CONCACAF WCQ: United States 4-0 Guatemala

The United States defeated Guatemala 4-0 in 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. 

Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron both scored before halftime whilst Graham Zusi add a third shortly after the restart.

Jozy Altidore made it a comfortable win for the hosts with a goal a minute from full-time.

The United States climbed into second place in CONCACAF Group C and improved to 7-0-2 all-time in qualifiers played in Columbus. It has matches versus Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and group leaders Trinidad & Tobago left.

Guatemala remains on six points also with two matches remaining.

Rafael Morales tracked back shortly after kickoff to prevent Gyasi Zardes from giving the hosts an early lead.

But the United States, who had dominated the possession, found the breakthrough when Dempsey powered home in the 12th minute after Zardes freed the forward with his header.

Michael Bradley then had a chance to double the advantage but he chipped the ball well over the bar.

Cincotta recorded Guatemala’s lone shot of the half shortly after the hour mark, though his curled effort didn’t trouble Brad Guzan.

U.S. captain Bradley redeemed himself as his free-kick delivery found Cameron’s head on 35 minutes gone.

Bobby Wood should’ve put his team comfortably ahead before halftime but the 23-year-old, who thought he was offside in the build up, shanked his attempt wide of an open net.

Guatemala introduced Carlos Ruiz and Marco Pappa at the break, but Zusi made it 3-0 within 20 seconds of the restart when he latched onto a loose ball inside the box.

Pappa wowed fans in the first-leg with a nutmeg on Bradley, but could not work his magic flaring an ambitious shot well wide of the U.S. goal in the 49th minute.

And despite having little work to do – two shots on target either side of the halftime – Brad Guzan did well to get down to Jean Martinez’s shot as he looked for a consolation goal.

The United States found the back of the net five minutes from full-time through Ethan Finlay, but the second half substitute was flagged offside.

Though it was another substitute, Jozy Altidore, who added a fourth four minutes later sealing a pivotal win. 

United States starting XI: Guzan, Castillo, Cameron, Birnbaum, Yedlin, Bradley (c), Beckerman, Zusi (Pusilic 81’), Zardes (Finlay 71’), Dempsey, Wood (Altidore 66’).
Unused subs: Howard, Bingham, Gonzalez, Alvarado, Orozco, Nguyen, Diskerud, Pusilic, Bagbe, Wondolowski.
Bookings: Bradley.

Guatemala starting XI: Motta, Jiminez, Hernandez, Marquez, Tinoco (Martinez 74’), Conteras, Icute (Pappa 46’), Castrillo, Morales, Cincotta (Ruiz 46’), Saravia.
Unused subs: Jerez, J. Lopez, H. Lopez, Cardona, Arias, Rivas, Arriola, Guerra, Garcia.
Bookings: Jiminez.

Referee: Valdin Legister

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Charlotte Independence 0-1 Louisville FC

Cameron Lancaster’s free-kick winner in the 93rd minute dropped Charlotte Independence to an opening night loss in the United Soccer League at Ramblewood Soccer Complex.

Lancaster powered the ball past Cody Mizell, who got a piece of it, and into the top-right corner just as the rain started falling.

The Independence will rue two golden missed opportunities to breakthrough either side of the break.

Lewis Hilton saw his effort from distance saved shortly after kickoff whilst Jorge Herrera had a second half penalty pawed away.

Charlotte, in just its second full campaign, fell to 0-2 in season openers.

Hilton put the hosts on the front foot following an attempt from outside the box that forced Scott Goodwin into a sensational save to deny the Englishman.

But despite a bright start by Charlotte, the visitors took control of play attacking down the right flank through Sean Reynolds and Paco Craig.

Craig’s in swinging cross in the 16th minute had to be guided behind for a corner as Kalungi beat his man to the ball at the near post.

Mizell then kept out Chandler Hoffman eight minutes later after the forward found space to the right.

The match changed when Mark-Anthony Kaye was booked for a high challenge on David Estrada in the 21st minute.

Following the defence of successive corner kicks, Jorge Herrera broke into the box shortly before the half hour mark but his dinked cross didn’t get beyond the first defender.

And from the resulting corner, Patrick Slogic was unable to direct his header on target after Caleb Calvert rose above everyone to flick the ball down.

The 19-year-old forward then flashed a wide-open attempt over the goal following a blocked cross on the stroke of halftime.

Mizell was called back into action with a quarter hour remaining but the Independence keeper coolly palmed away Kaye’s shot from point-blank.

Not more than a minute later, Calvert drew a penalty as he was brought down from behind in the box.

