USA routs Grenada 7-1 to remain unbeaten in the CONCACAF Nations League with Gio Reyna starting for the first time since the Gregg Berhalter saga
The United States Men’s National Team defeated the CONCACAF Minnows Grenada 7-1 in St George’s on Friday night.
Gio Reyna started his first game for the US after his parents belittled then-coach Gregg Berhalter for his lack of playing time at the World Cup.
Berhalter used Reyna sparingly at the World Cup and the 20-year-old was almost sent home by Berhalter for lack of hustle in training.
The player’s parents, former US captain Claudio Reyna and former women’s player Danielle Egan Reyna, notified the US Soccer Federation of a 1992 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and the woman with the one he later married, Danielle Egan’s former college roommate.
The USSF commissioned a law firm to investigate and named Anthony Hudson interim coach after Berhalter’s contract expired on December 31. a new sports director is hired.
USA thrashed Grenada 7-1 in forceful on-pitch response to off-pitch drama
Already unbeaten in the CONCACAF Nations League, the Stars and Stripes never seemed in any danger while in the capital.
Weston McKennie and Ricardo Pepi each scored twice to lead the USMNT to a comfortable victory. Christian Pulisic had a goal and two assists and Brenden Aaronson and Alejandro Zendejas also scored for the United States, which finished one count shy of tying the team record for most goals in a game.
The United States (2-0-1, seven points) can win Group D of League A of the tournament with a win or draw against El Salvador (1-0-2, five points) on Monday in Orlando. The winners of each of the four groups advance to the semifinals on June 15 in Las Vegas.
The Nations League is used to determine the top teams in CONCACAF and also serves as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Leading 4-1 at halftime, the USA scored the game in the 49th minute. After receiving a pass from Luca de la Torre, Pulisic drove a low shot past goalkeeper Jason Belfon and wide. slipped over the goal line.
De la Torre scored his second assist when his pass between the defenders led to Pepi’s breakaway goal for a 6-1 lead in the 53rd minute.
Zendejas capped the scoring in the 72nd minute with his first career goal for the USMNT.
It took the United States just four minutes to find the back of the net. Picking up a pass from Joe Scally down the left flank, Pulisic delivered a perfect cross to Pepi, who headed home Belfon just yards from goal.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 20th minute when Pulisic slipped a pass near the top of the box to Aaronson, who made a quick move to his right before finishing off Belfon.
The United States extended their lead to 3-0 in the 31st minute. A Pulisic free kick between the edge of the penalty area and the left sideline was deflected by a Grenada defender towards McKennie, who volleyed it into the back of the net.
Brenden Aaronson scored a sublime goal as the Stars and Stripes cruised to an easy victory
Grenada (0-3-1, one point) responded a minute later when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong found Myles Hippolyte near the top of the penalty area, and Hippolyte fired a shot past goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Pulisic fired a free kick from outside the penalty area towards the far post, where Auston Trusty headed the ball towards McKennie, who scored from just a few feet in the 34th minute.
The comfortable night in the Granada capital was historic, but not in the sense of the final score.
It was the first USMNT team to go to a matchday without a single MLS player since the league began in 1996.
Atlanta United’s Miles Robinson was called up to the current list, but it was a healthy scratch for the Nations League clash.
Instead, there were plenty of Premier League and Bundesliga players in the starting XI, with Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) in the front row.