San Diego, CA — In his first international match in more than 10 months, Landon Donovan made the most of his return by scoring his 50th and 51st career international goals as the U.S. Men's National Team defeated Guatemala 6-0 in an international friendly at Qualcomm Stadium. The game served as the team's final tune-up before kicking off the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
In addition to Donovan's penalty kick tally in the 55th minute and his 72nd-minute volley finish, Chris Wondolowski and Alejandro Bedoya each notched their first international goals. Herculez Gomez, who scored the first goal of the match, and Clarence Goodson also contributed scores during the rout, which featured five goals in the second half.
It was the USA's most lopsided win since an 8-0 victory against Barbados on June 15, 2008. The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak against Guatemala to 20 games (14-0-6) and is 14-4-6 all-time against Guatemala.
The U.S. begins Group C play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Belize on Tuesday, July 9, at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. PT, with a live broadcast on FOX Soccer. Fans can also follow the action on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and through Twitter @ussoccer.
The U.S. has won five straight matches for the first time since 2011-12, when the Americans capped off 2011 with a 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15, and then won the first four matches of 2012. The last time the U.S. won five straight in a calendar year was a six-game winning streak in 2008, with every match taking place in 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
Gomez gave the U.S. a well-deserved 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute as the USA capitalized on a major advantage in ball possession throughout the half. Jose Torres lofted the ball into the box towards Joe Corona, but his lunge just missed the cross, allowing the ball to skip to Gomez at the far post. He was all alone and hit a first-time blast from close range past Guatemala goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez Jr. It was the sixth career goal for Gomez and the first career assist for Torres.
The goals came in bunches for the U.S. in the second half with Donovan leading the surge. He drew a penalty kick about 10 minutes after the break after he was shoved to the ground by Guatemala's Carlos Castrillo. Donovan took the penalty and drove it straight up the middle as Jerez dove to his right.
Wondolowski pushed the U.S. lead to 3-0 in the 71st minute with his first goal in 12 career appearances. Donovan set up the sequence with a dashing run that unbalanced Guatemala's defense, and even though a Guatemalan defender got a touch to his slipped pass into the penalty area, Wondolowski found himself at the right place at the right time off the deflection, burying his right-footed shot into the right corner.
One minute later, Donovan notched his second tally and 51st of his career off of a perfect cross from Stuart Holden who had popped free down the right wing. Donovan got behind four Guatemalan defenders and smashed his volley into the left corner of the net.
Goodson gave the U.S. a 5-0 lead with his fourth international goal in the 84th minute. His initial shot after a deft collection under pressure inside the penalty area was blocked both by Jerez and Enrique Miranda near the goal line, but Goodson was first to the rebound near the right post and roofed his second opportunity from close range, albeit a tough angle, for the unassisted tally.
Bedoya capped off the scoring in the 88th minute after substitute Brek Shea had burst free down the left flank off a fantastic first-time pass from Stuart Holden. Shea hit a cross on the ground that evaded several Guatemala defenders and U.S. attackers and rolled to a trailing and unmarked Bedoya, who drove his shot just inside the right post past the charging Jerez.
• U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's starting lineup included five players making their first appearances of 2013.
• Landon Donovan earned his 145th career cap in his first action since the USA's historic 1-0 victory against Mexico on Aug. 15, 2012, at Estadio Azteca.
• Goalkeeper Nick Rimando made his first start of 2013. His previous appearance came on Jan. 25, 2012, when he and Sean Johnson split duties en route to a 1-0 victory against Panama in Panama City.
• Rimando did not need to make a save en route to his second career shutout in his seventh career appearance.
• Defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Parkhurst and midfielder Jose Torres also made their first starts and appearances this year.
• Onyewu earned his 67th career cap in his first match since his second-half substitution during the USA's 3-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda on June 8, 2012.
• Parkhurst, playing in his 16th career MNT game, saw the pitch for the first time since he started in the USA's come-from-behind 3-1 victory against Guatemala on Oct. 16, 2012 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
• Torres appeared in his 21st game and first since the USA's 1-0 victory against Jamaica on Sept. 11, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.
• DaMarcus Beasley wore the captain's armband on Friday and will maintain the captain's role heading into the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. This was the second time Beasley started a game as captain and the first since Oct. 15, 2008, against Trinidad & Tobago. Beasley has now appeared in 104 career matches, which ranks ninth on the all-time MNT list.
• Joe Corona made his first start for the senior team and collected his fifth career cap.
• Klinsmann made two substitutions to open the second half, bringing in Stuart Holden for Torres and Mix Diskerud for Kyle Beckerman. Holden made his 20th career appearance and third of 2013 while Diskerud made his first appearance of the year and the fourth overall in his young international career.
• The USA moved to 6-2-2 this year and 5-1-1 in U.S.-hosted games in 2013.