The United States will be going into the Gold Cup with plenty of momentum. The Americans put a 4-0 beatdown on Guatemala in their lone pre-tournament friendly to stake their claim as Gold Cup favorites.
A huge and loud crowd of 44,835 showed up in Nashville to support the team and they got a show. Timothy Chandler, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski each scored, while an own goal also got the U.S. on the scoreboard, much to the delight of the fans.
It didn't take long for the U.S. to get on the front foot and they were creating chances right from the start. They even got an early penalty, but Jozy Altidore's attempt was poor and the goalkeeper made a relatively easy save.
The U.S. weren't going to be discouraged by a penalty miss. They kept attacking and in the 19th minute were rewarded. Literally, Guatemala rewarded them. DeAndre Yedlin took a great pass from Michael Bradley and got free down the right before crossing. That cross hit Carlos Castrillo's head and found it's way into the corner of the net for an own goal and a 1-0 lead.
The score would stay 1-0 going into halftime, but the second 45 minutes was all U.S. and it started with a brilliant goal. Timothy Chandler, who had a rough match to that point, cut in from the right and hit an absolute belter with his left foot that curled just inside the far post. It was magnificent and the Americans cruised from there.
Bradley got dragged down in the box in the 72nd minute for the Americans' second penalty of the game and this time Dempsey took the kick. He chipped it right down the middle as the goalkeeper went diving for a gorgeous finish and the U.S. had a 3-0 lead.
Finally, a good ball over the top found a speeding Gyasi Zardes. The Galaxy youngster, who had been good since coming off the bench, then danced around once defender, got to the endline and crossed for Wondolowski to tap into a wide open net. It was a gorgeous piece of play by Zardes and an easy finish for Wondolowski to cap off a nice performance in front of a good crowd.
The match didn't tell us much about the U.S. They did what they were supposed to do, but it was a job well done and has them primed to make a run at the Gold Cup when it begins on Tuesday.