The U.S. Men’s National Team kicked off 2021 with a dominant 7-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago as four players scored and five added assists.
The USA got off to a scorching start and kept up relentless pressure all night as forward Jesus Ferreira helped spark the victory, scoring twice while setting up three other goals. Forwards Paul Arriola and Jonathan Lewis also scored twice, marking the first time since 1993 that three USMNT players scored multiple goals in a single game. Ferreira and Lewis’ goals were their first for the USA and center back Miles Robinson also netted his first international goal.
A youthful U.S. line-up outpossessed the Soca Warriors by a wide margin and piled up a 19-2 advantage in shots. On the night, six players earned their first caps: goalkeeper Matt Turner and defender Aaron Herrera started the match while defender George Bello, midfielders Andres Perea and Tanner Tessmann and forward Darly Dike came on as second-half substitutes. Ten players who took the field were age-eligible (born in 1997 or later) for March’s Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
The USMNT took very little time to show T&T that it would be a long night as Ferreira set up Lewis for his first U.S. goal less than two minutes after the opening whistle.
The Americans pressed aggressively and played at a pace that Trinidad and Tobago struggled to match, with the USA spending much of the game in their attacking half. An extended spell of possession deep in the final third sparked the second USA goal in the ninth minute as a nice interchange ended in a nifty Ferreira finish, the FC Dallas forward’s first tally of the night.
The USA continued to threaten during the course of the half, keeping the Trinidadian defense on its heels and finding plenty of room to run on the wings. Goalkeeper Adrian Foncette had his hands full but did make a few excellent saves on the night to keep the score down. In the 22nd minute, Ferreira broke free on the run towards goal and then teed up an onrushing Arriola for the veteran winger’s first of the night. Not letting up, the D.C. United forward bagged his brace in the 41st. Arriola has scored three goals in his last two matches and tonight’s were his seventh and eight for the USA.
After the break, midfielder Andres Perea entered the match as a substitute to earn his first cap. The Orlando City SC midfielder was granted a one-time change of association from Colombia to represent the USA just before the USMNT’s January training camp kicked off.
The USA kept its foot on the gas after the break and a flurry of goals extended the American advantage early in the second half. A clinical set piece opened the scoring as captain Aaron Long headed the service back across goal to his center back partner Robinson, who buried a diving header from close range for his first international tally. After opening the scoring early, Lewis also netted in 55th minute, ripping a rocket from 18 yards into the right side of the net. Ferreira added his second to cap the scoring in the 62nd.
Following the three-goal outburst, Berhalter made four changes around the 65th minute mark. Shortly after the mass substitution, Trinidad and Tobago was awarded a penalty kick and Turner had his biggest moment of the night. After not having much work in the opening hour, the debutant goalkeeper dove to his right to make the stop on Alvin Jones’ shot, then pounced on the rebound to avoid any further danger.
It was the first penalty kick saved by a USMNT goalkeeper since Brad Guzan’s stop Asamoah Gyan’s spot kick in the USA’s 2-1 friendly win against Ghana on July 1, 2017 in East Hartford, Conn.
The USMNT will return to action during the March international window. The U-23 USMNT will compete at the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship from March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.