U.S. Soccer
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McKennie Scores in Debut as USA Draws Portugal 1-1 in Leiria

LEIRIA, Portugal (Nov. 14) – On a night that kicked off a new era, the U.S. Men’s National Team drew 1-1 with third-ranked Portugal in the USA’s final match of 2017. The MNT’s young prospects put encouraging performances with 19-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie’s goal highlighting the talent in the team as the United States finished 2017 with a 10-2-7 record.

Starting in his first MNT appearance, McKennie gave the U.S. the lead in the 21st minute with a well-placed shot inside the near post, becoming the third-youngest U.S. player in the modern era to score in his first cap. Midfielder Tyler Adams and center back Cameron Carter-Vickers join McKennie in making their debuts for the senior National Team.

In a back-and-forth opening 15 minutes, both sides held possession but couldn’t create any real threats. That changed soon after, as the USA strung together a series of dangerous runs before McKennie’s strike (aided by a CJ Sapong pass) gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Portugal equalized in the 31st minute on a fortunate shot that slipped under U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath. The teams traded opportunities for the remaining hour to leave the contest a 1-1 draw. The USA’s all-time record against Portugal remains dead even at 2-2-3.

The MNT will return to action in 2018 when the team hosts Boznia and Herzegovina for a friendly match on Jan. 28 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT, and the match with be broadcast on FS1, UniMas and UDN.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Weston McKennie (C.J. Sapong), 21st minute: Making a run down the left sideline, CJ Sapong played the ball past two defenders inside to McKennie, streaking towards the net. He maneuvered past one more Portuguese defender, took a few steps to settle the ball and cleverly wrong-footed the ‘keeper to slot home at the near post. USA 1, POR 0 [WATCH]

POR – Antunes (Bruno Fernandes), 31st minute: Building up beginning with the ‘keeper, Portugal was methodical in the final third, patiently making moves before sending a long cross from the right to the left side. Upon receiving the booming pass, Antunes volleyed a shot towards the goal from outside the box, where it slipped through the hands of U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath. USA 1, POR 1 FINAL

Key Saves:
USA – Ethan Horvath, 39th minute: After a save, Horvath played a ball to the field, where Danilo Pereira beat Kellyn Acosta to the ball. Running full speed, he blasted a shot at Horvath, who stayed in front and took it in to his chest.

USA – Ethan Horvath, 45th minute: As Bruma made a dangerous run to the net, Horvath came out to play the ball, diving in front of the attacker’s feet to push the ball away and stop a dangerous opportunity for the Portuguese.

POR – Beto, 52nd minute: Receiving a pass from Eric Lichaj at the 18, Cameron Carter Vickers sprinted towards the end line and sent an on-target cross to Tyler Adams at the far post. Beto dove and got one hand on the ball, just enough to pat it out-of-bounds and maintain the deadlock.

POR – Beto, 71st minute: Lynden Gooch played the ball into the box after a USA free kick, finding Carter-Vickers positioned at the far post. Standing a step away from the goal line, he attempted to trap the ball with his chest, but Beto got a foot in to boot away the goalscoring opportunity.

USA – Bill Hamid, 77th minute: Antunes launched another booming shot from outside the top right corner of the penalty area and Hamid made an athletic play to leap up and deflect the shot upwards. He finished the play and snagged the ball on its way down to preserve the draw.

NOTES

  • Weston McKennie scored his first goal in his first cap. At 19-years-old, he becomes the third-youngest U.S. player to achieve that feat in the modern era, behind Juan Agudelo and Landon Donovan.
  • CJ Sapong picked up his first assist in his third international appearance.
  • A total of three U.S. players earned their first cap. Midfielders Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie both got the start, while Cameron Carter-Vickers made his debut from the bench when he entered at halftime.
  • Adams (18 years, 273 days) becomes the first player born in 1999 to appear for the MNT and is the second youngest to earn a cap in 2017 after Christian Pulisic (18 years, 187 days on March 24, 2017 vs. Honduras).
  • The MNT started two teenagers (Adams, Mckennie) for the first time since 1988, a span of 29 years.
  • Ten players who took the field for the U.S. tonight were age 24 or younger: (24) Juan Agudelo, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin; (22) Kellyn Acosta, Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga; (21) Lynden Gooch; (19) Cameron Carter-Vickers, Weston McKennie; (18) Tyler Adams.
  • Seven of the USA’s starting XI are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Adams, Agudelo and Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Acosta and McKennie (FC Dallas), Horvath (Real Colorado), Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC).
  • Veteran Danny Williams captained the side for the first time tonight and earned his first MNT appearance since a 1-1 draw with New Zealand on Oct. 11, 2016.
  • Starting at right back, DeAndre Yedlin will finish 2017 one cap shy of the half-century mark.
  • Partnering with fellow FC Dallas product McKennie in central midfield, Kellyn Acosta led all players in the starting XI by making his 13th appearance of 2017.
  • The centerback partnership of Miazga and Carter-Vickers in the second half was a reprisal of the duo’s role at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • Following a series of injuries, John Brooks returned to the U.S. lineup for the first time since June 8, 2017.
  • Acosta, Miazga, Sapong, Horvath, Adams and McKennie all made their first MNT appearances on European soil.
  • Since first meeting in 1978, the USA and Portugal are an even 2-2-3 all-time.
  • The MNT is 0-2-2 all-time against A Seleçao on Portuguese soil.
  • The U.S. finished 2017 with a record of 10-2-7.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Portugal 
Date: Nov. 14, 2017 
Competition: International Friendly 
Venue: Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa; Leiria, Portugal
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local) 
Attendance: 19,017 
Weather: 45 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F 
USA                          1 0 1
POR                         1 0 1

