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U.S. tops Guatemala in pre-Gold Cup friendly

Michael Bradley (blue jersey) in action for the USA during an international friendly against Guatemala on July 3, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Bill Barrett/isiphotos.com)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- The United States finished preparations for defense of its CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a 4-0 victory over Guatemala in an international friendly on Friday night in front of 44,835 at Nissan Stadium.

The Americans improved to 15W-1D-0L at home against Guatemala, which was shutout for the fifth time in seven outings this year.

Two minutes after Jozy Altidore had a penalty kick saved by goalkeeper Paulo Motta, the host was the beneficiary of unexpected assistance to take a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Michael Bradley split two defenders with a through ball along the right side to DeAndre Yedlin. The Tottenham Hotspur player delivered a cross from the endline toward the edge of the six-yard box that Guatemala defender Carlos Castrillo headed inadvertently past Motta into the bottom right corner.

The Chapines nearly equalized in the 33rd minute, when U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan bobbled, before corralling, a low cross by Carlos Mejia intended for a sliding Ruben Morales.

In the 58th minute, Timmy Chandler scored his first international goal to put the United States in front, 2-0. Yedlin cut back in the wide right channel and passed to Timmy Chandler in support. The Eintracht Frankfurt defender Chandler took a touch to his left and sensing that he would not be closed down, fired into the lower left corner from 25-yards out.

After Bradley was knocked over by Castrillo to give the CONCACAF champion a second penalty kick, Dempsey chipped home from the spot his 41st career international goal in 72nd minute to make it 3-0.

With four minutes remaining in normal time, Gyasi Zardes’ run into the left side of the box set-up Chris Wondolowski for a tap-in, closing the U.S. goal account.

The tally came two minutes after Jose Contreras pushed an open shot from 10 yards out over the crossbar for Guatemala, which opens its Gold Cup schedule against Trinidad & Tobago at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 9.

The U.S. will launch its campaign two days earlier at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, against Honduras.

 
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