When the United States men’s soccer team walked onto FirstEnergy Field on Saturday night, it was 619 days since the program’s Comeuppance in Couva, a night when the United States needed a result and failed.

A five-goal second half ensured the Americans would not stumble in their second game in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USMNT won 6-0 to advance to the tournament quarterfinals next weekend.

Then and now, an American center back scored the opening goal of the game.

While Omar Gonzalez was in the squad for the USMNT, he never saw the field on Saturday night. Instead, it was New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long scored the first of his two goals in the 41st minute.

Long scored two goals, so did Gyassi Zardes. Christian Pulisic and Paul Arriorla scored late goals to cap off their tireless running in the second half.

Here are five thoughts on the team’s performance:

  • Christian Pulisic was the best player on the field on Saturday night. The 20-year-old turned in his first two-assist performance for the USMNT. He chipped in a ball to the back post for Long to head home in the 41st minute, then set up Zardes’ second in the 69th minute.
  • Paul Arriola has scored in consecutive games for the second time in six weeks. The D.C. United winger scored against the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in MLS play. Saturday, his 79th minute goal was his second of the Gold Cup. He had a chance to score a third goal of the tournament in the 85th minute; but watched his shot hit the crossbar.
  • Gyassi Zardes’ first goal came courtesy of Michael Bradley spraying a ball wide into the path of fullback Nick Lima, who headed the ball into the path of Zardes. It was the type of pass Bradley was not making on time against Guyana in the USMNT’s Gold Cup opener.
  • One-time Boca Raton resident Jozy Altidore made his second appearance for the USMNT this calendar year. Manager Gregg Berhalter said the 29-year-old Toronto FC forward is the best forward in the pool. Despite Zardes’ two goals on Saturday, and three in the Gold Cup, Altidore’s ability to drop into the midfield as well as his hold-up play are attributes no one else in the pool possesses.
  • Tim Ream needs competition at left-back. The Fulham fullback does not provide much offensively and his passing lacks the vision to quickly initiate attacks.
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