Jozy Altidore scored in the 15th minute and assisted on Clint Dempsey’s strike just past the hour mark as the U.S. opened the Gold Cup with a convincing 2-0 win over Canada last night in Detroit.
The U.S. performance was so good, it nearly (nearly) washed away the aftertaste of Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Spain. The Americans dictated the tempo and, except for brief passages at the start and end of the second half, completely dominated the game against a solid Canadian team coming off a 2-2 draw with Ecuador.
Herewith, the highlights:
Unfortunately, that clip does not include Dempsey’s audacious flying backheel—a move he later dubbed a “squirrel kick”—on a cross that flew in behind his run to the far post just minutes before his goal.
The Fulham attacker made solid contact with the ball (while his body was horizontal to the ground) but the acrobatic shot was blocked by a Canadian defender and went out for a corner.
In addition to the standout performances of Altidore and Dempsey, the U.S. got solid games from centerbacks Tim Ream and Clarence Goodson, young striker Juan Agudelo, midfielders Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, and Tim Howard, who provoked the following postgame quote from Canada coach Stephen Hart: “Howard was absolute magic. I almost clapped.”
Next up for the U.S. is Panama—3-2 winners over Guadeloupe in their Group C opener—on Saturday night in Tampa (8:00, Fox Soccer Channel).