MetroStars midfielder Eddie Gaven was in fine form for the U.S. U-20 national team Wednesday night, producing a first-half hat trick to lead the U.S. to a 6-1 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in their opening match of the final round of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for this year's World Championships.
Gaven took only two minutes to find the back of the net and completed his hat trick in the 25th minute as the U.S. hammered home five first-half goals at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The only other player to have scored three times for the U-20s in a single qualifying game was Ricky Davis, who accomplished the feat in 1976.
A header from close range opened Gaven's account, the Hamilton, N.J., native nodding home a cross from Marvell Wynne. After D.C. United's Freddy Adu added a second goal for the U.S. in the seventh minute from the penalty spot, it was again Gaven who put the U.S. on the board. In the 10th minute he received a pass from Benny Feilhaber and calmly placed it past the goalkeeper.
An own goal in the U.S. team's favor upped the score to 4-0 in the 17th minute, though Trinidad & Tobago got one back in the 23rd. Gaven then completed his hat trick by firing home in the 25th minute on an assist form Will John.
The commanding victory by the U.S. puts the squad in position to lock up a spot at Holland 2005 with a win over Panama on Friday. That match is scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. ET at The Home Depot Center. The U.S. currently sits atop the Group A qualifying group with three points.
USA 6, Trinidad & Tobago 1
USA - Eddie Gaven (Marvell Wynne) - 2nd minute
USA - Freddy Adu (PK) - 7
USA - Eddie Gaven (Benny Feilhaber) - 10
USA - Makan Hislop (own goal) - 17
TRI - Kevin Crooks (Shane Calderon) - 23
USA - Eddie Gaven (Will John) - 25
USA - Will John (unassisted) - 53