U.S. Men’s National Team Falls to No. 13-ranked Switzerland 2-1 in St. GallenEarly Sebastian Lletget Goal Not Enough as USA Suffers First Loss Since Oct. 2019
ST. GALLEN, Switzerland (May 30, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to hosts Switzerland 2-1 on Sunday evening in an international friendly played at kybunpark in St. Gallen. Sebastian Lletget opened the scoring with his seventh international goal, but Ricardo Rodriguez and Steven Zuber marked for Switzerland, snapping the USA’s nine-match undefeated streak. Now 8-1-1 through its last 10 matches, the MNT suffered its first defeat since October 15, 2019 against Canada.
It was a tale of two halves for the USA and 13th-ranked Switzerland, with the MNT having the better of play in the opening 45 and the hosts scoring the winning goal after the break.
Midfielder Sebastian Lletget put the USA in front after five minutes when he calmly put away a chance from 12 yards out past Switzerland goalkeeper Yan Sommer. However, the Swiss answered five minutes later with a shot from Ricardo Rodriguez that deflected off USA defender Reggie Cannon and out of reach of goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
Lletget would be a key player for a USA side that controlled much of the first half and created a number of threatening chances, having another shot saved and narrowly missing wide another opportunity near goal.
Sommer also came up with quality saves on a header from Josh Sargent and denying Sergiño Dest on a chance at the near post.
Switzerland had a chance to take the lead before the break when Dest was called for a handball in the box, however Rodriguez sent the ensuing penalty kick wide right.
The home side started the second half on the front foot, with substitute Remo Freuler missing an open header from four yards out.
Midfielder Gio Reyna has the USA’s best chance in the 52nd minute but his shot from the top of the box glanced off the right post. Sargent also had a quality opportunity minutes later. Dest and Lletget worked a nice wall combination on the left side, resulting in Dest delivering a cross to the near post that Sargent headed just wide.
But the Swiss attack kept coming. Ethan Horvath twice stonewalled Breel Emolo on one-v-one chances, but the locals would find the difference maker minutes after the first USA substitutions when Zuber was in the right place to put away his chance from yards out just past the hour mark.
The USMNT now heads to Denver, Colorado for the Concacaf Nations League Final Four, which was postponed in 2020 and rescheduled. Winners of League A’s Group A, the USMNT takes on Honduras in one semifinal Thursday, June 3 (9:30 pm ET), while Mexico and Costa Rica will square off in the other. The winners will compete for the inaugural Nations League title on Sunday, while the losing sides will meet for third place.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – SEBASTIAN LLETGET (JOSH SARGENT), 5th minute: The opening goal was both a result of two fortuitous bounces and an aggressive approach that saw numbers attacking the goal. Gio Reyna put a ball into the box from the right channel that retreating Swiss defender Nico Elvedi half cleared. The quick rebound bounced off Sebastian Lletget to teammate Brenden Aaronson just yards away and back to Lletget, who calmly placed a left-footed shot to the left side past Elvedi and goalkeeper Yan Sommer for his seventh international goal.
USA 1, SUI 0
SUI – RICARDO RODRIGUEZ (SILVAN WIDMET) 11th minute: Switzerland leveled six minutes later. Silven Widmet advanced to the right side of the box and whipped a ball across to the left side. From two yards outside the box, Rodriguez struck a shot that hit the heel of recovering USA defender Reggie Cannon and the deflection was enough to elude goalkeeper Ethan Horvath’s dive to his left as the ball tucked into the side net.
USA 1, SUI 1
SUI - STEVEN ZUBER 63rd Minute: Switzerland took the lead on their own fortuitous play after the hour mark. A ball was sent from left to right across the top of the small area with neither side getting a touch, the ball was played back across to the of the six and Zuber was their to clean up the loose ball and shoot past Horvath from close range.
USA 1, SUI 2
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYS AND SAVES:
SUI – YAN SOMMER, 33rd minute: USA forward Josh Sargent kept himself onside just inside the box and between two defenders to head a ball destined to the far upper corner. However, the ball did not have the required pace and allowed Sommer to retreat and make the save to keep the game level.
SUI – YAN SOMMER, 35rd minute: Sommer then made his biggest save on USA defender Sergiño Dest, who entered the box on the left, went by two defenders and shot at the near post only to have Sommer well-positioned to make the quality save.
USA - ETHAN HORVATH, 54th minute: Swiss midfielder Breel Emolo took a ball down the right side and around USA defender John Brooks. Horvath read the play and came off his line, taking Emolo’s shot off the right shoulder.
