DETROIT — Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and set up Clint Dempsey's goal in the second, and the United States opened its Gold Cup schedule with a 2-0 win over Canada on Tuesday night.

The 21-year-old Altidore was playing his first game in a Gold Cup, which is the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. His goal in the 15th minute put the U.S. ahead, and Dempsey added one in the 62nd off a nice cross from Altidore.

The U.S. bounced back after losing 4-0 to World Cup champion Spain in an exhibition game Saturday. The Americans have never lost a group stage game at the Gold Cup.

The U.S. pressured Canada from the start. Altidore scored after running onto a long pass from Landon Donovan. Although Kevin McKenna was back to defend, Altidore was able to turn and take a low shot from a tough angle to the right of the goal. The ball slipped under goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld and into the net.

There was little Hirschfeld could do about the second goal. Altidore sent a low cross from to the right of the net, and Dempsey was able to knock the ball in while sliding across the ground near the far post.

The Americans didn't field their best lineup against Spain, putting more emphasis on the Gold Cup. The tournament champion receives a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup, an important World Cup tuneup.

The U.S. looked confident and crisp against Canada. Michael Bradley created an early scoring chance off a corner kick, shooting from near the top of the penalty area, but U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra redirected the ball wide.

Altidore put the Americans ahead soon after that, then ran to the corner flag and kicked at it in celebration.

Juan Agudelo, Altidore's partner up top, poked a shot in the 40th minute that Hirschfeld saved with his left arm. Moments later, he forced the goalkeeper to go sprawling to his right to stop his shot from about 25 yards.

Oguchi Onyewu was left out of the starting lineup for the Americans. Coach Bob Bradley went with Tim Ream and Clarence Goodson in central defense. After looking overmatched against Spain's smooth passing, the Americans didn't allow Canada any good chances inside the penalty area until Simeon Jackson dribbled past Ream and Bocanegra in the 57th minute. Ream was able to recover in time to prevent Jackson from getting a shot through to the goal.

Dempsey nearly made a spectacular play at the other end, back-heeling the ball while diving forward horizontally after Hirschfeld deflected a cross. The ball went out of bounds for a corner kick.

Dempsey's goal came not too long after that, and the Americans held on. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard reacted marvelously to deflect Ali Gerba's powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area with his right hand in the 70th minute. About 15 minutes later, Howard smothered a shot near the edge of the 6-yard box, then recovered in time to make another terrific stop on a volley by Gerba from point-blank range.

Notes: Freddy Adu was not one of the 18 active players for the U.S. ... Bradley received a yellow card in the 51st minute when he tangled with Canada's Dwayne De Rosario as the Canadians were trying to set up a free kick. William Johnson of Canada was booked the following minute when he fouled Jermaine Jones from behind while the American was making a nice run through the midfield. ... Attendance was announced at 28,209. Toward the end of the first half, an American fan club behind one of the goals began chanting "We can't hear you!" at a smaller group of Canadian fans at the opposite end.