Nov. 14 in Leiria
Portugal 1 USA 1.
Goals: Vitorino Antunes 31; McKennie 21.
The USA’s first game since the 2018 World Cup qualifying failure, a 1-1 tie at Portugal, will be remembered for the exceptional debut performance by 19-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie and the blunder by 22-year-old goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) GP/G
2 Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL) 2/0
With the USA enjoying a 1-0 lead, committed a ghastly gaffe by letting through his hands, arms and between his legs Vitorino Antunes’ shot from the wing. Five minutes later, he kicked the ball straight to Danilo Pereira and was lucky the Portuguese shot weakly.
5 DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG) 49/0
Right back fared well defensively against the dynamic Bruma, made promising forwards runs, but his passes from the wing didn’t reach teammates.
6 Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED)
Defended superbly in the middle and often helped out outside backs. Made a big blunder on the other end: a needless foul on Luis Neto, nullifying Brooks’ header into Portugal’s net off a 44th-minute corner kick.
6 John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER) 33/3
Miazga’s first-half central defensive partner tackled well and intercepted passes.
5 Eric Lichaj (Nott. Forest/ENG) 14/1
Left back kept Gelson Martins from getting too dangerous and occasionally ventured forward.
5 Tyler Adams
(NY Red Bulls) 1/0)
Decent debut for 18-year-old. Right side-sided midfielder helped Yedlin defend and had two close-range chances after dashing into the goal area, including header that forced excellent diving save from keeper Beto.
5 Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG) 23/2
Defensive midfielder swept adeptly in front of backline. Sent in the cross for Adams’ chance. Shot horribly wide with no pressure on him in 81st minute.
6 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) 17/1
Toiled for 90 minutes in midfield. Sent the cross-field pass to Sapong leading to McKennie's goal. Delivered good corner kicks.
8 Weston McKennie (Schalke 04/GER) 1/1
An all-round superb central midfield performance: Ball-winning, precise passing and an excellent finish (after juking past Manuel Fernandes). Also hit crossbar with a header.
4 Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution) 27/3
Troubled Portuguese defenders occasionally but didn’t break through.
6 C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union)
His cross set up an Adams’ chance in the 20th minute and he assisted on McKennie’s goal. Portugal resorted four times to fouls to stop Sapong’s forays.
5 Bill Hamid (D.C. United) 3/0
Replaced Horvath at halftime. Blocked a couple long-range shots and snagged a cross but not severely tested.
6 Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG) 1/0
The 19-year-old central defender made his debut with halftime entry for Brooks and did well against forwards Goncalo Paciencia and Tony Lopes as Portugal surged late in the game.
4 Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX) 15/0)
Subbed in for Lichaj at left back in the 59th minute. Failed to help much on offense. He did stop Nelson Semedo on a late Portugal attack.
6 Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG) 2/0
The 21-year-old entered in the 59th and from left flank was one of more effective attackers late in the game. His cross set up a Carter-Vickers’ chance.
NR Dom Dwyer (Orlando City)
The energetic 77th-minute sub for Sapong was stopped twice by Portuguese fouls and didn’t see much more of the ball.
NR Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
An 84th-minute sub for McKennie.
(Ratings: 1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
TRIVIA: Weston McKennie, at age 19, became the third-youngest player to score on his USA debut behind Juan Agudelo (2010, age 17) and Landon Donovan (2000, age 18)
Nov. 14 in Leiria
Portugal 1 USA 1.
Goals: Vitorino Antunes 31; McKennie 21
Portugal — Beto; Nelson Semedo, Pepe (Neto, 10), Ricardo Ferreira, Antunes; Bruno Fernandes (Joao Mario, 46), Danilo (Ruben Neves, 62); Manuel Fernandes, Bruma (Bernardo Silva, 62), Gelson Martins (Paciencia, 46); Goncalo Guedes (Rony Lopes, 81).
USA — Horvath (Hamid, 46); Yedlin, Miazga, Brooks (Carter-Vickers, 46), Lichaj (Villafana, 59); Williams; Adams, McKennie (Bedoya, 84), Acosta, Agudelo (Gooch, 59); CJ Sapong (Dwyer, 77).
