Just days after the USWNT won the World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team began their Gold Cup with a tough 2-1 victory over Honduras.

USMNT Defeats Honduras

Quite honestly, the USMNT were lucky to get out of Texas with a victory. Though the stat line shows an even contest, the usually defensive Honduras seemed to control the ball and get plenty of offensive opportunities.

The defense was torched several times, with Honduras almost scoring in the opening minutes: Anthony Lozano got behind the defenders to deliver a strike that was just saved by goaltender Brad Guzan. And he would survive a barrage the whole night, with Honduras outshooting USA 11(3)-5(4).

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But it was the hot-headed Clint Dempsey, who recently lost his captaincy after a confrontation with a ref last month, that opened up the scoring at the 25th minute mark. After, Jozy Altidore took a deep angled shot, Honduras goaltender Donis Escober could not control it, lightly kicking the ball down the middle. Dempsey, who was deep in the box, headed the rebound home to give USA a 1-0 lead.

This seemed to liven the USMNT, but it did not mean Honduras was completely put down, as they had a few more chances to equalize it before half: including Andy Najar’s strike from outside the box, which just sailed high.

The next score would be in the 64th minute when Dempsey — it seemed like taking away his captaincy motivated him — headed home a near corner pass from Michael Bradley, giving him his second goal of the night. Bradley, who was made captain for this game, delivered this assist in his 100th appearance for the USMNT — he is only the 16th player to achieve this honor.

However, Honduras would fire right back, as Carlos Discua scored their first goal of the 2015 Gold Cup in the 69th minute. Again, the U.S. defenders were caught sleeping, as Discua went right around Ventura Alvarado and kicked a beautiful top shelf shot. And this would not be the end of their onslaught, with Eddie Hernandez later pushing a ball just wide of the net and the match ending on a free kick that was blocked by the U.S. wall.

Needless to say, the defense needs to improve if they want to regain their Gold Cup title. Their next match is July 10, when they take on Haiti.

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