It was an expected baptism of fire for the T&T’s Soca Warriors in their international friendly encounter with the United States on Sunday night, as the make-shift team went down 7-0 at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando Florida, USA.
Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola and Jonathan Lewis each scored a brace as the US marched on to their largest-ever victory over T&T.
A young, inexperienced T&T team did not spring any surprises on the night, despite coach Terry Fenwick’s frequent trips on the sideline shouting instructions to his players.
The English-born coach said at the event of the match, that he was hoping that it would provide experience for his players.
In fact, the US team began with early dominance which led to their first goal in the second minute from Jonathan Lewis. Thereafter it was a wide-open floodgate as the US scored almost anytime they attacked the T&T goal.
Seven minutes later Lewis sent Sam Vines down the left side to centre for Ferreira to fire home past goalie Adrian Foncette in the T&T goal.
Later, Ferreira turned provider when he was put through an open T&T defence, to release to an open Arriola to put past Foncette for a 3-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
The US completed a 4-0 half-time advantage when a weak defensive header by T&T international defender Federico Pena fell nicely in the centre of the park for Ferreira to quickly head on to an open Arriola. And with the goal at his mercy, Arriola hit firmly past Foncette in the 41st minute.
After the resumption, the USA continued their dominance by constantly putting the ball into the open spaces behinds the backs of the T&T defenders. And it led to their fifth goal as another searching long ball picked out Jackson Yueill behind Pena on the left side, and he quickly centred for Miles Robinson to connect with a diving header past Foncette.
The US got two other goals to seal their win in the 55th and 62nd minutes from Lewis and Ferreira respectively.
T&T had a chance at a consolation item in the 64th minute when Ryan Telfer was brought down in the area by captain Aaron Long, but with heads still hanging, Alvin Jones, the scorer of the winning goal that put the USA out of the 2018 World Cup behind a stunning 2-1 Qualifying victory at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva in December 2017, stepped up and fired straight to US goalkeeper Matt Turner.
T&T will return home to face regional opposition in two more friendly matches before they take the field for their opening World Cup qualifier against Guyana on March 25.
Trinidad and Tobago Team
Starting XI: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK); 16.Alvin Jones, 12.Jamal Jack, 5.Leland Archer, 4.Josiah Trimmingham (captain), 3.Federico Pena; 18.Ajani Fortune Jr, 11.Jabari Mitchell, 8.Andre Fortune Jr; 17.Sean Bonval, 7.Ryan Telfer;
Substitutes: 1. Marvin Phillip (GK), 19. Jesse Williams, 2. Justin Garcia, 6. Noah Powder, 13. Michel Poon-Angeron, 14. Matthew Woo Ling, 10. Duane Muckette, 15. Neveal Hackshaw, 20. Hashim Arcia, 21. Gary Griffith III, 9. Brent Sam, 23. Jonathan Jimenez.
Head Coach: Terry Fenwick
United States Team
1.Matt Turner (GK); 2. Aaron Herrera, 3. Aaron Long (captain), 12. Miles Robinson, 4. Sam Vines; 10. Kellyn Acosta, 17. Sebastian Lletget, 6. Jackson Yueill; 7. Paul Arriola, 9. Jesús Ferreira, 14. Jonathan Lewis,
Substitutes: 24. Matt Frees (GK), 5. Walker Zimmerman, 8. Andrés Perea, 11.Chris Mueller, 15. Cristian Roldan, 16. Kyle Duncan, 19. Daryl Dike*, 20. Benji Michel, 21.George Bello, 22.Mauricio Pineda, 25.Tanner Tessmann.
Head Coach: Gregg Berhalter