The U.S. Men’s National Team went into Monday’s friendly against Panama with one clear mandate from head coach Gregg Berhalter.
The USMNT needed to score some goals.
The Americans responded to their goal-less outing against Wales last Thursday by delivering six goals in a 6-2 romp over Concacaf rival Panama on Monday in a friendly in Austria.
Nicholas Gioacchini scored a pair of first-half goals, Sebastian Soto notched a pair of late goals, while Gio Reyna provided a goal and assist for the USMNT, which overcame an early deficit to post a comfortable victory.
Berhalter deployed the third-youngest lineup in USMNT history, and that young squad got off to a slow start, surrendering a ninth-minute goal by Jose Fajardo to give Panama an early lead.
The Americans responded quickly and repeatedly, rattling off three goals in eight minutes, sparked by a Reyna free kick goal in the 18th minute, and followed up by Gioacchini’s two goals, which came just four minutes apart.
Panama threatened in the second half, after the USMNT endured a sluggish start to the second 45 minutes, and it was Fajardo again, scoring his second in the 79th minute to make things interesting, if only briefly.
Richie Ledezma enjoyed a dream debut, delivering a pair of assists, setting up both goals by Soto, his former U.S. Under-20 teammate. The first assist came in the 84th minute, with the second providing the final goal of the match.