USA - ETHAN HORVATH, 57th minute: Three minutes after denying him once, Horvath against stopped Emolo’s one-v-one chance in similar fashion. Again, Emolo got alone towards goal on the right side, and again Horvath came out and made himself big, this time using his stretched-out right hand to stop Emolo’s shot on goal.
SUI - ERAY COMERT, 82nd Minute: Swiss defender made a big play to potentially deny the USA from leveling when his lunging slide near goal blocked USA forward Tim Weah’s shot from 10 yards out.
USMNT Starting XI averaged 13 caps. Total caps including this match: John Brooks (41), Weston McKennie (22), Sebastian Lletget (21), Reggie Cannon (15), Josh Sargent (14), Jackson Yueill (10), Sergiño Dest (8), Brenden Aaronson (5), Ethan Horvath (5), Gio Reyna (5), Mark McKenzie (3)
The USA lineup represented clubs in seven different countries: Germany (3), Belgium (2),
USA (2), Austria (1), Italy (1), Portugal (1), Spain (1)
Weston McKennie captained the USMNT for the second time tonight. The 22-year-old midfielder previously wore the armband against Mexico in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final.
Seven starters were age 23 or younger: Cannon, McKennie and McKenzie (22), Sargent (21), Aaronson and Dest (20), Reyna (18)
Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath earned his fifth cap tonight and first since the 1-1 draw against Chile on March 26, 2019 in Houston.
John Brooks and Mark McKenzie partnered together for the first time in central defense. Making his 41st appearance, Brooks was the most-capped player in the Starting XI, while McKenzie was the least with three caps.
Brooks was also the only player in the Starting XI to have appeared against Switzerland, going the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw on March 31, 2015 in Zurich.
With the USMNT dressing 23 players, midfielder Tyler Adams, forward Daryl Dike, defender Bryan Reynolds and goalkeeper Chituru Odunze were not in the squad tonight.
The match against Switzerland represented the sixth time the USMNT faced a Top 20 opponent since Berhalter became head coach in 2019.
The USMNT is 1-4-4 all-time against Switzerland and 1-2-2 on Swiss soil.
Gregg Berhalter is 17-6-3 in 25 matches as USMNT head coach.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Switzerland
Date: May 30, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: kybunpark; St. Gallen, Switzerland
Attendance: 100 (Limited Attendance)
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. local
Weather: 60 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
SUI 1 1 2
USA – Sebastian Lletget (Brendon Aaronson) 5th minute
SUI – Ricardo Rodriguez (Silvvan Widmer) 10
SUI – Steven Zuber 63
USA: 1-Ethan Horvath, 15-Mark McKenzie, 2-Sergiño Dest, 6-John Brooks (13-Tim Ream, 61), 7-Gio Reyna (21-Tim Weah, 72), 8-Weston McKennie (Capt.), 9-Josh Sargent (16-Jordan Siebatcheu, 72), 11-Brenden Aaronson, 14-Jackson Yueill (23-Kellyn Acosta, 61), 17-Sebastian Lletget (10-Yunus Musah, 61), 20-Reggie Cannon (22-DeAndre Yedlin, 81)
Subs not used: 27-David Ochoa, 3-Matt Miazga, 5-Antonee Robinson, 18-Julian Green, 24-Matthew Hoppe, 26-Justin Che
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
SUI: 1-Yann Sommer, 3-Silvvan Widmer, 4-Nico Elvedi (5-Manuel Akanji, 46), 6-Denis Zakaria, 7-Breel Embolo (18-Admir Mehmedi, 68), 9-Haris Severović (16-Christian Fassnacht, 84), 10-Granit Zhaka (Capt.), 13-Ricardo Rodriguez (25-Eray Cömert, 69), 17-Loris Benito (8-Remo Freuler, 46), 22-Fabian Schär, 23-Xherdan Shaqiri (14-Steven Zuber, 46)
Subs not used: 11-Ruben Vargas, 12-Yvon Mvogo, 20-Edimilson Fernandes, 21-Jonas Omlin, 24-Andi Zeqiri, 26-Jordan Lotomba
Head coach: Vladimir Petković
Stats Summary: USA / SUI
Shots: 11 / 11
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 1 / 3
Referee: Harm Osmers (GER)
AR1: Eduard Beitinger (GER)
AR2: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
4th Official: Lionel Tschudi (SUI)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Man of the Match: Ethan Horvath