The U.S. Men’s National Team opened their 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign defeating Guyana Tuesday night at Allianz Field in Minneapolis Minnesota.
Despite the win, the USMNT did not look convincing against the 177th ranked team in the world. Newcomer Tyler Boyd scored a brace, while Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola added to the scoreline as the US wom 4-0.
Long started the match, anchoring the US backline alongside Walker Zimmerman. Tim Ream and Nick Lima manned the defensive wing. Long was rarely called upon early, and did well to keep things tidy when pressed into action. Guyana attacked directly early on, looking to capitalize on transition moments.
The US struggled to find quality in the attacking third through the first 20 minutes. Guyana clogged up the middle well, and looked to limit the US’s time on the ball. Paul Arriola found the breakthrough in the 28th minute. Weston McKennie played a perfect through ball to Arriola. The winger took a touch inside and fired a curling shot into the net.
After the break, the US extended the lead quickly. First, in the 51st minute, Michael Bradley sent a lofted pass to Tyler Boyd on the right wing. Boyd used his footwork to open space, then fired the ball low far-post into the net. It was Boyd’s first for the USMNT, and the 1,000th goal in USMNT history.
Then, Gyasi Zardes pulled the US further into the lead in the 56th minute. Paul Arriola fired a shot from outside the 18-yard box. The shot ricocheted off of a Guyana defender, striking Zardes in the face, and redirecting into the goal.
Tyler Boyd scored his second of the night in the 81st minute. Boyd received a Paul Arriola pass at the top of the 18-yard box. The winger once again opened up space with his footwork, then fired home a shot that eluded Guyana’s goalkeeper, Akel Clarke.
Next up, the USMNT face the team that eliminated them from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Trinidad and Tobago. That match takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday June 22nd at 8pm.
Photo by Steve Hamlin