Weston McKennie scores record hat-trick as USA hammer seven past Cuba

Guardian sport and agencies
<span>Photograph: Julio Cortez/AP</span>
Photograph: Julio Cortez/AP

Striker Weston McKennie scored the quickest hat-trick in US soccer history on Friday as the home side hammered Cuba 7-0 in Friday night’s Concacaf Nations League opener in Washington DC.

The Schalke 04 forward got his first goal after just 30 seconds, scored a second four minutes later and then competed his hat-trick with 13 minutes gone.

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The United States were 6-0 up at half time, with Jordan Morris equaling a national record of three assists.

Morris and Joshua Sargent also scored and Dario Ramos also put one into the net.

Both McKennie and Morris were replaced at the interval but captain Christian Pulisic grabbed a seventh from the penalty spot after 62 minutes.

Pulisic captained the US team as coach Gregg Berhalter showed his confidence in the 21-year-old midfielder who’s mostly been riding the bench lately for Chelsea.

He was one of four newcomers to Berhalter’s starting lineup since the Americans’ previous game, an exhibition draw against Uruguay on 10 Septeber when had been released to return to Chelsea.

The other new starters were defenders Matt Miazga and Daniel Lovitz and the midfielder McKennie. Miazga is back from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the US team’s two September matches. McKennie, like Pulisic, was released to his club after the 6 September friendly against Mexico.

The holdovers from the previous game were goalkeeper Brad Guzan, defenders Reggie Cannon and Tim Ream, midfielders Jackson Yueill and Cristian Roldan, along with forwards Morris and Sargent.

Lovitz was at left back in place of Sergiño Dest, who has not played a competitive match for the US and remains eligible to switch to the Netherlands.

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