U.S. Men’s National Team Defeats Ghana 4-0 In Dominant Performance

Gio Reyna Scores First International Brace; Christian Pulisic Scores 28th International Goal; Folarin Balogun Tallies Third USMNT Goal; Gregg Berhalter Becomes Fastest USMNT Head Coach to 40 Wins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 17, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team beat Ghana 4-0 with a dominant performance in the team’s first appearance at GEODIS Park in Nashville. Midfielder Gio Reyna recorded his first international brace, while captain Christian Pulisic and forward Folarin Balogun added one apiece to cap off a strong team effort. The win also marked Gregg Berhalter’s 40th as U.S. coach, becoming the fastest USMNT manager to achieve the feat.


The U.S. threatened early as Reyna recovered the ball just outside the opposition’s box in the second minute and found Balogun with a quick pass, whose shot was met by a big save from goalkeeper Abdul Nurudeen. Determined as ever, the U.S. looked creative and cohesive in the attack, which paid off just 10 minutes in when a low cross from Balogun following good combination play between he and defender Sergiño Dest on the right ended with the ball deflected by a Ghanaian defender straight into the path of Reyna, who buried a powerful strike from close range to open the scoring.

The floodgates then opened after a foul on Tim Weah inside the box resulted in a penalty kick for the U.S., which Pulisic stepped up and buried calmly down the middle to double the lead in the 19th minute. Four minutes later, Weah pounced on a visibly frustrated Ghana back line as they tried to recycle the ball out of the back. He picked the defender’s pocket outside the box on the right side and found Balogun near the penalty spot, where he cleverly turned with the pass and buried it toward the far-post side netting to put his name on the score sheet.

The U.S. was unlucky not to find the back of the net several more times as Balogun and Pulisic continued to be menaces, but a mistake by defender Nicholas Opoku that resulted in obstruction of play inside the box proved to be lethal. On the ensuing indirect kick, a clever execution by Balogun, Pulisic and Reyna resulted in the latter’s second goal of the night with a classy finish to beat a wall of defenders in the 39th minute. Ghana almost pulled one back two minutes later, but an incredible one-handed diving save by Matt Turner denied a long-distance effort from Mohammed Kudus to keep the shutout heading into halftime.

The U.S. maintained its dominance in the second half. Sparked by the use of all six substitutions, the hosts created plenty of danger, perhaps best highlighted by a brilliant run of play led by midfielder Weston McKennie and Dest in the 55th minute that was a complete display of creativity, but ultimately resulted in a shot that was just wide of the frame.

The night’s substitutions included midfielder Lennard Maloney, who earned his first cap after coming into the match for Johnny Cardoso in the 65th minute. Maloney became the 60th player to debut under Berhalter, tying the U.S. coach with Bob Bradley for second most debuts in team history.

Ghana did better to get into the attacking third in the second period, but a stout defensive performance and a few key blocks by the USA back line denied them of any dangerous chances and locked down the hefty lead that was secured in the first half.


USA – Gio Reyna, 10th minute:
The U.S. built out of the back and up the right side, where Dest and Balogun combined back and forth to get into the box. Balogun attempted a low cross that was blocked and left in the path of Reyna, who buried it with a powerful right-footed strike from nine yards out. USA 1, GHA 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Penalty Kick), 19th minute: The USA was awarded a penalty kick following a foul on Tim Weah inside the box. Pulisic stepped up to the spot and buried a shot right down the middle to double the lead and register the 28th of his international career. USA 2, GHA 0

USA – Folarin Balogun (Tim Weah), 22nd minute: Weah pressed hard as Ghana tried to recycle the ball and picked the defender’s pocket just outside the box on the right side. He quickly found Balogun with a driven pass in front of the penalty spot, where he cleverly turned on his first touch and fired toward the back-post side netting to beat the ‘keeper. USA 3, GHA 0

USA – Gio Reyna (Christian Pulisic), 39th minute: The U.S. earned an indirect kick inside the box after a Ghana defender obstructed play by guarding the ball while on the ground. With three players over the ball, Balogun tapped it for Pulisic, who rolled it for Reyna to bury high over the wall and into the net from 12 yards out. USA 4, GHA 0 FINAL.

Additional Notes:

