New England Soccer Today

U.S. Crush Cuba, Advance to Semis

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com

The U.S. Men’s National Team advanced to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals with a 6-0 victory over Cuba at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD on Saturday evening. Clint Dempsey extended his Gold Cup goals lead with a hat trick, while Gyassi Zardes, Aron Johannsson, and Omar Gonzalez also scored.

The U.S. had advanced to the quarterfinals by winning Group A, while Cuba advanced as one of the top third place finishers after finishing third in Group C.

The U.S. came out strong early and grabbed the lead in just the fourth minute after Zardes dribbled to ball out to the right flank and sent a pass back to Timmy Chandler. Chandler sent in a left footed cross that Dempsey headed in for his fourth goal of Gold Cup.

Eleven minutes later the U.S. would double their lead when Fabian Johnson sent in a cross from the left flank that Zardes got behind the defense to finish off and give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.

Aron Johannsson then made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute after getting a lobbed pass from Clint Dempsey. Johannsson then caught Cuba goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra off his line and perfectly chipped if over his head from distance to put the home side in a commanding lead.

The onslaught continued in the 45th minute when Gonzalez finished off a U.S. corner kick. Michael Bradley sent in the corner where Johannsson headed it down to Gonzalez, who finished it off to make it 4-0.

The U.S. continued their dominance in the 63rd minute and earned a penalty kick when Johannsson was pulled down from behind in the box. Dempsey stepped up to take the penalty kick and converted to make it 5-0.

Dempsey then completed his hat trick in the 78th minute after Bradley dribbled forward into the box and sent a low pass to Dempsey with Cuba’s defense stretched. The pass went by Dempsey, but he still managed to recover and slid in to direct it past Guerra and make it 6-0 with his sixth goal of the tournament and 47th career goal for the U.S.

The U.S. advances to the semifinals on Wednesday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta where they will the winner of the Jamaica-Haiti quarterfinal.

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