U.S. Men’s National Team Opens Two-game European Tour With 4-1 Victory Against Jamaica in Austria to Extend Unbeaten Run to Eight Matches
World Class Strike from Distance by Sergiño Dest and Second Half Goals from Brenden Aaronson and Sebastian Lletget Pace the USA
Full Match Highlights
WIENER NEUSTADT, Austria (March 25, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team continued its positive run of form with a convincing 4-1 victory against Jamaica on Thursday night in an international friendly played at Wiener Neustadt Stadion in Austria.
Sparked by a stunning debut goal from left back Sergiño Dest in the 34th minute that pierced the Jamaica bunker, the USA also added second-half goals from substitute Brenden Aaronson and Sebastian Lletget – who bagged his first brace in a U.S. jersey – to extend its unbeaten run to eight matches. The USA is now 7-0-1 throught the last eight games, the longest unbeaten stretch under head coach Gregg Berhalter.
The night also saw several other firsts: the first international assists for midfielder Yunus Musah, forward Josh Sargent, forward Nicholas Gioacchini and midfielder Luca de la Torre, along with forward Jordan Siebatcheu’s international debut.
While dominating possession for the entire game, the Americans showed confidence in finding teammates in tight spaces all over the field, but a sturdy Jamaican defense did well to limit threatening chances, getting in front of shots and forcing 10 total corner kicks. The USA eventually outshot Jamaica 28-9 for the match.
One of the better chances for the USA came at the quarter hour mark when Giovanni Reyna found Josh Sargent near goal, only to see his shot from close range well-defended and deflected just wide of net. Christian Pulisic and Lletget also made a positive number of runs forward, with the best chance coming on Lletget’s curling shot from 22 yards that went wide right of goal.
Jamaica’s most dangerous chance of the first half came almost 30 minutes in. Kasey Palmer’s free kick from the edge of the box hit the wall, and his second chance shot made its way through goal mouth traffic but was easily handled by U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
The USA finally broke through with a fantastic solo effort from Dest. Taking a ball from Musah just past the midfield line, the 20-year-old dribbled the ball forward at pace before losing his defender with a quick cut into the middle and then ripped a curling shot from 28-yards that sailed past fully stretched Jamaica goalkeeper Jeaden White and into the right corner. After having scored his first two La Liga goals for Barcelona this past weekend, this was Dest’s first USMNT goal.
The Americans started the second half with quality chances from the jump, with Aaronson forcing a save within the opening minute. Aaronson then nearly set up Reyna with a perfectly weighted pass into the area. Reyna’s attempted chip was saved by White, and his second chance shot went just wide.
Keeping the pressure up, Aaronson doubled the USA lead shortly after, finishing off a short pass from Josh Sargent just inside the six-yard box for his second international goal and second in as many matches.
After Reyna again came close with a low shot just past the left post, Jamaica cut into the USA lead with a goal off a counterattack. Jamal Lowe shot from a tight angle near the right side of the six-yard box, deftly chipping over the sliding Steffen.
The USA then put the game away with a pair of goals from Lletget in the final 10 minutes, set up by second half substitutes Gioacchini and Luca de la Torre. Both were first-time shots from Lletget who made perfectly timed runs into the penalty area before finishing smartly.
On the first, De la Torre advanced a ball to Gioacchini at the top right edge of the area, who played a square ball to his left that Lletget first-timed calmly to the right side of the goal.
Five minutes later, de la Torre registered his first assist, setting up Lletget with a similar square ball that Lleget shot just past a sliding Jamaican defender.
