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Fuel Soccer Talk: USMNT Edition II – Breaking down the draw with Chile

What to draw from all of this?

U.S. improve to 3-0-1 under Berhalter with 1-1 draw with Chile

The U.S. Men’s National Team used a fourth minute strike from Christian Pulisic and a strong defensive performance in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw with defending Copa América champions Chile in front of 18,033 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The USA extended its unbeaten run to four matches under new head coach Gregg Berhalter (3-0-1).

The game got off to a furious pace, with the USA jumping ahead through Pulisic in the fourth minute. Under pressure, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath came outside of his box to clear a ball up field, playing a perfect pass to Gyasi Zardes just outside the center circle. The striker took a magnificent touch to bring the ball down before his second put Pulisic through on goal where he chipped Gabriel Arias to give the USA a 1-0 lead.

With Chile spurred on by the early goal, the U.S. lead lasted just five minutes. After a spell of possession at the top of the penalty area, Charles Aránguiz’s shot was deflected into the path of Oscar Opazo, who weighted his effort inside the back right post in the ninth minute. The goal was the first conceded by the USA under Berhalter, ending its shutout streak at 279 minutes.

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Worth noting

  • The MNT Starting XI had an average age of 26 years, 7 days and 36 caps.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter made seven changes from the lineup that began Thursday’s game against Ecuador, with Paul Arriola, Christian Pulisic, Tim Ream and Gyasi Zardes as the four holdovers.
  • Making his 59th MNT appearance, DeAndre Yedlin captaied the team for the first time tonight against Chile. Yedlin also earned his first start of 2019.
  • Three players earned their first caps of 2019: goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and defenders Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga.

How did the U.S. look in a game against strong competition?  

Pulisic diagnosed with right quadriceps injury after scoring lone U.S. goal

Christian Pulisic has been diagnosed with a right quadriceps injury he suffered during Tuesday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Chile. The star midfielder, who was playing an excellent game and scored the only goal for the U.S., limped off after just 35 minutes. The U.S. team seemed to lose a little juice after Pulisic’s injury as Chile controlled play for large chunks of the second half. U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter took no chances with Pulisic, pulling him from the game in what the coach called a “precautionary” move. Pulisic will get an MRI to make sure it’s not serious.

Pulisic became the youngest American to reach 10 international goals before going off with the injury. At 20 years, 189 days, Pulisic’s strike made him the fastest MNT player to reach 10 goals all-time. It was his first goal for his country since the October 2017 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago that ended the U.S.’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

This is just latest in a sequence of frustrating injuries for the 20-year-old. Pulisic’s status is now in doubt for his club Borussia Dortmund’s stretch run in Bundesliga action this spring, where BVB are presently deadlocked with Bayern Munich atop the standings.

How did the U.S. look with Pulisic on the pitch – and then off the pitch?

Reaction from experts – and others!

There was plenty of reaction – when isn’t there – after the U.S. team’s 1-1 draw Chile. It was a little more upbeat than after the 1-0 win over Ecuador. Some of it was positive, some was more critical and some just plain silly. Here is a little sampling from the social media world.

“All in! In Berhalter We Trust!”

 

“Berhalter made good adjustments to help preserve the draw. They were lacking in midfield defense and presence, putting a lot of pressure on an already Shakey defense.”

 

“Luckily we have time. The competition has not been the best test. We need to see way more than this selection or strategy.”

 

“Had the lead for 6 minutes. Couldn’t find a way to score in 87 minutes? Sad.”

 

“How can we still not have 11 men with world class pace on and off the ball and four midfielders that can read the game.”

 

How do you think the U.S. looked in the 1-1 draw with Chile?

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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