Clint Dempsey 7.5/10 – Opened the scoring in the 25-minute with a simple finish, before adding his second just after the hour with a powerful header.
Bradley’s free kick from the flank led to the second goal.
“You always want to perform well whatever tournament you’re in – whether it’s the World Cup, whether it’s Gold Cup, whether it’s Confederations Cup, whether it’s Copa America next summer”.
The Americans and Hondurans are joined in Group A by Haiti and Panama, who played to a 1-1 draw in the first game of the 12-team, 19-day tournament’s opening day doubleheader. The Americans will continue their quest for their sixth championship on Friday against Haiti at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The game will be broadcast live FOX Sports 1, UniMas and UDN. It wasn’t an attractive game to watch, with Honduras taking it to the Americans with their physical style, but the United States of America got the three points thanks to a brace by Clint Dempsey. One is the return of Jozy Altidore to the pitch. There it rebounded off the defense and back to a recovering Altidore, who fired a shot at goal. That gives the US three matches in which to either get Chandler or Alvarado playing well, or tinker with something else to get the defense working better. The diamond is a narrow formation that heavily relies on width from the full-backs and shuttlers (wide central midfielders), but Honduras possessed adequate protection in these areas, preventing overloads and nifty combination play. Honduras then had multiple shots off target as it continued to press the U.S. The United States escaped the early barrage on goal unscathed as a pair of Honduran attempts on net were denied by the Aston Villa keeper. Bryan Acosta elected to let a shot fly from 25 yards out and hit it well, but Guzan was there, jumping and punching it over the crossbar.
HON – Donis Escober, (save) 78th minute: From a free-kick on the right Michael Bradley curved a dipping shot a goal that short-hopped in front of Escober, who slid and smothered the ball for the save.
Midfielder Michael Bradley became the fourth youngest MNT player to reach 100 caps.
The four nations in group “A” began their Gold Cup on Tuesday at Toyota Stadium. The US are the favorites in this Gold Cup for a reason, and it’s not due to their back line.
The USA survived a terribly slow start to this game. After winning the 2013 Gold Cup, a win in this tournament would send the US directly to the 2017 Confed Cup in Russian Federation (a loss would set up a one-game playoff between the US and the tourney winner). Much like the stock market, when a player has a good game his value and rating in the coach’s mind soars. Soon enough the momentum started to swing the USA’s way and they were looking unsafe. To go an effective 90 minutes like that requires a lot of nous about when to stay and go and how to work smartly – especially when playing in the heat of a July game in Texas. Honduras played a 5-4-1 and it seemed as if they would park the bus and play for a point, but this was not the case.
Tactical changes are in order for Klinsmann if this team is to improve.
The biggest problem for the men’s team was created by the play of Honduras’s Andy Najar, the ex- D.C. United winger now plying his trade for Anderlecht in Blegium. Generally, most team opt to try and push around the USMNT and Mexico – the two best teams in CONCACAF – because they can’t keep up with the skill of either.