U.S. Men’s National Team Plays 13th-Ranked Uruguay To Scoreless Draw In Kansas City
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson Earns Fifth Career Shutout as USMNT Extends Home Unbeaten Streak to 25 Games; USA Will Begin Defense of Concacaf Nations League Title Against Grenada on Friday at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+, UniMas, TUDN)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (June 5, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team played 13th-ranked Uruguay to a scoreless draw in front of a sellout crowd of 19,569 on Sunday afternoon at Children’s Mercy Park, extending its home unbeaten streak to 25 straight games. While the USA had the better of possession and was aggressive on offense, three key defensive plays were critical in preserving the draw: a goal line clearance from right back DeAndre Yedlin, a point-blank save by goalkeeper Sean Johnson on the goalmouth and a sliding block from center back Walker Zimmerman inside the box.
The draw against fellow World Cup participant Uruguay brings the all-time series record between the nations to 2-2-4 and extends the USA’s home undefeated streak to 25 matches, just one shy of the team record of 26, set from 2013-2015.
The USMNT now turns its attention to defending its Concacaf Nations League title, kicking off the 2022-2023 tournament with group stage matches against Grenada on June 10 (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, UniMas, TUDN) at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas and at El Salvador on June 14 (FS1, Univision, TUDN).
Head coach Gregg Berhalter made four changes from the starting lineup that defeated Morocco on Wednesday to kick off the four-game June international window, with Johnson and Yedlin joined in the backline by left back Joe Scally - who made his first career start - and Weston McKennie in midfield, who started for the first time since February after recovering from a broken foot.
The new-look defense withstood early momentum from the strong South American side, culminating with Yedlin clearing a Diego Godin shot off the line in the tenth minute.
The offense then started clicking, sparked in particular by smart runs and simple passes from midfielder Yunus Musah down the middle. In the 13th, Scally won a ball on the left side and quickly played it to Musah, who advanced forward and fed Tim Weah on the right side. The winger took the ball to the endline before attempting a cross that was blocked by a lunging defender, who appeared to handle the ball. Christian Pulisic took the ensuing corner kick, dropping a ball in the center of the area for McKennie, who attempted an overhead kick that went over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Zimmerman started an attacking run out of the back with a well-played pass down the center to midfielder Tyler Adams, who quickly connected with Pulisic. The Chelsea forward touched it up to forward Jesús Ferreira, who took a touch to his right and ripped a shot across his body that forced Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to dive to his right to keep it out of goal.
Ferreira had another half-chance a minute later. Musah again brought the ball down the middle and waited for Yedlin to continue his run into the box on the right before setting him up. Yedlin’s cross was perhaps a bit too strong as Ferreira jumped while being well-marked by Martin Cáceres and the ball glanced off his head from close range.
Uruguay had another chance halfway through the opening frame when Manuel Ugarte ripped a shot from 17 yards, but Johnson was well-positioned and reached high to push it over the crossbar.
The USA had a final chance just before the break. McKennie did well to hold a ball in the area before dishing back up top to the onrushing Pulisic, whose dummy of the ball allowed the trailing Adams to hit a strong shot that was caught by Muslera as the USA outpossessed the visitors 58-42 percent during the first 45.
Despite a number of changes from both side after the break, the stalemate endured. Musah set up an early attempt from Pulisic that went wide, and talented Uruguay forward Darwin Nuñez saw his first chance of the game sail wide right as he forced a shot from a tight angle on the left side.
Nuñez then set up a pair of teammates with great looks on goal, first lifting a ball from the end line to the penalty spot that Fernando Gorriarán mishit as he attempted to hit it first time.
The best chance for either side came in the 63rd minute. Uruguay’s Matias Vecino sent in a ball from the top of the box over the defense to the far left post that both Mathias Olivera and Nuñez attacked. As both players jumped for the ball just yards from the goal, Nuñez got his foot on it but Johnson was in place to block the shot with his shin on the goal line.
Uruguay kept the pressure on with the addition of forwards Federico Valverde, Diego Rossi and Edinson Cavani. With minutes to go, Rossi set himself up for a shot from the top of the area after a nice individual effort, but Zimmerman read the play well and slid to block the shot, averting the danger.
Cavani then had a clear chance late in stoppage time. After Zimmerman won a ball near midfield, Valverde sent a first touch pass back over the defense to Nuñez, who had space to run towards goal, drawing a defender before squaring a ball to the right to the trailing Cavani, who hit his first time shot from 12 yards wide right.
The U.S. team wore orange armbands in support of Wear Orange Weekend, a national movement championed by everytown.org to raise awareness against gun violence. The movement began in 2013 following the killing of Hadiya Pendleton on a playground in Chicago.
With the result, the USMNT extends its home unbeaten streak to 25 matches, just one shy of the team record of 26 set from 2013-2015.
The USA moves to 2-2-4 in eight matches against Uruguay and 8-0-2 all-time at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
The Starting XI averaged 24 years, 335 days and 27 caps.
Gregg Berhalter made four changes to the Starting XI from Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Morocco, inserting goalkeeper Sean Johnson, right back DeAndre Yedlin, left back Joe Scally and midfielder Weston McKennie.
Weston McKennie returned to the starting XI for the first time since the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Honduras on Feb. 2, 2022. He made his first substitute appearance for the USA on Wednesday against Morocco, snapping his streak of 31 consecutive starts – the longest since Eddie Pope made 82 consecutive starts from 1996-2006 - and seventh-longest in team history.
Christian Pulisic earned his 50th appearance for the USMNT. With 21 goals and 10 assists, Pulisic leads all USMNT players with 31 goal contributions in 50 caps, besting Landon Donovan’s 15 goals and 10 assists at the half-century mark. Pulisic (23 years, 260 days) is also the seventh-youngest player to hit 50 appearances for the USMNT.
Sean Johnson earned his 10th cap this afternoon, becoming the 14th goalkeeper in USMNT history to reach double-digit appearances. Playing the full 90 minutes for the fifth time, Johnson made three saves to keep the fifth clean sheet of his international career. The veteran goalkeeper has conceded just one goal while playing for the USA.
After making his debut off the bench against Morocco, 19-year-old defender Joe Scally earned his first start for the USMNT.
Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman paired in central defense for the second-straight match and ninth time overall. The USMNT is 7-1-1 when they partner on the back line.
Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin made his 74th international appearance, moving past Hugo Pérez into sole possession of 32nd on the USMNT’s all-time caps list.
Tyler Adams captained the USMNT for the ninth time today. The USA is 7-1-1 when Adams wears the armband.
With teams limited to dressing 23 players, goalkeeper Matt Turner, defender George Bello and midfielder Cristian Roldan were healthy scratches from today’s matchday squad.
-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Uruguay
Date: June 5, 2022 Competition: International Friendly