In case you haven’t heard, the US Men’s National Team aren’t heading to Russia next summer.
However tragedy has made way for opportunity, and with the World Cup now a distant memory, interim manager Dave Sarachan opted to field a youth-laden side vs. the European champions Tuesday night in Leiria.
Deploying a high press, the US frustrated Portugal in the first half, with several Americans eager to impress on a big stage. Weston McKinnie in particular was a bright spot in central midfield, and in the 21st minute, the Schalke starlet would put the USA ahead: After C.J. Sapong did well to lay the ball to McKinnie at the top of the box, the Bundesliga starter took a positive first touch and expertly feinted past the defender before slotting a composed finish past a helpess Beto.
However, tragedy struck in the 31st minute when Ethan Horvath let in a howler: A tricky ball bounced violently into the area, and as the goalkeeper attempted to collect, the ball squeezed through his fingers and past his legs before trickling into the side netting.
Both sides would hit the crossbar in the second half but the match would end in a draw.