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Three things from the USMNT draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina

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There wasn’t a ton to takeaway from a friendly nil-nil between the United States men’s national team and Bosnia & Herzegovina on Sunday in Carson, Calif., but we could find three things.

[ MORE: Match recap | Player ratings ]

That’s because “That’s Entertainment” is a song by The Jam, not a way to describe this match.

Playmakers needed in the Starting XI

In what would’ve qualified as infuriating had this game meant anything besides minor evaluation, Dave Sarachan kept Paul Arriola, Kelyn Rowe, and Juan Agudelo on the bench in favor of — in no particular order — Gyasi Zardes and Cristian Roldan.

There weren’t many chances in the opening 45, with CJ Sapong providing the best chances for the U.S. (Young Tyler Adams had a moment or two as well).

It was no surprise that Jordan Morris (above) and the rest of the U.S. squad found chances almost immediately once Rowe and Arriola were subbed into the match at halftime. In fact, a slightly tamer touch from Morris in the second half probably produces a goal that may have just busted open the match.

Opara meets his chance head-on; Zimmerman? Well…

Sporting KC center back Ike Opara is 28 years old and a much more finished product than the kid who represented his country at youth levels. He had some fantastic interventions in the first half, was aggressive when meeting Bosnian attackers out wide, and nearly mistake-free aside from giving away a free kick.

LAFC’s Walker Zimmerman, so good for some time in MLS, was not as solid as his partner, and gave away a bad but unconverted penalty kick early in the second half. A foul should’ve been called a moment earlier against the player he dropped in the boss, but it was a silly foul.

“Just had fun,” Opara said on FS1 after the match. “Sort out the aftermath later. It was a good time. … (I’ll remember) just the hard work that I put in over the years and the people who helped me get here. I know it’s my reward but a lot of people helped me get here.”

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

This match was so non-descript and so much of a slog at times that it bears repeating the USMNT produced what was essentially a C-Team.

Don’t believe us? Assume 23 players in any given call-up, and here are nearly 40 players who weren’t there: Pulisic, Brooks, McKennie, Dempsey, Yedlin, Cameron, Chandler, Acosta, Bedoya, Gooch, Williams, Bradley, Howard, Guzan, Nagbe, McCarty, F. Johnson, Kljestan, Jones, Lletget, Altidore, Wood, Miazga, Lichaj, Miazga, Ream, Sargent, Saief, Spector, Hedges, Zusi, Besler, Beasley, Horvath, Carter-Vickers, Palmer-Brown, Feilhaber, Evans…

So while we didn’t really learn anything from point No. 3, we are reminded that it shouldn’t be surprising when two less than ideal groups culled from sides that missed the World Cup fail to entertain the masses.

USMNT, Bosnia and Herzegovina play to sleepy 0-0

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  • Second game, draw since World Cup failure
  • KC’s Opara easy Man of the Match for U.S.
  • Medunjanin misses PK for BIH

The United States men’s national team and Bosnia & Herzegovina staged a scoreless match that provided little entertainment for anyone other than a boisterous, pro-Bosnian crowd in Carson, California.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin hit a penalty kick off the post for BIH.

USMNT boss Dave Sarachan has two draws in his caretaker stint, but surprisingly did not use all of his subs despite having a number of players craving a first career cap (Russell Canouse, Marky Delgado, Nick Lima).

[ MORE: 3 things | Player ratings ]

CJ Sapong made noise in the first minute, running onto a long ball down the left and crossing for Tyler Adams to head onto goal.

Sapong then forced BIH keeper Ibrahim Šehić into another save, earning a corner kick after beating club teammate Haris Medunjanin to a back pass.

Adams earned a free kick for the U.S. from the right, played short to him and kicked out for a goal kick.

Ike Opara had a sterling first half up to the 40th minute when he gave away a free kick with a hard foul, but Bosnia’s quick-played corner led to a shot sent over Bill Hamid’s goal.

[ MORE: Ibrahimovic to MLS has “serious legs” ]

It was a precursor to his first big save, getting low to save Walker Zimmerman blushes when Luka Menalo hit a mishit clearance on goal from in-tight.

The game within the game was finding entertainment. Save us, second half:

USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan gave Zack Steffen a debut between the sticks in the second half, and brought on Kelyn Rowe and Paul Arriola in place of Sapong and Gyasi Zardes.

Arriola made an instant impact, sending a ball to meet a perfect Jordan Morris run. The forward’s cross invited Rowe, but the New England man couldn’t sweep his trailing leg to turn the pass on goal.

Morris then ran onto a gorgeous pass from Wil Trapp, and an inventive first touch proved too strong as he carried himself too wide to turn a shot on goal.

Menalo then turned the early stages of the half on its ear. He was allowed to get away with a 52nd minute foul, but Zimmerman then hip checked Menalo to the turf for a simple penalty. Medunjanin made Steffen guess wrong, but hit the post.

