PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The U.S. beach soccer national team began the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in convincing fashion, routing newcomers Bonaire, 14-1, Monday afternoon at the Visit Puerto Vallarta Stadium.
Tacoma Stars player-coach Nick Perera, who was named the MVP of the Major Arena Soccer League, led the way with a personal-best five goals.
Perera added five goals to his all-time record for most WCQ goals, whic sits at 29. This was the eighth time he had scored multiple goals in fourth Concacaf Championships. He previous high was four goals against Jamaica April 15, 2015.
The 14 goals were the U.S.’s most in a qualfier. The previous high was nine goals vs. Bahamas in 2013 and vs. El Salvador in 2007. The 13-goal margin of victory also were the highest ever in this tournament, surpassing the previous high of seven (twice).
Tanner Akol got things started with a bicycle kick in the first minute to set the tone. He added another goal on a 20-yard shot, which was followed by two scores from Perera. That included a bicycle kick and penalty kick after Oscar Reyes drew the call near the sideline.
The U.S. built on the lead in the second period with seven goals. Alessandro Canale set up two goals for David Mondragon – including one on a bicycle kick. Jason Leopoldo scored on a volley and penalty kick, and Ryan Futagaki, Reyes and Perera added goals from the run of play.
Bonaire tallied its first-ever goal in the tournament to start the third period. A foul was called on U.S. defender Adriano dos Santos. Bonaire’s Henrich Beaumont hit the direct kick past the diving attempt of goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, who played the second and start of the third period. The Americans added two more goals by Perera and one from dos Santos to close out the rout.
The U.S. will face Antigua and Barbuda Wednesday. In the first match between the two other US. opponent, Bahamas defeated Antigua and Barbuda, 7-4, earlier in the day. All of the USA’s matches can be seen live on UDN and the ConcacafGo app.