A hat trick from Jesus Ferreira along with goals from Djordje Mihailovic and Bryan Reynolds led the U.S. men’s national team to rout Saint Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday night in St. Louis, Missouri, and put them atop of Group A in the Concacaf Gold Cup standings.
Following a disappointing 1-1 draw with Jamaica to start the defense of their crown, the Americans needed a response. This game against the Sugar Boyz, who they had never faced until tonight’s game, provided an excellent opportunity to score as many goals as possible, seeing that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are in contention to qualify from the group.
U.S. interim head coach BJ Callaghan made seven changes in his lineup. Sean Johnson was between the posts in the place of Matt Turner, while Jalen Neal played alongside Matt Miazga in central defense, and DeJuan Jones played opposite Reynolds as left-back. Gianluca Busio and Mihailovic started in the midfield with James Sands. Up top, Cade Cowell got the nod to play with Ferreira and Alejandro Zendejas.
The host nation scored their first of the game in the 12th minute when Busio’s cross from the right side found Mihailovic in the middle of the box to hit first-time in the back of the net. Reynolds followed up two minutes later when Zendejas’ corner kick from the left bounced out of the area, allowing the AS Roma right-back to send a blistering shot past St. Kitts and Nevis goalkeeper Julani Archibald.
Ferreira then scored the first of his three in the 16th minute. Busio fed the ball to the FC Dallas forward in space and he made it count as his shot crossed the goal line from a tight angle. His second would come in the 25th minute of play as Mihailovic sent a through-ball to Ferreira that allowed him to put the ball between Archibald’s legs as it rolled into the goal.
It was a very comfortable 4-0 half-time lead, but the U.S. was not done as they continued with the goal glut in the second interval.
Ferreira completed his hat trick in the 50th minute after the U.S. maintained possession of the ball for a few minutes. Cowell sent the ball into the box to Mihailovic who put it into the path of the forward. The 22-year-old would keep his composure and put his shot in the back of the net to complete his second career hat trick for the national team.
Mihailovic went on to score his second of the night in the 79th minute. Aidan Morris’ cross from the right side found Cristian Roldan in the box. The midfielder then unselfishly played the ball to the AZ Alkmaar man to guide it into the unmanned net.
A strong outing for the U.S. as they will look to win the group when they face the Soca Warriors on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina.