The boys wanted revenge. And they talked about it the whole time after seeing that Trinidad and Tobago ended up in their group at the Gold Cup.
This opponent delivered one of the most painful defeats in the history of the United States soccer and prevented the Americans from qualifying to the World Cup in Russia. A 2-1 shocker at Ato Boldon Stadium is still in the mind of many players and fans of the American team.
A 6-0 win from last night couldn’t erase the past, but it definitely made it possible for many to feel peaceful after that 2017 trauma.
Still, for Gregg Berhalter, it didn’t have anything with history, but more with the future. The USMNT’s coach specifically told the reporters that he didn’t saw this contest as a chance for getting even with Trinidad. According to the head coach, this was one step towards the Gold Cup title, which is the primary goal of this crew at the moment.
“For us, we advance to the next round; I think that’s important,” he said. “Our focus was on preparing for this game, knowing that if we won, we would go to the next round. That was the focus of our group. Trinidad was in our way.”
The game wasn’t that promising in the first half, and until Aaron Long scored in the 41st minute a lot of spectators at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland were feeling uncomfortable, because the hosts couldn’t breach the defensive line of the rival.
Furthermore, it was the guests who had the first chance to score but missed it. However, after Long’s goal, everything became much easier. It was the first international goal for the 26-year old, and he succeeded to add another one until the end of the match.
🇺🇸 @USMNT's Gregg Berhalter talks with the media after his team's 6-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago
Full Press Conference 👇🏻 https://t.co/SnSV0YmzKx
— Gold Cup 2019 (@GoldCup) June 23, 2019
Trinidad and Tobago’s game just fell apart in the last 25 minutes, and from the 66th minute until the end of the game, the guests allowed five goals. It is something rarely seen, and their head coach Dennis Lawrence was furious after the match, saying that a lot of changes will take place in the next game.
“How can a team be so good for the first 65 minutes, and so terrible for the last 25,” Lawrence said. “After a game like tonight, you will see changes next game.”
One by one, the Americans were putting their names on the scoresheet. Gyasi Zardes netted twice in the span of three minutes, in the 66th and 69th minute. Christian Pulisic, who was the best player on the field, scored in the 73rd, Paul Arriola in 78th, before Long closed the show in the last minute of the regular time.
Pulisic, who had two assists and a goal, was very inspired to play.
“I didn’t like to say it, but I definitely had a little chip on my shoulder, today” Pulisic revealed. “I hope you guys could see that today.”
— Rodolfo Landeros (@RodolfoLanderos) June 23, 2019
Up next, the American team has the most important match of the tournament on Wednesday. They are meeting with Panama in Kansas City, to decide who will be the winner of Group D. The USMNT is in a better position, as they have much better goal difference, +10, compared to +4 of the rival. It means that a draw absolutely suits Berhalter’s boys, but we are sure that his team will try everything to win this contest.
The US team has two straight wins against this opponent, the latest one on Jan 28, 3-0. It was Berhalter’s debut as the USMNT’s head coach and something which he gladly remembers.