In the first of three tune-ups before Copa America Centenario, the United States national team disposed of Puerto Rico 3-1 in Bayamon on Sunday via goals from Tim Ream, Bobby Wood and Paul Arriola.
Though 123 places separated the two teams in the FIFA Rankings, the hosts tested the US on a hot and humid day that saw Jurgen Klinsmann field a starting lineup with six members of the 23-man roster that will compete in Copa America Centenario starting on June 3 against Colombia.
The Americans jumped out to the lead in the 20th minute when Alfredo Morales’ shot was parried only as far as Ream, who lashed the rebound into the bottom corner. Fourteen minutes later, Wood made it 2-0, chipping the ‘keeper after Arriola slipped him in behind the Puerto Rico defense.
Just before halftime Luis Betancur made it interesting by finding the top corner off the the half volley following a US turnover, but Arriola put the game out of reach 11 minutes after halftime when he finished first time at the back post via a cross from Alejandro Bedoya.
- 20' - USA - Tim Ream
- 34 - USA - Bobby Wood (Paul Arriola)
- 42' - PUR - Luis Betancur (Joseph Marrero)
- 56' - USA - Paul Arriola (Alejandro Bedoya)
- Full box score
Making his first-ever appearance for the senior national team, Club Tijuana attacker Paul Arriola recorded a pair of important firsts: goal and assist. His through ball to Bobby Wood put the US ahead in the first half -- and also elicited protests from Puerto Rico, who wanted the ball played out because of an injury. The 21-year-old got his goal in the 56th minute, reaching out to poke Bedoya cross into an open net.
USA: Wednesday 5/25 vs. Ecuador (8 pm ET, ESPN2)