NYC FC striker Jonathan Lewis helped set up Brooks Lennon’s penalty kick as he was fouled on the play prior. (Photo by Michael Lewis)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Brooks Lennon recorded a hat-trick as the United States staved off elimination from the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship with an emphatic 4-1 Group B win over Haiti at Estadio Nacional Tuesday night.

The Americans sit in second place heading into Friday’s Group B finale vs. St. Kitts and Nevis.

The U.S. went down early, surrendering a goal against the run of play when Kenley Dede finished from inside the penalty area in the 16th minute.

The red, white and blue responded 13 minutes later when New York City FC rookie forward Jonathan Lewis drew a penalty kick, setting up Lennon’s first goal that sent the teams into the locker rooms tied at 1-1.

The U.S. connected for three goals within a six-minute as Lennon struck in the 52nd minute. Luca de la Torre pounced on a loose ball in the box and a Haiti turnover on the left side led to Lennon’s second goal a minute later, when he finished from the right to give the USA a 3-1 advantage. The Real Salt Lake forward completed his hat-trick when he followed up de la Torre’s effort from outside the area in the 58th minute.

The Americans close out the group stage against St. Kitts and Nevis at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa at 5:30 p.m. ET Friday.

The match follows the Panama-Haiti contest, which will dictate the result the USA needs against St. Kitts and Nevis in order to advance to the classification stage.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at