Late Comeback Boosts U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to 2-2 Draw with France ahead of Showdown at 2024 Paris Olympics

Griffin Yow Scores in 86th, Cade Cowell in the 89th to Earn Result for USA Men’s Olympic Team Will Return to Action During June International Window and Meet France in Olympic Opener on Wednesday, July 24 in Marseille

MONTBÉLIARD, France (March 25, 2024) – Goals in the 86th and 89th minutes propelled the U.S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team to an exciting come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Paris 2024 host France. The USA fought to the end against its opening opponent at the upcoming Olympics, with forward Griffin Yow scored the USA’s first goal to cap off a strong international window and forward Cade Cowell netted the equalizer at the death. 

The match was lively from the opening whistle, as the U.S. and France traded attacking runs throughout the evening. After a number of good looks, the Americans finally broke through in the game’s final four minutes. Captain Tanner Tessmann teed up Yow with a lovely long ball before the Westerlo winger tallied with an impressive finish, following up a strong performance in the 3-0 win against Guinea that saw him log two assists and help create the third goal. Cowell’s strike in the game’s final moments, his first for the Men’s Olympic Team, drew the U.S. even.

The USA will return to action during the June international window and will make its return to the Olympics this summer for the first time since 2008. The U.S. kicks off the Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament against host France in Marseille on July 24 before taking New Zealand on July 27 in Marseille and the winner of the still to be determined AFC-CAF qualifying playoff on July 30 in Saint-Etienne.

The U.S. got off on the front foot vs. France, pressing aggressively, and had the game’s first good look in the seventh minute. Defender Bryan Reynolds teed up a ball for forward Paxten Aaronson in the box that the winger put on frame, but had his attempt saved by goalkeeper Guillaume Restes.

U.S. ‘keeper Patrick Schulte was called into action shortly thereafter in the ninth. Following a French corner, Les Bleus served in a ball from the top right corner of the box for a runner at the far post, but the Columbus Crew netminder leapt to his left to push the ball out for a corner kick.  

While the end-to-end action continued and the U.S. had a number of good spells of possession, France began to threaten more consistently midway through the first half. The French won the ball deep in U.S. territory in the 21st and Arnaud Kalimuendo made a number of shifty moves through the U.S. defense before ripping a shot that Schulte stopped with his shin as he fell to the grass.

In the 25th, a nice exchange in the U.S. box led to Rayan Cherki rifling a shot from the top of the box that rattled off the post. Following the ensuing corner, the Lyon attacker again received the ball inside the box and danced around a defender before firing a shot wide. However, the referee called for a handball in the box on U.S. defender John Tolkin and pointed to the penalty spot. There, Kalimuendo coolly finished to give France a 1-0 lead.

The U.S. grew back into the game after conceding but wasn’t able to equalize before the half. In the 33rd, Reynolds played a good ball in for forward Duncan McGuire, but his header attempt went just wide.

After the break, the USA was determined to find an equalizer and started on the front foot again before trading dangerous opportunities with France. Like the first half, the hosts began to seriously threaten in the middle of the half. In the 78th, a turnover deep in U.S. territory led to Desire Doue laying off to Kalimuendo for a hard-hit shot from close range, but Schulte was up to the task and made the save. Les Bleus doubled their lead a minute later. A lovely long ball led to Maghnes Akliouche serving it on a platter for Andy Diouf at the top of the arc, and the Lens midfielder rocketed a shot past Schulte to put the home side up 2-0.

Head coach Marko Mitrovic made seven changes in the second half and all the substites made an impact off the bench. The U.S. continued to build up patiently and its efforts were finally rewarded in the 86th. Tessmann hit a lovely long ball to Yow on the left wing, where he dribbled towards goal before ripping a curling shot to the near post. The impressive individual effort saw him net his first goal for the U.S. since scoring for the U-17s in May 2019.

Sparked by the late goal, the U.S. continued to push for an equalizer. Working down the left side again in the game’s waning minutes, midfielder Jack McGlynn played Cowell on the wing. The forward cut in and drove toward goal before unleashing a bouncing effort that deflected off a France defender and past Restes to earn the 2-2 draw for the Americans.


FRA – Arnaud Kalimuendo (Penalty Kick), 26th minute: As the U.S. defense attempted to clear the ball from Rayan Cherki driving in the box, the referee signaled for a handball on John Tolkin and pointed to the penalty spot. Kalimuendo stepped up and buried It to the right side for the game’s opening goal. USA 0, FRA 1

FRA – Andy Diouf (Maghnes Akliouche), 79th minute:
After halting a U.S. attacking run, Kalimuendo played a long ball to Adrien Truffert on the run down the left. He received and played to Akliouche in the middle of the box, where he laid it off at the top of the arc for Diouf to rocket a shot past Schulte. USA 0, FRA 2  

USA – Griffin Yow (Tanner Tessmann), 86th minute:
Building from the back, Tessmann sent a lovely ball over the top for Yow on the left wing. He dribbled into the box from the top left corner and pulled it back before curling his shot to the near left post past the diving French goalkeeper to spark the U.S. comeback. USA 1, FRA 2

USA – Cade Cowell (Jack McGlynn), 89th minute: This time McGlynn played a bouncing ball for Cowell driving up the left wing. The forward cut into the left side of the box past one France defender and drove to the middle before hitting a bouncing shot that deflected off a France defender and inside the near left post to draw the U.S. level. USA 2, FRA 2


Match: United States Men’s Olympic Soccer Team vs. France
Date: March 26, 2024
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stade Auguste-Bonal; Montbéliard, France
Attendance: 12,475
Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET. (9:05 p.m. local)
Weather: 46 degrees, partly cloudy

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

FRA – Arnaud Kalimuendo (Penalty Kick)                   26th minute
FRA – Andy Diouf (Maghnes Akliouche)                      79
USA – Griffin Yow (Tanner Tessmann)                        86
USA – Cade Cowell (Jack McGlynn)                              89       

USA: 1-Patrick Schulte; 5-Bryan Reynolds (2-Nathan Harriel, 74), 4-Jonathan Tomkinson, 18-Maximilian Dietz, 3-John Tolkin (22-Caleb Wiley, 74); 8-Tanner Tessmann, 6-Gianluca Busio (14-Jack McGlynn, 74), 16-Aidan Morris (9-Cade Cowell, 83); 7-Kevin Paredes (11-Esmir Bajraktarevic, 59), 13-Duncan McGuire (17-Johan Gomez, 59), 10-Paxten Aaronson (21-Griffin Yow, 74)
Substitutes not used: 12-Chris Brady, 19-Daneil Edelman, 20-George Campbell
Head coach: Marko Mitrović

FRA: 16-Guillaume Restes; 5-Kiliann Sildillia, 9-Arnaud Kalimuendo, 10-Manu Kone (Capt.), 13-Rayan Cherki, 14-Bradley Locko, 15-Maxime Esteve, 18-Bafode Diakite, 20-Andy Diouf, 21-Maghnes Akliouche, 22-Wilson Odobert
Substitutes: 1-Lucas Chevalier, 23-Obed Nkambadio, 2-Castello Lukeba, 3-Adrien Truffert, 6-Desire Doue, 7-Elye Wahi Sepe, 8-Khephren Thuram
Head coach: Thierry Henry

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Paxten Aaronson (Caution)                 59th minute
USA – John Tolkin (Caution)                            67

Referee: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Martinez Munuera (ESP)
Fourth Official: Mario Melero Lopez (ESP)

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