San Francisco: Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson scored late to lift the United States to a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Tuesday night in the first of three World Cup warmups for the Americans.
On a night when captain Clint Dempsey was ruled out just before kickoff because of a sore left groin, the 14th-ranked Americans had trouble breaking down No. 85 Azerbaijan.
Diskerud, wearing the No. 10 jersey that was freed up when Landon Donovan was cut from the squad last week, scored from close range after a Brad Davis free kick four minutes after going on as a replacement in the 71st minute.
Johannsson went on in the 62nd minute and scored in the 81st with a header from the edge of the box after a corner kick from Davis.
The Americans began an intense two-week training camp May 14 at nearby Stanford University, and the players seemed to have tired legs during the match.
"It was exactly what we need at this point of our preparation after two fully loaded weeks," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It was a tricky game."
The Americans play Turkey in New Jersey on Sunday and Nigeria in Florida six days later before heading to Brazil, where they have first-round World Cup matches against Ghana, Portugal and Germany.
Klinsmann said he expected Dempsey to be fit within a few days.