Kellyn Acosta: Chemistry solid in U.S. squad despite new players

Kellyn Acosta says the United States' team chemistry was "pretty high" after a 2-1 friendly win over Ghana on Saturday, in spite of a number of new faces being called in for the Gold Cup.

Acosta curled a free kick around the wall for his first international goal after debutant Dom Dwyer opened the scoring and the U.S. comfortably saw out the victory in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The friendly was the new-look U.S. squad's only test before the Gold Cup begins next weekend, but Acosta said the team was already coming together.

"I thought we stuck as a team," Acosta told ESPN after the game. "New faces, but our chemistry was pretty high. We got guys moving around for each other, working hard, battling. It was a great start to what's going to be a good tournament.

"I'm glad the guys battled and fought for 90-plus minutes and got the result that we wanted."

U.S. coach Bruce Arena put Acosta in as a holding midfielder alongside Dax McCarty, and the FC Dallas man had no complaints about playing with a new partner.

"I thought it went well," Acosta said. "Obviously it's definitely tough getting to know a new face, we kind of just jumped right in there, but overall I thought we had a good game. I thought there were times I went forward, he fell back and vice versa, so I thought for the first game plan, we did a pretty good job."

Acosta has recently become the American's go-to taker from free kick situations and delivered his first goal in his ninth international appearance.

"It was definitely a proud moment, a happy moment," he said. "I've been working hard for it and I was happy to put it away. Hopefully it's the first of many. I was glad just to get that first one under my belt so hopefully I can continue scoring. I mean, Gold Cup's approaching, big game next week and hopefully I can get a goal then as well.

"I saw the keeper kind of cheating a little bit. My first one, I tried to put it over the wall and he was kind of already over there, so that means second one, I just tried to put it low in the corner and hope for the best -- maybe a rebound or going straight in and fortunately enough it went straight in, so I'm happy with it."

Dwyer was also thrilled to score his first goal and was optimistic that the team chemistry would only improve before next week's opener against Panama in Nashville.

"It was a fantastic feeling," he said of his goal. "I was very happy to get out there and get the start. I just wanted to show myself well and make an impact. ...

"There's a lot of positives to take from the game. We're still getting to know each other as players. It's going take a bit of time, but I think we're jelling well.

"It's a real good group, they welcomed me in well and a few of the other new guys, so we're just excited to get going and hopefully we can win the tournament."