BRADENTON, Fla. – Bethlehem Steel FC midfielder Anthony Fontana had a hat trick as the United States U-20 Men’s National Team remained on course for a place in the second stage of the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship after a 6-0 victory against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday night at IMG Academy.
Former LA Galaxy II midfielder Ulysses Llanez also found the net in the victory to move into a tie for the tournament lead with six goals as the result left the United States well-poised to advance ahead of its final game against Suriname on Friday.
The United States carried the play throughout the first half, but it wasn’t until 33 seconds into the second stanza that the breakthrough finally arrived as Juan Pablo Torres fired home a low finish from the top of the penalty area. Llanez then added a second in the 59th minute off a cleverly-worked free kick that slipped him freely into the penalty area for a low finish.
Fontana then notched the next three goals for the United States, his first coming in the 66th minute off a deflected finish from 20 yards that found the left corner of the net. The Philadelphia Union Homegrown signing, who has made 35 appearances for Steel FC in his career, added a second with nine minutes to go after a cross by Toronto FC II’s Ayo Akinola was spilled by SVAG goalkeeper Jellando John, allowing Fontana to clean up the rebound, and he then completed his hat trick after scoring on the rebound after his penalty kick was initially saved by John in the 86th minute.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC loanee Brandon Servania – a member of the 2018 USL 20 Under 20 – added a sixth goal for the United States in the final minute as his long-range effort proved too much for John to handle, capping the fourth consecutive win for the United States at the tournament.
The United States now sits three points ahead of Suriname for top spot in Group A while holding a 17-goal advantage in goal differential ahead of the game between the sides on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET.