The heat and humidity in Frisco, Texas may have taken some of the sharpness out of the United States defense as they clung on to their lead over Honduras, but Clint Dempsey was right at home. Dempsey found the back of the net with both of his clear chances, while fellow and former Sounders Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin put in solid performances to secure a 2-1 victory to start the 2015 Gold Cup.
Both teams came out flying, with Honduras bringing a physical game. The US looked to stay wide and keep their strikers high, but plenty of whistles for fouls kept the US from sustaining an attacking flow. Brad Guzan was forced into an excellent early save from a low, close shot that he parried away to safety.
Shortly after, Timothy Chandler earned the US a corner kick. Yedlin played it short to Michael Bradley, whose cross led to a Jozy Altidore shot that was saved off the keeper's foot. Dempsey seemed to react before the ball was even saved, heading it back into the net instantly to take the lead in the 25th minute.
The US defense did not look strong against the Honduran counterattack throughout the rest of the half, but managed to push the ball out for corners and defend crosses well. DeAndre Yedlin had a great look at goal as he was put in one-on-one with the keeper in the 32nd minute, but couldn't convert.
In the second 45, sloppy passes and poor clearances from the US led to constant Honduras pressure. The Americans were struggling to play out of the back, and Jurgen Klinsmann made some changes. Chris Wondolowski replaced Altidore, and Brad Evans came in for Timmy Chandler at right back.
In the 65th minute Dempsey found his second, as Bradley sent in an excellent inswinging free kick from the left. Deuce, unmarked, made it look easy as he glanced the ball off the pitch and into the roof of the net for his brace.
A Honduras sub in the 68th had immediate effect after Carlos Discua entered the match and scored moments later. No one followed Discua's run into the box and the Honduran's touch from the ensuing pass left John Brooks in his dust. His nice finish over Guzan's shoulder cut the US lead in half.
The game became stretched later on, and the US survived some dangerous moments. Evans made an excellent defensive block to save a very strong chance in the 76th minute after he beat his man to a cross in front of a patch of empty net. Yedlin gave up a dangerous free kick in the last moments of the match, but the wall did its job and Dempsey's brace stood up for the USA victory.
The US takes on Haiti next, Friday at 5:30 PM.