A young United States roster showed promise, which was enough for now.
Nicholas Gioacchini and Sebastian Soto each scored their first two international goals in a 6-2 exhibition rout of Panama on Monday night at Wiener Neustadt, Austria, the second of two matches for the Americans that followed a 10-month pandemic break.
Gio Reyna got his first goal three days after his 18th birthday, the third-youngest player to score in modern era.
Sebastian Lletget also got a goal in a physical, open match against a CONCACAF rival that reached the 2018 World Cup over the Americans.
“All we wanted to do from the beginning is get the fans on our side. It was an important thing, important step for us,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said. “People are excited to watch.”
Ten months before the delayed start of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, there was much to savor, even though the level was hard to compare to that of a competitive match.
“We’re all hungry to play, all hungry to start, all hungry to prove and to show what we’re made of,” said Gioacchini, a 20-year-old forward in his second season with the senior team at second-tier Caen in France.
Reyna broke through at Borussia Dortmund last season after starring for the 2019 under-17 team, and both dad Claudio Reyna and mom Danielle Egan played for the U.S.