Five teenagers make career debuts for USMNT in draw against Wales
SWANSEA, Wales – Playing with a host of young talent and promising prospects, the U.S. Men’s National Team played to a spirited 0-0 draw with Wales at Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
Sporting a starting lineup with an average of 22 years and 252 days, the USMNT was promising and energetic from the start, as players looked to familiarize themselves with new faces in the attack and after nearly a year since the USA’s last match on a FIFA fixture date.
Six players made their senior team debut – five of them teenagers – including three starters in 17-year-olds Gio Reyna and Yunus Musah plus Konrad de la Fuente, a Barcelona teammate of right back Sergiño Dest. Meanwhile Johnny Cardoso, Nicholas Gioacchini and Owen Otasowie entered as second-half substitutes.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) November 12, 2020
From the outset of the first half, the U.S. enjoyed the overwhelming majority of possession and displayed far greater initiative, but the durable Wales defense did a good job of locking down the final third.
The USA’s best chance of the first half came as some relentless counter-pressing nearly paid off in the 34th minute. The USMNT snatched a turnover and found de la Fuente with the ball at his feet, but his rifle from six yards out screamed over the crossbar.
The U.S. defense held strong throughout the day as goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded his seventh solo shutout effort in his 18th appearance for the USA. While the team’s second-half substitutes provided a spark off the bench, the Welsh back line also held firm in its own end down the stretch as the game ended scoreless.
Next on the Schedule: The USMNT will face Panama on Nov. 16 at Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The match will kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FS1, UniMás and TUDN.
Key Saves and Defensive Plays:
USA – Zack Steffen, 63rd minute: In the 63rd minute, Wales attacker Brennan Johnson broke free into the right side of the area on his first touches after entering the match as a sub. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen closed the space and stood his ground, stoning the point-blank effort.
WAL – Danny Ward, 72nd minute: Moments after stepping on the field for his second cap, Uly Llanez ripped a dipping one-hopper from 25 yards out that Wales ‘keeper Danny Ward did well to parry wide.
- Today’s Starting XI had an average age of 22 years and 252 days, the fourth youngest Starting XI in USMNT history.
- The Starting XI averaged eight caps.
- The lineup featured players that ply their trade in seven different countries: Germany and Spain (3 each), England (2), Belgium, Italy and USA (1 each).
- This is the third time that a USMNT Starting XI has featured players at clubs in each of Europe’s top four leagues: English Premier League (Robinson and Steffen); German Bundesliga (Adams, Brooks and Reyna); Italian Serie A (McKennie) and Spanish La Liga (Dest, de la Fuente, Musah).
- The previous instances occurred twice in 2010 – the 2-2 draw with Poland on Oct. 9, 2010 in Chicago and the 0-0 draw with Colombia on Oct. 12 in Chester, Pa.
- Two players under the age of 18 made their USMNT debuts. On his last day as a 17-year-old, Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), along with Yunus Musah (Valencia) became the 12th and 13th players to earn caps under the age of 18.
- It’s just the second time two players under 18 have earned caps for the USMNT in the same match. The previous occurrence involved three players — Mike Slivinski and Mark Jonas (both 16) and Nelson Vargas (17) — in the USMNT’s 1-0 win against Jamaica on Sept. 14, 1991 in High Point, N.C.
- With his appearance tonight, Reyna also became the third member of his family to represent a senior U.S. National Team – a U.S. Soccer record. Reyna’s father Claudio earned 112 caps and is one of three players to go to four different FIFA World Cups with the USMNT – captaining the side in 2002 and 2006. His mother Danielle Reyna (nee Egan) earned six caps for the USWNT.
- Making his 18th appearance, goalkeeper Zack Steffen captained the USMNT for the third time tonight.
- Midfielder Tyler Adams made his 11th USMNT appearance and first since the 1-0 win against Ecuador on March 21, 2019 in Orlando.
- Sergiño Dest earned his fourth cap for the USMNT, starting at right back for the first time.
- Left back Antonee Robinson made his first appearance since the USA’s 1-0 defeat to Jamaica on June 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
- The lone domestic player in this month’s squad, Sebastian Lletget was the only player to have previously appeared for the USMNT this year, going 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020 in Carson, Calif.
- Two of the three most senior players in the XI, defenders John Brooks and Matt Miazga partnered in central defense for the fifth time tonight.
- The USA is 12-5-3 in 19 matches under Gregg Berhalter.
- The USMNT is now 1-0-1 all-time against Wales. Their only other meeting came on May 26, 2003, a 2-0 win behind goals from Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis in San Jose, Calif.
- The USMNT is now 20-56-13 against European opponents on European soil.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Wales
Date: November 12, 2020
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Liberty Stadium; Swansea, Wales
Attendance: No attendance
Kickoff: 7:45 p.m. local / 2:45 p.m. ET
Weather: 52 degrees; cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
WAL 0 0 0
USA: 1-Zack Steffen (capt.); 2-Sergiño Dest (20-Reggie Cannon, 87), 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks, 5-Antonee Robinson; 4-Tyler Adams (16-Johnny Cardoso, 71); 8-Weston McKennie, 17-Sebastian Lletget (14-Owen Otasowie, 87); 7-Gio Reyna (9-Nicholas Gioacchini, 79), 18-Yunus Musah (23-Tim Weah, 79), 11-Konrad de la Fuente (21-Uly Llanez, 71)
Subs not used: 22-Ethan Horvath, 24-Chituru Odunze, 12-Richy Ledezma, 13-Tim Ream, 15-Chris Richards, 19-Sebastian Soto
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
WAL: 1-Danny Ward; 14-Connor Roberts, 5-Tom Lockyer, 18-James Lawrence (6-Joe Rodon, 69), 2-Chris Gunter (capt.); 23-Dylan Levitt (16-Joe Morrell, 80), 10-Harry Wilson, 19-Matthew Smith (21- Joshua Sheehan, 45); 11-Rabbi Matondo (22-Brennan Johnson, 62), 13-Kieffer Moore (20-Daniel James, 62), 9-Tom Lawrence
Subs not used: 3-Neco Williams, 4-Ben Davies, 7-David Brooks, 8-Jonny Williams, 12-Tom King, 15-Ethan Ampadu, 17-Rhys Norrington-Davies
Head coach: Robert Page
Stats Summary: USA / WAL
Shots: 7 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 9
Offside: 3 / 1
USA – Matt Miazga (caution) 56th minute
USA – Johnny Cardoso (caution) 80
USA – Sergiño Dest (caution) 81
Referee: Nick Walsh (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Dougie Potter (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
4th Official: Bryn Markham (WAL)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Man of the Match, presented by Budweiser: Weston McKennie