Watch: Zardes, Brooks, Pulisic score for USA in 4-0 win vs. Bolivia
The U.S. men's national team coasted in its last match prior to Copa America Centenario, beating Bolivia 4-0 in front of 8,894 at Sporting Kansas City's Children's Mercy Park.
Gyasi Zardes scored twice, 17-year-old Christian Pulisic scored the first international goal of his career and John Brooks got on the board as well, as the U.S. finished off its pre-Copa stretch with a 3-0-0 record, outscoring Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Bolivia by a combined 8-1.
Zardes got the U.S. on the board in the 26th minute, finishing off a nice combination between himself, Clint Dempsey and Alejandro Bedoya. Dempsey found Bedoya on the right, and he one-touch lobbed a ball up forward for Zardes, who hit a low roller by goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra with his first touch.
The sequence came a few minutes after Dempsey lofted the USA's first shot on frame in the 20th minute, trying a speculative attempt. Dempsey is sitting on 49 international goals, and one more would make him the second U.S. player to reach the 50-goal milestone, with Landon Donovan being the other.
Brooks made it 2-0 USA in the 37th minute off a quickly taken free kick. Michael Bradley caught Bolivia napping and found Bedoya down the right channel. Bedoya swept another ball centrally, where an unmarked Brooks easily slotted home into an empty net.
Zardes scored his second of the match in the 52nd minute to put the U.S. up 3-0. Bradley picked out Bobby Wood with a long diagonal ball, and even though the first touch off his chest put the ball headed toward the end line, Wood was able to recover and cut a left-footed pass across the box. Zardes met it at the edge of the six-yard box and touched home the fifth international goal of his career.
Pulisic made it 4-0 in the 69th minute, finishing after being set up by Nagbe. Jermaine Jones won the ball in the Bolivia third, then combined with Nagbe, who then sprung Pulisic free in the box. The goal makes him the USA's youngest goal scorer in the modern era, taking the mantle from Juan Agudelo.
At halftime, DeAndre Yedlin and Fabian Johnson replaced Michael Orozco and Matt Besler and right and left back, respectively, with Klinsmann showcasing perhaps what his starting back line will be in the Copa America opener against Colombia on Friday (Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, Brooks, Johnson). Besler had earned a rare start at left back, with Klinsmann thin at the position and preserving Johnson, who played against Ecuador Wednesday night after overcoming a groin injury, at least at the start.
The USA's full starting XI was as follows:
Here are the rosters for both teams:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS: Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)
MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
GOALKEEPERS: Carlos Lampe (Sport Boys), Rómel Quiñónez (Bolívar), Guillermo Viscarra (Oriente Petrolero)
DEFENDERS: Diego Bejarano (The Strongest), Marvin Bejarano (Oriente Petrolero), Nelson Cabrera (Bolívar), Ronald Eguino (Bolívar), Luis Gutiérrez (Ironi Kiryat Shmona), Mario Saavedra (Bolívar), Edward Zenteno (Wilstermann)
MIDFIELDERS: Pedro Azogue (Oriente Petrolero), Jhasmani Campos (Kazma), Raúl Castro (The Strongest), Samuel Galindo (Petrolero), Cristhian Machado (Wilstermann), Alejandro Meleán (Oriente Petrolero), Fernando Saucedo (Wilstermann), Martín Smedberg-Dalence (Goteborg), Wálter Veizaga (The Strongest)
FORWARDS: Juan Carlos Arce (Bolívar), Yasmani Duk (New York Cosmos), Bruno Miranda (Universidad de Chile), Rodrigo Ramallo (The Strongest)