LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The US kicked their Gold Cup campaign into high gear by steamrolling Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 and avenging a 2017 defeat that sent the Americans crashing out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The US was not only seeking to advance to the next round of the Concacaf Gold Cup, but redemption for that 2-1 loss in their last meeting which sent shockwaves around the soccer world.
The 2017 Gold Cup champion US opened their 2019 campaign with a 4-0 win over Guyana. They stepped up their attack against Trinidad on Saturday night, scoring five goals in the final 24 minutes of the contest at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
Gyasi Zardes and Aaron Long each scored twice and Zach Steffen stopped three shots for the shutout for the Americans, who had just three players in their lineup who played in that stunning upset two years ago.
One of those was Christian Pulisic who scored in the 73rd minute. The other two were Paul Arriola and Michael Bradley.
US coach Gregg Berhalter started the same lineup Saturday that he used in the win over Guyana.
But this rout should allow him to mix things up in their next game on Wednesday against Panama which will determine first and second place in their group.
Zardes narrowly missed a hat-trick, getting three straight chances from in close on the 70th minute. He hit the post on the first, was stopped by the goalkeeper on the second and when the ball came back to him, he sent it sailing high over the bar.
In the other Group D match Saturday, Panama defeated Guyana 4-2.