The United States men's national team didn't just defeat Guatemala on Friday in San Diego, the Stars and Stripes annihilated the Central American visitors, winning 6-0 behind a memorable performance from veteran Landon Donovan.
The bad news for Jurgen Klinsmann's squad is that it was only an international friendly.
But the positive is that the squad was able to build some key confidence during the shellacking. No, Guatemala isn't among the world's most formidable foes, but to score six goals in a 45-minute stretch against anyone is awfully impressive.
The U.S. did plenty of good things throughout Friday's win, maintaining possession for a majority of the match and creating chance after chance. The Americans would finish with 24 shots (11 on goal) to just six total (zero on goal) for Guatemala.
And the rout couldn't have come at a better time. The Americans will kick off the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday against Belize, and you can bet they'll be riding high after Friday's victory.
Plus, the U.S. won't have a tough time finding motivation to win this summer. Mexico has won the last two Gold Cups, beating the Americans in the final each time. The combined score of those two matchups: 9-2.
It's been six years since the U.S. last brought home the Gold Cup crown, beating Mexico 2-1 for the title in 2007.
But in 2013, the Americans are heading into the competition with loads of momentum and confidence having won five straight international matches since suffering a 4-2 loss to Belgium back in May. To recap: The U.S. beat Germany in a high-scoring friendly to begin June before reeling off three straight 2014 World Cup qualification victories.
Now, the U.S. heads into the Gold Cup having shut out its last three opponents and having outscored its last five opponents by a total of 15-4. On Friday, the Americans capped off their remarkable five-match stretch with their most dominant performance yet.
It may not impact a group table, but's the sort of result that can propel the United States to a Gold Cup title this summer, a key building block for Klinsmann's men moving forward as they look to elevate their form.
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