Revolution goaltender Matt Turner made his United States men’s national soccer team debut Sunday night a memorable one, backstopping the US to a 7-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in an international friendly at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
Turner was barely tested in the first half as the Americans built a 4-0 lead. But at the 65-minute mark, he made a nifty save on a penalty kick, lunging to his right and turning away Alvin Jones to keep the shutout alive.
The US dominated for much of the night, taking an early lead less than two minutes into the contest and coasting down the stretch.
Turner, who earned his first international cap in the Americans’ opening match of 2021, became the first New England goalkeeper to play for the US team since Matt Reis in 2007.
“A late bloomer,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said of the 26-year-old Turner. “Really performs well in the league, gets his opportunity with the national team, debuts, saves a penalty to keep to maintain the shutout? It’s a storybook, a storybook type of saga.”
Jesús Ferreira scored his first two international goals and had three assists, and Paul Arriola and Jonathan Lewis scored twice each to power the US over a rusty Trinidad and Tobago team. Lewis scored his first international goal, as did Miles Robinson.
Lewis put the US ahead 1:40 in when Sam Vines brought the ball down the left flank and crossed to Ferreira, who beat onrushing goalkeeper Adrian Foncette. Ferreira centered for Lewis, who scored into the open net with his right foot from near the penalty spot.
Ferreira doubled the lead in the ninth minute with a left-footed volley from 6 yards after Vines dribbled to the end line and cut the ball back.
Arriola scored in the 22nd with a 12-yard right-footed shot after the US dribbled in on goal following Foncette’s goal kick, then got another in the 41st with his left foot from just outside the penalty area after Ferreira picked up a poor headed clearance attempt by Federico Peña
Robinson, making his first international start, made it 5-0 with a short-range diving header off a headed pass from center back partner Aaron Long Lewis got his second goal with an 18-yard right foot shot in the 55th and Ferreira scored again in the 62nd with a right foot shot from near the penalty spot from an Arriola pass.
Coming off a 6-2 win over Panama in November with top American players and a 6-0 rout of El Salvador last month with a group mostly from Major League Soccer, the US outshot the Soca Warriors, 19-2, and scored five goals in three straight games for the first time. Three Americans had not scored two goals each since an 8-1 rout of the Cayman Islands in a 1993 friendly led by Joe-Max Moore, Dominic Kinnear and Mark Chung.
Ferreira, a 20-year-old Dallas midfielder, gained US citizenship in December 2019, made his US debut last February and is the son of former Colombia midfielder David Ferreira. He had a goal and three firsts in the first half alone.
Arriola, who last month made his first start since tearing his right ACL last Feb. 15, scored twice as the US took a 4-0 halftime lead to give him three goals in his last two international matches.
The US went again without Europe-based players, and 20-year-old midfielder Andrés Perea entered at the start of the second half in his debut then conceded a penalty kick with a high boot to Ryan Telfer in the 65th minute, Turner leapt to his right to stop Alvin Jones’ penalty kick.
Perea, who plays for Orlando, started for Colombia at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, including a 3-1 group-stage win over the US, and started all five matches for Colombia at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup.
George Bello, Daryl Dike and Tanner Tessmann made debuts later in the second half, increasing American debuts to 63 since the October 2017 loss at Trinidad that prevented the Americans from reaching the 2018 World Cup. The total includes 40 in 23 matches since Gregg Berhalter became coach ahead of 2019.
The US meets Honduras in June in a semifinal of the first CONCACAF Nations League, with the winner playing Mexico or Costa Rica. The Americans travel to Trinidad in early September for the start of World Cup qualifying, delayed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which will be the beginning of a compacted stretch of eight qualifiers in 11 weeks.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.