Houston, Texas (March 26, 2019) — Gregg Berhalter was on a quest to become the first-ever manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team to win his fourth match. However, that quest did not become a reality.
Instead, the U.S. Men’s National Team fought for a 1-1 draw against Chile. The last time Chile stepped foot in the United States was for the Copa America Centenario, where they won the tournament. The United States and Chile did not meet in that tournament, but in Houston the two had their long-awaited match.
USMNT earn draw in tough, physical match with Chile
Christian Pulisic was a wide-eyed 17-year-old kid that was rising through the ranks of Borussia Dortmund. During the summer tournament, Pulisic held only one appearance for the USMNT.
Now, at 20-years-old, Pulisic made his 25th appearance for the United States. He scored quickly in the match, becoming the youngest American to reach 10 international goals. However, Pulisic’s night ended early with a quad injury in the 36th minute. Sebastian Lletget replaced him.
However, for Pulisic’s goal, plenty of the credit deserved to go to striker Gyasi Zardes. In the middle of traffic, Zardes laid an excellent ball for Pulisic.
The fun didn’t last long for the United States. Chile equalized only five minutes after the United States took the lead, with Óscar Opazo sending a strike past goalkeeper Ethan Horvath. Opazo was wide open toward the side of the penalty box, with the defense losing communication and causing confusion.
The United States won’t re-group again until summer in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. There are rumors that the United States will host Jamaica in Washington D.C. at Audi Field for a tune-up match on June 8. However, the federation has yet to confirm these plans.
The United States will learn their Gold Cup group stage opponents on April 10.
🗣 U-S-A! U-S-A! 🇺🇸
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 27, 2019
- Protect the Children: First Weston McKennie essentially breaks his ankle — although Schalke and the U.S. Soccer Federation are calling it a sprain and ligament tear, two different things — and now Christian Pulisic falls to injury? The United States isn’t catching a break with injuries to the youngsters. Maybe it’s a good thing that Josh Sargent and Tim Weah are with the U-23s.
- Omar Gonzalez had a rough night: This isn’t the first time this sentence has been written. Trying to shake off the memories from that horrid day in Trinidad and Tobago, Omar Gonzalez returned to the USMNT. However, his return didn’t go quite as planned. Gonzalez and his other defensemen seemed rattled the entire match. The worst of it was his connection with Tim Ream. Both defenders were particularly bad on the left side.
- Two strong, competitive friendlies: These matches were exactly what the United States needed. The team showed competitive spirit, which is great to see even if it’s a friendly, and holes were shown on the roster — particularly on defense. But, that’s a good thing for Berhalter and his staff to look at. He’ll have some interesting roster changes and moves come June.