Fond of Foxborough

The MNT has had great Gold Cup success in Foxborough.

The U.S. MNT has become well acquainted with Foxborough during CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament history, as the team has played there in four previous tournaments from 2003-2009. Only The Rose Bowl in Pasadena can match the eight total Gold Cup games the U.S. has played at Gillette Stadium, with Friday’s second group match against Haiti making it the most-used U.S. venue in Gold Cup history.

Going 6-0-2 in the team’s previous Gold Cup matches in Foxborough, the MNT has certainly made some memories at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a breakdown of each of the eight previous games:

U.S. MNT 2, El Salvador 0 – July 12, 2003

The U.S. opened up the 2003 Gold Cup at Gillette Stadium with a 2-0 win against El Salvador. Eddie Lewis scored off a textbook give-and-go with Brian McBride in the 28th minute before Man of the Match McBride headed home a pinpoint cross from the New England Revolution’s own Steve Ralston in the 76th minute.

U.S. MNT 2, Martinique 0 – July 14, 2003

Two days later, the team followed up the El Salvador win with a matching 2-0 score line against Martinique. The game’s first goal was a team effort in the 39th minute as Frank Hejduk slid the ball to Steve Ralston on the right. Under pressure, Ralston quickly played a one-two with Richard Mulrooney before receiving the ball back and crossing for McBride who headed home his second of the tournament.

The U.S. doubled the lead four minutes later when Ralston chased down a cross from Bobby Convey on the left before playing a short, centering pass for McBride who finished from close range to give the United States a second-straight shutout victory.

U.S. MNT 5, Cuba 0 – July 19, 2003

Simply put, this was the Landon Donovan show. The National Team’s future all-time leading scorer got four of his 57 career goals in this match. Donovan found his first when Lewis sprung McBride into the penalty area on the left, before sliding to his younger front line mate who side footed home in the 22nd minute. He’d make it two goals in four minutes as Lewis’ looping cross from the left found him in stride before firing a first-time blast into the opposite side netting.

Steve Ralston broke up the Donovan party in the 42nd minute when another Lewis cross from the left met the winger at the six, where he headed past Cuba ‘keeper Odelin Molina. With Cuban defender Reizander Fernandez sent off a minute later, the U.S. result seemed certain, but the score wasn’t.

Lewis would again provide the assist in the 55th minute as an early cross left Molina in no-man’s land where Donovan slipped ahead and nodded his effort home, completing the first hat trick of Donovan’s international career in the 55th minute. Donovan made his way into the U.S. Soccer history books in the 76th minute when Greg Vanney’s quick cross provided an easy finish. With the goal, Donovan joined Archie Stark, Aldo “Buff” Donelli and Joe-Max Moore as the fourth U.S. player to score four goals in a match.

The game was the first of three hat tricks and second of nine multi-goal games in Donovan’s U.S. career.

U.S. MNT 0, Costa Rica 0 - July 12, 2005

Clint Dempsey, John O’Brien and Josh Wolff each had chances, but with both teams already qualified for the quarterfinals after their first two matches, neither could find the breakthrough. The result was the first-ever non-win for the U.S. in Gold Cup group play, but with a superior goal differential, the team still finished atop the group.

U.S. MNT 3, Jamaica 1 – July 16, 2005

The U.S. took the early lead when Josh Wolff redirected DaMarcus Beasley’s from outside the box to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute. Jamaica had a chance to equalize just four minutes later, but U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller guessed correctly to keep the lead. The U.S. would double the lead before halftime when Landon Donovan slid into the box before crossing for Beasley who finished in the 42nd minute.

A chippy match would see the U.S. midfielder Ben Olsen sent off in the 58th minute before Jamaica’s Jermaine Taylor suffered the same fate eight minutes later.

With both teams playing with 10 men the rest of the way, the U.S. found a third goal as Chris Armas battered through the Jamaican back line before centering for Beasley who finished his second from close range. Ricardo Fuller pulled one back for Jamaica in the 88th minute, but Beasley’s brace in the match pushed him to the tournament’s Golden Boot award en route to a third Gold Cup title.

U.S. MNT 4, El Salvador 0 – June 12, 2007

DaMarcus Beasley picked up where he left off in Foxborough two years before, scoring unassisted in the 34th minute and off a feed from Clint Dempsey in the 89th. Landon Donovan added a penalty kick in the 49th, before Taylor Twellman tallied the lone Gold Cup goal of his international career in the 73rd minute to continue the U.S. MNT’s domination over El Salvador winning the group and

U.S. MNT 2, Panama 1 – June 16, 2007

In a rematch of the 2005 Gold Cup final, an early flurry of chances should have seen the U.S. up by a few goals at halftime, but Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo stood strong in net. After halftime, the U.S. would finally break through when Donovan ran onto a ball out of midfield before being hauled down in the box and scoring the 58th minute penalty kick. Carlos Bocanegra nodded home the second goal off a DaMarcus Beasley free kick two minutes later, which would stand up when Blas Perez pulled one back in the 85th minute.

U.S. MNT 2, Haiti 2 – July 11, 2009

The U.S. went ahead early through Davy Arnaud in the sixth minute, but Haiti would give the U.S. its biggest-ever scare in the Gold Cup group stage just after half time when Vaniel Sirin and Mones Chery tallied in the 46th and 48th minutes respectively to give Haiti a 2-1 lead.

The U.S. poured on the pressure through the second half, but only found the equalizer in the 92nd minute when Stuart Holden’s rocketed an effort home from 25 yards, salvaging a 2-2 draw as the U.S. finished on top of the group.