New Faces Lead U.S. Men Past Ghana

Dom Dwyer goal U.S. Men's National Team
Dom Dwyer celebrates his first USMNT goal. Photo: U.S. Soccer

United States 2
Ghana 1

Goals: USA: 19’ Dom Dwyer (assist Jorge Villafaña), 52’ Kellyn Acosta; GHA: 60’ Asamoah Gyan

Overview: In a friendly vs. Ghana ahead of the 2017 Gold Cup, the U.S Men’s National Team turned in a strong performance with a roster the featured several new names. Dom Dwyer, who recently became an American citizen, earned his first cap for the Stars & Stripes and made the most of his debut by giving the U.S. an early lead. Another new face in Kellyn Acosta gave the U.S. a two-goal lead off a set piece. But it was a familiar face that provided the biggest moment of the match came just before halftime. Jorge Villafaña was called for a penalty on Frank Acheampong. Asamoah Gyan stepped up to the spot, but his weak effort was stopped by U.S. keeper Brad Guzan to keep the American’s lead at 1-0. With the U.S. heading toward the Gold Cup, head coach Bruce Arena has structured his roster to feature a mix of veterans and newcomers. There is opportunity for many to open the head coach’s eyes as he looks toward the fall and final World Cup qualifiers. For the first time, maybe ever, the United States men have a great deal of depth that will only make the team stronger as they head to the 2018 World Cup.

Notes:

  • With the victory, the U.S. men remain unbeaten in eight matches since Bruce Arena’s return as head coach, going 4-0-4, while conceding just four goals.
  • Dom Dwyer’s 19th-minute strike makes him the 48th U.S. MNT player to score in his international debut and first since Paul Arriola did so in a 3-1 win at Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016.
  • Guzan’s penalty stop was the second of his international career and first since denying Hugo Rodallega in the USA’s 1-0 loss to Colombia on July 5, 2007.
  • Having had his one-time change of association request granted by FIFA earlier this month, midfielder Kenny Saief made his U.S. debut when he entered for Joe Corona in the 71st minute.
  • All four matches between the United States and Ghana have ended with 2-1 results.

Quotable:
USMNT Head Coach Bruce Arena…
“It was a good test for our team. All 90 minutes we had to be in it mentally, had to be smart tactically, and we were able to do that. I think we fouled in some areas of the field where Ghana was very dangerous on set pieces and scored a terrific goal. We conceded too many free kicks in dangerous spots. We got caught a couple of times on the counter, which is to be expected.”

What’s next:
The U.S. men return to action on July 8 when the team opens Gold Cup play against Panama. Game time is 4:30 p.m. Eastern time at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.