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U.S. wins as Ferreira joins elite list with hat trick

ST. LOUIS — Jesus Ferreira scored a hat trick and the United States beat St. Kitts and Nevis 6-0 to equal its largest margin of victory in the Gold Cup.

The Americans were decisive favorites coming in against the tiny Caribbean nation making its first appearance in the Gold Cup, and they wasted little time putting the game away. Djordje Mihailovic‘s first international goal since 2019 opened the scoring in the 12th minute before the lead grew to 3-0 less than four minutes later on goals from Bryan Reynolds and Ferreira.

Ferreira’s second gave the U.S. a commanding 4-0 halftime lead, but with a goal-differential tiebreaker against Jamaica likely to determine the group winner, the team had more to play for. He completed the hat trick with a tidy finish in the 50th minute — becoming the fastest U.S. player to reach 10 international goals (20 games) — before being replaced by Brandon Vazquez shortly after.

“We know that we had to come out here and gain points, gain goals, and I think the team went out there and took care of business,” Ferreira said.

On the heels of his four-goal game against Grenada in the Nations League last year, Ferreira joins Clint Dempsey as the second player in USMNT history with multiple three-plus-goal games in competitive matches. He’s the fifth USMNT player to have two or more career hat tricks, joining Landon Donovan (3), Jozy Altidore (2), Peter Millar (2) and Dempsey (2).

“It means a lot,” Ferreira said. “Obviously, growing up you always want to join the big names and want to join the exclusive lists and join those lists that barely any people touch. And for me to do it here in the U.S. shirt scoring goals, it means a lot.

“This is a national team that gave me the opportunity to represent a country on the biggest stage and a country that gave me that joy of playing at the highest level possible. So, I’m just excited and happy that I can give that back to the fans and excited for what’s to come.”

Mihailovic’s second goal rounded out the scoring in the 79th minute, and he nearly added another in the game’s closing minutes.

“Tonight was one more step forward for us,” U.S. interim coach B.J. Callaghan said.

The win leaves the U.S. tied with Jamaica atop Group A with four points but ahead by three on goal differential. Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 prior to the U.S. win in St. Louis.

The U.S. wraps group play Sunday against Trinidad and Tobago in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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