Weston McKennie's 13-minute hat trick leads USA's rout of Cuba

Sporting News

The United States barely raised a sweat as it opened its CONCACAF Nations League with a 7-0 humbling of Cuba.

USA star Weston McKennie scored a 13-minute hat trick in the first half of the Group A clash at Audi Field in Washington on Friday.

Gregg Berhalter's USA was a class above in the American capital, where the home side led struggling Cuba 6-0 at halftime.

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USA was expected to ease past Cuba in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League and the match went according to script after a dream start.

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.

Morris got in on the action and made it 3-0 in the ninth minute with a composed finish to beat Cuba goalkeeper Nelson Johnston at his near post.

It got ugly for Cuba as McKennie completed his hat trick four minutes later when Reggie Cannon slid a ball across the six-yard box and the former reacted quickest.

Cuba managed to stop the bleeding until a stunning backheel from McKennie found Morris, whose effort was bundled over the line by an unfortunate Dario Ramos in the 37th minute before Josh Sargent curled the ball into the bottom corner for a 6-0 lead approaching halftime.

USA captain Christian Pulisic converted a 62nd-minute penalty to extend the country's mammoth lead, which fell just shy of their record.

What does it mean? USA show no mercy

After three matches without victory and two losses, USA needed a response and it got it in style. The United States was expected to win but the team's composure and ruthlessness saw them fall just short of the country's biggest win — 8-0 against Bermuda in 2008.

McKennie scores first hat trick

It was a memorable outing for the 21-year-old. For the first time in his career, McKennie took home the match ball following his stunning opening half as he recorded the fastest hat trick in USA history.

Sorry Cuba's winless run continues

Cuba was on the backfoot from the outset as its winless streak extended to seven games. In that period, it has conceded 33 goals.

What's next?

USA will look to maintain its momentum against Canada away from home Tuesday, while Cuba is not in action until November 20's Nations League showdown with the United States.

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