MNT Draws Peru 1-1 in Final Home Kickoff Series Match

Josh Sargent Becomes Fourth MNT Player to Record Two Goals Before 19th Birthday; MNT Sets Sights on November Kickoff Series Matches in Europe Against England and Italy
Josh Sargent
Josh Sargent

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (Oct. 16, 2018) — Bouyed by 18-year-old Josh Sargent’s 49th minute strike, the U.S. Men’s National Team played to a spirited 1-1 draw against Peru in front of 24,959 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The result in USA-Peru, presented by Volpi Foods, sees the MNT move to 3-3-3 in 2018.   

While the match marked the return of veteran Brad Guzan between the sticks, the nine players that started in front of him held eight or fewer caps going into the match, including debutantes Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long.

Despite some lack of familiarity, the U.S. team strung together a few good attacking chances early on. Following a ninth minute throw-in on the left, midfielder Marky Delgado switched the field to send Tim Weah into space down the right. The 18-year-old ran at Nilson Loyola and centered for Kellyn Acosta, whose left-footed hit breezed wide of the right post.

Then on the quarter-hour mark, a quick counter attack almost came good for the MNT. Acosta played forward for Sargent on the left, with the rising striker playing a clever backheel into the path of Amon. The speedy winger cut inside but over-hit the final pass as Weah sped down the right flank.

Carrying large swaths of possession through the rest of the half, Peru was able to connect passes in and around the area, but a stingy effort from the U.S. midfield and back line ensured none of La Blanquirroja’s four first-half shots were on target.

In fact, the visitors’ most threatening attack wasn’t a shot at all. In the 38th minute, Andy Polo fed Paolo Hurtado down the right. The winger swung in a dangerous cross to the near post, but Guzan alertly read it, cutting out the danger at the six as Raul Ruidiaz lurked in behind.

The U.S. sprung the attack on the other side of halftime. Just two minutes in, Amon pumped a ball over the back line to put Sargent into space. The striker gained entry into the box, and cut back to juke a Peru defender before centering for Weah, but his one-time effort curved wide of the right post.

With a bit of confidence after that play, Sargent put his name on the scoresheet two minutes later. Following a foul committed against Amon on the right, Acosta delivered a pinpoint low ball for Sargent at the top of the area, with the young striker hitting a one-time effort that came off of both Christian Ramos and Renato Tapia before hitting the back of the net.

A number of substitutions were made to aid Peru’s attack, but their first shot on goal didn’t come until the 70th minute, when Johan Madrid centered the ball for Yoshimar Yotun, but the Orlando City SC midfielder’s long-distance hit was easily held by Guzan. 

Another great look came to Peru five minutes later when Yotún played a pass for Polo. The Portland Timbers’ attacker hit a 25-yard effort that beat Guzan, but rang off the cross bar before the follow-up header from Ruidiaz was nodded over the bar.

Continuing to knock on the door, Peru finally broke through in the 86th minute when Polo’s low cross from the right found an unmarked Edison Flores for the late equalizer at the back left post. 

The MNT heads to Europe to close out 2018 and the Kickoff Series next month. The window opens in London as the USA makes its second visit to new Wembley Stadium to take on 2018 FIFA World Cup Semifinalists England on Thursday, Nov. 15 (3 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMás & UDN). The curtain comes down on the 2018 schedule five days later, when the MNT travels to Genk, Belgium to face four-time World Cup winners Italy at the Luminus Arena (2:45 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas & UDN).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Josh Sargent (Kellyn Acosta), 49th minute: Jonathan Amon was fouled near the right corner flag, leading to a dangerous free kick opportunity. In a well-worked set piece, Acosta delivered a low ball to the top of the area for Sargent, who one-timed an effort that deflected off Christian Ramos and Renato Tapia to roll past José Carvallo into the left side of the goal. USA 1, PER 0 [WATCH]

PER – Edison Flores (Andy Polo), 86th minute: Peru found the equalizer late. After winning the ball at midfield, it was swung over to Polo on the right. There, the attacker centered a low cross that slid through the six-yard box to find Flores for the unmarked tap-in at the back left post. USA 1, PER 1 FINAL

Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Brad Guzan, 38th minute: Generally busier barking instructions in the first half, Guzan was called into action just before the half when Andy Polo played a pass for Paolo Hurtado down the right. The winger swung in a dangerous cross to the near post, but Guzan alertly read it, cutting out the danger at the six with Raul Ruidiaz ready to strike.

