The United States got the start they wanted in their opening match of the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Tuesday night, putting four past an overmatched Suriname squad.
Bobby Wood, Joe Gyau, and Conor Doyle tallied in the first half, while Kelyn Rowe's late second-half effort capped off a 4-0 night for the organized and impressive USA squad at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The victory means Thomas Rongen's side is practically through to the quarterfinals of the tournament, regardless of how their second group-stage match goes against Panama on Saturday. All four semifinalists earn automatic bids to the U-20 World Cup.
The Americans opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Gyau, the best player on the field in the first half, drew a free kick 35 yards out. Greg Garza's in-swinger found Doyle's head, and the Derby County striker flicked the ball into the box. Wood was waiting to put the Americans in the lead.
Gyau made it 2-0 in the 29th minute on an excellent individual effort. He dribbled down the left flank, cut across to his right foot and ripped a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that flew past Suriname goalkeeper Claidel Kohinor and into the far netting.
The Stars and Stripes waited just eight minutes to find a third. Rowe launched a curling cross from the right side, targeted to Doyle's head. The forward failed to hit it cleanly but still managed to knock the ball into the net.
At the break, Moises Orozco replaced Amobi Okugo, starting the parade of substitutions that would make up most of the action during the second 45.
In the 52nd minute, Suriname countered with Kevin Veira for Jeffery Verde, who picked up a knock in the opening moments of the second period. Dania Afiankoi replaced Vitorino Pinas five minutes later.
In the 70th minute, Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Omar Salgado joined the fray, taking off an exhausted Wood.
Moments later, Harlod Deyl made his final change, replacing Queintin Dors with Biorn Eduards. The move backfired, as the substitute was almost immediately sent off for a tackle on USA left back Greg Garza.
Rowe finished off the scoring the in 81st minute, taking a square pass from Doyle at the 18-yard box and finishing past the embattled netminder.
Sebastian Ibeagha replaced the UCLA standout immediately after his tally.