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USMNT opens 2021 by scoring seven in mauling of Trinidad & Tobago


ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. Men’s National Team just started the new year the same way it finished the last: with a lopsided victory over a Concacaf foe.

The USMNT began a busy 2021 on the right foot on Sunday night, thrashing Trinidad & Tobago by a 7-0 mark in a friendly at Exploria Stadium. Jesus Ferreira led the way for the dominant Americans with two goals and three assists while Paul Arriola and Jonathan Lewis bagged a brace each. Miles Robinson scored the game’s other goal.

Gregg Berhalter’s side outshot the Soca Warriors by a 16-2 mark in the exhibition match that was 4-0 in favor of the Americans at halftime, but needed a second-half penalty kick save from debuting goalkeeper Matt Turner to maintain the shutout.

With the win, the USMNT has now beaten its last two opponents by a combined score of 13-0 following last month’s six-goal rout of El Salvador.

The Americans produced a dream start in Central Florida, with Lewis scoring after just two minutes on a simple finish from the center of the penalty area following a feed from Ferreira.

The striker went from provider to finisher seven minutes later to a cap a nifty team sequence. The ball was played from right to left on the goal, with Ferreira hitting home a Sam Vines cross.

Arriola joined in on the scoring fun with two tallies before halftime. He played Ferreira in on goal in the 22nd minute before receiving a return pass that was slotted in with ease, and unleashed a deflected 41st-minute shot that kissed the right post before finding the net.

The USMNT refused to let up in the second half despite the lopsided score. Miles Robinson made it 5-0 with a headed finish for his first international goal in the 52nd minute, Lewis scored his second of the night with a low effort three minutes later, and Ferreira slotted home the Americans’ seventh shortly after the hour-mark.

Trinidad & Tobago could have put a dent in the Americans’ night in the 66th minute after the debuting Andres Perea was whistled for a high foot in the box. Turner dove to his right to deny the Alvin Jones penalty, and preserve the shutout in his USMNT debut.


  1. There is a massive gap between the USA and the rest of CONCACAF except (maybe) Mexico that didn’t use to be there and while we keep saying “hey, it’s just Trinidad & Tobago”, hey it’s just Panama, hey it’s just El Salvador…I dunno, I don’t recall us ever outscoring those opponents 19-2 in three games before, especially with what amounted to a maybe third-choice lineup last night.

    At some point, you’ve gotta admit: “we’re getting a lot better.” I still don’t see a world-class striker (at any level on the roster, even in Europe), but other than that…we’re starting to get a team that looks like it can play against most anybody on the day.

    • The gap between the US and the minnows may have widened, especially with the current crop of talent at our disposal. It also helps that many of these minnows are going through transition and due to Covid lack the financial resources to get many games. T&T, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, etc… have been harder hit than those nations who have at least a reasonable % of players in Europe.
      However, a number of CONCACAF teams aren’t to be taken lightly. Canada & Jamaica are quietly building very competitive squads with some talent that I wouldn’t mind having in our starting XI. Qualifying may be harder on them than us strictly because they don’t have the depth. Playing 3 games in each FIFA window is going to put a lot of stress on some of the CONCACAF nations who can’t rotate their starting XI. It’s here that the US & Mexico are going to distance themselves….being able to field 2 totally different starting XI’s.

  2. Early 23 for March friendlies.
    Steffan, Horvath, 3rd keeper
    Dest, Cannon/Yedlin, Brooks, Richards, McKenzie/EPB, A. Robinson
    Adams, McKennie,
    Green, Pulisic, Reyna, Musah, Morris, Otowosie, Weah
    Sargent, Soto, Giocchini (sp?), Hoppe

    That’s 22. The last spot would be maybe Aaronson, or Jonny Cardoso. Or an MLS guy. I know there there are some names I’m forgetting about now, as well.

    • I can’t see Gregg calling 4 Center Forwards, so at least 1 of the 4 you selected “Sargent, Soto, Giocchini (sp?), Hoppe” will be left out for March.
      To the best of my knowledge a 23 man roster has never had fewer than 4 Center Backs…so either McKenzie/EPB becomes McKenzie & EPB or CCV gets added into the conversation. Any are fine by me, I just don’t want to see Ream again.
      While Otasowie can play the role of a 6 (or CB), I would guess that at least 1 other CDM would be called up. Cardoso or Yueill make the most since & have the most promise. Darkhorse CDM could be Morales (although not my choice).
      With Arriola on Loan in England I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get called up…and then there’s Gregg’s crush (Lletget) who I kind of expect to get called as well.

  3. Common theme of recent games but I thought they were much better playing direct — running at TnT, playing balls in behind the backline, squaring balls back from the endline but inside the box. I think we are far less effective when we settle for long diagonals and whacking crosses from the flag.

  4. Of course you can make distinctions, even in this kind of game. Ferreira, Arriola, and Lewis all showed well. Jozy missed it and Dike looked a little clumsy off the bench. Yeuill and Lletget looked solid in midfield, Perea nearly cost us a goal with the rash high kick. Long and Robinson looked good. Vines was a mixed bag, sometimes dangerous, sometimes vulnerable. The rest of the wingbacks kind of were wallpaper. Turner made the one necessary save.

