Chris Wondolowski scored three first-half goals for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it opened Group C play of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 6-1 victory against Belize at JELD-WEN Field.
In the first-ever meeting between the two countries, Wondolowski became the third U.S. player to tally a hat trick in a Gold Cup match, joining Brian McBride and Landon Donovan. It also marked the 15th time a MNT player has notched three or more goals in a game.
Donovan became the first MNT player to record 50 career goals and 50 assists when he recorded an assist on Stuart Holden’s goal in the second half. The midfielder notched another assist on Michael Orozco header goal later in the half and also converted a penalty kick for his 52nd career goal.
With the victory, the U.S. took the Group C lead based on goal differential ahead of Costa Rica, which defeated Cuba 3-0 earlier in the night.
The U.S. resumes Gold Cup action when it faces Cuba on Saturday, July 13, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on FOX and Univision.
The U.S. attacked from the flanks heavily in the early going, and the team’s persistence paid off with Wondolowski’s unassisted tally in the 12th minute.
Wondolowski doubled the lead to 2-0 in the 37th minute with a diving header off of Kyle Beckerman’s cross from the right. Belize’s defense was caught flat-footed as Wondolowski timed his run perfectly before launching his body to head the service into the lower right corner.
Belize responded with a set piece goal from Ian Gaynair in the 40th minute when he was left unmarked on Elroy Smith’s free kick attempt from the right side. Gaynair did not need to leave his feet as he found space in between Michael Parkhurst and Kyle Beckerman to head home the cross from eight yards out and cut the U.S. lead in half.
It took just seconds for the Americans to get the two-goal lead back as Parkhurst came right back to launch a cross from the right side to Wondolowski, who rushed in front of Smith and headed in his third goal of the half at the near right post to send the USA into halftime with a 3-1 cushion.
- The U.S. improved to a perfect 12-0-0 in Gold Cup openers. Overall, the USA moved to 7-2-2 this year.
- U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured eight of the same players that opened the USA’s 6-0 victory against Guatemala on July 5 in San Diego, which served as the team’s tune-up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- The three changes included forward Chris Wondolowski earning the start in place of Herculez Gomez, paired alongside Landon Donovan in the USA’s 4-1-3-2 formation. The other adjustments from the Guatemala win were Michael Orozco starting in place of Oguchi Onyewu at center back alongside Clarence Goodson, and Mix Diskerud starting in place of Edgar Castillo.
- Six USA players made their Gold Cup debuts: Nick Rimando, Orozco, Joe Corona, Diskerud, Jose Torres and second-half substitution Brek Shea.
- With his start, the Norwegian-born Diskerud is now officially tied to the United States for his international career.
- Donovan made his 146th career appearance and is now 18 caps behind all-time leader Cobi Jones (164). Donovan also played in his team-high 29th career Gold Cup game.
- DaMarcus Beasley, who is wearing the captain’s armband for the 2013 Gold Cup, played in his 105th career game on Tuesday and will tie eighth-place Eric Wynalda (106) with his next appearance. The game also marked Beasley’s 18th career Gold Cup appearance.
- Stuart Holden made his sixth career Gold Cup appearance when he started the second half in place of Kyle Beckerman.
- The 12 goals over the span of two games tied for the second most scored in consecutive matches in U.S. history. The record is 15, set in two games in 1993 against the Cayman Islands (8-1 W) and El Salvador (7-0 W). The U.S. scored 12 goals in two consecutive games in their first two home games in 1925 and 1926, both 6-1 victories against Canada.
-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Belize
Date: July 9, 2013
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup – Group C
Venue: JELD-WEN Field – Portland, Ore.
Kickoff: 8:06 p.m. PT
Weather: 75 degrees and sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 3 6
BLZ 1 0 1
USA – Chris Wondolowski 12th minute
USA – Chris Wondolowski (Kyle Beckerman) 37
BLZ – Ian Gaynair (Elroy Smith) 40
USA – Chris Wondolowski (Michael Parkhurst) 41
USA – Stuart Holden (Landon Donovan) 58
USA – Michael Orozco Fiscal (Landon Donovan) 72
USA – Landon Donovan (penalty kick) 76
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 21-Clarence Goodson, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 14-Kyle Beckerman (11-Stuart Holden, 46); 6-Joe Corona (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 66), 8-Mix Diskerud, 16-Jose Torres (23-Brek Shea, 61); 10-Landon Donovan, 19-Chris Wondolowski
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Edgar Castillo; 3-Corey Ashe, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 9-Herculez Gomez, 12-Sean Johnson, 13-Tony Beltran, 17-Will Bruin, 18-Jack McInerney, 22-Bill Hamid
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
BLZ: 27-Shane Orio; 3-Trevor Lennen (28-Harrison Tasher, 64), 6-Evan Mariano, 7-Ian Gaynair, 8-Elroy Smith, 9-Deon McCaulay, 10-Harrison Roches (2-David Trapp, 46), 16-Ashley Torres (11-Michael Salazar, 77), 18-Evral Trapp, 20-Daniel Jimenez, 23-Tyrone Pandy
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Woodrow West, 5-Kahlil Velasquez, 12-Elroy Kuylen, 13-Dalton Eiley, 14-Andres Makin, 22-Frank Lopez, 24-Lennox Castillo, 25-Devon Makin, 30-Luis Torres
Head coach: Ian Mork
Stats Summary: USA / BLZ
Shots on Goal: 18/4
Corner Kicks: 8/5
BLZ – Trevor Lennen (caution) 46th minute
Referee: Hector Rodriguez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramon Louisville (SUR)
Fourth Official: Courtney Campbell (JAM)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Chris Wondolowski