U.S. MNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann spent much of the past week doing his best to convince the U.S. soccer public that today’s match versus CONCACAF minnows St. Vincent and the Grenadines was more than a formality before a 6-0 U.S. victory put lie to that theory.
The Americans were on top from the start at the Cricket Grounds with Hamburg striker Bobby Wood missing an easy chance early before opening the scoring in the 28th minute with a neatly placed strike.
A second U.S. goal, this one from new dad Matt Besler four minutes later put a more realistic look on the scoreboard as the defender finished with a neat half-volley. When Wood was dragged down in the St V&G box captain Jozy Altidore stepped forward to fire the Yanks to the halftime intermission with a 3-0 lead and it was all going well for the visitors.
The second half started in a much different manner as the home team stormed out of the gate determined to give their supporters a better show in the second half.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government had made today a half holiday and even if the crowd remained small, spirits were high against the superior American team.
Twice St. V&G had the ball in the U.S. goal in the opening stages of the second half but the Americans were bailed on both occasions by offside calls, correct in both cases.
Nevertheless, it was a discouraging start to the final 45 for the U.S. – that is until 17-year-old Christian Pulisic broke the spell. Fellow substitute Sacha Kljestan fed a beautiful through ball that the Borussia Dortmund attacker controlled with elan before slipping his shot neatly beyond the beleaguered Vincy Heat keeper.
Moments later the roles were reversed when Pulisic put it on a platter for Kljestan for the New York Red Bulls midfielder to make the score 5-0 in his first game back in a U.S. jersey since 2014 and his first international goal since 2010.
Pulisic added a second goal in stoppage time, cooly sending his shot under the crossbar to put an exclamation point on what was an expected win for the Americans.
The U.S. MNT simply had too much depth and too much talent for their game but overmatched hosts and so head into Tuesday’s match with Trinidad and Tobago on a high.