    • To me the value of such games is not to confirm star power but rather to get the idea who stands out in a soft contest and is ready for a tougher test. You can then test them further against better opponents. The ones who struggle or disappear against TnT aren’t likely helping against Mexico.

      On a related note, I thought if we were paying attention the past 3 months we would be just fine without Jozy. How many non Jozy CF goals do we need before we admit we don’t need to go back to the well and see if any water’s left?

      FWIW Ferreira was a little wasteful on his chances — had 2-3 whiffs — but the idea is building depth. If your 5th best choice has like 2 goals in 2 caps but a whiffing problem then that’s a nice problem to have.

      • someone was “smh”ing me the other day for suggesting ferreira, ramirez, or others could probably handle the 9 as well as jozy at this career juncture. hmmm. fwiw when jozy becomes so broken down he has few recent caps (setting aside the history we all know) that means it’s a feature and not a bug. you don’t need to speculate on what a healthy 31 year old would look like when you have 3 games’ worth of productive strikers plus sargent.

  5. I think people took for granted that January games were supposed to be drab, scoreless affairs when the scorelines may have reflected a talent problem for a while.

  6. It was a match against an overwhelmed opponent. That said, I liked what we did. First, we had a camp that got many of the U23s ready for Olympics qualifying if that takes place. Second, we blended in MLS players who are competing for a roster spot on the 23s (Long, Lletget, Arriola, etc.). Third, it is good to build up depth as the pandemic and hectic schedule could mean several players are not available at times. It was a good use of the January camp, and was good to see the enthusiasm among the younger players.

  7. I think about the only thing we learned is that young US players are a lot more skilled than they used to be. I can remember when a lot of the passes and play that was routine tonight would have been unusually good from US players.

  8. Way to early June NL Roster
    GK: Steffen, Horvath, Johnson (Turner would then get whole GC)
    LB: Robinson, Ream (I know but for two games as a backup)
    LCB: Brooks, Long
    RCB: Miazga, Richards
    RB: Dest, Cannon
    DM: Adams, Yeuill
    CM: McKennie, Lletget, Musah, Green
    LW: Pulisic, Weah
    RW: Reyna, Morris
    CF: Sargent, Zardes

  9. The young players in this game showed very well. –
    The last 2 Olympic cycles the US men failed to qualify. It was 2008 when they last qualified, that team had Altidore, Bradley, Davies, Edu, Feilhaber, Holden, Kljestian, Parkhurst, McCarty, and Wynne. Since that time the players that failed to qualify, also failed largely to be suitable replacements for those players as they aged.

    It looks like the shortage of talent in the US has ended and this group has the talent to qualify.

    Jason Kreis was the winner tonight.

  10. Whose stock dropped: Altidore & Zimmerman. One has to think Altidore is finished. By the time WCQ rols around in September, the striker pool will stabilize, he will be expendable. Zimmerman does not have the mobility and range GB is looking for at CB, and Long and Robinson possess both.

    Who raised their stock: Perea, Herrera, Tessman, Turner. Now we know why GB was thrilled with Perea’s switch. He is still young, and needs to more coaching, but he is a candidate for September. Herrera is only 18 and Tessman 19. They both need another year, and are entering positions with lots of competition, but the potential is there. No question the backup behind Steffan is wide open, and Turner looks to be able to fill that spot.

    You do not learn much with the strikers and midfield against such weak competition. Ferreira, Arriola and Lewis had a field day, but a decent MLS club would handle T&T.

    • I think a decent USL team could have handled this T&T team. They were pretty bad and I think any MLS team could take them apart pretty easily. I don’t think this USMNT would beat a lot of MLS teams. MLS teams have been adding a lot of good international players.

  11. It’s easy to say it is what they should do because they s h o u l d. But…… they have done so easily and rather clinically and truth be told- that has not been the case in the past. Way to take care of business buys. Part of this is so many new faces in the program looking to make an impression.

  12. Can’t really point to anything as a clear take-away from this game. The US Did exactly what was expected of them maintaining 70% possession and outshooting the opposition 16-2.
    There were some individual positives, but can it be attributed to the players ability or was it just that T&T was that poor? I guess we’ll find out in March when Olympic Qualifying happens. Till then this was just a chance for players to pat their stats.

    • Serbia who apparently had visa issues which was why that game got canceled drew with Dominican Republic and Panama both 0-0 draws. They might have provided a more organized defense but they didn’t score against those two.
      There were two players that are even in the conversation to start in a first choice 11, Long and Lletget. After that Arriola probably the best chance to make the 23, Turner made a case with the PK save. Yueill and Acosta in the running for a roster spot. Most of these guys are in the “pecking order” between 30-50, and they left no doubt.
      The good thing is as injuries occur during qualifying if one of these guys has to play they’ve got the opening match nerves out of the way.


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