The United States eased past Guyana in their opening game at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The United States started their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Guyana on Tuesday.
USA ended a three-game winless run in fine fashion, dominating Guyana for the most part in the Group D clash at Allianz Field in Minnesota.
Paul Arriola opened the scoring in the 28th minute before a Tyler Boyd brace and Gyasi Zardes goal in the second half.
Having been under some pressure after struggles in friendlies, it was the ideal start for the defending champions as they joined Panama on three points in the group.
Christian Pulisic was particularly bright down the left early for USA, who while dominant took time to create clear-cut chances.
Boyd fired a chance wide in the 18th minute, while Pulisic was denied by a good save from Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke.
But USA found a deserved opener through Arriola in the 28th minute.
Weston McKennie did brilliantly down the left before passing inside to Arriola, who curled an effort past Clarke and into the far corner from inside the area.
— Gold Cup 2019 (@GoldCup) June 19, 2019
USA should have gone into the break with a 2-0 lead, however Pulisic made poor connection with a header from a Lima cross at the back post on the stroke of half-time.
But Boyd’s first international goal would double USA’s lead six minutes into the second half.
Michael Bradley’s pass found Boyd, who took an excellent first touch before powering an angled finish into the bottom corner for USA’s 1,000th goal.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) June 19, 2019
USA were in control from then on, although McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury.
Boyd completed his brace in the 81st minute, taking a pass from Arriola before his 20-yard strike took a deflection and beat Clarke.
What does it mean? USA make bright start
After disappointing friendly losses to Jamaica and Venezuela earlier this month, USA’s win was much-needed. Large parts of the performance would have also pleased head coach Gregg Berhalter and the group stage at the CONCACAF Gold Cup could be an opportunity for a much-needed confidence boost.
Boyd, Arriola provide plenty of spark
Although it was against Guyana, Boyd and Arriola showed their worth. They combined for the fourth goal after earlier scoring one each and their pace and creativity were crucial for USA.
McKennie injury a worry for USA
It was all going so well for USA before McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury in the 74th minute. The Schalke midfielder had set up the opener and his absence would be a blow for USA.
USA’s campaign continues against Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, while Guyana take on Panama on the same day.