Gold Cup goal: Stuart Holden finds the net in USMNT's 6-1 opening rout of Belize

Former Clemson star scored his third international goal after coming on as a substitute at halftime

Stuart Holden (left) and Landon Donovan celebrate Holden's third international goal, Donovan's 50th assist during the U.S. Men's National's Team's 6-1 rout of Belize in its Gold Cup opener at Portland, Oregon. (Associated Press photo)

Stuart Holden (left) and Landon Donovan celebrate Holden's third international goal, Donovan's 50th assist during the U.S. Men's National's Team's 6-1 rout of Belize in its Gold Cup opener at Portland, Oregon. (Associated Press photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Chris Wondolowski's misspelled jersey was about the only thing that was amiss for the U.S. men's soccer team.

The national team jumped on Belize with Wondolowski's first-half hat trick and cruised to a 6-1 victory to open the CONCAF Gold Cup tournament Tuesday night.

Landon Donovan had a goal and two assists, becoming the first national team player with at least 50 career goals and 50 assists, while former Clemson star Stuart Holden scored his third international goal early in the second half.

Another former Tiger, defender Oguchi Onyewu, did not play in the opener.

Wondolowski, who just had his first international goal last weekend, stole the show, sporting an extra "W" - "Wondowlowski" - on his red and white jersey when he popped in his three goals against Belize.

Laughing about it afterward, he pondered whether he should wear it for the remainder of the tournament.

"I'm pretty superstitious, so we'll see what we can conjure up," he said.

Costa Rica defeated Cuba 3-0 in an earlier match at Jeld-Wen Field.

The 12-team Gold Cup is played every other year between national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Group C teams next meet on Saturday in Salt Lake City, with the U.S. facing Cuba followed by Belize against Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Wondolowski is the third American to score three goals in a Gold Cup match, joining Donovan and Brian McBride. The United States has won four Gold Cups since the tournament's inception in 1991. Mexico has won the past two.

"It's just great to get the start, especially in front of some great fans, and they provide such an atmosphere that makes it exciting and it makes you want to go out there and play," Wondolowski said.

The U.S. men were coming off a 6-0 rout of Guatemala in San Diego on Friday, an international friendly to warm up for the Gold Cup. Donovan scored twice, extending his American record to 51 international goals.

That was Donovan's first match after a five-month break from the national team. He was not included on rosters for the U.S. team's June World Cup qualifying matches.

Wondolowski scored his first international goal against Guatemala. Tuesday night's match was just his 11th with the national team.

"I think Wondo realizes, `Every time I'm on the field, I have an opportunity, and I need to take advantage of it,"' U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann said.

Belize was making its first Gold Cup appearance. The Jaguars, as they are known, qualified for the competition with a fourth-place finish in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana.

The U.S. struck early when Wondolowski - who plays for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes - knocked in a rebound off Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio in the 12th minute.

The United States relentlessly peppered Orio with shots and he made a dramatic save when Joe Corona fired at him in the 27th minute. But Wondolowski was able to get another one past him in the 36th minute to make it 2-0.

Belize scored on a penalty kick two minutes later when Elroy Smith fed Ian Gaynair for the header to beat U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

But Belize, a team made up of a mix of amateur and professional players, lost steam after the goal, coach Andrew Mork said.

"It didn't last long enough," Mork said. "And that really turned the game around for us."

Wondolowski added a third goal in the 40th minute.

Holden, who came on at halftime, got into the scoring act in the 58th minute. Joe Corona drove the ball to Donovan in the left side of the box and Donovan calmly headed the ball back to the top of the six-yard box, where Holden finished smartly with his right foot for his third career goal and a 4-1 lead.

All three of Holden’s international goals have come in Gold Cup competition, adding to his two scores in the 2009 tournament.

The assist was the 50th of Donovan's international career.

Donovan got another when he passed to Michael Orozco for a header in the 72nd minute to make it 5-0. He got a goal - the 52nd of his career - with a penalty kick in the 76th minute.

"The crowd was great, the energy was great, I thought we started really well," Donovan said. "A little disappointed to give up a goal, but I think it was a great night for us, a great night for the fans and a good start for the tournament."

After the round-robin phase, the winners and runners up from each group, and the two top third-place finishers, advance to the knockout round. The Gold Cup tournament concludes July 28th at Soldier Field in Chicago.

It was the first visit to Portland for the U.S. men's team since 1998. Attendance was announced at 18,724.

Match Notes

• The U.S. improved to a perfect 12-0-0 in Gold Cup openers. Overall, the USA moved to 7-2-2 this year.

• U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured eight of the same players that opened the USA’s 6-0 victory against Guatemala on July 5 in San Diego, which served as the team’s tune-up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

• The three changes included forward Chris Wondolowski earning the start in place of Herculez Gomez, paired alongside Landon Donovan in the USA’s 4-1-3-2 formation. The other adjustments from the Guatemala win were Michael Orozco starting in place of Oguchi Onyewu at center back alongside Clarence Goodson, and Mix Diskerud starting in place of Edgar Castillo.

• Six USA players made their Gold Cup debuts: Nick Rimando, Orozco, Joe Corona, Diskerud, Jose Torres and second-half substitution Brek Shea.

• With his start, the Norwegian-born Diskerud is now officially tied to the United States for his international career.

• Donovan made his 146th career appearance and is now 18 caps behind all-time leader Cobi Jones (164). Donovan also played in his team-high 29th career Gold Cup game.

• DaMarcus Beasley, who is wearing the captain’s armband for the 2013 Gold Cup, played in his 105th career game on Tuesday and will tie eighth-place Eric Wynalda (106) with his next appearance. The game also marked Beasley’s 18th career Gold Cup appearance.

• Stuart Holden made his sixth career Gold Cup appearance when he started the second half in place of Kyle Beckerman.

• The 12 goals over the span of two games tied for the second most scored in consecutive matches in U.S. history. The record is 15, set in two games in 1993 against the Cayman Islands (8-1 W) and El Salvador (7-0 W). The U.S. scored 12 goals in two consecutive games in their first two home games in 1925 and 1926, both 6-1 victories against Canada.

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