ORLANDO, FL – The US Men’s National Team opened it’s 2021 January camps with a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. The US defeated the Soca Warriors in the match 7-0 in front of a limited crowd at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on Sunday night.
Jesus Ferreira was red hot in the match, scoring 2 goals and assisting in three more goals. Forwards Jonathan Lewis and Paul Arriola also scored two goals each, and center back Miles Robinson capped the scoring with his first international goal in the match.
The Trinidad and Tobago team was a patchwork of young players as well as USL from the US, most looking to be seen and maybe catch a scout’s eye. Team Trinidad has not played since November, 2020 because of the pandemic, and the leagues in the country were not playpen to due to the virus and other issues.
The lack of experience was evident as the spacing and lack of shape made for a field day for Team USA.
The US came out aggressively, charging every ball from multiple sides, jumping over Trini players to head the ball back to theris side, and dominating one on one challenges.
Trinidad and Tobago only managed 2 shots, one on goal, while Team USA managed 19 shots, 12 on goal.
The US was able to achieve 94% passing, taking advantage of the open gaps in the T&T defense.
The USMNT too little time getting started, when Ferreira was able to set up Jonathan Lewis after beating out T&T goalkeeper Adrian Foncette in the penalty area. Ferriera spun around and tapped the ball to Lewis for the goal in the first two minutes of the match.
In the 9th minute, Vines made an overlapping run deep into the left side of the penalty area and Lewis played him a perfectly weighted pass. Vines then drove to the end line and cut back a cross to Ferreira, who was lurking near inside the six-yard box and he volleyed it home just inside the left post first U.S. goal.
Team USA also managed goals in the 22nd and 41st minutes (Paul Arriola (Jesus Ferreira), the 52nd minute, the 55th minute, (Miles Robinson (Aaron Long), Jonathan Lewis (Kellyn Acosta), and the 62nd minute Jesus Ferreira (Paul Arriola).
Adding to the night, around the 65th minute mark, Trinidad and Tobago was awarded a penalty kick and US goalkeeper Matt Turner had his biggest moment of the night. After not having much work in the opening hour, the debutant goalkeeper dove to his right to make the stop on Alvin Jones’ shot, then pounced on the rebound to avoid any further danger.
Orlando City fans were eager to see some of their team’s player get on the field. Lions fans continued to plead for all four Orlando City players called up to the match — Chris Mueller, Andrés Perea, Daryl Dike and Benji Michel.
Parea was the first to check in, at the beginning of the second half, playing midfielder. The native Columbian switched his affiliation from Colombia to the US and was called up in less than a month. For the first 10 minutes or so, the crowd cheered vary time he touched the ball.
Twenty minutes later, Dike and Mueller entered the match to another wave of cheers. The game marked the debut for Dike and the second cap for Mueller.
“We started six players from the U-23 group [and] hopefully when we qualify for the Olympics you know those players will be playing for the Olympics,” Berhalter said. “The whole team for the last three weeks have impressed me. The attitude, the mindset, the focus, the intensity was all there for three weeks. And when I look at today … it’s very difficult to pick out a player that didn’t play well from the starting 11.”