USA 2-0 Canada: Gold Cup Win Settles Nerves After Loss to Spain

Fifteen minutes. That is all it took for the U.S. Men’s National Team to turn Saturday’s embarrassment at the hands of Spain into nothing more than a bump in the road during an international friendly.

When Jozy Altidore found the back of the net 15 minutes into the Americans’ game against Canada in Tuesday night’s opening match of group play in the Gold Cup, everything that happened on the field against Spain was forgotten.

And while Altidore was aided by Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, who probably should have made the stop, the goal took the focus away from the Spain game and put it back where it belongs – on the Gold Cup.

Altidore, a 21-year-old striker, also had a hand in the second goal, sending in a cross from the right side of the net that Clint Dempsey put home with a sweet sliding finish for his 20th international goal.

Altidore’s goal against Canada was his first in a competitive international since September 2009 and he only scored once all season for his club team, Bursaspor in the Turkish league.

“For confidence, it was a good thing,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley said in published reports. “The movement that led to the first goal and the cross to Dempsey for the second both were great plays.”

The Americans are going to need Altidore to be a force on offense if they expect to have any success in this tournament. With Javier Hernandez coming off a strong season with Manchester United and scoring a hat-trick for Mexico in its opening game, the U.S. needs someone to match that firepower if they are going to take the Gold Cup title back.

Of course, if Tim Howard plays the way he did in goal against Canada for the rest of the tournament, it may not matter how many goals the U.S. scores.

The Everton keeper was outstanding, deflecting Ali Gerba’s shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 70th minute, then pulling off a double save in the 85th minute – first going to the ground to stop Joshua Simpson then denying Gerba for the second time.

“At this level, whether it is the Premier League or an international, you aren’t going to go a whole game without giving up chances,” Howard said in published reports. “They had one down the side and one on a goal-mouth scramble. That will happen.”

The win extends the U.S.’ unbeaten streak in group play of the tournament to 26 games (24-0-2). The Americans will put that streak on the line Saturday night against Panama in the next Group C game. Get by Panama, and the U.S. will have what should be an easy game against Guadalupe to close out the group and set themselves up nicely for the knockout stage.

They need to be careful, though, because as they proved against Canada, things can change in a matter of minutes.

11 thoughts on “USA 2-0 Canada: Gold Cup Win Settles Nerves After Loss to Spain”

  1. Unfortunately, the fact that players who didn’t look good against Spain, even looked terrible, did look good against Canada, tells you what you need to know as to where the US stands.
    We certainly would NOT have lost 4-0 with Donovan and other changes, but Confed Cup wins like last time, are a US team overachieving.

    Holden is still missing. Agudelo will get better. I think the 2014 World Cup team could look a lot younger and lot different than this team.

    The rest of the Gold Cup is going to be fun. Especially if it is US-Mexico in the finals like everyone expects/hopes for.

  2. I think this game showed that Altidore is only good against lesser sides. He hasn’t done much since he left the RedBulls: he scored 1 goal in 9 appearences with Villareal, 1 in 26 while playing for Hull, and 1 in12 with Bursaspor. 3 goals in 3 seasons of club football while he had 37 in 15 in 2 years with the RedBulls, I think he jumped the gun.

    1. I think we all approach Altidore like he’s a 28 year old in the prime of his career. He was 16 when he started his career with New York. He’s 21. Contrast that with Buddle (30), Gomez (29), and even Findlay (26).

      There is no doubt that Jozy had a lull after being sold to Villarreal, but he’s not the only American to get the short end in Europe (see Onyewu at Milan). Whether it was a lack of effort on his part, or the fact he joined sides where he was a spare part, he appeared to regress heading into the World Cup. Perhaps getting into Bursaspor (and some regular playing time) will restart his development.

      1. Excuses, excuses that’s all I ever here. USA Team is not a reserve team its for players in form and performing at club level.

        1. Yep, unfortunately life often can be explained with logic, and it often leads to reasoned learning and redemptive results. Or, you can blindly crap someone out the front end of the process and end up losing a potential star. Oh well, I guess that’s the best way, being a hard ass and laughing at those who you smote as they panhandle.

      2. I don’t think Onyewu got a bum deal at Milan. If anything, I think he should thank his lucky stars he ever got any where near the San Siro. Might sound harsh, but IMHO, he’s slow, dumb, and technically poor. How a guy with his CV got to Milan is a mystery to me.

        But as for Altidore, I think you’re right. He’s still at an age when many top-level players are still only just breaking into first team football (with the exception of absolute prodigies). I don’t think he’ll ever be a world-beater, but it’s too soon to write him off.

  3. I would like to watch next year a Cup competition between the top-8 South American and the top-8 North American national teams. Taking the last WC Qualifying, it would be:


    Taking this month rankings, the draw would have:

    Pot 1 – BRA, ARG, USA, MEX.
    Pot 2 – URU, CHI,
    Pot 3 –
    Pot 4 –

    Could we compete against Euro?

    1. Nice! I’ve send it before finishing it!

      Just to set it completely:
      Pot 1 – BRA, ARG, USA, MEX.
      Pot 2 – URU, CHI, HON, JAM.
      Pot 3 – PAR, COL, CRC, ELS.
      Pot 4 – ECU, VEN, TRI, GUA.

    2. Sanchez I would love to see a true Copa Amercia. I posted my idea yesterday for one of the Gold Cup articles. I suggested the 10 COMEBOL teams getting auto bids with US, Canada, and Mexico, winner of the Caribbean Con and winner of the Central America Con, and a playoff between the runners up from the Caribbean Con and CA Con for a total 16 teams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *