USMNT flip eye to subsequent technology as Brandon Vazquez, Cade Cowell shine in Serbia loss


LOS ANGELES — Within the crew’s first sport because the 2022 World Cup, the United States males’s nationwide crew received an early objective from debutant Brandon Vazquez earlier than conceding twice in a 2-1 loss to Serbia at BMO Stadium.

JUMP TO: Finest/worst performers | Highlights & notable moments | Postgame quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy response

1. Heavy Mexican-American affect

All 4 gamers on the roster eligible to characterize Mexico — Vazquez, Alejandro Zendejas, Cade Cowell and Jonathan Gomez — had been within the beginning XI. It represented a transparent assertion of intent from U.S. Soccer that the federation needs long-term commitments from every of them.

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Vazquez, Zendejas — each making their first full nationwide crew caps — and Cowell performed collectively in a entrance three that was vigorous and persistently harmful. Vazquez’s objective on a cross from fellow debutant Julian Gressell was a wonderful end — redirecting the ball to the far nook — and leaves a optimistic first impression about his capability to play on the worldwide degree.

For all the eye Zendejas’ inclusion drew coming in midseason from Membership America, he was outshined by Cowell on the alternative wing. The San Jose Earthquakes winger has been billed as a possible star for years and whereas he is nonetheless solely 19 years previous, this can be a large yr by way of solidifying what honest expectations for his improvement must be. If he is as harmful for the Quakes as he was in opposition to Serbia, it is honest to reignite talks a couple of potential European switch.

Gomez did not discover the identical success as the opposite three. His bodily limitation had been on show and supplied essential context for why he has not made a primary crew look for Actual Sociedad in LaLiga since transferring from Louisville Metropolis in USL in 2021.

2. Gabriel Slonina makes historical past

Contemporary off his transfer from the Chicago Fireplace to Chelsea, Slonina made historical past because the youngest goalkeeper to ever seem for the US. At 18 years, 255 days, takes the document from Tony Meola, who debuted a couple of months after his nineteenth birthday in opposition to Ecuador in 1988.

The teenager had a couple of good moments — together with one sequence through which he was kicked within the head whereas pushing a ball off the road — and wasn’t actually responsible for both of Serbia’s objectives. Although he is nonetheless a good distance from seeing the sector in England, Slonina definitely has the expertise to sometime grow to be the US No. 1. Is it potential by 2026? That looks as if a stretch, however not outdoors the realm of chance.

3. Typical vibe for a January sport

If U.S. Soccer hoped the thrill from the World Cup would translate to a better-than-usual January ambiance, it could have left upset. BMO Stadium — the brand new identify for LAFC‘s residence — was about half full and had the suitable vitality degree for a glorified coaching train.

The fact for the sort of sport is the outcome would not matter. It is about giving particular person gamers alternatives to be uncovered to the worldwide degree as a part of their improvement course of. There may be crew side, after all, however because the U.S. performs with an interim teaching employees, there was much less worth there Wednesday evening as there may need been in any other case.

Seven starters made their nationwide crew debuts, which was essentially the most in a single sport since 1988.

Finest and worst performers

Finest: Aidan Morris, USA

Morris was calm on the ball and stable defensively ready — defensive midfielder — that lacks depth within the pool. There is a important drop after Tyler Adams and Morris seems very a lot able to compete for minutes behind him.

Finest: Cade Cowell, USA

As talked about above, Cowell was persistently impactful enjoying down the left wing. He did not have a objective or help to point out for it, nevertheless it felt inevitable each time he received the ball he was going to blow by the defender marking him and get the ball into a great spot.

Finest: Veljko Simic, Serbia

Simic, who performs for Vojvodina in Serbia, scored the game-winner early within the second half and was influential within the Serbian assault all through the match.

Worst: Marko Mijailovic, Serbia

Cowell had his means with Mijailovic all through the evening.

Worst: Jonathan Gomez, USA

Gomez confirmed he isn’t able to be thought of for minutes in official competitions.

Worst: Jalen Neal, USA

Neal had some vibrant moments however received caught of place a couple of occasions and wasn’t robust in possession.

Highlights and notable moments

Vazquez opened the scoring on the evening with a debut objective.

Serbia’s objectives at both facet of halftime gave them the lead and the win in opposition to the USMNT.

After the match: What the managers and gamers stated

Put up-match quotes will seem right here when accessible. Test again shortly…

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data analysis)

  • Vazquez turns into the 59th #USMNT participant to attain in his debut

  • Seven starters earn their senior crew debuts — essentially the most first caps in a USMNT Beginning XI since 9 gamers debuted in a pleasant match in opposition to Guatemala on January 10, 1988

  • At 18 years, 255 days, Gaga Slonina will turn into the youngest goalkeeper to play for the USMNT

Up subsequent

USMNT: The Individuals have another pleasant connected this camp in opposition to Colombia on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET in close by Carson, California.

Serbia: For now, Serbia’s subsequent matches on the calendar will not be till March for the qualifying event for the Euros in opposition to Lithuania and Montenegro.

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