Dom Dwyer, making his U.S. debut, and Kellyn Acosta scored their first international goals and a resilient defense held off Ghana’s efforts to add onto Asamoah Gyan’s goal to give the USA a 2-1 victory Saturday in its Gold Cup warmup match.Coach Bruce Arena used his usual four-man back line, paired Dax McCarty and Kelyn Acosta as central mids, and deployed Joe Corona in the hole behind Dwyer to good effect. Dwyer opened the scoring with a vicious volley of a shot deflected into his path and a sweet free kick by Acosta proved to be the winner.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Team) Caps/Goals
6 Brad Guzan (Atlanta United). 55/0.
Not called upon much in first half, stopped Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick by diving left to swat the ball to safety.
6 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 49/5.
Solid and reliable at both ends of the field. Stared down David Accam one-v-one, played good balls up the right flank, got forward far enough a few times to swing in a good cross.
5 Matt Besler (Sporting KC) 40/1.
Played a nice ball up the channel that ran nicely for Dwyer, stepped into midfield to intercept passes, won his fair share of headers and duels.
6 Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), 3/0.
Extremely solid in the tackle and in the air. Battled valiantly in the goalmouth, passed efficiently in his own half. Long balls were usually wasted.
5 Jorge Villafana (Santos/MEX); 7/0).
Dribbled through a tackle and inadvertently deflected a Corona shot into the wheelhouse of Dwyer for his first U.S. goal. Fortunate not to be sent off when he grabbed Frank Acheampong's jersey and a foul was called for a penalty. Worked some nice combinations going forward.
6 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) 9/1.
Curled a free kick inside the far post for his first international goal. Let Rashid Sumalia run onto a free kick that he headed over the bar, hit another free kick into the wall, cautioned for late tackle.
6 Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) 7/0.
Passed efficiently when allotted time and space. Connected often with first-time passes that kept Ghana scrambling. Penetrating balls forward produced chances. Not strong or quick enough a few times to stop the ball when Ghana dribbled through his sector but overall played a tidy, crisp game.
5 Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), 1/0.
Started well, played Dwyer through with a nice flick, drew a foul just outside the box when Dwyer returned the favor.
4 Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX); 6/2.
Labored on the left side without much influence in the attack and didn’t contribute a lot of defensive stops until the second half. Drew a foul with a nice stop-and-start move on a counterattack.
6 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX); 18/2.
Provided some of the best U.S. touches in the first half, including a flicked through ball for Dwyer that forced the keeper into a reckless challenge. Cracked a shot that deflected to Dwyer for his goal. His blend of touch and guile caused Ghana numerous problems.
7 Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC); 1/1.
Pestered, harassed and threatened the Ghanaian defense before and after crushing a volley to score his first U.S. goal. Hit his first chance weakly to the keeper, shook off the effect of reckless foul and upended him. Slipped in teammates several times with first-time passes and balls won in the air. Ramped up the competition at forward with incredible determination and ruthless finish.
5 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 32/6.
Some lively work on the left flank to link up with Saief and Villafana.
5 Kenny Saief (Gent/BEL), 1/0.
Started on the left, drifted into the middle, floated to the right, and looked confident and competent in all areas.
5 Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), 61/2.
Unlucky not to score when he nailed a Morris cross and was denied by the keeper.
5 Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 16/2.
Zipped up the left flank to serve an excellent cross from which Bedoya nearly scored.
NR Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), 40/1.
Emergency sub when Villafana had to leave the match.
TRIVIA. Dwyer is the 48th player to score on his senior U.S. debut. Morris last performed the feat against Mexico in a 2-0 win in April, 2015.
July 1 in East Hartford, Conn.
USA 2 Ghana 1. Goals: Dwyer 19, Acosta 52; Gyan 60.
USA – Guzan; Zusi, Hedges, Besler, Villafana (Gonzalez, 88), Acosta, McCarty, Rowe (Zardes, 61), Arriola (Bedoya, 71), Corona (Saief, 70), Dwyer (Morris, 72).
Ghana – R. Ofori, Sumalia (Opoku, 41), Lumor, Akaminko (Sarfo, 81), Boye, Abu (Sackey, 60), Acheampong (Poku, 71), E. Ofori, Gyan, Dwamena (Waris, 66), Accam (Agyepong, 46).
Referee: Ismael Cornejo (El Salvador)