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Dempsey’s first USMNT hat-trick headlines rout of Cuba

Clint Dempsey MOTM Cuba 07182015


BALTIMORE — A day after head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called the U.S. Men’s National Team the outfit to beat in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Americans did their part to support that claim.

Clint Dempsey scored four minutes in and the U.S. never looked back in a 6-0 rout of Cuba in their quarterfinals encounter at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday evening. Dempsey also netted twice after halftime to record his first hat-trick for the Americans, who will now take on one of Haiti or Jamaica in the semifinals on Wednesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dempsey scored his second of the match on a penalty kick in the 64th minute, and capped his strong performance with a sliding finish 14 minutes later.

The other players to find the back of the net were Gyasi Zardes, Aron Johannsson and Omar Gonzalez.

The U.S. put the game out of reach early, striking twice inside the first 15 minutes and taking a four-goal lead into halftime against the undermanned and overmatched Cubans.

Dempsey opened the scoring with a header after Timmy Chandler whipped in a cross from the right, and Zardes doubled the lead with a 15th-minute volley off a similar ball from left back Fabian Johnson.

Johannsson then made it 3-0 for Klinsmann’s side in the 32nd minute, collecting a pass from Bradley and perfectly measuring a floated effort over Cuba goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra.

Cuba had a half-chance in the 28th minute, as Jorge Luis Corrales cut inside of Fabian Johnson just outside the penalty area before hitting a slow roller that harmlessly went wide of goal.

Johannsson went from scorer to provider just before halftime, getting on the end of a set piece and hitting it back across goal for Gonzalez to push home. The 45th-minute goal was Gonzalez’s first for the U.S.

Dempsey’s second of the game also came because of Johannsson. In the 63rd minute, Johannsson was tugged in the 18-yard box, and a penalty was awarded for the Americans. Dempsey stepped up to claim it a minute later and successfully pushed the ball down the middle.

The Seattle Sounders star struck once more, finishing off a pass from Bradley with a sliding effort. The goal was Dempsey’s tournament-leading sixth and gave him 47 all-time for the U.S., 10 behind leading scorer Landon Donovan.

Cuba was overwhelmed from the early parts of the match but did create a couple of good chances late in the first half.

Alberto Gomez turned and fired a weak shot that Brad Guzan easily scooped up in the 39th minute, and Maikel Reyes caught Ventura Alvarado napping on a cross before nodding an open header wide two minutes later.

The U.S. defense held firm, however, and recorded its second cleansheet of this Gold Cup.

The Americans will learn their semifinals opponent later on Saturday, as Jamaica and Haiti square off in the second quarterfinals bout at M&T Bank Stadium.


What do you think about the USMNT’s 6-0 win over Cuba? Who impressed/disappointed you? Would you rather see the Americans play Haiti or Jamaica in the semifinals?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. So far if we could have a USMNT-2 in the tournament, a team with some MLS ALL-Stars would make the semi-finals…(if this team didn’t meet Panama….lol)

    ——–Bobby Wood———————Teal Bunbury——————

    ———————————Benny Feilhaber—————————-

    Sebastian Lletget———————————————-Ethan Finlay

    ——————————–Sacha Kljestan ——————————–

    Chris Tierney——-Matt Besler—–Chad Marshall—–Tony Beltran

    —————————Tim Howard———————————————

    • The last time the US thought they could field two A teams, they got demolished 5-0 in the Gold Cup final. Generally speaking, there’s probably only two or three countries in the world that could realistically do this.

    • Sebastian Lletget looks Legit.
      I hope he doesn’t get buried in the depth chart, I am looking forward to seeing him develop further

    • I like how you did this without any of the actual back ups from this squad, which is what a B team really has.

      I do think this team would be competitive in this tournament

  2. Well when I said this would be a complete cakewalk the panic merchants attacked me. Looks like I was right again.

    • I thought 3-1, (I mean Arsenal dominated Everton in a 3-1 game yesterday as well) but after the result yesterday and reflecting upon it, I DO think there is still a inferiority complex we Americans have. A team like Germany or Spain would be wholely disappointed with any result other than this. Nice of CONCACAF (and poor performance by Guatemala, Canada and El Salvador) to schedule a friendly in the middle of the tournament.

