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USMNT Recap: United States 7 - 1 Grenada
The United States trounce Grenada as they take one step closer to qualifying for the Concacaf Nations League this summer.
The United States Men's National Team returned to action on Friday night as they faced Grenada in Concacaf Nations League action.
Former Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner was in net for the U.S. In front of him, the backline comprised of Joe Scally, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, and Bryan Reynolds. Luca DeLaTorre, Weston McKennie, Brendan Aaronson, Christian Pulisic, and Gio Reyna comprised the midfield as Ricardo Pepi served as the lone striker.
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The United States got off to a hot start as they generated some good opportunities in the opening minutes. The US efforts paid off in the fourth minute as Pulisic drove down the left flank. After shaking off his defender, Pulisic whipped the ball centrally to Pepi. The striker stood strong as he rocketed a header on frame and into the back of the net to score his fourth international goal and give the US a 1-0 lead early.
Grenada came close to having a quick response in the 7th minute as Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong rocketed a shot on goal. Turner stretched out and got a fingertip on it as he directed the ball to the goalpost. The ball ricocheted back into the box, where it was quickly cleared away from danger.
The United States doubled their lead in the 20th minute as Scally passed the ball to Pulisic, who slotted it over to Aaronson, who sent the ball between the defender's legs and past the keeper to make it a 2-0 US lead.
McKennie continued the U.S. scoring efforts in the 31st minute. Pulisic sent a free kick from the left side of the box centrally to McKennie.
The Leeds United midfielder lept into the air and attempted to send a header on frame. The ball deflected off the Grenadian defender in front of him. Luckily, the deflection went straight up and right back down as McKennie caught it on a volley and rocketed it into the net.
Grenada answered quickly in the 32nd minute as Myles Hippolyte caught the U.S. defense napping as he sent a shot from just outside the box past Turner and into the net.
Like Grenada, the U.S. had a quick answer in the 34th minute as Pulisic sent his freekick to the far post to Trusty. The defender headed the ball down to McKennie, who lobbed the ball over the keeper and into the net.
Like in the first half, the U.S. wasted no time getting things started in the second half. Reynolds drove down the right flank before cutting the ball centrally to De La Torre, who cut the ball to Pulisic on the left. Pulisic’s shot was right at the keeper, yet the ball took an awkward deflection off the keeper’s torso and crossed over the goal line to give the US a 5-1 lead in the 49th minute.
Pepi bagged his second goal of the night in the 53rd as he got onto a perfectly weighted through ball from De La Torre and drove down the right flank. Pepi squared up with the keeper and slotted the ball into the top right corner of the net.
The United States’ first substitutions came in the 57th minute as Daryl Dike and Yunus Musah came on for McKennie and Pepi. Another pair of subs came in the 64th minute as Alejandro Zendejas and Taylor Booth came on for Pulisic and Reyna.
Alejandro Zendejas scored his first international goal in the 73rd minute after his left-footed shot from outside the box bounced past the keeper and into the net.
Friday’s result was important for the U.S. as they have now qualified for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup. It also helped their Concacaf Nations League efforts as they sit at the top of Group D with seven points.
The U.S. needs one point on Monday, March 27th, as they host second-placed El Salvador inside Exploria Stadium at 7:30 PM ET.