USMNT Wins Gold Cup Opener

Don’t put away those soccer jerseys and American flags just yet! The United States still has more soccer for the summer! The men’s national team started their pursuit of a sixth Gold Cup title on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over Honduras.

The U.S. was on the board first, courtesy of a header from Clint Dempsey in the 25th minute. The ball bounced off numerous players in the box before Dempsey headed the loose ball between the goalie and a defender into the back of the net.

Not hanging their head, Honduras stayed aggressive and continued to test the U.S. defense throughout the first and into the second half. They looked like they had the fresher legs and tried to take advantage of every lapse in the U.S. defense. Unfortunately they did not finish well in the box, putting together many good-looking sequences but nothing on the scoreboard.

Just as momentum was beginning swing Honduras’ way, Dempsey scored again to seize the momentum for the U.S. Another header off a set piece gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead in the 64th minute.

It looked like the USMNT had a shutout, but their opponents kept fighting. Down two scores, Honduras subbed in Carlos Discua for some much-needed offense. He came in and made an immediate impact. In the 69th minute he got by his man and then drove the ball past goalie Brad Guzan and a sliding defender to get Honduras on the board and keep hope alive.

Michael Bradley stepped up for a free kick but missed the shot that could have put Honduras away for good. Instead, the U.S. was still up one and needed to play great defense against a desperate team that continued to press. Luckily, Honduras missed some shots just wide of the goal in the ending minutes of the match.

The USMNT held on for the win and earned three points in their Gold Cup opener. They will return to the pitch on Friday to take on Haiti.

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