The USMNT kicked off its extremely busy, four-games-in-11-days run of fixtures with a 2-1 defeat to EURO 2020-bound Switzerland in St. Gallen on Sunday.
Sebastian Lletget gave the USMNT and 5th-minute lead and all appeared to be happy and comfortable for the Americans early on, but things unraveled very quickly as Switzerland hit back immediate through Ricardo Rodriguez and Steven Zuber grabbed the winner midway through the second half.
The USMNT wasted little time before opening the scoring. Reyna played a dangerous ball from the left wing, which the Swiss defense couldn’t properly clear and allowed to pinball around the penalty area. Lletget couldn’t corral it at the first time of asking, and neither could Sargent, but the latter’s touch unwittingly found the former with just enough space for a first-time curler from 12 yards out.
GOAL FOR THE USMNT ‼️ pic.twitter.com/NVsHkqFmBb
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 30, 2021
The lead lasted just five minutes, though. Rodriguez found an empty pasture of space on the left side and fired a left-footed striker from 22 yards out. Cannon rushed out to block Rodriguez’s effort, but only managed to deflect and apply some wicked spin which gave Ethan Horvath no chance at a save.
Dest nearly gave the USMNT the lead again in the 36th minute, as he went it alone and weaved his way past a pair of Swiss defenders and barreled down on the six-yard box. The Barcelona right back — playing left back again on Sunday — forced Yann Sommer to make a difficult kick-save to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.
Four minutes later, Dest was whistled for a handball inside the box. The 20-year-old was no more than two yards from Silvan Widmer when he kicked the ball off Dest’s hand. Fortunately for Dest and the USMNT, Rodriguez stepped to the spot and missed everything as he pulled his shot a full yard wide Horvath’s left-hand post.
Here's that penalty kick miss from Ricardo Rodriguez.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) May 30, 2021
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Reyna went close to making it 2-1 in the 53rd minute, but his effort struck the post after a well-worked high press pay dividends for the Yanks. Cannon, Brenden Aaronson and Sargent hunted the ball together to forced a turnover and quickly play Reyna into a dangerous spot.
Horvath made massive one-on-one saves in back-to-back minutes immediately thereafter, twice denying Breel Embolo as he walked down the right wing and into the box. Concerning for the USMNT, all it took was one easy pass to play him in behind on each occasion.
Switzerland eventually got their second goal, and the left side of the USMNT’s defense couldn’t have covered itself in anymore shame in the process. Tim Ream was first to fail with an attempted clearance, but Dest managed to one-up him with a behind-the-back, no-look flick to put the ball back in front of goal. Zuber eventually found his footing and fired past Horvath.
going ahead! pic.twitter.com/l0qTAc7orV
— Julio Nut (@NutJulio) May 30, 2021
Up next for the Yanks is their Nations League semifinal clash with Honduras on Thursday (7:30 pm ET) in Denver, Colorado.