New England Soccer Today

Altidore, Dempsey lead U.S. to 2-0 victory over Canada

Jozy Altidore scored one U.S. goal and assisted on another as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Canada 2-0 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. The win propels the U.S. to first in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C after their first match.

Clint Dempsey scored his 20th international goal on Tuesday. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

The U.S. took the lead in the 15th minute through Altidore. Alitdore got the ball on a long pass from Landon Donovan and held off Kevin McKenna while dribbling into the box. From a tight angle Altidore put a shot on frame that just snuck past Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, beating him at the near post.

Clint Dempsey doubled the lead for the U.S. in the 62nd minute after receiving a pass across the front of goal from Altidore. The former New England Revolution midfielder slid in past the far post to redirect the ball into the net from a tight angle. The goal was Dempsey’s 20th for the U.S.

After resting some key players in a 4-0 loss to Spain at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, the U.S. put out a first choice line-up on Tuesday. Key players such as Dempsey, Donovan, Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley, and Steve Cherundolo were all in the starting XI after sitting out all or part of the match on Saturday.

The strong line-up seemed to immediately pay dividends and the U.S. came close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute after a cleared corner kick found Bradley just outside the box. Bradley blasted a shot towards goal that Bocanegra got in the path of and attempted to redirect it past Hirschfeld from close range, but sent it wide of the net.

Canada’s chances were few and far between in the first half, but the always dangerous Dwayne De Rosario threatened to equalize from distance in the 34th minute. His effort from outside the box beat a diving Tim Howard, but was just wide of the far post.

Juan Agudelo nearly added to the U.S. lead in the 40th minute. Cherundolo carried the ball down the right flank and into the box before sending a pass back to Agudelo. The 18-year-old striker released a quick shot that was deflected by a Canadian defender and looked headed for just inside the near post. Hirschfield reacted quickly to stop the shot with an acrobatic diving save.

The U.S., looking content after taking their 2-0 lead late in the match, began to get sloppy and might have let Canada back into the game if not for the heroics of Howard. Howard came up big for the U.S. in the 70th minute when Ali Gerba ran into the right side of the box and managed to get off a powerful right footed shot under pressure. His effort was targeted for the back of the net, but Howard managed to make a diving save to tip the ball over the net.

Howard was called upon again in the 86th minute, making a succession of spectacular saves.  First Howard got the ball off the feet of Simeon Jackson and Josh Simpson, then Howard blocked a volley from McKenna off the rebound, and finally he stopped a point blank shot from Gerba to end the sequence.

The U.S. returns to Group C action on Saturday when they take on Panama in Tampa, Fla.


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