    • Colin.. you’ll be seeing Alvarado starting next to Brooks on Wed. Barring something extraordinary, JK is going to ride that tandem all the way to the next WC.

  3. Yeah,….there was something suspicious. The USA was playing against a country that will not let its citizens come and go as they please,…to explore the world and live their lives. Crazy! Could you imagine living in a country that keeps you locked in?

  4. I’m sure I’ll get beat up for this, but anyone else suspicious about this game?

    Cuban defending was almost laughable, especially in the first half. USMNT attackers found a ton of space in the box, with Dempsey barely marked for the entire half, even when he was in the middle of the box. With the score already 3-0, Johannsson was pulled down from behind in the box, and no call. I started thinking the Cubans needed to give up a fourth goal in the half. Sure enough, right before the whistle, we get a corner kick and again saw what seemed like half-hearted defenders not moving with their marks.

    So it was 4-0 at halftime, which is the same score after 45 minutes that Mexico enjoyed in group stage. And Cuba was one of the teams highlighted in 2011 for Gold Cup match fixing suspicions.

    Granted, dealing with defections and all that can’t be great for field performance, but still this looked pretty odd to me. I am expecting we’ll see an article in a couple weeks or so highlighting unusual betting patterns in Asia for these two games.

      • Stuff does happen, and it tends to happen with underpaid players. Cuban players sort of epitomize underpaid.

        I suppose it’s possible, but I didn’t see anything odd in the USA game…though I will confess I actually had that thought when Cuba played against Mexico, particularly when one centerback kept defending from the wrong side and gave up two goals in about five minutes. Usually U-8’s know to get between the attacking player and the goal. Against the USA, the goals they gave up seemed legit.

      • They were definitely terrible. I found this game difficult to watch because of this. I didn’t think anything suspicious was going but I do think Cuba quit very early making their already poor defending atrocious.

    • The thing is that Cuba is still a communist country run by a dictatorship. Even though they have had players who were able to defect, communist countries usually have security people watching the players and they usually severely limit their contact outside of the team. So who would bribe them and how? I don’t believe there is any bookmaking either legal or illegal in Cuba. So, they would have to somehow be contacted by bookies here in the US while in the US and then arrangements made, payoffs made, etc. all while under the eyes of coaches and handlers. And I’m sure any baggage would be checked both when they leave the US and when they arrive in Cuba. In short, it would seem almost logistically impossible for them to be involved in match fixing for money. And if not for money, then why? When you analyze the situation, your suspicions just don’t make any sense.

      • Cuba isn’t quite North Korea. People representing gambling houses have access to Cuban players – if not, the investigation four years ago would have been a five-minute thing. Though there have been travel restrictions on Americans wanting to visit Cuba, pretty much everyone else in the world can get a visa and go there. For Cubans wanting to leave, it’s a bit different, of course. Not to defend the government too much, but it hasn’t been a dictatorship to the level you imply for decades.

    • The game did not strike me as match-fixey although I understand your suspiscion (I cant spell that word) being aroused by how really gutter awful Cuba was.

      • I hear you, and none of us were thinking before the game that Cuba was a good team. The first Dempsey goal just a few minutes into the game really caught my eye – the most dangerous U.S. attacker allowed to walk around inside the box without a mark? When the cross came in, that nearest defender didn’t even try to close space on Dempsey. It looked more like he was trying to get out of the way, while positioning himself to keep Dempsey onside.

        I don’t know – you guys are probably right, but I thought the first half was odd. The second half, not so much. Shots were getting blocked, etc., meaning defenders were between attackers and the goal.

  5. Nice finishing by the Yanks. AJ’s movement is key. Hope to not see Bedoya at LB again. That’s all- need to refill my drink.

    • Weeeeeeelllllllllll…OK finishing. Zardes sure missed a chance to chip the keeper in the first half and he missed Dempsey for a wide open chance too. Aaron stole a goal from Bedoya too. I missed the second half,(date night baby!) but at least in the first half, the finishing left goals out there.

      • He made some bad decisions too and his first touch let him down a few times. He’s fast and a prospect but far from an anointed one as JK has made him. There are many in MLS better that him right now that will never be called.

    • Aron Johannson had another strong game. I think at this point that he has fully moved ahead of Altidore on the chart. Altidore will have to earn his next start.


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