On This Day presented by UMKC takes daily strolls down memory lane and celebrates memorable moments in Sporting Kansas City history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. This series pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. For more, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
Four years ago today, the United States Men's National Team defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a Copa America Centenario tune-up match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi, deployed as a wide midfielder at the time, started and played 87 minutes, while Sporting captain Matt Besler came off the bench in the 77th minute to provide defensive reinforcement and help seal the shutout victory.
Zusi earned his 34th cap in the international friendly, joining a three-pronged attack alongside Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes. Besler was introduced with 13 minutes remaining, collecting his 32nd cap as the United States limited an Ecuador side ranked 12th in the world to just three total shot attempts.
Halftime substitute Darlington Nagbe scored the game-winner in the 90th minute, settling a headed pass from Bobby Wood and slotting low into the back of the net for his first international goal.
Zusi, Besler and the U.S. would go on to finish fourth at the historic Copa America Centenario, topping Group A and defeating Ecuador again in the quarterfinals before falling to Lionel Messi and Argentina in the semis.