U.S. Secures Victory Against St. Kitts and Nevis at Gold Cup Behind Ferreira's Hat Trick
The 13th-ranked United States defeats St. Kitts and Nevis 6-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
In an impressive display of dominance, the 13th-ranked United States soccer team defeated the 139th-ranked St. Kitts and Nevis 6-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday night. Jesús Ferreira led the way with his second international hat trick, while Djordje Mihailovic contributed two goals of his own.
The U.S. wasted no time asserting their dominance, as Mihailovic, Bryan Reynolds, and Ferreira all found the back of the net within a span of just 3 minutes and 50 seconds, giving the Americans a commanding 3-0 lead by the 16th minute. The team continued to dominate throughout the match, outshooting St. Kitts 34-2.
"We knew that we needed to come out here and score goals, and I think the team did exactly that," said Ferreira after the match.
Ferreira's hat trick brought his total goals to 11 in just 20 appearances, making him the fastest American player to reach double-digit goals. He accomplished this feat in three fewer games than Clint Mathis. Notably, seven of Ferreira's goals have come against St. Kitts and the then-No. 170 ranked Grenada.
With his hat trick, Ferreira became the fifth American player to achieve multiple hat tricks, joining the likes of Landon Donovan, Peter Millar, Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey. It's worth noting that Ferreira was the only American starter in the match who played in last year's World Cup, appearing in the first half of the second-round loss to the Netherlands.
Mihailovic also had an impressive performance, contributing two goals and two assists for the defending champion Americans. With this victory, the U.S. matched their largest margin of victory in Gold Cup history, having previously won 6-0 against Cuba in 2015 and Trinidad in 2019.
The U.S. now leads Group A with four points, following a 1-1 draw against Jamaica in their opening match. Trinidad and Tobago sits in second place with three points, while Jamaica has one point and St. Kitts has yet to earn a point. The top two teams from each group will advance to the next stage, and the U.S. only needs a draw against Trinidad in their next match to secure their spot.
U.S. interim coach B.J. Callaghan expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance, stating, "Tonight was another step forward for us."
This match marked the U.S.'s 100th international opponent, and St. Kitts dropped to 0-2 in the tournament. The U.S. now boasts an impressive record of 39 wins, one loss, and five draws in the Gold Cup group stage.
Djordje Mihailovic, making his first start since June 2019, opened the scoring for the U.S. in the 12th minute with a left-footed shot from the side of the penalty spot. Bryan Reynolds, playing on his 22nd birthday, extended the lead to 2-0 in the 14th minute with a 20-yard volley. Ferreira then added his first goal of the night in the 16th minute, dribbling into the penalty area and scoring with an angled shot. He continued his scoring spree in the 25th minute, beating the offside trap to score between the goalkeeper's legs from a Mihailovic pass.
Ferreira completed his hat trick in the 50th minute with a goal from close range, while Mihailovic added his third goal of the match in the 79th minute.
For this match, Callaghan made seven changes to the starting lineup from the previous game. Sean Johnson, Reynolds, Jalen Neal, and DeJuan Jones were added to the defense, while Busio and Mihailovic joined the midfield. Cale Cowell started as the forward. The only holdovers from the previous match were Matt Miazga and James Sands in defense, as well as Ferreira and Alex Zendejas up front. Johnson also captained the U.S. for the first time.
In the earlier match of the day, Jamaica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-1. Demarai Gray scored twice on his 26th birthday, while Leon Bailey and Dujuan Richards also found the back of the net for Jamaica. Andre Rampersad scored the lone goal for Trinidad and Tobago.
The United States will face Trinidad and Tobago in their next match on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they will look to secure their place in the next round of the Gold Cup.