The US men's national team cruised to victory in their international friendly against Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, riding goals from Brenden Aaronson, Daryl Dike, Reggie Cannon and Gio Reyna to a 4-0 result.
Coming off their dramatic victory over Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League Final, head coach Gregg Berhalter fielded a rotated starting lineup that controlled the contest from the jump, with the Yanks creating a flurry of early chances that culminated with Aaronson's opener. Dike and Cannon then struck for their first international goals before a late penalty kick that was won and converted by Reyna rounded out the scoring.
The US struck just seven minutes of the contest, courtesy of a well-worked sequence that ended with Aaronson's third international goal. It started with a through ball from LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget to left back Antonee Robinson, who sent in a cross that Dike hit off a defender, allowing Aaronson to pounce on the rebound and smash home the opener.
Dike then struck a few more minutes before halftime with his first senior team goal. The 20-year-old striker ran onto a line-breaking pass from Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie and coolly cashed home the breakaway finish past Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira to push the lead to 2-0.
It didn't take long for the Yanks to find a third after second-half kickoff, as Cannon struck in the 52nd minute with a nifty left-footed finish after winning the ball deep in the Costa Rica end through a turnover forced by Tyler Adams.
The US then got the fourth courtesy of a 77th-minute spot kick from Reyna, who won the opportunity after getting fouled in the Costa Rica box. The 18-year-old sent Moreira the wrong way and slotted home an easy finish for the game's final goal.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It didn't have as high stakes as the Nations League triumph over Mexico, but it was a good chance for some of the depth players on the roster to get minutes and make their case to Berhalter to stay in the fold moving forward ahead of this summer's Concacaf Gold Cup and World Cup Qualifying. In that respect, exciting young faces like Aaronson and Dike certainly made the most of the opportunity.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Everyone loves a defender goal, so we'll give the honors here to Cannon's 52nd-minute finish that he got from his right back spot.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Brenden Aaronson got the goal that set the Yanks on their way, and showcased multiple more electric moments in the match. Check out this move if you need any more evidence of the dynamic traits the former Philadelphia homegrown possesses.
- USA: Sunday, July 11 vs. TBD | 8:30 pm ET | Concacaf Gold Cup