When Sebastian Lletget received the call-up for the March friendlies, the big question was whether he would be able to maintain his place in the U.S. Men’s National Team depth chart given all the promising young talent in the pipeline.
Lletget made it clear on Thursday that he isn’t going anywhere just yet, delivering a Man of the Match performance with a pair of late goals in Thursday’s 4-1 win against Jamaica.
Lletget saved his best moments for last in a 4-1 victory over Jamaica, scoring a pair of goals in the final seven minutes of the match. It was a strong outing for the L.A. Galaxy playmaker, who was the oldest player to feature in the match for the Americans.
With Jamaica knocking on the door late at Weiner Neustadt Stadion, Lletget delivered the settling blow in the dying stages. Both of his finishes came inside of Jamaica’s 18-yard box, showing once again Lletget’s clinical ability in the final third.
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“I got a lot of questions this week about Sebastian Lletget and what do I see in Sebastian Lletget,” Berhalter said post match. “And I think his performance spoke for itself tonight, for sure. Really, really good player, really technical player, reads the game well and is able to arrive in the penalty box and finish his opportunities.”
“It’s been a process,” Lletget said. “When Gregg got the job, I was lucky enough to be part of that group when he started to first integrate his style of play. At first, it was difficult, and I think it’s just been a slow progressive process for me. Now you’re seeing more of an understanding, a player that understands his role in this team.”
Lletget had to wait for his shining moments in the match, but did well alongside Kellyn Acosta, Yunus Musah, and second-half substitute Brenden Aaronson overall. His calm and composed attitude helped the Americans hold their own defensively against the Reggae Boyz, outside of Jamal Lowe’s second-half goal.
Offensively, the veteran midfielder recorded four total shots with three of those ending up on goal. He also completed 51 of his 61 passes in the match, stringing together opportunities for his teammates. It was a typical hardworking performance from Lletget, who remains a key piece in Berhalter’s squad going forward.
“I do think, as far as the coaching staff, we’ve built a good trust and I think the trust they’ve put in me, it gives me confidence,” Lletget said. “Anytime I step on the field I know what I have to do and they make my role really clear, so I think that helps me as a player and the type of player that I am.”
“As far as headlines, I know people think that I would love such a thing but honestly I’m pretty low-key. Honestly, more power to my teammates, I hope they keep getting the limelight because they deserve it.”
Lletget got to spectate in the first-half as Sergino Dest’s confident strike in the 34th minute got the Americans underway. He’s also gotten another opportunity to work with young, rising talents like Christian Pulisic, Musah, and Josh Sargent, who all started in the match.
Being able to score a pair of goals himself was a special moment, but Lletget understands the importance of his younger teammates stepping up and delivering positive moments as well.
“I do think we could’ve scored a few more goals in the first-half, but sometimes things don’t come off like you want them too,” Lletget said. “When somebody has the ability to do what Sergino did, like Christian can do, or Yunus can do, it definitely takes that load off your back. It’s special to see and I feel it’s only the beginning for us.”
“It’s funny in all honesty it’s been a pleasure playing alongside those guys. I think Serge has been amazing, Christian has just gone up another gear in his career, Weston as well, it’s just a joy to play with these guys.
Lletget will close out another camp with the USMNT on Sunday against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park before returning to MLS preseason with the Galaxy.