The USMNT returns to the field next against Northern Ireland for the meeting between the teams in more than 70 years. The match at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast will take place on Sunday, March 28 at 12 p.m. ET on FOX, UniMás and TUDN.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – SERGIÑO DEST (YUNUS MUSAH), 34th minute: The play began with a Reggie Cannon throw-in on the right flank to forward Josh Sargent, who chested the ball back to Musah. The 18-year-old took a touch forward out of pressure and played Dest just across the midfield line down the left side. Having scored his first two La Liga goals with Barcelona this past weekend, Dest advanced the ball forward before taking a touch to his right and from 28 yards out, swung a powerful, curling shot that plowed into the right side of the net past the diving attempt of goalkeeper Jaeden White. It was the first goal with the USMNT for Dest. USA 1, JAM 0
USA – BRENDEN AARONSON (JOSH SARGENT), 53rd minute: Yunus Musah again was involved in a play that led to a USA goal. Just past midfield, Musah found Brenden Aaronson down the center and he first-timed a header forward to Sargent. Sargent took his man into the penalty area on the left and did well to turn and lose his mark while dribbling to the end line. He crossed on the ground found the darting Aaronson – who had continued his run – just inside the six at the near post. Aaronson made no mistake, stuffing his shot through the legs of the goalkeeper from close range for his second career USMNT goal off Sargent’s first USWNT assist. USA 2, JAM 0
JAM – JAMAL LOWE (ANDRE GRAY), 70th minute: Jamaica cut into the USA’s lead on a play that began and ended with Lowe. With USA pressure near midfield, Lowe played a ball forward to Andre Gray, who patiently waited for Lowe to continue his run before giving him the ball back inside the penalty area. From a tight angle, Lowe chipped a ball past the onrushing Zack Steffen to bring his side to within one. USA 2, JAM 1
USA – SEBASTIAN LLETGET (NICHOLAS GIOACCHINI), 83rd minute: The USA effectively put the game away with Lletget’s first score of the night. Kellyn Acosta played Luca de la Torre right of center, who advanced the ball forward to Nicholas Gioacchini on the right edge of the box. Gioacchini registered his first MNT assist with a square to his left that Lletget first-timed past the diving White from 17 yards out. USA 3, JAM 1
USA – SEBASTIAN LLETGET (LUCA DE LA TORRE), 90th minute: Lletget completed his first international brace and fourth goal in the last four matches in similar fashion to his first. This time it was de la Torre who made a run into the area and played a square ball left to Lletget, who placed a shot past a sliding Jamaican defender and into the left side of goal from 16 yards out to close out the scoring. It was his sixth international goal and third at Wiener Neustadt, having previously scored here against Panama last November. USA 4, JAM 1
Today’s Starting XI had an average age of 23 years, 243 days and 17 caps while representing clubs in five different countries: Germany (3), USA (3), England (2), Spain (2), Portugal (1)
Both Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent made their long-awaited returns for the USMNT. Prior to tonight, Pulisic last appeared in the Concacaf Nations League away match at Canada on Oct. 15, 2019. Sargent’s last run-out for the USMNT came about a month later, when he bagged two goals in the team’s 4-0 win against Cuba to round out Nations League group play on Nov. 19, 2019 in the Cayman Islands.
Zack Steffen captained the USMNT for the fourth time tonight. He last wore the armband in the 0-0 draw with Wales on Nov. 12, 2020 in Swansea.
John Brooks and Aaron Long partnered in central defense for the third time tonight. The veteran defenders also helped the USA win each of their previous matches together – a 1-0 win against Ecuador on March 22, 2019 and 4-1 Concacaf Nations League win against Canada on Nov. 15, 2019.
With today’s start, Kellyn Acosta, Sebastian Lletget and Aaron Long have played in the USA’s first two matches of the year, including the 7-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago on Jan. 31 in Orlando.
The youngest player on the roster, 18-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah earned his first career assist and third cap in his first game since committing permanently to the USMNT on March 15.
Fellow 18-year-old Gio Reyna also earned his fourth cap. Late last year, the Borussia Dortmund attacker scored his first international goal at Stadion Wiener Neustadt, putting home the USA’s opening goal via a direct free kick in the 6-2 win against Panama on Nov. 16, 2020.
Jordan Siebatcheu, wearing his mother’s maiden name “Pefok” on the back of his jersey, made his first career appearance for the USMNT.
Defender Chris Richards now has two career caps, with both appearances coming at Stadion Wiener Neustadt. He made his debut off the bench to close out the 6-2 win against Panama last November.
Substitutes Luca de la Torre earned his first career assist and second cap in his first USMNT appearances in nearly three years. He made his debut off the bench in a 2-1 loss to Ireland in June 2018.
Gregg Berhalter has a 16-5-3 record as USMNT head coach and is 2-1-0 against Jamaica.
The USMNT is 17-3-8 all-time against Jamaica. This was the first time the two sides met on neutral soil.
Tonight’s game was a rematch of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal on July 3, 2019 in Nashville. Weston McKennie opened the scoring and Christian Pulisic delivered a second-half brace in the 3-1 win against the Reggae Boyz.
With the USMNT dressing 23 players, three players did not dress tonight: defender Matt Miazga, midfielder Owen Otasowie and forward Daryl Dike.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: March 25, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stadion Wiener Neustadt; Wiener Neustadt, Austria
Attendance: No Fans Permitted
Kickoff: 1:28 p.m. ET / 6:28 p.m. local
Weather: 54 degrees; Clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
JAM0 1 1
USA – Sergiño Dest (Yunus Musah) 34th minute
USA – Brenden Aaronson (Josh Sargent) 52
JAM – Jamal Lowe (Andre Gray) 70
USA – Sebastian Lletget (Nicholas Gioacchini) 83
USA – Sebastian Lletget (Luca de la Torre) 90
USA: 1-Zack Steffen (Capt.); 20-Reggie Cannon, 3-Aaron Long (15-Chris Richards, 46), 6-John Brooks, 2-Sergiño Dest (5-Antonee Robinson, 67); 8-Yunus Musah (12-Luca de la Torre, 73), 23-Kellyn Acosta, 17-Sebastian Lletget; 7-Gio Reyna (26-Nicholas Gioacchini, 68), 9-Josh Sargent (16-Jordan Siebatcheu, 82), 10-Christian Pulisic (11-Brenden Aaronson, 46)