The USMNT led Peru 1-0 late before a back post marking error allowed the World Cup participants to level the score line in Connecticut.
But that’s not what resounds from Tuesday’s match, as we once against confirmed that the U.S. is producing some fine young attackers.
Teenage trio grows into game, puts U.S. ahead
These friendlies provide good chances for players to express themselves individually, and there’s reason to be excited by three young Americans attackers.
Yes, there were plenty of sloppy moments for Josh Sargent (18) and Jonathan Amon (19), but those came early and both European-based players seemed to relax as the match wore into the second half.
Sargent in particular showed flair with one-touch flicks and dynamite touch passes even before he scored his opener. Amon misplaced a looping outside of the foot pass in the first half, but swept a ball over the top of the defense to cue up Sargent in the second half.
And while Tim Weah misfired on that chance, the Paris Saint-Germain man is as exciting as any American teenager on the scene.
Moving forward, it’s all about the attack (and that is exciting)
This isn’t to say that Weston McKennie, Matt Miazga, Tyler Adams, and a few other intriguing young players can’t buoy the hopes of the U.S. heading into the Gold Cup and then World Cup qualifying, but what’s so exciting about this team is a new wealth of attacking options (most of it now growing overseas).
Sargent, Weah, and Amon are 19 or younger. Christian Pulisic is the most important national team talent in a generation, and just turned 20. That’s the same age as Weston McKennie, whose played everywhere from CDM to CB to CAM at his club.
All are playing for clubs whose senior teams are competing for places in Europe. Sargent has yet to play for Werder Bremen’s senior team and Weah sparingly for PSG, but the other three are key pieces for Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, and Nordsjælland.
That’s why it’s key the new U.S. coach knows how to push down on the gas pedal.
Let’s hear it for the long-term caretaker
Dave Sarachan may’ve just coached the final match of his long-term interim run as USMNT boss, and the Rochester-born 64-year-old deserves a lot of credit for Tuesday’s performance.
While his late substitution of DeAndre Yedlin for a thriving Reggie Cannon led to Peru’s equalizer, no one should blame him for thinking an every week Premier League starter would be able to mark a back post.
Sarachan drew up a short free kick from Kellyn Acosta that led to a Josh Sargent goal, and coaxed a strong performance from first time center back mates Cameron Carter-Vickers and Aaron Long.
The longtime assistant’s record as USMNT boss sits at 3-3-3 despite a very tricky schedule. He’s earned draws against three World Cup nations: Portugal, France, and Peru. He also has the distinction of being 1-0 against Mexico, never a bad thing.
In another climate, Sarachan would have earned something close to a full-time gig. And Bruce Arena’s assistant will surely be involved with the USMNT program in some capacity. But coming off a World Cup qualifying failure, it was always going to be time for fresh blood.