USA thump Cuba 7-0 in CONCACAF Nations League opener

Getty Images

Getty Images

Christian Pulisic captained the US team for Friday night's CONCACAF Nations League opener against Cuba as coach Gregg Berhalter showed his confidence in the 21-year-old midfielder who's mostly been riding the bench lately for Chelsea. Josh Sargent scored before the end of the first half and a penalty from Christian Pulisic wrapped up proceedings in style.

Weston Mckennie #8 of the United States scores a goal against Cuba during the first half at Audi Field on October 11, 2019 in Washington, DC.

There was never really any doubt that the US were going to beat Cuba in their Nations League opener on Friday night, it was more a question of how ugly things would get.

McKennie broke the deadlock after just 31 seconds and the Schalke midfielder doubled the lead a little more than four minutes later - Jordan Morris providing both assists as the one-way traffic continued.

Gregg Berhalter's U.S. were a class above in the American capital, where the home side led struggling Cuba 6-0 at half-time.

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He added a second off an nearly identical play in the fifth and after setting Morris up for the hosts' third goal in the ninth, completed his hat trick in the 13th.

The Nations League, a new tournament for teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, has relatively low stakes but provides additional competitive matches, though former U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann called them "a waste of time" because it forces regional powers to meet weaker nations.

It was the fastest known hat trick ever for the USA.

The tournament is also the qualifying path for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. women's team was criticized by some for celebrating late goals during a 13-0 rout of Thailand at the World Cup in June.

In other A League action on Friday, Mexico beat Bermuda 5-1 in Hamilton.

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