Roldan was presented with a tremendous chance to make it 1-0 when Matt Polster’s cross deflected into his path but was betrayed by his first touch. Rowe hit a magnificent pass to start the play.

Steffen got low for a languid slap of a Menalo strike in the 66th minute.

Sarachan then put Juan Agudelo into the match for Roldan.

Bosnia produced several good chances down the right as the second half crawled into its final 20 minutes.

Morris comically saw his shirt ripped through the chest on a 75th minute foul.

Omaha-Nebraska player Elvir Ibišević subbed into the match for BIH in the final few minutes of the contest.

USMNT player ratings from eyelid-pulling draw

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The United States men’s national team played a sleepy 0-0 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday in California.

[ MORE: Match recap | 3 things ]

Since you care about how the relatively unknown players looked but almost certainly didn’t want to watch, we did it for you.

Because we love you, you wonderful you.

Starting XI

Bill Hamid — 7 — Challenged once, and answered with a wonderful save.

Justin Morrow — 6 — Saw yellow in a friendly within 36 minutes, and otherwise was unremarkable. The goal was clearly not to utilize the attack-minded skill set which made him an MLS Best XI defender.

Ike Opara — 8 — Exceptionally strong at center back, aggressive in closing down attackers, and often getting between the ball and its intended receiver. *Man of the Match*

Walker Zimmerman — 4.5 — Mishit clearance provided Bosnia’s second most dangerous chance, and gave away a PK for the other.

Matt Polster — 6 — BIH targeted the U.S. right side as the second half went on, but Polster ultimately wasn’t trumped by any significant mistake.

Wil Trapp — 7 — Inviting set piece delivery in the 35th minute was not turned on goal, and it was one of several terrific playmaking moments for the Columbus Crew midfielder.

Tyler Adams — 6 — Didn’t look like a teenager for most of the match, and should only grow into the international game.

Cristian Roldan (Off 69′) — 5 — Still yet to show any of his Seattle strength in his national team’s shirt.

Gyasi Zardes (Off HT) — 6 — Difficult to select an influential moment, good or bad, for the one-time USMNT mainstay.

Jordan Morris — 7 — Had as good a chance as anyone at scoring, and notably served a good left-footed cross midway through the first half.

CJ Sapong (Off HT) — 6 — Did some very good things including a cross that Adams used to force a save, but badly mishit a shot attempt, too.

Substitutes

Zack Steffen (On HT) — 6 — Guessed wrong on the missed PK and not troubled much otherwise.

Paul Arriola (On HT) — 7 —  His engine and electric potential a much-needed move for Sarachan.

Kelyn Rowe (On HT) — 7 —  Along with Arriola, injected pace and playmaking into a dull affair.

Juan Agudelo (On 69′) — 6 — Not much doing for the Revolution attacker.

Rubio Rubin (On 83′) — N/A

FOLLOW LIVE: Hamid starts for USMNT vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Dave Sarachan has announced his Starting XI for his second match as the interim boss of the United States men’s national team.

[ FOLLOW: USMNT vs. BIH ]

The Yanks take on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday in Carson, California, with kickoff at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The back four is the identical to the “Safe and Sound XI” we proffered earlier this week, which is especially predictable given three of the starting midfielders have a total of four caps (Tyler Adams, Wil Trapp, Cristian Roldan).

Gyasi Zardes completes the midfield, with Jordan Morris and CJ Sapong up top.

Plenty of new faces aim to impress for USMNT against Bosnia

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With disappointment from a missed World Cup opportunity still fresh on the minds of those involved with U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take another step towards 2022 on Sunday night.

Interim manager Dave Sarachan has put out a young squad heading into tomorrow’s international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the boss including several bright talents like Tyler Adams and Jordan Morris, as well as players aiming to impress for the very first time.

[ MORE: How will the USMNT line up against Bosnia? ]

Sarachan has selected 15 first-time national teamers for the Americans, which includes a trio of Real Salt Lake products that will look to shine if they are given the opportunity.

Danilo Acosta, Justen Glad and Brooks Lennon have all earned call ups for the first time this January camp, while Minnesota United striker Christian Ramirez has received the same chance up front.

The Yanks will be searching for some new faces to bring in the goals against Bosnia, as Sarachan’s men have a combined 17 goals scored amongst their entire roster. Recently-acquired Columbus Crew winger Gyasi Zardes has the most of any player, having scored six times for the U.S.

Meanwhile, Bosnia features a few familiar faces as well, with Haris Medunjanin of the Philadelphia Union and University of Nebraska-Omaha product Elvir Ibisevic each called up.

The U.S. and Bosnia have only met once previously, a 4-3 American victory back in 2013, which saw Jozy Altidore‘s hat-trick turn out to be the difference on that day.