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USMNT little optimistic about World Cup after draw

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MURCIA, Spain — The US Men’s National Team played their final warm-up match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. That performance improved from his 2-0 defeat against Japan last Friday, but improved from a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia. Tuesday wasn’t even what Americans wanted.

The United States dominated the match, but the obvious chances were valuable for both sides. That said, goalkeeper Matt Turner still had to be sharp to record some impressive saves.

Jump to: Player Ratings | Best/Worst Performers | Highlights and Notable Moments | Post-Match Quotes | Key Stats |

quick reaction

1. US disappointed with draw with Saudi Arabia

This was an odd one as the World Cup adjustments progressed. The match itself was sparsely attended, with fewer than 1,000 fans in the stands. Sergino Dest was a special target. He was approached onto the field from the fans midway through the first half during a break in play and the intruder had to tackle the sidelines.

Meanwhile, the injury bug appeared to bite US attacker Giovanni Reyna again. I was. A spokesperson for US Soccer said the sabu was not planned, later adding that Reyna had taken herself out due to a muscle strain.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS and more (US)

That’s good news, given that everyone associated with the US team feared the worst given Reina’s injury woes over the past year. But it will be something to watch.

The USA played harder and looked better defending, but the match lacked the energy usually expected of a World Cup send-off, and a 0-0 scoreline looked fitting. Overall, the results concluded a disappointing window for the US and a less optimistic window for Qatar.

2.Not sharp enough

Cristian Pulisic’s return to attack gave the United States a boost and Ricardo Pepi also started. The U.S. looked better than they did against Japan as Kellyn Acosta came on in midfield to replace Luca de la Torre. He enjoyed a sizeable advantage in possession most of the time, but never quite clicked in the attacking third.

It wasn’t a lack of effort. Center back Walker Zimmerman, in particular, regularly found outside backs Dest and DeAndre Yedlin where there appeared to be plenty of space, but never translated into a clear line of sight to goal. There was not. Pepi was mainly looking for scrap, but that never really materialized, and he finished the night with just 13 touches.

As for Pulisic, there were moments of play where he created danger and looked ready to unleash on the wing, but like his teammates, the final killer pass wasn’t there. It was a performance that made me want it.

The attack seemed to rejuvenate as four substitutes entered the match. did. After that, the United States did not create any more.

3. Preparing for the Zimmerman-Long Partnership

After hinting early in the window that he might go with another centre-back combination, Burhalter stuck with Zimmermann and Aaron Long to start the match. Both players improved their performances and sharpened their handling of the ball compared to their disappointing match against Japan.

But there were also dangerous moments, such as the first-half scramble that stretched the US defense to its limits. Turner didn’t hurt his prospects of starting in Qatar with another solid performance.

Is this the Qatar starting tandem? Chris Richards’ health and playing time seem to help determine that in some way…or at least they should. As it stands, however, this seems to be the pairing that Verhalter has tied his fortunes to. Decisions made by Berhalter are determined.

player rating

Saudi Arabia: Mohammed Al Rubayeh 6, Saud Abdulhamid 4, Ali Hadi Albrahi 6, Abdulella Al Amri 6, Sultan Al Ghanam 5, Nasser Al Dosari 5, Riyad Shahihiri 5, Ali Al Al Hassan 5, Hattan Bahebri 6, Ferras Al Burikan 6, Sami al Naji 5

sub: Asiri Haitham 5, Nawaf Al-Abid 5, Fahad Al-Muwarad 5, Mohammed Kanno 5, Ahmed Bamasoud 5, Hassan Al-Tambakti 6

America: Matt Turner 7, Sergino Desto 4, Aaron Long 5, Walker Zimmerman 6, DeAndre Yedlin 6, Kerrin Acosta 5, Tyler Adams 7, Weston McKennie 6, Giovanni Reyna 5, Ricardo Pepi 5, Christian Pulisic 5

sub: Paul Ariola 6, Mark Mackenzie 5, Joe Scully 5, Jesus Ferreira 4, Brenden Aaronson 5, Malik Tillman 5

best and worst performers

Best: Tyler Adams, USA. There weren’t many standouts in the game, but Adams gave America a much better performance and was a big reason for America’s possession dominance. It helped him have a steelier presence by his side at Acosta, and though he was guilty of the occasional present, it was a performance that would build for the US midfielder. .

Worst: Sergino Dest, USA. Berhalter chose to place AC Milan’s right-back at left-back. Dest was erratic in his distribution and seemed overwhelmed in the air. Anthony Robinson won’t get well soon.

highlights and notable moments

I will summarize this.

Post-match: Voices of players and coaches

bar halter: “There weren’t many players who performed to a normal level in this camp.”

Key stats (Courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information)

– Saudi Arabia are the seventh opponent to qualify for the World Cup played by the USA in 2022. The USMNT is 1-3-3 as he only scored in one of his seven games.

– USA have failed to score in the first half in four of their last five games, and have gone scoreless in their last three against World Cup-qualifying opponents.

– USA have failed to score from open play in 8 of their 12 games in 2022. Of his 18 goals the team scored this year, 10 were scored from open play (8 of which were against Grenada and Panama) and 8 from dead. – Ball situation.


Saudi Arabia: al afdar Albania then travels to Abu Dhabi for a friendly on 26 October.

America: This was the last game for the Americans before the World Cup in November. Burhalter’s squad will see him face Wales in Group B on 21 November.