The United States men's national team got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a great start on Friday, even if they had to weather a little scare. St. Vincent and the Grenadines stunned the Americans with an early goal, but they eventually settled in and coasted to a 6-1 win.
Seattle Sounders 2 star Oalex Anderson netted the opener just five minutes in with an impressive curler. A long ball over the top of the defense beat Geoff Cameron and fell to Anderson, who cut in past DeAndre Yedlin and bent a perfect shot around the hand of Brad Guzan.
But the USMNT responded quickly, and Yedlin redeemed himself. He set up the equalizer, chipping to Bobby Wood, who headed past Winslow McDowall in the 11th minute.
The Vincy Heat held on valiantly for the next 15 minutes, but conceded before the half-hour mark. Jozy Altidore drew a foul on the edge of the box and Fabian Johnson scored the ensuing free kick, with a bit of help from a deflection off the wall.
That goal seemed to significantly alter SVG's morale, and the USMNT had it easy from then on. They added another goal two minutes later, with Jermaine Jones flicking a ball on for Altidore to score off a corner kick.
While St. Vincent had a few nice moments in the first half, they could hardly kick the ball into the USMNT defensive half in the second half, much less complete a pass into it. Cameron, Altidore and Gyasi Zardes added goals in the second half to complete the scoring. Once the game was out of hand, Matt Miazga and Darlington Nagbe made their debuts off the bench, cap-tying both to the United States.
United States: Guzan, Ream, Besler, Cameron (Miazga 64'), Yedlin, Johnson (Nagbe 64'), Bradley, Jones, Zardes, Wood (Morris 68'), Altidore
Goals: Wood (11'), Johnson (29'), Altidore (31', 74'), Cameron (51'), Zardes (58')
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: McDowall, Richards, Francis, Prescott, Richardson, McBurnette (Solomon 60'), Hamlet, Anderson, Bowens (Edwards 75'), Slater, James (Ledger 59')
Goals: Anderson (5')
1. Oalex Anderson is an MLS player -- SVG star Oalex Anderson had a great season for Seattle Sounders 2, and it was announced on Thursday that he'd play with the first team in preseason. Still, he was an unknown quantity outside of Seattle, until Friday. His opening goal was fantastic, and he was the only Vincy Heat player who did anything dangerous the entire match. He looked like he was up to MLS standards.
2. Give the Wood-Altidore combo another shot -- It's impossible to tell how well something is working against an opponent of this low of a standard, but Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood appeared to have some solid chemistry in this match. It's too early to make any declarations, but they should play together again away to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday to see if they really are the best options up top for the USMNT.
3. The Cameron-Yedlin right side looks shaky -- There really shouldn't be more than one tough moment for any individual player against a team like St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But Geoff Cameron badly misjudged the ball over the top that led to the goal, and Yedlin looked shaky against Anderson on multiple occasions. Jurgen Klinsmann shouldn't move Fabian Johnson back to Yedlin's spot -- Johnson was the USMNT's best player in the first half -- but he'll be contemplating something different for Tuesday's match.