USA – Weston McKennie (CJ Sapong)                        21st minute
POR – Vitorino Antunes (Bruno Fernandes)                31

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Ethan Horvath (12-Bill Hamid, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks (16-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 46), 15-Eric Lichaj (21-Jorge Villafaña, 59); 19-Danny Williams (capt.); 4-Tyler Adams, 8-Weston McKennie (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 84), 23-Kellyn Acosta, 17-Juan Agudelo (20-Lynden Gooch, 59); 18-CJ Sapong (14-Dom Dwyer, 77)
Subs not used: 22-Jesse Gonzalez, 5-Tim Ream, 7-Kelyn Rowe
Head coach: Dave Sarachan

POR: 22-António Pimparel; 2-Nelson Semedo, 3-Pepe (4-Luis Neto, 10), 24-Ricardo Ferreira, 5-Vitorino Antunes; 8-Bruno Fernandes (10-João Eduardo, 46), 13-Danilo Pereira (6-Ruben Neves, 62); 14-Manuel Fernandes, 17-Bruma (11-Bernardo Silva, 62), 18-Gelson Martins (19-Gonçalo Paciência, 46); 7-Gonçalo Guedes (16-Marcos Lopes, 81)
Subs not used: 1-José Sá, 9-André Silva, 12-Anthony Lopes, 15-Idgar Ié, 20-Kevin Rodrigues, 21-Ricardo Pereira, 23-João Cancelo
Head coach: Fernando Santos

Stats Summary: USA / POR 
Shots: 9 / 13 
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6 
Saves: 5 / 4 
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8 
Fouls: 20 / 18 
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
None

Officials: 
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Marriner (ENG)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Weston McKennie

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MNT Nov 14, 2017

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Portugal 
Date: Nov. 14, 2017 
Competition: International Friendly 
Venue: Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa; Leiria, Portugal
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local) 
Attendance: 19,017 
Weather: 45 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F 
USA                          1 0 1
POR                         1 0 1

USA – Weston McKennie (CJ Sapong)                        21st minute
POR – Vitorino Antunes (Bruno Fernandes)                31

Lineups: 
USA: 1-Ethan Horvath (12-Bill Hamid, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks (16-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 46), 15-Eric Lichaj (21-Jorge Villafaña, 59); 19-Danny Williams (capt.); 4-Tyler Adams, 8-Weston McKennie (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 84), 23-Kellyn Acosta, 17-Juan Agudelo (20-Lynden Gooch, 59); 18-CJ Sapong (14-Dom Dwyer, 77)
Subs not used: 22-Jesse Gonzalez, 5-Tim Ream, 7-Kelyn Rowe
Head coach: Dave Sarachan

POR: 22-António Pimparel; 2-Nelson Semedo, 3-Pepe (4-Luis Neto, 10), 24-Ricardo Ferreira, 5-Vitorino Antunes; 8-Bruno Fernandes (10-João Eduardo, 46), 13-Danilo Pereira (6-Ruben Neves, 62); 14-Manuel Fernandes, 17-Bruma (11-Bernardo Silva, 62), 18-Gelson Martins (19-Gonçalo Paciência, 46); 7-Gonçalo Guedes (16-Marcos Lopes, 81)
Subs not used: 1-José Sá, 9-André Silva, 12-Anthony Lopes, 15-Idgar Ié, 20-Kevin Rodrigues, 21-Ricardo Pereira, 23-João Cancelo
Head coach: Fernando Santos

Stats Summary: USA / POR 
Shots: 9 / 13 
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6 
Saves: 5 / 4 
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8 
Fouls: 20 / 18 
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary: 
None

Officials: 
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stuart Burt (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Marriner (ENG)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Weston McKennie

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After a big season with the New York Red Bulls and an important role at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Tyler Adams made the jump to the U.S. Men's National Team and earned his debut in the side's year-end friendly at Portugal. Fresh off 90 minutes in Leiria, learn more about the journey of one of the MNT's rising young stars. 

