Gold Cup: US put on dominant effort in 2-0 win over Canada

Ream and Agudelo earn starting nods in Group opener

Altidore Gold Cup

Photo Credit: 
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DETROIT — Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey each found the back of the
net as the US put on a dominant performance to defeat Canada 2-0 in Gold
Cup Group C action at Ford Field on Tuesday night.

The Americans piled on the pressure from the opening whistle, pinning
Canada back in their own half and forcing a flurry of corner kicks and
free kicks that led to a few half-chances for the USA.

It came as no surprise that the Americans opened the scoring at the
quarter-hour mark, with Altidore running onto a pass from Landon
Donovan, shielding the ball from defender Kevin McKenna and firing it
low. Canuck ‘keeper Lars Hirschfeld allowed the seemingly routine save
to slip through his hands at the near post and into the goal.

The game opened up a bit after the opener, with Canada pressing for an
equalizer. The Americans still had the better of the possession and
chances, though, as the Canadians didn’t even earn a corner kick until
the half-hour mark.

The Canucks’ first real chance came when New York Red Bulls midfielder
Dwayne De Rosario curled the ball inches from the American net after
receiving a pass from compatriot Josh Simpson. The US countered by
forcing a pair of fine saves from Hirschfeld about 40 minutes in.

The second half started off fast-paced and chippy, with Michael Bradley
and Will Johnson trading yellow cards a minute apart. The wide-open
play continued as Canada looked to pull level, leading to a couple of
back-and-forth sequences that required some last-ditch defending from
both teams.

It was the USA who took advantage of the hectic pace, with Dempsey
sliding to meet a ball squared by Altidore across the Canadian goal in
the 62nd minute to put the game out of reach. The Fulham star scored
after nearly finding the back of the net a moment earlier with a
stunning volley attempt.

Despite a better second frame from the Canadians — including forcing US
goalkeeper Tim Howard into making a couple of great reaction saves
inside the final five minutes — the Americans’ quality shone on the day.

Both teams will now travel to Tampa for their second matches in Group C
on Saturday, as Canada face Guadeloupe, and the US take on Panama.

Scoring Summary:

USA -- Jozy Altidore, ‘15
USA -- Clint Dempsey, ‘62

Disciplinary Summary:

USA -- Michael Bradley, 51’
CAN -- Will Johnson, 52’


USA  (4-4-2)-- Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Clarence
Goodson, Tim Ream, Carlos Bocanegra; Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley,
Jermaine Jones (Maurice Edu, 79’), Landon Donovan; Jozy Altidore (Sacha
Kljestan, 74’), Juan Agudelo (Chris Wondolowski, 65’)
Subs not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Alejandro Bedoya, Maurice Edu, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu

Canada  (4-2-3-1)-- Lars Hirschfeld; Nik Ledgerwood,
Kevin McKenna, Andre Hainault, Marcel de Jong; Terry Dunfield (Jonathan
Beaulieu-Borgault, 81’), Atiba Hutchinson; Will Johnson (Ali Gerba,
65’), Dwayne De Rosario (Rob Friend, 81’), Josh Simpson; Simeon Jackson
Subs not used: Milan Borjan, Jaime Peters, Mike Klukowski, Tosaint Ricketts

Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referees: Hermenerito Leal (GUA), Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Fourth Official: Trevor Taylor (BRB)
Attendance: 28,209