The United States began their title defense with a 4-0 shutout last night against Gold Cup debutantes Guyana from Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
New Zealander-American Tyler Boyd, recently coming off a one time switch for play for the USA, scored his first two international goals along with Paul Arriola’s first half opener and Gyasi Zardes’ fluke header rounded out the scoring as the US cruised to the top of the Group D standings.
The @USMNT eased past Guyana in their #GoldCup2019 opener.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2019
Check out all the highlights in our 90' in 90" ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/uCgpkqXYpz
Arriola opened the scoring in the scoring in the 28th minute after a nice run down the left with some help from Weston McKinnie. Arriola took an entry pass from an overlapped McKinnie inside the box past a sliding defender and slammed home from a tight angle past Guyana keeper Akel Clark and the US carried that 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half is where the US picked up the pace, scoring twice in quick succession to begin the second frame. Boyd collected a wonderful cross from Michael Bradley and composed himself at the top of the box to find enough space to slot home into the far corner in the 51st minute. Four mintues later, Gyasi Zardes got on the board in rather comical fashion, when an attempted clearing header from an Arriola shot deflected straight to his head and into the net for the USA’s third. Clark was wrong-footed by the redirection and could do nothing to stop the ball from popping over him and into the back of the net.
Boyd rounded out the scoring with a neat turn and finish at the top of the box in the 80th minute as the US carried the 4-0 lead to preserve the shutout for Zach Steffan, who had one save on the evening. The USA generated 20 shots in total, but just 6 on target compared to the 1-of-4 shooting for Guyana and the Americans held a 60-40% in possession.
In the first game, Panama used two second half goals from Armando Cooper and Edgar Barcenas to claim a shutout of their own over Trinidad and Tobago. After a scoreless first half, Cooper took a great feed from Gabriel Torres at the top of the box, touched the ball around sliding T&T keeper Marvin Phillip, and then slotted home the opener in the 53rd minute.
PANAMA DOUBLE THEIR LEAD!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2019
Marvin Phillip makes two great saves but it's not enough as Bárcenas finally sends it home to score his first-ever international goal. pic.twitter.com/rPQeiuJwqt
Fifteen minutes later it was Barcenas who doubled the lead, following up on his own rebound from a Phillip double save to make it 2-0. Torres took the initial shot from the top corner of the box, and Phillip’s save fell to Barcenas who saw his first shot also blocked. The third time was the charm for Panama, as Barcenas touched home past a sprawled Phillip, who had 5 saves in the loss.
Phillips heroics however could not help the Trinidad offense, which despite 50% possession managed only 6 shots, all from outside the penalty area and none on target. Panama meanwhile were 7-of-17 shooting, including six shots on target from inside the box.
Panama’s win puts them behind the USA on goal difference in the group standings. Group D continues play Saturday June 22nd from Cleveland, Ohio’s First Energy Stadium with Guyana-Panama at 530pm Eastern and USA-Trinidad and Tobago at 800pm Eastern.