The US men overcame a slow start with the help of four goals from Jesus Ferreira to secure a comfortable 5-0 victory over Grenada on Friday night in the opening game of the CONCACAF Nations League at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Neither Christian Pulisic nor Tyler Adams dressed for the game against 170th-ranked Grenada, as American coach Greg Berhalter made eight changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Uruguay on Sunday.
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Despite dominating possession and shooting in the first half, the United States didn’t have much to show until Ferreira pounced on a loose ball in the area, overpowered his mark and fired past Grenada goalkeeper Jason Balfon to give his side a narrow advantage in the net. rest time.
“I think I’m in a good position,” said Ferreira, the son of former Colombia national football team midfielder David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS Player of the Year. “I won’t focus on goals because I know they will come. Just having a good game will do.”
Ferreira doubled the Americans’ lead shortly after the break, beating Pelephone in his far post with a clean shot from Paul Areola’s powerful pass that opens up Grenada’s defence.
Berhalter’s side took a three-goal lead before the hour mark, as Ferreira pulled off a hat-trick with a superb shot into the top corner and Areola lifted the score to 4-0 with a close-range shot with the help of Luca de la Torre shortly after.
“There is a certainty that you get as a striker when you hit the net,” Berhalter said.
The joint top scorer in Major League Soccer wasn’t finished, as Ferreira scored his fourth and easiest goal of the night from a touchdown with substitute Brenden Aaronson providing the assist.
Besides being a World Cup bid for the FC Dallas star, the win also extended USMNT’s unbeaten home run to 26 games, equaling the previous record set between 2013-2015.
Ferreira, who contends for a place on the roster and plays time with Ricardo Pepe, Haji Wright, Josh Sargent, Jordan Pivok and Daryl Dyke on the US team, rivals Landon Donovan (2003), Joe Max Moore (1993), Buff Donnelly (1934) and Archie Stark (1925) for most goals scored by an American player in a single game.
Next up for the United States – who have not played more home games before the World Cup begins – is another Nations League test, this time on the road against El Salvador on June 14.
At the World Cup in Qatar, the United States opened Group B against 18th seed Wales on November 21, played fifth with England four days later and concluded the first round against 21st seed Iran on November 29.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.