The United States men's national team tasted the redemptive flavor of revenge Saturday night in Cleveland.
In a rematch of the Oct. 2017 World Cup qualifier defeat to Trinidad and Tobago that saw the CONCACAF giant miss the quadrennial event for the first time in 32 years, the U.S. battered the Soca Warriors 6-0 in Gold Cup Group D play.
With the result, Gregg Berhalter's charges are off to the knockout stage of the Gold Cup for the 16th time on the spin with one match to play in the group.
New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long opened the scoring - and his international account - five minutes before the interval when he got on the right side of his marker and headed home Christian Pulisic's cross.
The U.S. was lucky not to concede an equalizer on the hour mark. Trinidad and Tobago striker Levi Garcia surged forward against the run of play unmarked before firing a celestial effort into the ionosphere above the FirstEnergy Stadium in sunny Ohio.
That miss would prove inconsequential with a rout on the horizon. Gyasi Zardes doubled the U.S. lead when Nick Lima headed a pass from Michael Bradley across the face of goal to give the Columbus Crew attacker an easy tally. Zardes got his second on the night and third in the Gold Cup when he fired a calm right-footed shot beyond a sprawling Marvin Philip.
Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute and second-half substitute Jordan Morris added a fifth six minutes later to cement a result that was hardly in doubt. Long would get his second in the 90th minute.
Panama ensured its progression from Group D earlier in the day courtesy of a 4-2 win over major tournament debutant Guyana. Locked on six points apiece, the USMNT and Panama will face off Wednesday night in Kansas City with group honors on the line.