The U.S. men's national team's first action since a disappointing fourth-place finish at the Gold Cup didn't start well, but it ended with a positive building block with the Confederations Cup playoff against Mexico a month away.
Despite falling behind early, the Americans bounced back in a friendly against Peru, getting two second-half goals from Jozy Altidore to win 2-1 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
After losing to Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals and then falling again to Panama in penalties in the third-place game, there was pressure on manager Jurgen Klinsmann and his charges to right the ship immediately.
The rejuvenation effort didn't begin well. In the 20th minute, Peru's Daniel Chavez took a shot from the edge of the area that deflected off Omar Gonzalez and looped over Brad Guzan–tabbed by Klinsmann as his No. 1 goalkeeper despite Tim Howard's return–to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. equalized through Altidore in the 59th minute, though. Altidore was tripped up in the Peru box and earned a penalty.
He had his spot kick saved by Pedro Gallese, but he calmly followed to one-time the rebound into the empty net.
Altidore scored again in the 68th to give the USA its first lead since the Gold Cup quarterfinals vs. Cuba. After Guzan made a massive point-blank double save on the defensive end, the U.S. marched forward, with DeAndre Yedlin leading the charge. His initial cross for Altidore was deflected wide, where Gyasi Zardes settled and hit it across the goalmouth. Altidore was unmarked at the far post and redirected the ball in for his 29th career international goal.
The U.S. has one more tune-up before facing Mexico at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 10, as the Americans play Neymar's Brazil on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Here's how the match unfolded:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
GOALKEEPERS: Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal)
DEFENDERS: Luis Advincula (Bursaspor), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt)
MIDFIELDERS: Carlos Ascues (Wolfsburg), Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Christian Cueva (Toluca), Paolo Hurtado (Reading), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Joel Sanchez (San Martin), Renato Tapia (FC Twente), Juan Manuel Vargas (Real Betis)
FORWARDS: Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Daniel Chavez (Cesar Vallejo), Jefferson Farfan (Al-Jazira), Edison Flores (Universitario), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Yordy Reyna (RB Salzburg)