SAN DIEGO – LA Galaxy teammates, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez, scored for the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) in its 6-0 win over Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals.
U.S. is definitely one of the favorites to win this Gold Cup, and Cuba is still a team that is still settling in the soccer world as the sport just recently started to grow in popularity in the country.
The U.S. had a tough time finding its rhythm during the group stage of the tournament. However, after coach Jurgen Klinsmann made three roster changes, it seems like the U.S. finally broke through and put together a performance of what they have been trying since the start of the tournament.
It is valid to note that Cuba had only 18 players on their roster for this game, and that their star striker Ariel Martinez defected from the team the past week. He was the fourth Cuban player to defect during the tournament.
Cuba’s deep-lying defense made it easier for the U.S. to find its ways offensively, and they scored the first goal with only 4 minutes on the clock. Clint Dempsey is now the top scorer of the tournament with 4 goals, after his hat trick.
It didn’t take much longer for the U.S. to score its second goal, as Cuba continued to sit back and let the U.S. attack, waiting for the counter attack that never really happened.
The U.S. ended up scoring more goals after putting the pressure, as California native and LA Galaxy forward Gyazi Zardes scored the second one. After a great long pass from Michael Bradley, Aron Johannsson scores the third with 31 minutes. Omar Gonzales scored his first international goal for the USMNT and the fourth of the match just right before half time, after a corner from Bradley. California native Joe Corona (Sweetwater HS/San Diego State) made his second USMNT appearance this year when he was brought on as a halftime substitute. Corona played as holding midfielder next to Bradley.
Aron Johannsson seems to be a good fit playing next to Clint Dempsey up top:
[quote_box_center]”Hopefully our partnership will continue throughout the tournament and he will keep on scoring goals,’ Johannsson said. “I think it’s our second or third game together. We’re trying to find each other a little bit more and our partnership will only grow in a better direction. [/quote_box_center]
In the 63rd minute, Clint Dempsey scored another goal from a PK awarded after Johannsson suffered a foul in the box. And again in the 77th minute, Dempsey scored his third and last goal of the match after a pass from Michael Bradley.
[quote_box_center]”It’s a a chain reaction,” Gyasi Zardes said of Dempsey’s attacking contributions. “We want to get one of our most lethal guys the ball. He’s very dangerous, and if we get the ball to his feet, that’s better for us.”[/quote_box_center]
It is great to see that the U.S. did dominate the game and scored 6 goals against an easy opponent, but most importantly is to keep this momentum for the next matches. Now the U.S. will face Jamaica on Wednesday for the semifinals.