But Herrera, who was three of four from the spot last season, failed to convert as a fully extended Goodwin dove to his left and made the save.

Charlotte though was undone at the death as Lancaster curled the ball into the inside side netting.

Charlotte Independence starting XI: Mizell, Slogic, Kalungi, Duckett, Metcalf, Hilton (Marques Davidson 54’), Ekra (Appiah 76’), Estrada, Herrera (Ochoa 83’), Martinez (Hellman 63’), Calvert.
Unused subs: Renfro, Yearwood, Bartlett.
Bookings: Herrera, Martinez, Metcalf, Kalungi.

Louisville starting XI: Goodwin, Smith, Reynolds, Shanosky, Son, Abend, Quinn (c), Kaye, Davis IV (Dacres 58’), Lubahn, Hoffman (Lancaster 76’)
Unused subs: Ranjitsingh, Depiccolo, Morad, Montano.
Bookings: Kaye, Shanosky.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Los Angeles Galaxy

Marco Pappa scored deep into stoppage time to lift the Colorado Rapids over the star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. 

The second half substitute turned in a left-footed volley in the 95th minute after Daniel Steres failed to clear the ball from inside the Galaxy box.

Los Angeles only managed one effort on target, which came around the half hour mark.

It was Colorado’s first victory over the Galaxy since May 2014 when Vicente Sanchez scored the lone goal.

Colorado Rapids: MacMath, Burch, Williams, Watts, Sjoberg, Cronin, Powers, Gashi (Serna 84’), Badji (Pappa 67’), Azira, K. Doyle.
Unused subs: Froschauer, Burling, Pfeffer, C. Doyle, Solignac.
Bookings: Burch, Watts, K. Doyle.

Los Angeles Galaxy: Rowe, Rogers, DeLaGarza, van Damme, Steres, Gerrard, Zardes, Lletget (Husidic 78’), de Jong, Keane, Magee (Boateng 67’).
Unused subs: Diop, Cole, Romney, Lassiter, Garcia.
Bookings: van Damme, Steres, Gerrard.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Chris Wondolowski turned in the lone goal as the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Colorado Rapids on opening day of the Major League Soccer season.

The American international headed in Alberto Quintero’s cross for his 110th league goal within 20 seconds of the restart.

Second half substitute and Rapids debutant Marco Pappa nearly equalised in the 81st minute from a free kick but his shot went wide of David Bingham’s post.

Colorado has not won on the first day of the season since 2012 when it beat the Columbus Crew whilst the Earthquakes are 6-0-6 in their last 12 matches against the Rapids.

Quincy Amarikwa broke through the Colorado defence on 10 minutes but Jared Watts tracked back before making a textbook tackle inside the box.

The Rapids’ Sam Cronin and Kevin Doyle then each forced Bingham into first half saves, which he made with ease.

San Jose manager brought on Colvey for Francis at halftime and the breakthrough came instantly as Quintero found space on the right. The midfielder’s ball over the defence was met by Wondolowski who directed his header into the bottom right corner.

Simon Dawkins almost doubled the lead in the 48th minute but the ball bounced off his shin and ran into the hands of the Colorado goalkeeper.

Bimgham – the busier of the two stoppers in the second half – prevented Dillon Powers from netting the equaliser following a scramble inside the six-yard box on 56 minutes.

But Zac MacMath did well to stop Wondolowski from adding to his earlier tally after latching onto Shea Salinas’ cross.

Marco Pappa was handed his team debut when he replaced Marlon Hairston ten minutes from full-time.

The Guatemalan shot wide from a free kick just 120 seconds later after Amarikwa had fouled Cronin.

A determined Colorado nearly levelled in the 85th minute but Eric Miller saw his long-distance shot covered by Bingham who blocked ball behind.

And from the ensuing corner, the Rapids had their right-footed effort blocked away before Pappa was beaten to ball five minutes later.

San Jose Earthquakes: Bingham, Francis (Colvey 46’), Bernardez, Goodson, Wynne, Salinas (Silva 90’), Godoy, Dawkins, Quintero (Thompson 76’), Wondolowski (c), Amarikwa.
Unused subs: Meredith, Innocent, Thompson, Jahn, Sherrod.
Bookings: Quintero, Godoy.

Colorado Rapids: MacMath, Miller, Sjoberg, Watts, Hairston (Pappa 79’), Cronin, Azira, Powers, Badji, Gashi (Solignac 67’), K. Doyle (c).
Unused subs: Burling, C. Doyle, Froschauer, Serna, Williams.
Bookings: Michael Azira, Powers.

Referee: Ted Unkel
Attendance: 18,000