The US Under-20 centre-back helped preserve a clean sheet as his side beat hosts New Zealand 4-0 in their second group game to seal a place in the last 16.
After a narrow 2-1 win in their World Cup opener against Myanmar, US Under-20 defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was more than pleased with the manner in which his side responded to dispatch New Zealand 4-0 on Tuesday.
The Tottenham Hotspur trainee was speaking to US Soccer following the USA’s second game of the tournament, which saw them trash the hosts to seal a place in the last 16 ahead of their third and final Group A match against Ukraine.
FC Utrecht striker Rubio Rubin opened the scoring in the sixth-minute after Carter-Vickers headed a corner kick off the crossbar to allow him to finish from close-range, before captain Emerson Hyndman doubled their lead just after the half-hour.
Paul Arriola then made it 3-0 in the 58th-minute when he raced onto Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem’s through ball and shot inside the left post, before Rubin grabbed his second of the game eight minutes from the end to complete the rout.
It was a comfortable win for Tab Ramos’ side, which saw them fire off 30 shots compared to the Kiwis’ 11, and Carter-Vickers was delighted with the performance following a less-than-convincing outing against the group minnows.
"I think the game went really well. Apart from their early chance, I think we dominated from the beginning,” said the centre-back. “Obviously we got an early goal, which was good. I think we played a lot better than the Myanmar match, and I think we deserved to win.
“[The clean sheet] is important for us too,” he added. “The more we play together the better we become, communication improves and we learn how with play each other. And Zack [Steffen] made a big save towards the end to keep the clean sheet.”
A noted aerial threat from set pieces, Carter-Vickers also had three chances to score himself during the New Zealand clash, including in the run-up to Rubin’s first, and admitted that he was disappointed not to open his World Cup account.
“Well, the first one was from a corner. Every time we get a corner, I feel it’s a good chance for me to score or create a chance,” he said. “I just tried to attack the ball as hard as I could.
“The second one just kind of fell to me, so I tried to hit it. The goalkeeper made a really good save. I think it was going top corner for him to get there was very good.
“And the third one wasn’t very good, but I tried to get something out of it. Obviously I wanted to score, so I was disappointed. But I think it was a good effort.”
Having just turned 17 on New Year’s Eve, Carter-Vickers is the youngest member of the US squad but, despite his tender age, has been making a big impression since earning his Under-20 debut at the CONCACAF Championship in the winter.
A regular for Tottenham’s Under-21s this past season, the Southend-born defender is now entrenched in Ramos’ line-up and his recent performances have already prompted US fans to pencil him in as a starter for the senior side at Russia 2018.
For the moment, though, the focus is on making a deep run through the knockout stages in New Zealand which, judging from their latest result, looks like a realistic goal.