U.S. Men’s National Team Falls 1-0 to Slovenia as 11 Players Make International Debut

Annual January Training Camp Concludes in San Antonio; USMNT Turns Focus Towards Concacaf Nations League Finals in March

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 20, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 1-0 against Slovenia in an international friendly held at San Antonio on Saturday, in which players featured for the USA for the very first time in front of a sold out, stadium-record 9,191 fans at Toyota Field.

In the opening half, as both teams looked to establish an attacking rhythm, it was Slovenia that struck first despite the U.S. controlling much of the possession. In the 26th minute, forward Danijel Šturm played linemate Nejc Gradišar through behind the defense, where Gradišar then found running room into the left side of the 18-yard box and placed a low finish past goalkeeper Patrick Schulte.

The U.S. nearly leveled minutes later, when debutants Diego Luna, Brian White, and Bernard Kamungo linked up for a well-saved attempt on target in the 30th minute. Dribbling through the center of the pitch, Luna picked out White making a run into the 18 on goalkeeper Igor Vekič’s right side, before White put a low cross on the left foot of the on-rushing Kamungo. Kamungo’s close-range attempt was kicked away by Vekić, and a Josh Atencio follow-up attempt was cleared away for a corner.

The U.S. ratcheted up the attack as the second half got underway. In the 57th minute, Josh Atencio played a clever pass to Diego Luna in midfield, who turned to find Shaq Moore out wide to the right running into the 18. Moore’s hard shot was bound for the upper 90, but was parried away by Vekić.

Six substitutes made their way into the match as the half progressed and helped to apply pressure to the Slovenian defense. Esmir Bajraktarević provided a creative spark upon entering the match in the 61st minute and looked most dangerous in an 82nd minute opportunity in which the 18-year-old deftly maneuvered left-to-right across the Slovenian box before having a shot attempt blocked. The rebound fell to John Tolkin, whose outside-the-boot attempt with his left foot went wide.

Tolkin had another opportunity sail just beyond the bar a minute later when an attempt from the top of the 18 via a DeJuan Jones cross narrowly kept the U.S. off the scoresheet. The 1-0 score ultimately held in favor of the visitors.

With the annual January Camp of largely domestic-based players concluded, the USMNT will now turn towards its upcoming Concacaf Nations League semifinal meeting with Jamaica in March, in which they will go for a third-straight championship. That match will take place on March 21 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

In June, the U.S. will compete in the prestigious 2024 Copa America featuring 10 CONMEBOL nations including defending World Cup and Copa America champion Argentina led by captain and Inter Miami attacker Lionel Messi. The U.S. will compete in Group C and face Bolivia, Panama and Uruguay.

Rounding out a busy summer, the U.S. U-23s will compete in the Olympic Games from July 24-Aug. 10 in France. The U.S. qualified for the games for the first time since 2008 and will bring a roster featuring players under the age of 23, with the ability to include three overage players.


SLV – Nejc Gradišar (Danijel Šturm), 26th minute: Šturm, from midfield, played Gradišar past the U.S. back line and into the 18-yard box. Gradišar picked up the ball on the dribble, running to goalkeeper Patrick Schulte’s right and put a close-range shot across the face of the net to the far post. SLV 1, USA 0


