SAN DIEGO - In their only preparation match prior to the start of the 2013 Gold Cup, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) easily defeated Guatemala 4-0 in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. With two goals by landon Donovan, one by Herculez Gomez, and another by Chris Wondolowski the USMNT walked to victory.
Head coach Jurgan Klinsmann sent out five of the six Liga MX players in his starting lineup; includiding the three Tijuana Xolos players. For young Joe Corona this was his first start with the senior national team.
The home side began the match some what nervous giving up the ball a lot when they tried to dribble out of defense. And after giving up the ball several times, the first dangerous play in the game came in which ended with a powerful Guatemala shot that was just off target.
Little by little the U.S. team started to get in rhythm and through set pieces they began to cause danger on Ricardo Jerez’s goal. In the 15th minute on a corner kick on the left side the goalkeeper Jerez came out to cut off the cross but missed the ball, to his good fortune no U.S. player was around to take advantage.
Five minutes later once Clarence Goodson got his head onto another corner kick delivered by Tigres’ Jose Torres. The header was powerful and was heading for the back of the net, and obligated the Guatemala keeper to make a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
USMNT controlled the majority of the possession and started to fine each other in the midfield no longer giving the ball as easily as in the first few minutes. Towards the end of the first half team USA once again started threatening the Guatemala goal. In the 39th minute Landon Donovan appeared all alone in the box and had a shot off of an Edgar Castillo cross, the shot went wide.
Three minutes later in the 42nd minute new Tijuana Xolos player Herculez Gomez opened up the scoring. Jose Torres sent in a cross from the left side that was just over the head of Donovan, Gomez brought the ball down and had an easy finish in front of the goalkeeper.
USMNT would take the one goal lead into halftime.
For the second half the home side came out decided to grow their lead. Gomez had a chance to double his tally, but his shot was forced and the goalkeeper was able to hold on to the ball.
Four minutes later Herculez Gomez shifted out wide to the right and sent in a cross to Landon Donovan. Donovan was pushed from behind before being able to meet the cross and the referee award the penalty kick. Donovan took the penalty shot himself and gave the USMNT a 2-0 lead scoring his 50th career goal with the U.S.
Team USA was not content with the two goal lead and kept pushing forward. Donovan dibbled the ball down the middle of the field and was able to find Chris Wondolowski with a through ball; Wondolowski slotted the ball pass the keeper to make it 3-0 in the 70th minute.
One minute later Donovan doubled his personal tally after shooting home a Stuart Holden cross. Donovan was subbed out after this goal to the standing ovation of the San Diego crowd at Qualcomm Stadium.
With the four goal lead and multiple substitutions the intensity of the match dropped, but that did not stop the U.S. from grabbing a couple more goals. Clarence Goodson was able to blast in a series of rebounds inside the box to make it 5-0 in the 83rd minute.
Four minutes later Alejandro Bedoya appeared in the second post after a long cross all alone in front of the goalkeeper and shot home the sixth and final goal.
The referee did not add anymore time to the 90 minutes and finished off the match with the score line of 6-0.