The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Cuba 2-0 on goals from Chris Wondolowski and Julian Green in an historic international friendly at Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana, Cuba.
The U.S. was dominant throughout the match, putting eight of its 10 shots on goal while keeping an organized back line that stepped up to consistently put Cuba’s forwards in an offside position. When Cuba was able to generate chances, 21-year-old U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, making his debut for the senior MNT, was well positioned to make a total of three saves and cut out a handful of developing opportunities to earn the clean sheet.
The game was played on a bumpy sub-par grass surface that slowed down the game, and prevented the Americans from developing an effective passing game. It marked the first U.S. appearance in Cuba since CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in 2008.
After a first half of close shots and half chances, the U.S. broke through in the 62nd minute when Wondolowski, who had come on for Christian Pulisic at halftime, pounded home the rebound from Green’s initial shot. He then returned the favor to Green by picking out the streaking winger with a pin-point pass that Green tapped home for his second career MNT goal, which provided the final margin in Havana.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT returns home to the familiar confines of RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. where they’ll face Oceania Football Confederation champions, New Zealand on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN and Univision Networks).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Chris Wondolowski, 62nd minute: Chris Wondolowski open the scoring by putting home a point blank rebound from near the top of six-yard box. Julian Green had done well to create a shooting opportunity, but Cuba goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez parried the curling shot right into the path of Wondolowski, who made no mistake from close range, burying the rebound with a one-time shot into the dead center of the goal. USA 1, CUBA 0
USA – Julian Green (Chris Wondolowski), 71st minute: The USA won the ball in midfield and played it out wide to Timmy Chandler near the touchline. Chandler had time to pick out his pass and sent a long, lofted ball from the midfield stripe over the Cuba defense into the path of Wondolowski, who carried it to the endline before spotting Green making a run to the back, left post and picking him out with an inch-perfect pass that left Green with an easy tap in to the center of the net. USA 2, CUBA 0 FINAL
- The USA is now 10-1-1 all-time vs. Cuba, extending its now 10-game, 67-year winning streak against the island nation, which is the team’s longest current streak against any opponent.
- MNT captain Michael Bradley made his 123rd appearance, tying him with former teammate DaMarcus Beasley for sixth on the USA’s all-time caps list.
- Bradley started in central midfield with Sacha Kljestan, which was the same partnership the USA utilized in the team’s last visit to Cuba, a 1-0 World Cup Qualifying victory on Sept. 6, 2008; Bradley and Kljestan are the only players on this roster who played in that match.
- Ethan Horvath made his MNT debut vs. Cuba. At 21 years, 120 days, he is the youngest goalkeeper to debut for the MNT since Zach Thornton came on as a substitute in the USA’s 3-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 22, 1994 (21 years, 43 days).
- Julian Green made his second start of 2016 for the MNT and first since a 1-0 friendly win against Czech Republic on Sept. 3, 2014. His goal was also just his second for the senior MNT; his first being a memorable strike in extra time against Belgium after coming on as a late sub in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16.
- Steve Birnbaum suffered a laceration to the head late in the match that will require stitches after he was caught by a high kick from a Cuba player.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Cuba
Date: Oct. 7, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pedro Marrero Stadium; Havana, Cuba
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 86 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
CUB 0 0 0
USA – Chris Wondolowski 62nd minute
USA – Julian Green (Chris Wondoloski) 71
USA: 1-Ethan Horvath; 2-DeAndre Yedlin (21-Timmy Chandler, 46), 20-Geoff Cameron, 6-John Brooks (15-Steve Birnbaum, 46), 23-Fabian Johnson; 10-Christian Pulisic (18-Chris Wondolowski, 46), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 16-Sacha Kljestan (14-Danny Williams, 69), 19-Julian Green; 17-Jozy Altidore (9-Paul Arriola, 69), 7-Bobby Wood (8-Jordan Morris, 60)
Subs not used: 12- David Bingham, 22-William Yarbrough; 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Perry Kitchen, 13-Lynden Gooch
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
CUB : 1-Sandy Sánchez, 5-Josel Piedra, 4-Yasmany López, 16-Yasniel Nápoles, 11-Carlos Serrano, 6-Daniel Luis Saéz (capt.) (17-Dayron Branco, 74) , 2-Roberney Caballero (12-Roberto Peraza, 76), 10-Arichel Hernández, 8-Alberto Gómez (7-Duzney Espinoza, 66), 18-David Urgelles, 9-Maykel Reyes
Subs not used: 3-Erick Rizo, 13-Eddy Gelkis Olivares, 14-Yoelvis Gonzalez, 15-Yasnay Rivero, 19-Geandris Megret, 21-Diosvelys Guerra
Head Coach: Raul Mederos
Stats Summary: USA / CUB
Shots: 10 / 9
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 13 / 5
Offside: 0 / 6
CUB – Yasmany Lopez (caution) 16th minute
CUB – David Urgelles (caution) 59
Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
4th Official: Adniel Quintana Mendieta (CUB)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Julian Green