On a night when a loss would have put the Americans in danger of World Cup elimination, the United States dominated from start to finish, routing Barbados, 7-0, Wednesday.
Eddie Pope scored in the 14th minute, then Brian McBride and Joe-Max Moore made it 3-0 by halftime.
Given a two-man advantage for the final 49 minutes following the ejection of two Barbados players, the United States spent the second half in soccer's equivalent of playground hoops â€“ dribbling around the outmanned defenders for the best shot.
It matched the largest victory margin ever for the United States.
The Americans put themselves in contention for one of the groups's two berths in next year's regional finals. The United States (1-1-1) jumped to second in Group C of the North and Central American and Caribbean semifinals with four points, trailing Costa Rica (2-1). Guatemala (1-1-1) is third, trailing the U.S. team on goal difference, and Barbados (1-2) is last.