San Jose, California — Despite featuring for the LA Galaxy at the club level, Sebastian Lletget feels right at home in Avaya Stadium.
The home of the San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer, Lletget has featured inside the stadium many times. However, two goals have shaped up Lletget’s success in Avaya Stadium. But, they are not goals with his club team.
Sebastian Lletget scores comeback goal in USMNT routing of Costa Rica
Instead, Lletget has found success with the U.S. Men’s National Team at Avaya. Back in March 2017, Lletget made only his third appearance for the USMNT against Honduras. Lletget scored his first international goal in Avaya against Honduras, but left the match 13 minutes later with a Lisfranc injury.
He would remain out for club and country for the next six months.
However, after working hard in hopes of a triumphant return, Lletget got another look under new USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter. And, on Saturday afternoon, Lletget scored the opening goal for the United States against Costa Rica, in the same stadium that he scored his first-ever international goal.
However, his successful run didn’t stop there.
Lletget also helped assist the final, game-winning, goal from Paul Arriola. The D.C. United midfielder made a leaping attempt over Costa Rican goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado in the 88th minute to seal the victory.
The win wraps up a success January camp for Berhalter. After his hiring back in December, Berhalter got to work scouting players. While he couldn’t select any European-based players for these friendlies, Berhalter got to see some familiar faces from MLS.
The United States will return to action in March, taking on Ecuador and Chile. This time, Berhalter will have all players available, ready for action, due to it being an official FIFA break.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@ussoccer_mnt) February 3, 2019
- Nick Lima has helped his case: Just like Lletget, Nick Lima felt at home in Avaya Stadium. However, that’s expected of him, as he features for the Earthquakes. In the last two matches, Lima has played an important role at right back. It’s a position that’s normally held by DeAndre Yedlin, but Lima could give the Newcastle man a run for his money. Either way, he has solidified a roster spot, at least.
- Gyasi Zardes did not help his case: In the last two matches, Gyasi Zardes looked slow and couldn’t finish any opportunities. He had countless opportunities against Panama, a team that played a dangerous slow and delayed defense. However, against the quick Costa Ricans, Zardes fell behind. Despite featuring for Berhalter last year in Columbus at the club level, Zardes might have just found his way off the USMNT depth-chart.
- The first half needed Michael Bradley: There were some chances in the first half, but there weren’t many dangerous chances. In a camp where younger players are tested and some might get first official caps, there needs to be some sort of veteran presence. Wil Trapp did play that role against Costa Rica. However, Michael Bradley proved in the last game that he still is in top form. And, for 45 minutes, it was clear that the first half needed some spark from Bradley.
Special moment today at Avaya Stadium! Great win from the team! It was my first goal since my father’s passing and a really special one representing the red, white, and blue. Pops I know you’re with me❤️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/4CCWuws6O3
— Paul Arriola (@PaulArriola) February 3, 2019