• Saturday Jul 06, 2013

    Donovan returns, propels U.S. past Guatemala

    Landon Donovan (right) scored two goals in the USA's 6-0 win over Guatemala in a pre-Gold Cup friendly on Friday in San Diego.

    SAN DIEGO, CA – In his first national team appearance in 11 months, Landon Donovan scored twice and set up another goal to help lift the United States to a 6-0 win over Guatemala in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium on Friday night.

    It was the United States final tune-up before the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Americans bid to win a fifth title begins Tuesday night against Belize at JELD-WEN Field in Portland.

    Herculez Gomez put the United States in front in the 42nd minute, getting on the end of Jose Francisco Torres’ chip into the box.  A diving Joe Corona initially missed the ball, but a wide-open Gomez at the back post tapped it in to send the United States into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

    Donovan doubled the United States lead in the 55th minute with his 50th career goal. After being pushed down by Carlos Castrillo in front of goal, Donovan calmly sent his penalty kick down the middle to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.

    The LA Galaxy star then set up the Americans’ third goal with a darting run toward the box.  His attempted pass to Stuart Holden deflected off a defender and Chris Wondolowski pounced on the ball, clinically finishing for his first career international goal in the 71st minute.

    One minute later, Donovan had his second, taking a ball from Holden and pushing it past Ricardo Jerez to give the United States a 4-0 lead.

    Clarence Goodson followed his own saved shot by hammering in the rebound at the right post for the United States fifth goal in the 84th minute. Four minutes later, Alejandro Bedoya got on the scoresheet, burying Brek Shea’s cross through the box into the back of the net.

    Guatemala actually had the first scoring chance of the game when Sergio Trujillo played a through ball to Minor Lopez, who slipped behind the United States defense. But he fired wide from six meters in the eighth minute.

     The United States countered in the 21st minute when Goodson got on the end of Torres’ corner kick that was saved by Jerez. Kyle Beckerman was unable to corral the rebound in front of goal.

    After opening its group stage against Belize in Portland, the United States faces Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on July 13 and Costa Rica at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, on July 16. 

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