A HOMEGROWN FOR HOMETOWN CLUB AND U.S. SOCCER

Growing up in Wappingers Falls, New York, Tyler Adams would beg his mom, Melissa, to take him to Red Bulls games and any chance he could get to see the U.S. Men’s National Team. Adams’ first connection with Red Bulls came when he was introduced to the organization through the Red Bulls RDS (Regional Development School) program at the age of 10. Two years later, Adams joined the Red Bulls U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-13/14 team and quickly progressed to the U-15/16 Academy team.

In September of 2014, Adams joined the U.S. Soccer Residency program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. as the U.S. U-17s continued to prepare for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, and ultimately, the FIFA U-17 World Cup. By signing his Red Bulls senior team contract in November of 2015 and later playing in his first official M.L.S. game with the Red Bulls’ first team, Adams became the first player in Red Bulls history to graduate the Red Bulls Regional Development School (RDS) program and progress all the way through the to a professional contract and debut.

U-20 MNT - Tyler Adams

In March of 2015, Adams became the first professional signing in the history of USL club New York Red Bulls II. Adams made his first professional debut for Red Bulls II on April 4, 2015. The 4-1 victory against Toronto FC II also happened to be the first victory in club history. At the end of the 2016 USL season, Adams helped Red Bulls II to a 5-1 victory vs. Swope Park Rangers to take home the 2016 USL Cup. The USL championship was also the first in Red Bulls II history. 

U-20 MNT - Tyler Adams

SCORING AGAINST CHELSEA IN HIS RED BULLS DEBUT

On July 23, 2015, Adams made his debut with the New York Red Bulls first team in an international friendly against the previous year’s English Premier League champions, Chelsea. In the 69th minute with the score tied 1-1, Adams headed a beautiful cross into the back of the net as the Red Bulls went on to win 4-2. The experience was a memorable one for Adams, to say the least.

“Stepping on the field with the likes of (Eden) Hazard, Diego Costa, all these big-time players, that’s a moment that you’ll never forget. Scoring my first professional goal in my debut in front of my family in Red Bull arena was the ultimate prize for me and I was so happy that I was able to do that. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

U-20 MNT - Tyler Adams

REPRESENTING THE USA AT THE FIFA U-17 AND U-20 WORLD CUP

In 2015, alongside current Men’s National Team player Christian Pulisic and recent U-20 World Cup teammates Luca de la Torre and Auston Trusty, Adams played in all three of the USA’s matches at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile. He came in as a sub in the USA’s first game against Nigeria and started the last two games against Croatia and host Chile.

U-20 MNT - Tyler Adams

“We went to Chile in a tough group and didn’t come out with the results that we wanted,” Adams said. “But the experiences that I’ve gained and brought back are going to help me progress through to the next stage.”

Those experience saw Adams become a staple for the USA’s 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad. He was a consistent presence in South Korea this summer, starting all five of the USA’s matches in the team’s run to the quarterfinals and playing every minute of the group stage. 

MNT AND MLS MENTORS

When asked about who some of his immediate soccer mentors are, Adams is quick to point out current and former Red Bulls players Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty. Both players have also provided Adams with the unique insight of having experience representing club and country.

“They (Dax McCarty and Sasha Kljestan) have both encouraged me so much to keep working hard,” Adams said. “They are both National Team players now and they are both M.L.S. veterans that have made their case and proven who they are. They are well respected around the league and they are definitely people that I look up to and mimic my game off of. At the same time, they are class off the field as well. They are such good people to have in the locker room around you, and that’s something that I recognize.”


2017 BREAKOUT


After helping Red Bulls II to the USL title in his first full professional campaign, Adams made his regular season MLS debut on April 16 against San Jose. This year Adams graduated to the first team full-time, where he became a key cog in a successful season for Jesse Marsch’s squad.

Adams was pivotal in the Red Bulls’ run to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. In the team’s thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 semifinal victory against FC Cincinnati, he teed up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the equalizing goal in the 77th-minute.

The young midfielder also helped the Red Bulls to sixth place in the East, clinching the conference’s final playoff spot and setting-up a Knockout Round showdown against mentor Dax McCarty’s Chicago Fire. Playing in Chicago, Adams found his other mentor, Sasha Kljestan, in front of the net with a well-played cross to put New York up 2-0 in the 11th minute, leaving the Fire with an insurmountable deficit.

After a big year for club and country, Adams received his first MNT summons for a friendly at Portugal in November 2017. Marking a new era for the side, the 18-year-old joined Weston McKennie and Cameron Carter-Vickers in making his senior debut, going the full 90 minutes on the right side of midfield as the U.S. draw 1-1 with the reigning European champions on Nov. 14. Adams twice nearly joined fellow debutant McKennie in scoring in his international debut, seeing a one-time effot saved in the 20th minute, before his point-blank header at the back post was also kept out in the 52nd. 

“I had goosebumps, but more than anything excitement," Adams said of his strong debut. "I think all the guys this week have made it very easy for me to get settled in and acclimated to the group, so I went out there with full confidence and I was happy with the performance.”

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