US Opens Up Gold Cup With 2-0 Win Over Canada

US Opens Up Gold Cup With 2-0 Win Over Canada

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 8, 2011
  • 2011 Gold Cup, Canada, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Tim Ream

Jozy Alitdore found a timely goal for the US against Canada. (Getty Images)

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be much to get your mind off a bad loss. That’s exactly what happened in Detroit last night for the US Men’s National team as they opened up Gold Cup play with a solid 2-0 win over their rivals from the north, Canada.

Clint Dempsey was brilliant at times, Jozy Alitdore found the back of the net in what felt like the first time in forever, Tim Howard made some great saves to keep the shutout and the central part of the field for the US looked whole again.

I said the US didn’t need to win 5-0 like Costa Rica or Mexico but getting a strong result was key. They did just that. We saw the US be more composed, confident and well everything that they were not against Spain last weekend. It sure helped having guys like Dempsey and Landon Donovan back in the lineup too. The ball movement was far better and the aggressive play on offense showed that the US means business in this Gold Cup.

Yes it was just against Canada and no disrespect to the boys from the North, they are no Spain. But we knew that going into this match.

In the end, the US got off to the right start for this tournament. There are some spots for improvement but they’ll get there. With Panama and Guadaloupe coming up, they have plenty of time to make those adjustments before the real fun begins.

Below are some quick points that I felt from watching this game last night.

Taking the foot off the pedal. Late in the first half and to start the second half the US took their foot off the gas just a bit. Had it been against a strong side it would have cost them dearly. Canada came out to start the second half with a little more fire under them and it nearly paid off. The US cannot relax for a minute in a tournament like this or else someone will creep up on them and make them pay for it.

Jozy’s goal. The goal itself was nice but I think having Alitdore score was more important for the US and for himself. His goal and assist helped carry the offense and for a change I felt like we saw the Jozy we grew to love. I really hope a strong performance in this tournament helps get him somewhere in Europe that actually lets him play full-time. He’s too young and valuable to the US to be riding a bench somewhere in Europe as much as he does.

Deuce was well…Deuce. He looked a bit out of it early on but as the game moved forward so did Dempsey. His goal to put the US up two was not only impressive but far more difficult than some will realize.

Tim Ream. I like this kid, I really do but boy he can put the US in some difficult spots at times when the game passes him up (same can be said for his play with the Red Bulls). He’s strong in the air and confident on the ball, which is exactly what you want out of a central defender. But there were a couple moments that he got badly beaten. It’s only his forth cap so we should expect these sorts of things early on but we have to see improvement here too.

Goodson/Ream. Speaking of Ream, I really liked his partnership with Clarence Goodson. I think we’re starting to see a bit of the future of the defense here with those two.

A sick Donovan but a good one. Hey, even when Landon Donovan is sick he’s still effective. While this wasn’t his best game in years, he still presented loads of challenges for Canada. Of course as the game went on he lost a bit of that edge but I won’t hold this performance against him. He was recovering from an illness that kept him out of the Spain game.