  • Saturday’s match was just the third all-time meeting between the U.S. and Slovenia, and the first to be in the United States. The result moves the U.S.’ record to 1-1-1 all-time against their European counterparts, following the pair’s famous 2-2 draw in the group stage at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and a 3-2 victory on Nov. 15, 2011, in Ljubljana.
  • 11 players made their respective debuts for the U.S. against Slovenia. The USMNT record for debuts in a match is 12, which occurred on Aug. 3, 1973 vs. Poland and Jan. 10, 1988 at Guatemala.
  • Of those 11 players, seven featured in Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s starting lineup: Josh Atencio, Bernard Kamungo, Diego Luna, Patrick Schulte, Timmy Tillman, Brian White, and Sean Zawadzki. The four substitutes to earn their debuts were Jack McGlynn, Esmir Bajraktarević, Duncan McGuire, and Aziel Jackson.
  • The seven starting debutants tied a modern era record for most USMNT starting players to earn their first cap in the same match, a mark first set in last year’s January camp friendly against Serbia.
  • With today’s debut, midfielder Timmy Tillman joined younger brother Malik in representing the U.S. Men’s National Team. The Tillmans are the 10th set of brothers to appear for the USMNT. The elder Tillman earned Michelob Man of the Match honors for his performance against Slovenia.
  • Today’s 11 total debutants took the total number of players to make their debut under Gregg Berhalter to 71, the second-most among USMNT head coaches in history behind only Bruce Arena (89).
  • Nine of the 11 players who made their U.S. debut today are age-eligible for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris: Atencio, Bajraktarević, Jackson, Kamungo, Luna, McGlynn, McGuire, Morris, and Schulte.
  • Tonight’s Starting XI had an average age of 24 years, 95 days. The lineup also averaged six caps.
  • Veteran defender Miles Robinson captained the side for the first time today and put in a full 90 minute shift in central defense. He is the 15th different player to captain the USMNT under Gregg Berhalter.
  • Right back Shaq Moore earned his first cap since the 1-0 win against IR Iran in the FIFA World Cup group stage finale on Nov. 29, 2022. He played 61 minutes before being substituted for John Tolkin.
  • Midfielder Aidan Morris played 90 minutes in what was his fifth career U.S. appearance and his first since the 6-0 win against St. Kitts and Nevis during the Gold Cup group stage on June 28, 2023 in St. Louis.
  • Defender DeJuan Jones earned his eighth cap on the day, playing all 90 minutes in a sturdy two-way performance. It marked his first appearance since the 4-0 win against Oman on Sept. 12 in St. Paul.
  • Defender Caleb Wiley entered the match in the 77th minute for Diego Luna, marking his second career U.S. appearance and his first since debuting against Mexico in last April’s 1-1 friendly draw with Mexico.
  • Defender John Tolkin made his fourth international appearance for the U.S. on Saturday as a 61st minute substitute, having last appeared in the 2023 Gold Cup semifinal match against Panama.



Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Slovenia

Date: January 20, 2024

Competition: International Friendly

Venue: Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas 

Attendance: 9,191 (Sellout)

Kickoff: 3:07 p.m. ET (2:07 p.m. local)

Weather: 41 degrees; cloudy


Scoring Summary:       1            2            F

USA                                 0            0            0

SVN                                 1             0            1


SVN - Nejc Gradišar (Danijel Šturm)    26th minute



USA: 1-Patrick Schulte; 18-Shaq Moore (21-John Tolkin, 61), 14-Sean Zawadzki, 12-Miles Robinson (Capt.), 5-DeJuan Jones; 17-Bernard Kamungo (19-Esmir Bajraktarevic, 61), 15-Josh Atencio (10-Jack McGlynn, 61), 8-Aidan Morris, 7-Diego Luna (2-Caleb Wiley, 77); 11-Timmy Tillman (20-Aziel Jackson, 89), 9-Brian White (13-Duncan McGuire, 62)

Substitutes not used: 22-Drake Callender, 23-Roman Celentano, 2-Caleb Wiley, 3-Ian Murphy, 4-Nkosi Tafari, 6-James Sands, 16-Nathan Harriel

Head coach: Gregg Berhalter


SVN: 1-Igor Vekič; 3-Srđan Kuzmić (4-Marcel Ratnik, 88), 6-David Zec, 5-Žan Zaletel, 2-Žan Karničnik; 22-Tamar Svetlin (8-Luka Vešner Tičič, 46), 20-Jan Repas (7-Mitja Ilenič, 46), 13-Adrian Zeljković (14-Mark Zabukovnik, 65), 10-Timi Max Elšnik (Capt.), 17-Danijel Šturm (19-Matej Poplatnik, 80); 11-Nejc Gradišar (9-Andres Vombergar, 65)

Substitutes not used: 12-Klemen Mihelak, 16-Denis Pintol, 15-Sandro Jovanović, 18-Sven Karić, 21-Matija Kavčič

Head coach: Matjaž Kek


Stats Summary: USA / SVN

Shots: 15 / 9

Shots on Goal: 3 / 4

Saves: 3 / 3

Corner Kicks: 5 / 5

Fouls: 7 / 18

Offside: 0 / 3


Misconduct Summary:

SVN – Danijel Šturm (Caution)               45th minute

USA – Brian White (Caution)                   46

USA – Mark Zabukovnik (Caution)         67



Referee: Pierre Luc Lauziere (CAN)

Assistant Referee 1: Lyes Arfa (CAN)

Assistant Referee 2: Juki Stefan Takana-Freundt (CAN)

4th Official: Filip Dujic (CAN)


Michelob Ultra Man of the Match: Timmy Tillman