USA thrashes Grenada 7-1 to stay unbeaten in CONCACAF Nations League as Gio Reyna starts for the first time since Gregg Berhalter saga
The United States Men’s National Team thrashed CONCACAF minnows Grenada 7-1 in St George’s on Friday night.
Gio Reyna started in his first match with the U.S. after his parents disparaged 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 nearly was sent home by Berhalter for lack of hustle in training.
The player’s parents, former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and former women’s player Danielle Egan Reyna, notified the U.S. Soccer Federation of a 1992 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and the woman he later married – Danielle Egan´s former college roommate.
The USSF commissioned a law firm to investigate and appointed Anthony Hudson interim coach after Berhalter’s contract expired Dec. 31. The law firm said there was no legal impediment to retaining Berhalter, who remains a candidate, and the USSF put off a coaching decision until after a new sporting director is hired.
The United States thrashed Grenada 7-1 in a resounding on-field response to off-field drama
Already undefeated in the CONCACAF Nations League, the Stars and Stripes never looked in 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 tally shy of tying the team record for most goals in a game.
The U.S. (2-0-1, seven points) can win Group D of the tournament’s League A with a win or a tie against El Salvador (1-0-2, five points) on Monday in Orlando. The winners from 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 while also serving as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Leading 4-1 at halftime, the U.S. put the game away in the 49th minute. After taking a pass from Luca de la Torre, Pulisic drove a low shot that squirted underneath goalie Jason Belfon and trickled over the goal line.
De la Torre notched his second assist when his pass in between 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.
The United States needed just four minutes to find the back of the net. After receiving a pass from Joe Scally along the left wing, Pulisic delivered a perfect cross to Pepi, who headed the ball past Belfon from just a few feet in front of the goal.
The visitors doubled the lead in the 20th minute when Pulisic slid a pass near the top of the box to Aaronson, who made a quick move to his right before driving a shot past Belfon.
The United States extended its lead to 3-0 in the 31st minute. Pulisic’s free kick from between the side of the penalty box and the left sideline deflected off a Grenada defender to McKennie, who volleyed it into the back of the net.
Brenden Aaronson scored a sublime goal as the Stars and Stripes cantered to an easy victory
Grenada (0-3-1, one point) countered a minute later when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong found Myles Hippolyte near the top of the penalty box, and Hippolyte blasted a shot past goalie Matt Turner.
Pulisic curled a free kick from outside the penalty box toward the far post, where Auston Trusty headed the ball down to McKennie, who scored from just a few feet away in the 34th minute.
The comfortable night in the Grenada capital was historic, but not in the sense of the final score.
It was the first ever USMNT matchday squad without a single MLS player since the league began back in 1996.
Atlanta United’s Miles Robinson was called up to the current roster, but was a healthy scratch for the Nations League clash.
Instead, there were Premier League and Bundesliga players aplenty in the starting XI, with Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) and Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) all in the front-line.
Post source: Daily mail