The United States men’s national team opened their quest towards another Gold Cup title with a win last night. Gregg Berhalter’s boys defeated Guyana with 4-0.
The US team was dominant throughout the entire contest, pressuring the opponent and not allowing for any troubles in its back line.
“A decent starting point. Not much more than that,” stated Berhalter at the press conference.
The fans had to wait 28 minutes to see the first goal. Paul Arriola broke the ice, following an assist from Weston McKennie. After receiving the ball inside the box to the left, he routinely beat Guyana’s goalkeeper Clarke by sending the ball to the far side of his goal.
“We knew we had to get started on the right foot and after breaking the ice, we were able to break them down,” Arriola said.
"Enjoy the experience. it's competition time" – Gregg Berhalter@USMNT Head coach speaks to the press after a 4-0 win over Guyana.
— Gold Cup 2019 (@GoldCup) June 19, 2019
Most of the spectators expected to see another goal by the end of the opening 45 minutes, but that didn’t happen, even though the home team dominated the pitch. Berhalter’s guys had 13 goal attempts, 3 shots on goal, controlling the ball in 57% of the time. Meanwhile, the guests had a sole goal attempt. That pretty much tells you about what happened on the field of Allianz Field in Minnesota.
But as soon as the second half started, the Americans struck twice. The stopwatch showed 51st minute when Tyler Boyd scored the first of his two goals last night. It was a shot from the edge of the box which went through the legs of one defender and ended in the lower left corner of Guyana’s goal.
This was the 1,000th goal for the US team in its history.
Just four minutes later, a guy who wasn’t planned to start the game, and who was one of the last added to the 23-man roster, Gyasi Zardes raised the leas to 3-0. It was a lucky turn of events for Zardes who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Following Arriola’s shot which struck a defender, it went into the goal after hitting Zardes in the face.
Truly an odd goal.
“Right off the eye. Jeez,” Zardes was kidding after the game.
Boyd struck for the second time nine minutes before the end of the game, making his debut in the US jersey even sweeter. It was Arriola again who started the action and found Boyd in the box. The 25-year old made a nice individual effort, passing by one defender before confidently smashing the ball into the net.
The talented winger was delighted after the match saying that this performance is all he ever dreamed about, and the reward for all the sacrifices he made during his career.
“Just a dream come true,” Boyd said. “It’s been years and years of work to get to this moment.”
The US national team is now moving to Cleveland, where they meed with Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday. Their next opponent lost in the opening match against Panama, 0-2, and is highly motivated to redeem for a bad start.
Without any doubts, the hosts are the favorites, as they have a superb head-to-head record against this rival. In 19 matches played so far, the USA won 14 times, three of them ended with a draw, and Trinidad and Tobago won only twice. The total goal difference is 32-9 in USA’s favor.
What will be the ultimate challenge for Berhalter’s boys is a clash with Panama in the last round of Group D. In 38 group-stage games at Gold Cup, the USA recorded only one defeat, and that happened against Panama back in 2011.
It will be the most difficult game for Gregg Berhalter since he took over the head coach position. That game will be played on Thursday, June 27, at Children’s Mery Park in Kansas City.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.