PER – Pedro Aquino, 78th minute: Julian Green played Bobby Wood towards the end line on the right. The substitute striker cut a ball across the box where Ben Sweat took a swing, but Aquino was there to nod away the danger.

USA – Brad Guzan, 90+3 minute: Looking for the late winner, Peru earned a free kick on the right which saw Yordy Reyna swing in a dangerous cross, forcing Guzan to dive as he parried away the danger.

Additional Notes:

  • With his 49th minute strike, Sargent became just the fourth MNT player of the modern era to record two goals before his 19th birthday. The 18-year-old joins Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo and Christian Pulisic in that distinction.
  • Kellyn Acosta recorded his first career international assist on Sargent’s strike.
  • Entering in the 79th minute, Michael Bradley earned his 142nd cap, moving him past Clint Dempsey into sole possession of third on the MNT’s all-time list.
  • The MNT moves to 3-2-2 all-time against Peru.
  • Tonight marks the MNT’s seventh match at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
  • The USA’s starting XI averaged 23 years, 157 days and 9.6 caps.
  • Dave Sarachan made nine changes to the lineup that faced Colombia, with midfielders Kellyn Acosta and Tim Weah as the two holdovers from Thursday.
  • The most senior player in the lineup, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, made his first appearance since Sept. 5, 2017 at Honduras.
  • Wil Trapp returned to the lineup to captain the side and made his team-leading seventh appearance of 2018.
  • Aside from Guzan (58) and Acosta (21), nine of the 11 MNT starters had eight or fewer caps prior to the match.
  • Dave Sarachan handed Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long their international debuts, taking the total number of debutantes in 2018 to 19 – third most in the modern era. The record for MNT debuts in a calendar year is 21 (1992), followed by 20 (2007).
  • At age 19, Jonathan Amon became the sixth teenager to appear for the MNT in 2018, the most of any calendar year during the modern era. He joined Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah, as well as recently-turned 20-year olds Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic.
  • Amon and Cannon also took the total of 2018 MNT debutantes that are eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics to nine.
  • Sarachan deployed a four-man back line with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Long pairing in central defense, while Cannon (right), Sweat (left) line up as full backs.
  • The five-man midfield featured Trapp in the central holding role behind Acosta and Delgado, with Weah on the right and Amon on the left, while Sargent started up top as the lone striker.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, Andrija Novakovich and Kenny Saief were healthy scratches from the roster. The teams were allowed to make six substitutions.  

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Peru
Date: October 16, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Attendance: 24,959
Kickoff: 8:05 p.m. ET
Weather: 45 degrees; clear

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

USA – Josh Sargent (Kellyn Acosta)                                         49th minute
PER – Edison Flores (Andy Polo)                                              86

USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 18-Reggie Cannon (2-DeAndre Yedlin; 84), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 21-Aaron Long, 19-Ben Sweat; 20-Will Trapp (capt.), 11-Tim Weah (17-Antonee Robinson; 90+2), 8-Marky Delgado, 23-Kellyn Acosta (4-Michael Bradley; 79), 24-Jonathan Amon (16-Julian Green; 55); 13-Josh Sargent (7-Bobby Wood; 69)
Substitutes not used: 22-Ethan Horvath, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks, 14-Fafa Picault,
Head Coach: Dave Sarachan

PER: 21-José Carvallo; 5-Alexander Callens, 7-Paolo Hurtado (26-Yordy Reyna; 59), 8-Sergio Peña (19-Yoshimar  Yotún; 66), 11-Raúl Ruidiaz, 13-Renato Tapia (23-Pedro Aquino; 67), 14-Andy Polo (18-André Carrillo; 90+1), 15-Christian Ramos (capt.), 17-Luis Advíncula (2-Johan Madrid; 46), 20-Edison Flores, 22-Nilson Loyola;
Substitutes: 1-Pedro Gallese, 12-Patricio Álvarez, 4-Anderson Santamaria, 6-Miguel Trauco, 10-Christian Cueva, 16-Horacia Calcaterra, ,24-Wilder Cartagena
Head coach: Ricardo Gareca

Stats Summary: USA / PER
Shots: 5 / 14
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
PER – Luis Advíncula (caution)                          45th minute
USA – Tim Weah (caution)                                 54
PER – Christian Cueva (caution)                       82

Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: David Moran (SLV)
4th Official: Ismael Cornejo (SLV)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Wil Trapp