There were plenty of records either broken or tied as the USA made light of St Vincent in their 2016 World Cup qualifiers.
Christian Pulisic at 17 years and 349 days became the youngest US player to score in a World Cup qualifier. He scored two and assisted in Sacha Kljestan’s strike, his first goal since 2010. Kljestan has forced himself back into national contention after his stellar contributions to the NYRB could no longer be ignored. He finally broke Thierry Henry’s club record of 14 assists on Aug 21st in his second season with the Red Bulls. This comes on the heels of tying Henry’s record with a 14 assist first season. True to form, he contributed to both of Pulisic’s goals, the first one, a swerving cross onto the foot of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder/ slot striker who on the run, controlled nicely, to slot the ball into goal. Pulisic gets the glory, Kljestan’s the story.
Matty Besler scored his first USMNT goal and Jozy Altidore with his penalty tied Clint Dempsey’s tally from World Cup qualifiers. Bobby Wood having opened the USA’s account in the 28th minute was felled in the box and Altidore made the most of the opportunity. The second half was the Kjlestan- Pulisic show as both substitutes took over the game. Kjlestan was making his first USMNT appearance since March 5, 2014. The side was playing without Clint Dempsey, ruled out after a irregular heart beat was detected as well as Michael Bradley, serving out a suspension. John Brookes too, went missing with an injury.
With this victory, the USA are a point behind Trinidad and Tobago as the Soca Warriors drew Guatemala. A win would have assured the USA of an entry into the Hex. The result keeps Guatemala’s faint chances still alive and the USA will have to ensure they do not lose to T&T on Sep 6th. DeAndre Yedlin will have to tighten up defensively and Kellyn Acosta will be well advised to stop giving away the ball. With Los Chapines taking on St Vincent, the San Marino of the CONCACAF in their last match, who knows what could happen?