USA run rampant over Trinidad and Tobago

The United States was never expected to struggle against a makeshift Trinidad and Tobago side in their first friendly of 2021, but on a perfect night in Orlando, the Stars and Stripes got their year off to a perfect start.

Against a Soca Worriors group that was cobbled together at the last minute (several starters arrived in camp just 48 hours before kickoff, and many haven’t played competitively since March), Gregg Berhalter’s side did all that could be asked of them. Their passing was crisp, their off-ball movement was intelligent, and most importantly, the whole team was on the same page for 90 minutes.

Graphic by Will Mims & Ben Wright-Broadway Sports

Berhalter surprised some fans, giving FC Dallas’s Jesús Ferreira the nod at striker, while Matt Turner made his first international appearance in goal.

The home side got off to a quick start, scoring in the second minute through Jonathan Lewis, and kept their foot on the gas. Ferreira scored twice and assisted two others, while Paul Arriola grabbed a brace as the U.S. won by a comfortable scoreline of 7-0.

It’s important to keep this match in context. This was a solid side of MLS-based players who largely are fighting for depth spots with the full-strength team, playing against a group of players plying their trade in the lower divisions of US Soccer and the TT Pro League. Trinidad and Tobago has struggled mightily in recent years, and this wasn’t even a full-strength roster.

It’s also important to note what Berhalter’s side did well. They were incisive and proactive, and kept their foot on the gas even late in the match. Matt Turner upped his stock as well, saving a second-half penalty to deny the Soca Warriors their only real chance of the night.

A 7-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t guarantee anything for the United States, but with a crucial slate of 2021 matches on the horizon, with silverware and a World Cup berth on the line, a positive start was paramount. Heading into matches that actually count, they’ve scored five or more goals in three consecutive matches, a first in program history.

Next up for the USMNT, Olympic qualifying begins in March.


Man of the Match
Jesús Ferreira – 2 goals, 2 assists

Goals and assists

  • 2′ – Jonathan Lewis
    Assisted by: Jesús Ferreira, Sam Vines
  • 9′ – Jesús Ferreira
    Assisted by: Sam Vines
  • 22′ – Paul Arriola
    Assisted by: Jesús Ferreira
  • 41′ – Paul Arriola
    Assisted by: Jesús Ferreira
  • 52′ – Miles Robinson
    Assisted by: Aaron Long, Kellyn Acosta
  • 55′ – Jonathan Lewis
    Assisted by: Kellyn Acosta
  • 62′ – Jesús Ferreira
    Assisted by: Paul Arriola

Stats

Shots: USA 19 – 2 Trinidad & Tobago
Shots on goal: USA 12 – 1 Trinidad & Tobago
Goals: USA 7 – 0 Trinidad & Tobago
Possession: USA 74.2% – 27.6% Trinidad & Tobago

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