  • The USMNT improves its 2023 record to 9-2-5 in 16 matches and takes a 3-2-0 series advantage against Ghana.
  • Gio Reyna’s goals in the 10th and 39th minutes were his first for the U.S. since scoring a penalty kick in the 4-0 win against Costa Rica on June 9, 2021. The brace marked his first multi-goal game for the USMNT and took his career total to six goals in 22 matches.
  • Christian Pulisic’s 19th minute penalty kick was his 28th international goal, placing him just two back of Brian McBride for fifth on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list. Pulisic now has seven goals from as many spot kicks, ranking him second in penalty kick goals behind only Landon Donovan, who scored 15 of his 57 goals from the penalty spot.
  • Pulisic also collected his 15th career assist on Reyna’s second goal. He becomes just the 10th USA player to reach 15 international assists and sits tied with John Harkes and Tab Ramos for eighth most in team history. Pulisic ends the October window with two goals and an assist, taking his career goal contributions to 43 (28 goals, 15 assists).
  • Folarin Balogun bagged his third goal in six appearances. Balogun has scored in the second game of each of the three international windows he’s played for the United States.
  • Within a four-minute span in the first half, Tim Weah won the penalty kick converted by Pulisic and then fed Balogun for the game’s third goal. The penalty was the first earned by Weah in a U.S. shirt, while the assist was the fourth of his international career and second of 2023.
  • Matt Turner made two saves to earn both his 22nd win and clean sheet. Tonight’s appearance was the 35th of Turner’s career, tying him with Arnie Mausser for sixth most caps among USMNT goalkeepers all-time.
  • Midfielder Lennard Maloney earned his USMNT debut. It is the 60th first cap earned under head coach Gregg Berhalter (64 games), tying him with Bob Bradley (80 games) for the second-most debuts among USMNT head coaches. Bruce Arena leads all coaches with 89 debuts in 148 matches.
  • Christian Pulisic captained the USMNT for the 19th time, moving him into a tie with Marcelo Balboa and Landon Donovan for 10th on the team’s all-time captains list. Pulisic sits one back of former teammate Clint Dempsey (20 captaincies) for ninth on the list and the USA is 14-2-3 when he wears the armband.
  • With the victory, Gregg Berhalter became the fastest USMNT manager to 40 wins, doing so in 64 total matches. Berhalter is the fourth to do it, following Jurgen Klinsmann (69 games), Bob Bradley (75 games), Bruce Arena (77 games).
  • The 4-0 halftime advantage marked ninth time the USMNT went into the break with a four-goal lead. It was the third the USA held a four-goal advantage under Gregg Berhalter, having previously done so in the 7-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 31, 2021 and 5-1 win against Panama in World Cup qualifying on March 27, 2022.
  • The 4-0 win ties the USA’s biggest margin of victory against an opponent from the Confederation of African Football, matching the team’s 4-0 win against South Africa on June 3, 2000.
  • Tonight’s Starting XI had an average age of 23 years, 191 days. It was the USMNT’s third youngest lineup of 2023 and the 12th youngest lineup since Gregg Berhalter began his first tenure as head coach in 2019.
  • Midfielder Yunus Musah started against the country of both his parents’ birth.
  • Eight starters were age 23 and younger: Chris Richards and Tim Weah (23); Folarin Balogun, Johnny Cardoso and Sergiño Dest (22); Kristoffer Lund (21);  Yunus Musah and Gio Reyna (20).
  • The lineup also averaged 24 caps.
  • Berhalter made three changes to the lineup that faced Germany on Saturday, inserting defenders Miles Robinson and Kristoffer Lund, as well as midfielder Johnny Cardoso.


Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Ghana
Date: October 17, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: GEODIS Park; Nashville, Tenn.
Attendance: 18,468
Kickoff: 7:37 p.m. local (8:37 p.m. ET)
Weather: 56 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:  1          2          F
USA                            4          0          4
GHA                            0          0          0

USA – Gio Reyna                                           10th minute
USA – Christian Pulisic (penalty)              19
USA – Folarin Balogun (Tim Weah)           22
USA – Gio Reyna (Christian Pulisic)          39

USA: 1-Matt Turner; 2-Sergiño Dest, 12-Miles Robinson, 4-Chris Richards (3-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 72), 23-Kristoffer Lund; 15-Johnny Cardoso (22-Lennard Maloney, 65), 7-Gio Reyna (8-Weston McKennie, 46), 6-Yunus Musah (14-Luca de la Torre, 75); 21-Tim Weah, 20-Folarin Balogun (9-Ricardo Pepi, 46), 10-Christian Pulisic (Capt.) (11-Brenden Aaronson, 46)
Substitutes not used: 18-Ethan Horvath, 5-DeJuan Jones, 13-Tim Ream, 16-Kevin Paredes, 17-Alex Zendejas, 19-Joe Scally
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter

GHA: 12-Abdul Manaf Nurudeen; 2-Alidu Seidu, 18-Nicholas Opoku, 8-Jerome Opoku, 14-Gideon Mensah (3-Kingsley Schindler, 46); 20-Mohammed Kudus (17-Ernest Nuamah, 75), 5-Thomas Partey (Capt.) (21-Salis Abdul Samed, 64), 4-Edmund Addo, 13-Joseph Paintsil (11-Elisha Owusu, 64); 9-Jordan Ayew, 19-Iñaki Williams (22-Antoine Semenyo, 75)
Substitutes not used: 1-Richard Ofori, 16-Lawrence Ati-Zigi, 7-Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer, 23-Stephan Ambrosius, 24-Fatawu Abdul Hamid
Head coach: Chris Hughton

Stats Summary: USA / GHA
Shots: 13 / 7
Shots on Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 0 / 2
Fouls: 11 / 10
Offside: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
GHA – Edmund Addo (Caution)                    30th minute
GHA – Thomas Partey (Caution)                 35

Referee: Marco Antonio Ortiz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Espinosa (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Jorge Sanchez (MEX)
4th Official: Fernando Hernandez (MEX)

U.S. Soccer Insiders Man of the Match: Gio Reyna

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