Pulisic's Early Strike Paces USA to 1-1 Draw vs. Reigning Copa America Champs Chile

Pulisic Becomes Youngest MNT Player to Score 10 Goals; Zardes Records Ninth Career Assist and Earns Budweiser Man of the Match Honors; MNT Improves to Four Matches Unbeaten Under Head Coach Gregg Berhalter
U.S. Soccer

HOUSTON (March 26, 2019) — 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. At 20 years, 189 days, Pulisic’s strike made him the fastest MNT player to reach 10 goals all-time, while helping the USA extend 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.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Pulisic went down at midfield with a right quad injury and as an injury precaution, the attacker made way for Sebastian Lletget in the 36th minute.

Things remained open on the other side of halftime with the USA nearly restoring the lead in the 54th minute. After Zardes pushed the ball forward, it got tied up in the Chile back line where Lletget won it back. Zardes ran onto it in the box but pushed his shot just over the bar.

A lively second half provided plenty of action at both ends but resulted in the teams ultimately settling for a 1-1 draw.

The MNT next sets its sights on the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup to be held across the United States this summer. Set to open training camp in late May, the MNT will play two warmup friendlies prior to the tournament, before its group stage matches in Saint Paul, Minn. (June 18), Cleveland, Ohio (June 22) and Kansas City, Kan. (June 26). Concacaf will unveil the MNT’s group stage opponents on April 10 in Los Angeles.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christian Pulisic (Gyasi Zardes), 4th minute: Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath was forced to come out of his box to clear some danger and pinged a perfect ball to Gyasi Zardes at midfield. The striker took a fabulous touch to bring the ball down before turning and sending Pulisic through alone on goal where he chipped onrushing ‘keeper Gabriel Arias for the early lead. At 20 years, 189 days, the strike  made Pulisic the fastest MNT player to reach 10 goals. USA 1, CHI 0 [WATCH]

CHI – Oscar Opazo (unassisted), 9th minute: Tinkering with the ball at the top of the penalty area, Nicolas Castillo laid it back for Charles Aránguiz, whose first-time shot deflected to Opazo to the left of the U.S. goal. With time to work, the defender measured an effort past Horvath and inside the back right post for the equalizer. USA 1, CHI 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Additional Notes:

  • With the draw, the USA remains unbeaten through four matches under Gregg Berhalter (3-0-1).
  • With his fourth minute strike, Christian Pulisic became the fastest MNT player to reach 10 goals at 20 years, 189 days.
  • Making his 25th appearance, Pulisic also became the second fastest to achieve the mark by caps, trailing only Clint Mathis who hit 10 goals in his 23rd appearance on June 10, 2002 vs. Korea Republic during the group stage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
  • Later in the first half, Pulisic suffered a right quad injury and was removed from the match as a precaution.
  • The USA’s goal scorer against Ecuador on Thursday, Gyasi Zardes registered his ninth assist and first of 2019 on Pulisic’s goal, earning Budweiser Man of the Match honors in the process.
  • Chile’s ninth minute goal from Oscar Opazo ended the MNT’s shutout streak under Berhalter at 279 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Making his 49 appearance tonight, Texas-born Omar Gonzalez is back on the field for the MNT for the first time since 2017.
  • Gonzalez and Miazga also partnered in central defense for the first time.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, Sean Johnson and Aaron Long were healthy scratches from the gameday roster.
  • The USA moves to 3-5-3 all-time against Chile and 0-0-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Chile
Date: March 26, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Attendance: 18,033
Kickoff: 7:55 p.m. ET (6:55 p.m. local time)
Weather: 74 degrees; clear skies

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

USA – Christian Pulisic (Gyasi Zardes)                     4th minute
CHI - Oscar Opazo                                                     9

Lineups:
USA: 22-Ethan Horvath; 2-DeAndre Yedlin (capt.), 19-Matt Miazga, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 13-Tim Ream; 4-Michael Bradley, 15-Cristian Roldan (18-Jonathan Lewis, 84), 10-Christian Pulisic (17-Sebastian Lletget, 35); 20-Corey Baird (16-Daniel Lovitz, 56), 9-Gyasi Zardes (11-Jordan Morris, 79), 7-Paul Arriola (6-Wil Trapp, 66)
Substitutes not used: 12-Jesse Gonzalez, 5-John Brooks, 21-Christian Ramirez, 24-Nick Lima
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter

CHI: 1-Gabriel Arias; 4-Mauricio Isla, 6-Guillermo Maripán (19-Sebastián Vegas, 70), 8-Arturo Vidal, 9-Nicolas Castillo (7-Diego Rubio, 86), 10-Diego Valdés (13-Erick Pulgar, 70), 14-Esteban Pavez, 15-Oscar Opazo, 17-Gary Medel (capt.), 18-Gonzalo Jara, 20-Charles Aránguiz (21-Jimmy Martínez, 90)
Substitutes: 12-Brayan Cortés, 23-Lawrence Vigouroux, 2-Eugenio Mena, 3-Igor Lichnovsky, 5-Paulo Díaz, 11-Felipe Mora, 16-Pedro Pablo Hernández, 22-Jean Meneses, 25-Iván Morales
Head coach: Reinaldo Rueda

Stats Summary: USA / CHI
Shots: 5 / 7
Shots on Goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 1 / 0
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls:  12 / 9
Offside: 1 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
CHI – Esteban Pavez (caution)                      27th minute
USA – Daniel Lovitz (caution)                        75
CHI – Sebastián Vegas (caution)                   85
CHI – Arturo Vidal (caution)                           90+2

Officials:
Referee: Daneon Parchment (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Andeson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Joseph Bertrand (TRI)
4th Official: Kevin Morrison (JAM)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Gyasi Zardes