SEATTLE – The U.S. men’s national soccer team’s defense of its North American championship began with a smashing success on Independence Day, as the Americans were too much for outmanned Grenada in a 4-0 victory at Qwest Field.
The U.S. team that took the field for its CONCACAF Gold Cup opener hardly resembled the group that made a run to the Confederations Cup final last week in South Africa. But it made quick work of the Spice Boyz from the Caribbean, with the help of a holdover from that Confederations Cup team, forward Freddy Adu.
Adu, 20, once regarded as the future of U.S. soccer but now a seldom-used player on the national team, scored the game’s opening goal in the seventh minute, and the Yanks never looked back.
Adu was wide open to take midfielder Robbie Rogers’ cross after Rogers had dribbled through a pair of defenders. Adu deposited the pass into the net and celebrated his second career goal as a member of the senior national team.
The Americans were not finished, putting the Grenada defense on its heels with runs to the goal time after time.
In the 31st minute, Rogers, who plays for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, sent a high cross in front of the goal, where midfielder Stuart Holden was waiting. He headed the ball past goalkeeper Desmond Noel for a two-goal U.S. lead.
The U.S. played for only the second time on a July 4. Fifteen years ago in the World Cup in Palo Alto, Calif., the U.S. fell to Brazil 1-0.
Adu got it started, but Rogers was the star. He finished with a goal and two assists. His goal came in the 60th minute, when he ran ahead of the defense and was onside to take a long ball from Logan Pause. Rogers had a teammate with him against the goalkeeper, but took the shot himself and scored easily.
The loudest cheers of the early evening came for Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans, who entered the game as a substitute in the 62nd minute. Every time Evans touched the ball, the Qwest Field crowd roared.
Charlie Davies, another Confederations Cup player, ended the scoring with a goal in the 68th minute.
Honduras beat Haiti 1-0 in an earlier game, as Carlos Costly headed in a cross from the left side in the 76th minute.
Announced attendance for two Gold Cup matches was 15,387.