The United States launched their Concacaf Gold Cup title defense Tuesday night at Allianz Field, taking a first-half lead on a Paul Arriola goal and pulling away in the second half for a 4-0 Group D win over Guyana.
Seven MLS players started for the U.S., with Arriola making his mark by scoring the opening goal in the 28th minute, smartly finishing a Weston McKennie assist. Despite mounting a 12-1 shot advantage and generally looking stronger on the ball, the U.S. weren't able to add to their lead, taking a 1-0 margin into the locker room.
Then, early in the second half, the U.S. scored two goals in the space of five minutes to give them some cushion. In the 51st minute, their newest international player, recent New Zealand one-time switch Tyler Boyd, scored his first goal in just his second USMNT appearance for the squad's 1000th all-time goal.
Just moments later, Arriola delivered a wicked ball to the goalmouth that caromed off Gyasi Zardes's face; Zardes got credit for the goal (and a sore nose) for his troubles. Boyd added to the lead in the 81st minute, assisted by Arriola to get his brace, but missed on a late-game opportunity that would have completed his hat trick.
The U.S. brought on two additional subs midway through the half — Wil Trapp and Cristian Roldan — to help close out the match, with Roldan coming close on one attempt to add to the lead. Djordje Mihailovic also got into the match to spell a possibly-injured McKennie.
- 28' – USA – Paul Arriola
- 51' – USA – Tyler Boyd
- 55' – USA – Gyasi Zardes
- 81' – USA – Tyler Boyd
- THE BIG PICTURE: It was perhaps telling, when the U.S. went up 3-0, that the Allianz Field crowd chanted "10 more goals." Though the men's team wasn't going to get to the 13-0 plateau the women achieved in their World Cup opener last week, fans wanted an emphatic victory, yet got something more in the "comfortable" neighborhood. Still, it's a win, and momentum heading into a Saturday matchup with the team that bumped them from the 2018 World Cup. Maybe they'll remember.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was striking that the 1,000th-goal milestone was broken by a player who only committed to play for the team a month ago. Boyd's first goal in red, white and blue signaled his ability to add an extra dimension to the USMNT offense — though we've seen breakout performances by new players before. But Boyd showed he's worth watching.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Arriola ended up officially with a goal and assist — not counting the billiards shot that got credited to Zardes. He brought energy to the match from the opening whistle and kept it coming as the U.S. worked through their ebb tides.
- USA: Saturday, June 22 vs. Trinidad & Tobago (8 pm ET | FS1, Univision, Univision Deportes)
- GUY: Saturday, June 22 vs. Panama (5:30 pm ET | FS2, Univision, Univision Deportes)