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USA opens Gold Cup with convincing win versus Canada

USA Canada 1 (Getty Images)



DETROIT – The U.S. men's national team may not have opened its Gold Cup campaign with a lopsided scoreline, but it did put forth a strong performance en route to earning three points against an archrival.

Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and Clint Dempsey netted in the second to give the Americans a 2-0 win over Canada in front of 28,209 fans at Ford Field on Tuesday.

Tim Howard also came up with a handful of fine saves on the night to preserve a shutout victory that helped keep the U.S. team undefeated in the group stages of the tournament, and gave it first place in Group C after Panama defeated Guadeloupe, 3-2, in the first match of the night.

"From the moment the group was put together and the first game was Canada, we expected a tough match," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. "I think this Canadian team is a good one, and going in, we knew it would be a tough match. And there's a lot to build on, so for us, (we're) excited to get going."

The Americans got going from the opening whistle, controlling the possession of the game and earning several corner kicks. Landon Donovan's service on the set pieces was lacking, however, and the U.S. team was unable to break through.

That was until Altidore netted his first goal since October 2010 in the 15th minute. Donovan hit Altidore with a pass in the penalty area, and the 21-year-old forward blasted a low shot towards goal that goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld could not save despite being positioned well.

"I don't think about any of that stuff to be honest with you," said Altidore of his scoring slump. "Every game is different. You just try to go out there and try to help the team any way you can."

Altidore and the United States continued to pressure Canada for the remainder of the first half, but the Americans were unable to translate that pressure into goal-scoring chances.

When the second half began, Dwyane De Rosario and the rest of Canada had some newfound life as they took the game to their rivals.

Centerbacks Tim Ream and Clarence Goodson did well to deal with the Canucks' attack and that allowed the Americans to double their lead in the 62nd when Dempsey scored with a sliding effort.

On the play, Altidore received the ball and made a run down the right side of the penalty area before releasing a low cross that Juan Agudelo slightly re-directed into the path of an oncoming Dempsey. 

"It's good for my confidence to get the goal because it's my first goal I scored in 2011 with the U.S. team," said Dempsey, who now has 20 goals at the international level.

Down 2-0, the Canadians began to play more direct and almost scored on a few occasions. Unfortunately for them, Howard came up with several tremendous saves, including a pair of point-blank blocks that left Ali Gerba and the Canadian fans in attendance frustrated.

"The chances we did create (in the second half) were very good, and Howard was absolute magic," said Canada head coach Stephan Hart. "I almost clapped."

The Americans did receive an ovation as they went on to finish the game with precise passing and a pair of attacks that almost led to a third goal.

"I thought it was a real team effort tonight," said Michael Bradley. "I thought everybody made it their business to be committed from the first minute on. I'm proud of our guys for that tonight."

The Americans currently stand in first place in Group C after Panama beat 10-man Guadeloupe, 3-2, in the first game of the day.

Blas Perez opened the scoring in that game with a 29th-minute tally before Luis Tejada netted. Gabriel Gomez added a third in the second half off a penalty kick, but Guadeloupe refused to roll over. Second-half substitute Brice Jovial scored a brace to make things interesting, though an equalizer never came.


What do you think of the United States' 2-0 win? Who impressed/disappointed you? Surprised by the Americans' dominance in the match? What did you take away from the Panama-Guadeloupe game?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I read on here people hating on the subs, they were not strictly tactical subs. They were more to save the energy of some tired players. Klejstan was not great but he was serviceable as a sub. (I think that is where he stays…I hope.) His substitution was about getting an exhausted, and rightfully so, Altidore off of the field for a little extra rest. He helped kill the game in the midfield. Wondo came on to give us some hold up play up top and get Agudelo off the field. And Edu came on because Jones signaled that something wasn’t right (an injury of sorts) and Edu came in to get Jones off.

    The subs were serviceable. They did their jobs and filled the spots needed, and I don’t know that there were any other, better options off the bench, save maybe Bedoya over Klejstan. But again, Klejstan wasn’t terrible. He did what he needed to do.

  2. DeRo was virtually absent except for that one shot. I don’t see how someone can say he was the best player out there save for Howard.

  3. In what world did Canada play better than the US in the first half? If anything they outplayed the US in the second half. Definitely not the frist.

  4. Me too. I don’t know that Elliot watched the same game we did. Jones was not spectacular and had his moments of “boneheadedness” but overall he was solid with his passing and stopping attacks through the center. Edu was only in because Jones tweaked himself in some way and asked to be taken off.

  5. Well yeah of course. I was originally happy that Detroit got the game since they haven’t had once since 1994 and I figured it was a great place to put a game against Canada.

    The worst part of the game wasn’t the attendance, it was the field. That would be my biggest reason for not giving Detroit another game. The guys are probably looking forward to playing on some real grass at Raymond James and Livestrong.

    If you look at it purely from a numbers perspective (not percentages) the game drew more people than Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons games due.

  6. ya i completely agree with you that technical coaching is gonna take a back seat at the international level, and I too have wondered if someone like Klinsman really could make that much of a difference. I’ve always been proud of the fact that we have a US coach, but the lack of not only creativity but coordination in the final third last night cannot solely be blamed on the players… preparation has to be a factor. Anyways, I’m not calling for Bradley to go or anything, at least yet, I only am getting a bit worried based on our recent performances and the fact that I know this team can perform better.

  7. Dude wtf are you talking about? When have you ever seen Ream play something other than centerback for the US national team? Hell when have you seen him play anything besides centerback ever (I doubt you have ever watched him play in college)?

  8. ya i’ve already seen that video and read the SBI article on the same topic. He’s praising BB’s loyalty though, not his coaching skills. Only the french would publicly go on record critisizing their coach during an international tourny lol


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