Dwyer scores in de­but as US beat Ghana 2-1

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Dom Dwyer volleyed in a go-ahead goal in the 19th minute of his in­ter­na­tional de­but, ran to the cor­ner flag and did a dou­ble back flip that would make a gym­nast proud.

Back home in Mis­souri, wife Syd­ney Ler­oux was over­joyed. The goal made Dwyer and Ler­oux the first hus­band-and­wife cou­ple to score for the United States, which beat Ghana 2-1 on Satur­day in an ex­hi­bi­tion ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. “I’m very proud of Syd­ney and what she’s achieved and still achiev­ing in the na­tional team,” Dwyer said. “I’ve got quite a few caps to catch up to her, and a few goals, too.”

Brad Guzan saved Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick in first-half stop­page time, and Kel­lyn Acosta added his first in­ter­na­tional goal in the 52nd minute on a low free kick that bounced in. Gyan curled a free kick just un­der the cross­bar in the 60th, leav­ing the fi­nal 2-1 - match­ing Ghana’s vic­to­ries that elim­i­nated the U.S. from the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and the Amer­i­can win over the Black Stars at the 2014 tour­na­ment. “I got fired in 2006. It took me 11 years to get this job back,” Arena said, laugh­ing, af­ter the US im­proved to 4-0-4 since he re­placed Jur­gen Klins­mann in Novem­ber. Born in Cuck­field, Eng­land, Dwyer was in Nor­wich City’s youth sys­tem but broke his right foot three times and was re­leased. He moved to the United States in 2009 to at­tend Tyler Ju­nior Col­lege, shifted to the Univer­sity of South Florida, then was drafted by Sport­ing Kansas City in 2012 and has played for the team ever since. He be­came a U.S. cit­i­zen on March 16 and made his in­ter­na­tional de­but at age 26.

Ler­oux, a 27-year-old for­ward from Bri­tish Columbia, played for Canada at age 14 in the 2004 Un­der-19 Women’s World Cup, be­came a star at UCLA and switched af­fil­i­a­tion to the US She has 35 goals in 75 in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ances and helped the Amer­i­cans win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and the ti­tle at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. They met when she was train­ing with the na­tional team in Kansas City and were in­tro­duced by a mu­tual friend. “We just kind of hung out. We were bud­dies, and then we started to hit it off,” he said.

Dwyer and Ler­oux an­nounced on Valen­tine’s Day 2015 that they had mar­ried a month ear­lier. She wears No. 2 and he No. 14. Of course, the home is filled with competition.

“We have lit­tle bits here and there. We def­i­nitely en­cour­age each other,” he said. “She def­i­nitely owes me money for this one.” They are only the fourth hus­band and wife to both play for the US, join­ing Jim Gabarra and Carin Jen­nings, Clau­dio Reyna and Danielle Egan and Zach Loyd and Casey Nogueira. Egan’s only goal was in 1993, four years be­fore she mar­ried Reyna.

“I’m in­sanely proud of him and so happy for the over­all win for the MNT,” Ler­oux said through a spokesman. “I love the fact that we both came to the USA from other coun­tries and get to chase our dreams to­gether wear­ing the crest that means so much to us. When he scored, it’s re­ally hard to de­scribe the feel­ing. Just chills. I know this is only the begin­ning for him.”

Arena changed eight starters from his lineup in the June 11 World Cup qual­i­fier at Mex­ico, re­tain­ing only Guzan, Acosta and Paul Ar­riola. Seven Amer­i­can starters en­tered with fewer than 10 in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ances. There also were de­buts for a pair of mid­field­ers: Ke­lyn Rowe started on the left flank and Kenny Saief, who played twice for Is­rael be­fore switch­ing his af­fil­i­a­tion to the US last month, en­tered in the 71st.—AP

EAST HART­FORD: Asamoah Gyan #3 of Ghana scores a goal against the United States de­fends in the sec­ond half dur­ing an in­ter­na­tional friendly be­tween USA and Ghana at Pratt & Whit­ney Stadium on Satur­day in East Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut. — AFP

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