Update: USA 4, Cuba 1.
Here’s a report from U.S. Soccer:
After going down a goal in the first half, the U.S. Men’s National Team scored four consecutive goals to defeat Cuba 4-1 and seal its spot in the quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Landon Donovan, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski, with two, provided the scoring touch for the Americans at Rio Tinto Stadium.
With the victory, the United States has tied the longest winning streak in team history at seven in a row. The previous mark was set from June 2-24, 2007, beginning with a 4-1 win against China that led to six straight wins in the 2007 Gold Cup and a championship title.
Wondolowski now has five goals from two games in the tournament and is the only U.S. player in history to score that many in a single Gold Cup tournament. He is the second U.S. striker to score in three straight games this year, along with Jozy Altidore.
The U.S. will be back in action for their third group game against Costa Rica at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on July 16 at 8 p.m. ET. The match will be televised on FOX Soccer with live coverage provided via Twitter @ussoccer and on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Corona provided the first threat on goal in the match with a glancing header from a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 14th minute. However, the first half languished a bit as Cuba mounted a stout defensive effort and U.S. was unable to break the deadlock.
In fact, it would be Cuba that scored first as a counter attack lead to Jose Ciprian’s strike from 10 yards which the Caribbean nation the lead. With the U.S. attacking on down the right, a turnover allowed Cuba to switch fields and spring an attack down the left sideline. Ariel Martinez beat Edgar Castillo around the corner and pulled it back to the spot for Ciprian to one-time past Rimando.
The U.S. would draw level on 44 minutes as a Donovan and Castillo combination at the top of the area earned a penalty kick when Castillo was chopped down as he burst free from the last line of defense. Donovan stepped up to the spot and tucked away his penalty into the left corner as the goalkeeper went the wrong way. The spot kick increased Donovan’s career Gold Cup goal scoring record to 15.
The second half saw the U.S. pull away as Corona struck 12 minutes after the restart with a curling half strike from 20 yards. It was young midfielder’s first goal for the senior U.S. side.
Substitute Wondolowski would then stamp his name on the match, providing goals in the 66th and 85th minutes to help Jurgen Klinsmann’s men amass a three goal lead. His first goal was a touch of class as he clipped a one-time effort over goalkeeper Odelín Molina from a well-flighted Kyle Beckerman cross. His second was an opportunistic strike as he deftly lifted the ball over a defender’s foot at the top of the goal box and pounded his chance home with his left foot.
•Oguchi Onyewu captained the team for the second time in his career. The first came Oct. 12, 2010, in the 0-0 draw against Colombia in Chester, Pa.
•In that same game, Stuart Holden made his last start for the National Team prior to today.
•For the first time ever, the MNT starting lineup featured three players from the same club in Liga MX as Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez all play for Club Tijuana.
•The U.S. also started three players from host Real Salt Lake: Tony Beltran, Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando.
•Beltran, Castillo and Gomez earned their first Gold Cup caps.
•Landon Donovan increased his team record of Gold Cup appearances to 30 all-time.
•Corona becomes sixth U.S. player on this roster to score his first goal for the MNT in the Gold Cup.
•Donovan increases his career goal total in the Gold Cup to a team-record 15 with his second penalty of the tournament.
•The MNT equaled the most goals scored in three consecutive matches at 16, but set the mark for most goals scored in two consecutive Gold Cup matches.
The quest for a fifth Gold Cup title for the United States continues July 13 when the team faces Cuba in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff for the first meeting between the teams since 2008 is set for 1:30 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on FOX and Univision. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
The U.S. enters the match on top of Group C after routing Belize 6-1 in the opener. Costa Rica sits in second following its 3-0 win against Cuba. With a record of 26-1-2 all-time in the group phase, the United States has proved dominant in the early part of the tournament. The USA moved to 7-2-2 this year and 6-1-1 in U.S.-hosted games in 2013.
Carrying a six-match winning streak into Saturday – the USA’s second longest of all-time – one more victory would equal the team’s longest that was set from June 2-24, 2007, when the U.S. defeated China 4-1 in a friendly and then won all six matches in its run to the 2007 Gold Cup title.
With the World Cup less than a year away, the mix of veterans and younger players are hoping the Gold Cup will prove to be a launching point for a spot in World Cup Qualifying and ultimately Brazil in 2014.
The U.S. returns to Rio Tinto Stadium less than a month after the 1-0 win against Honduras that vaulted the team to the top of the table in the Final Round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This is the only venue that will host the MNT twice in 2013, the Salt Lake City area proving a welcome location as the team holds a perfect 3-0-0 record, with all three matches taking place in official competition.
BEASLEY NAMED GOLD CUP CAPTAIN: Klinsmann has named three-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley as the U.S. captain for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Beasley has enjoyed a resurgence with the National Team after receiving his first call-up in seven months when he was added to the roster for the World Cup Qualifiers in March against Costa Rica and Mexico. Beasley had previously one the captain’s armband only once, in the USA’s 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15, 2008, in Port-of-Spain.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Gold Cup Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United – 0/0), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake – 1/0)
DEFENDERS (8) : Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla – 18/6), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake – 0/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes – 11/2), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon – 9/1), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla – 1/1), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg – 6/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake – 7/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg – 6/1), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana – 1/0), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg – 1/0), Stuart Holden (Bolton – 6/3), Brek Shea (Stoke City – 1/0), Jose Torres (Tigres – 1/0)
FORWARDS (5) : Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy – 29/14), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union – 0/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes – 4/3)