U.S. U-17 national team dominates Cuba 5-0 in CONCACAF opener
The United States U-17 national team opened its World Cup qualification campaign with a resounding 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday night.
Joe Gallardo, who plays at Mexican club Monterrey, scored a hat trick, while Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic had two assists in a standout performance from midfield (including the sweet move below).
The United States wasted no time getting on the board, as Huga Arellano headed a Pulisic corner kick into the back of the net in the fifth minute. Gallardo scored the first of his eventual trio of goals in the 40th minute via a tap-in off a Pulisic assist, and Alejandro Zendejas added the United States' third goal just a few minutes later, capitalizing on a defensive error by Cuba.
The second half saw Gallardo score his second of the game on a shot from outside the box that bounced over Cuban goalkeeper Jesus Enrique Hernandez, then complete his hat trick with a scrappy finish in teh 88th minute.
The result will leave the U.S. provisionally at the top of Group A in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which doubles as a qualifying tournament for this year's U-17 World Cup in Chile. The U.S. next faces off against Trinidad & Tobago on Monday at 6 p.m. ET.