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    Jesús Ferreira makes history with hat trick in USMNT’s CONCACAF Gold Cup blowout
    • June 29, 2023

    ST. LOUIS — Jesús Ferreira scored his second international hat trick, Djordje Mihailovic had two goals and the 13th-ranked United States overwhelmed No. 139 St. Kitts and Nevis, 6-0, on Wednesday night in a CONCACAF Gold Cup group play match.

    Mihailovic, Bryan Reynolds and Ferreira scored in a 3-minute, 50-second span to build a 3-0 lead by the 16th minute.

    Ferreira has 11 goals in 20 appearances, becoming the fastest U.S. player to reach 10 international goals, accomplishing the feat in three games fewer than Clint Mathis.

    On the heels of his four-goal game against No. 170 Grenada in Nations League play last year, Ferreira joins Clint Dempsey as the second player in USMNT history with multiple three-plus-goal games in competitive matches.

    Ferreira became the fifth American with multiple hat tricks – Landon Donovan has three and Peter Millar, Jozy Altidore and Dempsey also have two each. Ferreira was the only American starter who played at last year’s World Cup, appearing in the first half of the second-round loss to the Netherlands.

    Mihailovic also had two assists for the defending champion Americans, who matched their largest Gold Cup victory margin.

    The win leaves the U.S. tied with Jamaica atop Group A with four points but ahead by three on goal differential. Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago, 4-1, prior to the U.S. win in St. Louis. Trinidad has three points and St. Kitts has none. The top two teams advance. The U.S. faces Trinidad on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    St. Kitts, a tiny Caribbean nation making its first appearance in the Gold Cup, became the Americans’ 100th international opponent.

    Making his first start since June 2019, Mihailovic put the U.S. ahead in the 12th minute with a left-footed shot from the side of the penalty spot after a cut-back pass from Gianluca Busio.

    Reynolds, playing on his 22nd birthday, beat Julani Archibald with a 20-yard volley in the 14th after Alejandro Zendejas’ corner kick bounced twice across the penalty area. He became the first American to score an international goal on his birthday since Earnie Stewart against Honduras in 2001.

    Ferreira dribbled into the penalty area following a Busio pass, scoring on a 12-yard angled shot in the 16th, then got past an offside trap to score between the goalkeeper’s legs from a Mihailovic feed in the 25th.

    Ferreira’s second goal gave the U.S. a commanding 4-0 halftime lead, but with the goal-differential tiebreaker surely on their minds, the team had more to play for.

    Ferreira added his third goal from short range in the 50th and Mihailovic added his third international goal in the 79th.

    U.S. interim coach B.J. Callaghan inserted seven new starters from last weekend’s opener, adding goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Reynolds at right back, central defender Jalen Neal and left back DeJuan Jones along with Busio and Mihailovic in midfielder and forward Cale Cowell. The holdovers were defender Matt Miazga and midfielder James Sands along with Ferreira and Alex Zendejas up front.

    Johnson captained the U.S. for the first time.

    Demarai Gray, playing on his 26th birthday, scored in the 14th and 30th minutes for his first two international goals as No. 63 Jamaica cruised past 104th-ranked Trinidad in the opener. Leon Bailey scored in the 18th and Dujuan Richards got a goal in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. Andre Rampersad scored for the Soca Warriors in the 49th.

    ​ Orange County Register