The U.S. Men’s national team is once again hosting the CONCACAF Gold Cup starting this upcoming week. After losing in the 2011 final to Mexico, winning it all is necessary.
The team will be led by 31-year-old veteran Landon Donovan, who has it all to prove in this tournament.
After taking a longer sabbatical thn originally expected, the striker/winger has come back to the green field refreshed and ready to return to the international stage.
Tonight, the U.S. Gold Cup squad played in a friendly against Guatemala in San Diego, Calif. in front of a passionate group of fans. Well, it’s a good thing they came to watch as the men in red, white and blue did not disappoint.
The first half began with both teams feeling one another out with short passing, light tackling and tactics on display as finding holes in the final third for either side was difficult.
Finally, after the 25th minute mark, the U.S. began to find chances through Donovan, Clarence Goodson and Kyle Beckerman. The keeper came up huge to keep his frame clear of two of those chances with the other being dragged wide.
Finally, in the 42nd, Herculez Gomez volleyed home a Jose Torres chip into the box. The goal was nicely set up and finished calmly.
The second half allowed Stuart Holden and Mix Diskerud to enter the match and as soon as they did, the midfield spiced up towards the final third.
Donovan would go on to score his 50th and 51st goals for his country and Chris Wondolowski would score his first ever to make it 4-0.
The scoring wouldn’t stop there as Goodson would roof a shot into the frame before Alejandro Bedoya would end the scoring in a 6-0 rout over their Central American opponents.
Now, the time has come to write about who can easily start in the tournament.
Donovan scored twice and could have had a third in a performance that he highlighted with a milestone in goals.
Two players that have earned the right to start in the Gold Cup are none other than half-time entries Holden and Diskerud, whose ability to play off one another and set up teammates have created chances and a sweet goal from Donovan.
The keeper, Nick Rimando, wasn’t really tested much, but has proven his ability in the MLS and will get the chance to start again. Wondolowski scored off the bench and showed that he understands his assignment as the lone striker. Brek Shea came into the match as a left winger and created havoc in the final third. His crosses were a bit off most of the time, but once he gets more playing time, he will learn to connect with his attacking partners.
Ladies and gentlemen, this team is more than ready to host this 2013 edition of the Gold Cup. Stay tuned and get excited for the opener on Tuesday night against Belize.