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March Mania

Boyd tallies twice as U.S. rolls in Gold Cup opener

ST. PAUL -- Tyler Boyd scored twice as the U.S. men's national team started its defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a 4-0 win against Guyana at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday, June 18.

While the U.S. was expected to win easily, it struggled to a 1-0 lead at the half on Paul Arriola's goal in the 28th minute before goals by Boyd (51st and 81st) and Gyasi Zardes (55th) eased the anxiety.

It was the first competitive match for the U.S. since being losing to Trinidad & Tobago in the last CONCACAF qualifier on Oct. 10, 2017, a result that prevented the U.S. from playing in last year's World Cup.

The pressure was on the U.S. and new coach Gregg Berhalter after the team's final Gold Cup tune-ups resulted in a 1-0 loss to Jamaica and a 3-0 defeat against Venezuela.

Arriola, of D.C. United, made it 1-0 when Weston McKennie put him into open space down the left channel. Arriola had time for a right-footed shot to the far post for his fourth international goal.

Boyd, in his second match, scored his first international goal from a cross-field pass by Michael Bradley. It was the 1,000th goal for the USMNT in its 700th game since 1916. The New Zealand-born Boyd, who only recently committed to the U.S., plays for Turkey's Ankaragucu.

Zardes, of the Columbus Crew, scored an excuse-me goal to make it 3-0 as Arriola's strike deflected off a Guyanese player, then the Zardes' face.

Boyd added his second goal with a strike from 19 yards out that changed direction off the back of Guyana defender Matthew Briggs.

U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen stopped a Keanu Marsh-Brown shot in the 69th minute for his only save.

Group D play continues Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland when Trinidad and Tobago plays Guyana before the U.S. faces Panama, which defeated T & T 2-0 on Tuesday.

The 16-team regional tournament is held every two years.