Before the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament, the USMNT played a friendly match against Ghana to test out some of the lesser known players who are attempting to make the World Cup Roster.
The USMNT had a different starting eleven for this matchup, which is listed below:
Brad Guzan (Captain)
Within the first 15 minutes of the game, each team seemed to be feeling out each other and work on the jitters and butterflies out of their systems.
Yet, it seemed as if Ghana’s backline was still antsy when Villafaña added pressure and took the ball away by the goalie box, made a couple passes to get inside the box, attempted a shot that was deflected and landed at Coronas feet, to only be lobbed to Dom Dwyer, who made his first appearance for the USMNT and scored a goal within the first 19 minutes of the game. Dom was extremely excited as he took of towards the corner and proceeded his celebration with a backflip!
Yet minutes later, Joe Corona threads the ball to a speeding Dom Dwyer, who was upended by the goal keeper, who slide feet first with studs up, yet only received a yellow card, typically a red card offense.
The free kick attempt following the card was unsuccessful, and Ghana attempted to counter but failed.
Yet right before halftime, Ghana attempted to tie the game with a cross in the box that was deflected by Brad Guzan, yet the whistle was blown on Villafaña who pulled a Ghana player down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Asamoah Gyan, who has led the Black Star to multiple clutch goals, lined up for the penalty kick, took his chance in the bottom left hand corner and was swatted away by the big paw of Brad Guzan.
The USMNT went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead against Ghana.
Exiting halftime, all the momentum was on the USMNT side, and with that being said, Kellyn Acosta set up for a free kick, and swung it around the wall and just beat the goalie, for a another goal to make the score 2-0.
Just a couple minutes later, Asamoah Gyan made up for his missed penalty kick earlier by scoring off of a free kick to make the game 2-1. The game was kept the same pace until the final whistle was blown and the USMNT had finished the game, defeating Ghana 2-1.
This game was a huge friendly for the USMNT and allowed Bruce Arena to build his World Cup Qualifying Roster and make any last minute changes before Gold Cup as well. Dom Dwyer in his first appearance did exceptionally well, and should get a notable mention in future WCQ roster call ups.
The USMNT faces Panama next Saturday to start the CONCACAF Gold Cup at 4:30 PM ET.