Puerto Rico 1-3 USMNT: Copa America preparation kicks off with comfortable win for Americans

Puerto Rico 1-3 USMNT: Copa America preparation kicks off with comfortable win for Americans

Jurgen Klinsmann's men cruised to a 3-1 win in Puerto Rico on Sunday as they gear up for the Copa America Centenario.

Harry Harris

The United States kicked off their preparations for this summer's Copa America Centenario with a comfortable 3-1 win over Puerto Rico on Sunday.

Jurgen Klinsmann's team mostly consisted of players that will not be with the team at this summer's tournament but key members such as Bobby Wood, Brad Guzan and DeAndre Yedlin were among those involved.

Still with an abundance of decisions to make, Klinsmann will have been watching certain players carefully today as they fight for places in his starting eleven.

Wood makes a statement

It was a good start for the United States as they controlled the game straight from kick off and were 1-0 up inside 20 minutes. Matthew Sanchez, the Puerto Rico goalkeeper, punched out an initial effort but Tim Ream was on hand to curl the rebound home for his first international goal.

The United States, the much more dominant of the two sides, couldn’t quite find the quality to consistently create solid chances but did keep the majority of the possession in the first half. They would get a chance in the 34th minute and they would take it, with Bobby Wood doubling the lead. Wood ran by two defenders before lifting the ball past the on-rushing 'keeper to complete an excellent solo effort.

A great goal from Wood, who is likely to be in contention for a starting role at the Copa America Centenario.

The Americans were cruising until the 42nd minute when Puerto Rico managed to pull one back with a great volley from Luis Betancur. A quick one-two outside the area before Guzan was left helpless as Betancur's effort looped over the Aston Villa number one.

Debut delight for Arriola

Puerto Rico were almost level just moments into the second half as Luis Rivera's cross fell to the foot of Manolo Sanchez, who watched his volley fly inches wide of the far post. The visitors made them pay minutes later as Alejandro Bedoya's low driven cross was tapped in by 21-year-old Paul Arriola on his United States debut. 

Paul Arriola struck on his debut. (Photo credit: US Soccer)
Paul Arriola struck on his debut. (Photo credit: US Soccer)

The game went quiet after the US grabbed their third of the game and neither side really created a solid opportunity to score, with plenty of subs coming on and impressing.

The full time whistle would blow and the United States ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Tim Ream, Bobby Wood and Paul Arriola. Luis Betancur grabbed the lone goal for the hosts.

Klinsmann's men face Ecuador and Bolivia in the coming week as they continue to prepare for their Group of Death drawing this summer. They kick off their Copa America journey against Colombia on June 3.

Those who have been named in the 23-man squad for the summer, (Bedoya, Guzan, Wood, Perry Kitchen, Yedlin, Michael Orozco, Tim Howard and John Anthony Brooks) impressed while the rest of the team were vying for places in future squads. Plenty to be content about for Jurgen Klinsmann as his squad move ahead with preparations as hosts of this summer's tournament.