The United States men’s national team have advanced to the 2023 Gold Cup knockout rounds after a 6-0 drubbing of Trinidad & Tobago. Another one-sided trouncing earned the U.S. top spot in their group. Jesus Ferreira scored a hat trick in the second consecutive game, while Cade Cowell, Gianluca Busio, and Brandon Vazquez came off the bench and added to the goal fest.
Instead of giving you our player ratings, we want to know what you think. Below is a ratings form for you to fill out with ratings for each USMNT player’s performance. After a day/night of voting, we’ll tabulate the ratings and reveal them with the top rated player being named Stars and Stripes FC’s Man of the Match. Feel free to head down to the comment section and leave your thoughts on the match as a whole or give your detailed explanation of your ratings.
The USA bounced back from its opening draw with Jamaica by pummeling St. Kitts and Nevis 6-0 in its second game of the tournament. Jesus Ferreira’s hat trick, plus goals from Djordje Mihailovic and Bryan Reynolds, gave the USA a huge goal differential in the tournament, which could be important if they can’t do better than a draw against Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean dual-island nation is the one team that could upset the United States in the tournament, but nothing less than a win will do it. Trinidad and Tobago are 1-0-1 with three points while the USA and Jamaica are each 1-1-0 with four points. If the Soca Warriors manage to beat the USA, the Americans’ fortunes in the tournament would depend on the results of Jamaica vs. St. Kitts and Nevis.
Why you should back the USMNT
The Americans showed their attacking ability in Wednesday’s thrashing of the Sugar Boyz. They bombarded the Saint Kitts and Nevis goal with 34 shots, putting 15 on target. Jesus Ferreira got his second career hat trick, and Djordje Mihailovic scored twice. The Americans have conceded one goal and just three shots on target in the first two matches. The USMNT rested several key players Wednesday, including goalkeeper Matt Turner, so they have far more quality depth than the visitors.
While the Soca Warriors were hammered by the Jamaicans, the Americans held 68% possession and outshot the Reggae Boyz 13-6. Brandon Vazquez rescued the point with an 88th minute goal. The USMNT are 11th in FIFA’s world rankings, while the Soca Warriors are 101st, but the hosts won’t take this match for granted. Trinidad and Tobago upset the USMNT 2-1 to keep them home from the 2018 World Cup. The Americans have won the subsequent two meetings by a combined score of 13-0.
Why you should back Trinidad and Tobago
The Soca Warriors started with a statement victory before a reality check against the Reggae Boyz. Still, they know they’ve beaten the mighty Americans before, knocking them out of the 2018 World Cup field with a 2-1 victory in October, 2017. The USMNT also don’t have the speed the Jamaicans possess in their attack, and the USMNT can have trouble finishing goals. Several key players from the American World Cup squad are absent, including Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, who are preparing for club seasons.
Columbus Crew veteran Kevin Molino (23 international goals) sat out against Jamaica with fatigue, but he should be fit to start. Joevin Jones (12 goals) and Ryan Telfer (eight goals) are the other top scorers. Levi Garcia, 25, was second in the Greek Super League last season with 14 goals for league champion AEK Athens. Atlanta United 20-year-old Ajani Fortune scored on a rocket from distance in the opener, and the Soca Warriors got an own goal and a tally from defender Alvin Jones.
Defender Miles Robinson returns from injury, making his first appearance since starting the Concacaf Nations League semifinal against Mexico on June 15 in Las Vegas.
Nineteen-year-old Jalen Neal becomes just the second center back under the age of 20 to start back-to-back matches in official competition. Neal joins Mike Windischmann, who was also 19 when he started three consecutive World Cup qualifiers between May 19 and May 31, 1985.
Cristian Roldan earns his first start since the 1-0 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Dec. 18, 2021.
James Sands makes his ninth consecutive appearance in the Concacaf Gold Cup. Sands has played in every Gold Cup match dating back to the 2021 tournament opener against Haiti.
Gianluca Busio gets the start just down the road from his hometown of Greensboro, N.C.
Djordje Mihailovic starts back-to-back USMNT matches for the first time since his first two caps on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, 2019 against Panama and Costa Rica, respectively.
Alan Soñora has a right hamstring strain and will not play tonight, while Aidan Morris has been given permission to depart camp for personal reasons.
Jesús Ferreira, Miles Robinson and Matt Turner all had big performances in the USA’s last match against Trinidad and Tobago, a 7-0 win on Jan. 31, 2021 in Orlando. Ferreira registered his first two goals and three assists in a U.S. uniform, Robinson also tallied his first international goal, while Turner made his international debut and saved a penalty kick.
The USA holds a 20-3-4 all-time advantage against Trinidad and Tobago and is 4-0-0 against the Soca Warriors in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
The USMNT is 39-1-5 all-time in the Gold Cup group stage and 19-0-2 against Caribbean opposition.
Tonight marks the first time the USMNT has played a match in official competition in North Carolina. The USMNT is 4-1-2 all-time in the Tar Heel State.
The referee for tonight’s match is Mario Escobar of Guatemala. The USMNT is 1-1-1 in matches officiated by Escobar, including the 1-0 loss to Mexico in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final, the 0-0 draw at Mexico in World Cup qualifying on March 24, 2022 and a 1-0 win against El Salvador in Concacaf Nations League play on March 27, 2023.
Five substitutions are allowed in three different moments. Halftime does not count as a substitution moment
Video assistant referee will be used for all matches in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
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