rowe made their first USMNT appearances.

The USMNT had the better of the play early with Dwyer proving dangerous in his debut, and it paid off in the 19th minute. Jorge Villafana’s defensive effort helped win the ball in the final third and the USMNT fullback moved the ball to Corona at the top of the box. The ensuing shot bounced right off Villafana and into the air, and Dwyer pounced to volley home a goal in his USMNT debut.

The second half began with a bang as Acosta smashed home a free kick to double the U.S. advantage. After drawing a foul next to the top of the box, Acosta finished off his own sequence by smashing a shot past the wall and into the far post for 2-0.

Moments after Dwyer’s opener, the Sporting KC forward was dragged down by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori with a foul that could have easily drawn a red card, but referee Ismael Cornejo showed Ofori a yellow to keep the friendly level. On the other end, though, Cornejo made a big decision late in the first half as Villafana was called for a foul in the box, earning the Black Stars a penalty kick.

Asamoah Gyan, a very familiar face in USMNT circles, stepped up to the spot, but the veteran forward’s shot was saved by Brad Guzan on the final kick of the first half.

Acosta’s finish started the second half strong for the USMNT before Dwyer nearly added another in the 58th minute. His initial shot was saved by Ofori before the rebound was cleared out to end the sequence. Less than two minutes later, Ghana was back in the match as Gyan smashed home a free kick that left Guzan helpless.

The second half calmed down a bit following Gyan’s stunner, save for one strong Guzan denial. Alejandro Bedoya also generated a chance late, but saw his close-range header parried away by Ofori.

Now, the focus turns towards the Gold Cup as the U.S. returns to Nashville to face off with Panama in their tournament opener next Saturday.

13 comments
  • The Imperative Voice

    Saief also played well. Gets the ball of his feet quick.

    Villafranca had a rough day. Not sure he is good enough at this level on a regular basis.

    Like

    • Old School

      I didn’t see anything from Saief, but I don’t think the situation or substition role called for it. I’d like to see him within a starting role to get a true feel for what he brings to the team.

      Like

  • Ali Dia

    Dwyer played so hungry that I actually ordered food halfway through. Unfortunately for him I ate it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Imperative Voice

      I think that has its uses in a particular type of game/situation but he needs to be more clinical.

      Like

  • Nate Dollars

    i’d really like to see the end of this trend of refs avoiding cards in friendlies (and tournament finals, for that matter). the rules are there for a reason, and most people seem to be fine with them; just call the game like normal, and maybe we’ll avoid more dejong/holden-type situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Scott

    On a more important note, what about the new kit? This is the first Jersey, since I bought the white centennial, that made me think “I might buy one of these”.

    Like

      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        Had the stars been slightly less present I’d like it. Like more transparent, similar to the stars on the torso. As is it reminds me of a comic hero costume. BUT I still oddly like it more than any other jersey (never liked the Waldos that much)

        Like

      • Old School

        Had the stars been slightly less present I’d like it. Like more transparent, similar to the stars on the torso.

        I thought the subtlety of the black stars within the Ghana kit was perfect. You could still see them, but they didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

        Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    Dwyer did well: scored & worn down Ghana….but Dwyer should had a “hat-trick”

    Both Arriola & Corona drove Ghana nuts.

    Like

    • Jesse d

      Both arriola and corona are good tactical players with some ball skills. Neither has the athletisms or elite ball control to be more than but role players for the national team.

      Like

    • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

      Should have had a hat trick is a little much but surely a brace could be argued. Just because a player shoots doesn’t mean he should score by default. But at least it’s good to see you hating on another player not named Jozy lol

      Like

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