BRADENTON, Fla. – Former LA Galaxy II midfielder Ulysses Llanez recorded a first-half hat trick and former Bethlehem Steel FC defender Mark McKenzie also notched a pair of goals as the United States U-20 National Team took a 13-0 victory against the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday evening at the Concacaf U-20 Championship at IMG Academy.
Head Coach Tab Ramos made changes from the side’s opening game on Thursday, with Real Monarchs SLC goalkeeper David Ochoa getting his first start of the tournament and Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Anthony Fontana also included in the lineup.
The U.S. grabbed the lead in just the fourth minute when Griffin Dorsey of USL League Two’s Colorado Rapids U23 found the net off an assist by Llanez, who also recorded three assists before being substituted at halftime. Toronto FC II’s Ayo Akinola added a second in the 20th minute before Llanez scored three consecutive goals before Fontana added a sixth two minutes before halftime.
The attacking onslaught continued in the second half as the U.S. scored four time in six minutes just past the hour-mark as Justin Rennicks of USL League Two’s Boston Bolts tallied twice. McKenzie and FC Dallas’ Paxton Pomykal also found the net in that span, while McKenzie added his second with eight minutes to go.
Llanez’s fellow former Galaxy II teammate Alex Mendez added his name to the scoresheet in the closing stages, as did Manny Perez as the United States recorded its widest margin of victory at the tournament in its history.
The victory moved the United States top of Group A at the tournament, with its next contest on Monday night against one of the other two sides to have claimed victory in its opening two contests, Trinidad & Tobago. Also sitting on six points from its first two games is Suriname, which will be the United States’ final group-stage opponent on Friday, Nov. 9.