The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team opened up its CONCACAF qualifying campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of Jamaica on Saturday.
The U.S. looked strong out of the gate, pressing far up the pitch and putting numbers forward in the attacking third. The U.S. midfield looked strong as it controlled the tempo of the match, and did well to keep the shape of the 4-4-2 formation that coach John Hackworth deployed. Specifically, James Sands and captain Joshua Sargent looked especially good on the day.
After a scoreless first half, things opened up in the second 45 as the Americans rattled of five unanswered goals. Toronto FC academy product Ayo Akinola led the way providing two goals and an assist, while Josh Sargent added a goal and an assist. Chris Durkin and Timothy Weah scored the other goals for the Americans.
The U.S. ended the match with 27 shots and 14 shots on target compared to Jamaica’s meager 6 shots and 2 shots on target. The U.S. pressed all day, forcing turnovers and getting in dangerous attacking positions.
Saturday’s win brings the team one step closer to the goal of competing in the U-17 World Cup later this year. The U-17s play Mexico next on Wednesday, and then El Salvador on Saturday.