The United States Men’s National Team pulled out a rather easy 6-0 road victory over St. Vincent and the Grenadines in World Cup qualifying at Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown, St. Vincent. The win was fueled by a Christian Pulisic brace and a pair of first-half goals from Bobby Wood and Matt Besler.
With key players like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Jermaine Jones, Jurgen Klinsmann’s went searching for a much-needed victory against St. Vincent as the Americans looked to move on to the next round of qualifying — the Hex. Klinsmann turned to this lineup:
Wood, whose one-on-one chance from a few yards out was denied by the St. Vincent goalkeeper, put the United States up 1-0 in the 28th minute with a beautifully finished shot from the top of the penalty area, curling the ball towards the far post to beat the goalkeeper.
Besler, on the day of the birth of his first daughter, doubled the lead a few minutes later, bringing down a misguided clearance attempt off a free kick attempt by Sporting Kansas City teammate Graham Zusi to slot it home for his first career international goal. The game began to open up for the United States even more at that point, with the two-goal lead giving the Yanks the breathing room to operate more freely.
Jozy Altidore returned to the international score sheet just before halftime, converting a penalty kick that Wood drew in the 44th to make it a 3-0 game. It was Altidore's 35th international goal, placing him third on the USMNT's all-time goal-scoring list.
It just wasn’t the day for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which saw a pair of goals waved off in the second half for offside calls — first in the 51st, then again five minutes later in the 56th.
As if there was any doubt that the USMNT was going to pull the three points out of this contest, Christian Pulisic and Sacha Kljestan came off of the bench in the 66th to put their mark on the game — and in a big way.
Pulisic knocked in a pair of very well finished goals off of assists from Kljestan, who also scored a goal of his own thanks to a set up from — who else? — Pulisic. Here's Pulisic's second, that capped the scoring:
It might be safe to say that Kljestan, who scored his first international goal since 2010, might have earned himself more minutes for the USMNT soon, especially with another tough qualifier coming up on Tuesday against Kevin Molino’s Trinidad and Tobago side in Jacksonville.
For the time being, the U.S. (3-1-1, 10 points) pulled even with Trinidad & Tobago at the top of Group C, but with a better goal differential (+13) after today's destruction of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. T&T hosts Guatemala later today. A win by the Soca Warriors would eliminate Guatemala and clinch the Hex for both the USMNT and Trinidad and Tobago, with top of the group on the line Tuesday.
The Mane Land will be on site with coverage from EverBank Field for that one.