USA's Paul Arriola (white jersey) looks to move up the field during an international friendly at Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016, in Bayamon. (Photo: John Dorton/isiphotos.com)
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico -- Paul Arriola scored one goal and assisted on another in his international debut as the United States posted a 3-1 win over Puerto Rico in a friendly on Sunday at the Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel.
Tim Ream and Bobby Wood also tallied for the Americans, while Luis Betancur brilliantly struck for the host’s lone goal in the first-ever meeting between the teams.
The USA, which used eight players from its Copa America Centenario roster, enjoyed a possession advantage in the opening half as Ream connected on his first international goal for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.
Goalkeeper Matthew Sanchez made a two-handed diving save on Alfredo Morales' initial effort from distance, but Ream – located in the left side of the box -- drilled the rebound into the lower-right corner for his first goal at any level since the New York Red Bulls' 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on September 11, 2010.
Arriola set-up Wood’s fifth international goal in the 34th minute. The new Hamburg signing beat Emmanuel D'Andrea on the right flank and raced in on net, before slipping the ball past Sanchez.
With three minutes left in the first half, Puerto Rico capitalized on a U.S. turnover to halve the deficit. Joseph Marrero sent a neat pass to a cutting Betacur on the right. The Florida International University forward received the ball with his right foot and off the half-volley beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan with his left foot into the upper-right corner from 23-yards out.
Three minutes into the second half, the Puerto Ricans almost equalized through Manolo Sanchez, who volleyed Alexis Rivera's left-wing cross barely wide of the left post.
Arriola found the back of the net in the 54th minute, tapping in a right-wing cross from first-time captain Alejandro Bedoya.
Both teams used the match to prepare for upcoming competitions.
The Puerto Ricans visit Grenada (June 1) and host Antigua & Barbuda (June 4) in the second round of the Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup.
On Wednesday, the U.S. the will welcome Ecuador to Frisco, Texas, for the second of three friendlies prior to next month’s Copa America Centenario.
May 22 2016: Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel – Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Texas (Att: n/a)
Puerto Rico-USA 1-3 (1-2)
Luis Betancur 42’ / Tim Ream 20’; Bobby Wood 34’; Paul Arriola 56’
Puerto Rico: Matthew Sanchez; Patrick Lopez (Alexis Rivera 46’), Juan Velez, Emmanuel D'Andrea, Marcos Martinez, Christopher Clark (Michael Fernandez 58’), Jeremy Hall, Joseph Marrero (David Caban 85’), Jorge Rivera (Samuel Soto 68’), Emanuel Sanchez (Darren Rios 78’), Luis Betancur (Olvin Ortiz 67’)
Head coach: Jack Stefanowski
USA: Brad Guzan (Tim Howard 46’); DeAndre Yedlin, Michael Orozco, John Brooks (Matt Miazga 46’), Tim Ream (Julian Green 63’), Perry Kitchen (Emerson Hyndman 46’), Danny Williams, Alejandro Bedoya (Eric Lichaj 63’), Alfredo Morales, Bobby Wood (Fabrice Picault 71’), Paul Arriola
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
R: Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts & Nevis); AR1: Graeme Browne (St. Kitts & Nevis); AR2: Ike Innis (St. Kitts & Nevis); 4th: Javier Santos (Puerto Rico)