USA-BOLIVIA EXPRESS: May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas USA 4, Bolivia 0.
Goals: Zardes 26, 52, Brooks 37, Pulisic 69.
A feeble display by Bolivia confirmed its placing among the Conmebol doormats, yet several Americans strengthened their cases for Copa Centenario minutes
by rolling to a 4-0 victory Saturday in Kansas City. Gyasi Zardes
scored the first goal after Bolivia had applied some mild pressure, and tallied again after a clever free kick
freed John Brooks
to double the lead. Alejandro Bedoya
assisted on the first two goals and nearly set up another chance for Bobby Wood
. As if the fates had demanded it,
’s third cap turned out to be the charm when he rounded off a nice move and delivered his first international goal in the 69th minute.
The Americans open
the Centenario against Colombia on Friday. U.S. Players Ratings: Starters 5 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG),
Cleanly caught a rare cross, scooped up a couple of deflected balls, saved easily on a chance Ramallo should have put away. 5 Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), 25/4.
Not really tested one-v-one and repelled a few weak crosses easily. Looks like he'll be on call to back up Yedlin and the centerbacks at Centenario. 6 Geoff Cameron (Stoke
Headed away a threatening ball in the 16th minute to give away a corner and the Americans handled the ensuing set play. Covered up a couple of shaky moments with strong
tackles. 7 John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), 21/3.
Early giveaway in the opening minutes didn’t faze the U.S. and soon enough his accurate pass to Wood produced a free
kick. Scored an excellent goal
when put through by Bedoya. 5 Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 33/0.
Darted up the left
wing to center a ball that nearly set up a point-blank chance. Scuffed a giveaway but raced back to quell the threat. Got stranded a couple of times in the first 20 minutes but secured his corner
after that. 6 Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 60/3.
Thwarted a rare Bolivian counter by stepping solidly into a tackle. Moved the ball around well and played the wall role
perfectly when Nagbe set up Pulisic. 7 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 115/15.
Split open the Bolivians with a through ball when they were expecting him to chip a free kick
to set up second goal.
Nice ball to Wood set stage for third U.S. goal. Maintained a high level of passing and connection despite recurring substitutions. 8 Alejandro Bedoya
Superb first-time ball dropped perfectly for Zardes to score the opener and he latched onto Bradley’s clever ball to square it for Brooks. Another good ball for Wood
forced a brave intervention by the keeper. He's effective regardless of his 'position' if his teammates are tuned in. 8 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 25/5.
Ignored an onrushing
keeper to open the scoring into an empty net
. Drilled a hard shot on frame the keeper parried. Crashed the far post to cash in Wood’s cross
. He needed to atone for his Ecuadoran nightmare and he certainly did. 6 Clint Dempsey (Seattle
Clipped a ball square that Bedoya relayed into Zardes’ path for first goal. Nicked balls away from pressure to keep the attacking flow moving. 7
Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER), 19/5.
Yet another impressive display melding hard work with crisp, clever play. Third goal resulted from his clean chest trap and raking pass for Zardes to
convert. He’s not the brute that is Jozy Altidore but he’s a hungry, relentless pest. Subs 5 DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/ENG), 34/0.
Threatened with a couple of good runs, botched an easy touch to concede a throw-in. 5 Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), 44/2.
Efficient and clean with the ball,
only rarely stretched defensively. 6 Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 7/1.
Great layoff set up Pulisic for the first of, most likely, many international goals, but entry
pass he bounced off Jones and relayed to Pulisic completely befuddled the Bolivian defense. If he’s not ready to take on good teams in competitive matches he’s getting very close.
5 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 35/4.
Deprived of an assist when Wondo failed to convert, did a fair amount otherwise in his brief appearance. 6 Christian Pulisic
(Borussia Dortmund/GER), 3/1.
In about five years, probably 100,000 fans will claim they were there to see his first international
. Before he took it well, he also found a space and angle the closest defender could not close. 5 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 32/10.
Yes, he was all alone and should have scored from point-blank range but a very good save foiled him. TRIVIA.
Pulisic is the youngest player
-- as far as the record books can tell -- to score a goal in U.S. men’s history (17 years, 253 days). Juan Agudelo
was six days shy of his 18th birthday when he scored his first
international goal in 2010. USA-BOLIVIA EXPRESS: May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas USA 4 Bolivia 0.
Zardes 26, 52, Brooks 37, Pulisic 69. USA --
Guzan, Orozco (Yedlin, 46), Cameron, Brooks, Besler (Johnson, 46), Bedoya (Nagbe, 63), Bradley (Zusi, 73), Jones, Zardes (Pulisic, 63),
Dempsey (Wondolowski, 72), Wood. Bolivia --
Viscarra, Bejarano, Eguino, Cabrera, Gutierrez (Bejarano, 68), Melean (Ramallo, 54), Smedberg-Dalence (Zenteno, 74), Saucedo (Azogue, 46),
Campos (Miranda, 46), Duk, Algaranaz (Castro, 46). Referee:
Elmer Bonilla (El Salvador). Att.:
8,894. (Ratings: 1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)