Welcome to your open thread for Gold Cup-opening freedom, as we get set to watch the United States Men's National Team take on Honduras in the Group A opener for both teams in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Tonight's match takes place in
Dallas Frisco, TX. Game time is 9:30 p.m. (ET).
The USMNT is coming off a 4-0 thumping of Guatemala in last Friday's friendly in Nashville, TN. The Guatemalans spotted the Americans a 1-0 lead on an own goal by Carlos Castrillo, and then Timmy Chandler, Clint Dempsey (pen.) and Chris Wondolowski added freedom deposits.
After recent road victories over the Netherlands and World Cup champion Germany, the U.S. is playing with confidence, but there have been a lot of roster changes since those matches and this group will have to bring their ‘A' game to reach the top of the CONCACAF mountain again.
The fight begins tonight, as the USMNT leaves behind Nashville's Nissan Field for Toyota Stadium (I suspect they made the trip in a Mazda) in the greater Dallas area against Honduras. Barring something unforeseen, Michael Bradley will earn his 100th cap for his country tonight, so watch for the midfielder to do something special.
The U.S. holds a 14-4-4 all-time series advantage with 16 of the 22 matches being played since 2000 (over which time the Yanks are 12-3-1). The first two meetings came in 1965 in World Cup qualifying, with the U.S. winning the first meeting, 1-0, on an Ed Murphy goal in the 70th minute in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The teams met again four days later in Tegucigalpa, drawing 1-1, with Murphy again netting one for the Americans. The teams wouldn't meet again until the 1990s.
The two countries have met in previous Gold Cups before. The first time came 24 years ago today, when the teams drew 0-0 in the Gold Cup final, with the U.S. winning on penalties (4-3). Dominic Kinnear and Paul Caligiuri were among the Americans who successfully converted their spot kicks that day.
The U.S. and Honduras first met in Gold Cup group play on July 17, 1993, with the U.S. winning 1-0 on an Alexi Lalas goal in the 29th minute.
The Yanks won the Gold Cup semifinal over Honduras, 2-1, in dramatic fashion at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on July 21, 2005. Trailing since the 30th minute, John O'Brien equalized in the 86th and Oguchi Onyewu scored the winner in stoppage time. America then captured the Gold Cup on penalties after a scoreless draw with Panama.
The USMNT again defeated Honduras in the Gold Cup semis in 2009, winning 2-0 on goals at the end of each half by Clarence Goodson and Kenny Cooper at Chicago's Soldier Field. But the Americans got waxed in the final, 5-0, against Mexico.
In 2013, the teams met again in the Gold Cup semifinals, with the U.S. winning, 3-1 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Landon Donovan scored twice after Eddie Johnson's early goal. The U.S. then beat Panama 1-0 on Brek Shea's tally to win the Cup.
The teams last met in any competition on Oct. 14, 2014, in a friendly in Boca Raton, FL, where they drew, 1-1. Jozy Altidore got the Yanks on the board early but Maynor Figueroa spoiled things in the 86th.
* * *
Can the Americans open their Gold Cup account early and put the Hondurans on their heels? Will Jurgen Klinsmann find the right combination of players to overwhelm the rest of CONCACAF and take the next step toward becoming a world power in soccer? Are there birds living in Kyle Beckerman's hair?
Hopefully we'll get some answers tonight.
And don't forget to vote in our poll below.
U.S. Men's National Team (4-4-2 diamond):
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan
Defenders: Timmy Chandler, Ventura Alvarado, John Brooks, Fabian Johnson
Midfielders: DeAndre Yedlin, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Gyasi Zardes
Forwards: Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore
Bench: Nick Rimando, William Yarbrough, Greg Garza, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Evans, Alfredo Morales, Aron Johannsson, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya, Graham Zusi, Chris Wondolowski
Goalkeeper: Donis Escober
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles, Henry Figueroa, Johnny Palacios, Maynor Figueroa, Wilmer Crisanto
Midfielders: Andy Najar, Alfredo Mejia, Bryan Acosta, Mario Martinez
Forward: Antony Lozano
Bench: Luis Lopez, Noel Valladares, Ever Alvarado, Bryan Garcia, Johnny Leveron, Carlos Discua, Romell Quioto, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Jorge Claros, Rubillo Castillo, Eddie Hernandez, Erick Andino
How to Watch:
Match time: 9:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Toyota Stadium - Frisco, TX
TV: FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes
Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2GO
Match Thread Rules:
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you're new, welcome to our happy home! While you're here, please observe a few basic rules:
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They can get us in trouble, and no one wants that.
- Try not to be "that guy" who spews nothing but venom and hate for the team. It's ok to be critical, and, let's face it, sometimes even the best teams can be frustrating to watch, but being overly negative relentlessly can sap the enjoyment for others.
- Keep it somewhat clean and fair when criticizing players / officials. You never know who might be reading.
- Do unto others in the match thread, the way you would have others do unto you. We are a fun community and want to keep it this way. We have a moderator, but we'd rather let him enjoy the game instead of having to play babysitter.
- Finally, we don't have a rule against profanity but don't abuse the non-rule. Also, any language that is sexist, racist, or homophobic in nature will be swiftly deleted and you may lose posting privileges. We're all in this together.