July 2 – US interim coach BJ Callaghan heaped praise on hattrick hero Jesus Ferreira for his “complete” performance in the 6-0 drubbing of Trinidad and Tobago, but warned that the margins in the knockout phase will be very fine.
On their first-ever visit to the Queen City, the US impressed in front of a healthy 40,000 crowd, even if conditions were sticky.
Forward Ferreira (pictured) became the first US player to get back-to-back hattricks in consecutive 6-0 wins. Cade Cowell confirmed his fine form of the U20 World Cup with a goal and assist in a lively second-half spell and goalkeeper Matt Turner became the fastest US goalkeeper to 20 wins and 20 clean sheets at 30 caps.
Naturally, Callaghan was full of praise for his prolific striker. “With all of the work that he’s doing – leading our line defensively, dropping down, and helping build-up play, he’s having a really complete tournament so far,” said the interim coach at a news conference.
“When I see his movement and his confidence in the penalty box, you can tell that the game is slowed down for him.”
“He’s just placing balls into the back of the net and that’s a positive sign. He lets us all know that he’s focused and committed to being our goal scorer. We’re going to continue to get him better. We’re going to continue to get the group better.”
But on the back of two rampant victories following a slow, laboured start against Jamaica, Callaghan cautioned that the knockout phases will be tough as they will face the runners-up of Group D, potentially Canada, Guatemala or Guadeloupe.
“We’re gonna have to improve and get better in all phases and be even more focused and consistent,” said Callaghan.
“The margins are super fine. This was an awesome opportunity because we wanted to expose as many players as we could to our group stage and how to navigate that.”
Callaghan confirmed that Alan Soñora will leave the US camp because of a hamstring injury. He did not yet name Soñora’s replacement.
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com