The United States men’s national team defeated Costa Rica 4-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday, thanks to stunning goals from Brenden Aaronson, Daryl Dike, Reggie Cannon and Gio Reyna.
Gregg Berhalter rotated his roster, benching most of the players that took part in the dramatic Concacaf Nations League final against Mexico, and gave the head coach an opportunity to play the youngest members of the USMNT and build depth.
Dike and Cannon proved themselves from the initial whistle, creating plenty of chances as well as scoring one goal each.
The USMNT first scored seven minutes into the game, courtesy of a fantastic sequence that inspired Aaronson to net his third international goal. LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget kicked off the play by finding left back Antonee Robinson, who then crossed the ball into Dike. His effort was blocked but Aaronson pounced on the rebound to rocket the ball into the net.
Dike’s positioning was superb throughout the match and he was involved in almost all of the USMNT’s good build-up play – a clear indicator that his loan spell at English Championship side Barnsley has helped his confidence.
Minutes before halftime, the hard work paid off as he scored his first ever senior international goal. Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie grabbed the assist, passing to Dike before he slotted it past Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira.
The USMNT didn’t waste a second after halftime, Reggie Cannon scoring a smooth left-footed effort in the 52nd minute. Berhalter’s men weren’t done there, and scored a fourth before the final whistle through Reyna. After being fouled inside the box, the young Borussia Dortmund forward took the spot kick and sent Moreira the wrong way to make it 4-0.
There was also an impressive display from young USMNT goalkeeper Ethan Hovrath, who maintained a clean sheet despite Costa Rica having some promising moments in attack.