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
Shots on target: 6/5
Corner Kicks: 8/4
The game should have been 2-0 (US), with Brooks' goal nullified for an unfortunate foul Miazga committed (I think the Portuguese player was falling down and Miazga had his hands on his back; I have no problem with the ref giving the foul, though given what he was letting go in midfield...), and Horvath's error (not an easy shot, but certainly one that has to be saved), so I thought the US did quite well. I thought both Lichaj and Williams had good games (and deserved better ratings), and Sapong was very impressive. I like the speed, the touch, the quick interchanging of passes and the aggressive, intelligent, high up the field defense. There is hope!
Kent, don't get mired down about we should have won by 2-0. The goals are really meaningless when judging how we play for that is the most important aspect when looking at the long run of things as related to the development of our game. I was not impressed with the Portugese team other than perhaps 2 individual players, but at least they are doing the right things .This was a young Portugese team that made tons of bad passing mistakes, of which some went right to the feet of our guys. But here is the difference and this why I think Portugese won out in terms of their development of their game. Portugal always tried to build up an attack from the back starting with their goalie, which is very difficult to do when the US played defense high up in the opponent's third. Notice they did not blast the ball when under pressure forwards downfield but tried to beat the US pressure with short passes, of which some were bad and got themselves into trouble at times; but regardless they persisted and were not afraid. We don't see that with our team, for our players lack that ability to play under high pressure and therefore we lack the ability to build up from the back, unless the opponents give us space. The young Portugese team knock the ball around from one side of the field to the other, going backwards and forwards, positioning in a manner to allow the ball to flow from one station to the other. Again, our team(s) can't do that, we,instead, look for the break aways, opportunistic plays and possible runs. The second half was rediculous for the game was mostly played in our own half. Now lets say we did win by 2-0, would you be happy with this? I certainly wouldn't be, for I look at the bigger picture as to how we should be developing. For you have to realize ,soccer is nothing other than looking for TIME and SPACE. These two aspects are directly tied in to the speed of ball handling skills. The less skill you have the more 'time and space" you need , which direct ties a team into the manner it can play.
Portugal still had twice as many shots on goal as we did. We need a lot of work on our team defense to hold those shots down. On the keeper bad mistake and a bad distribution can’t do that and expect a good result.
I would let him think about improving before we call we call him back.
Curious what do you think of no offside on our team in the game? Does it mean we know when to run or we don’t run enough?
NICK, good question, I would have to look at the game again to see why. I do think one of the reasons is the that we played with one attacker up front, which means also we had to wait for midline palyers to make runs, therefore reducing the chance of offsides, and we played most of the game ,especially in the second half in our own half of the field...
Really feel that Yedlin is not the answer at right back. He does get forward and his speed does make defenders nervous. But he is not particularly effective when he gets there, and then he shows no urgency to get back, as if he's owed the break for his effort.
His 1v1 defending has matured --- now he's mediocre, at best. His positioning and cover is no better. There must be a better right back somewhere.
I don't think there's a better American right back. He's good enough to start every week in the EPL.
John, from what I see of Yedlin is that he fits the mold of the typical American player, hardwork, strong and fast, although I don't find him to be quick, and lacks good ball finesse . And Tyler Adams just relies on speed and quickness and has a good work rate but has no ball finesse or sense. He plays like he thinks he can outrun the ball. He needs to settle down his play and realize it is not how fast you are but how smart you are furthermore he too ball oriented in his approach. A perfect example, was around 10 minutes into game, the Portugese #10 ,positioned near the outside edge of the penalty , made a quick one step run, faking out the speedy Tyler Adams ,who ran 3 steps further downfield. He is young and I hope someone will teach him that for he has appears to have a good attitude.
I too think th kids did great. Young mostly inexperienced. Against a very good team. True Portugal did not have their best team on the field. They did however have several starters playing. Yet the kids did not panic and created many good plays. You can't demand new young players on the team as many have and then expect perfection on their first outing
"The kids did great!
At least there seems to be some reason to be hopeful about our team's future!