USMNT look to youth as Brandon Vazquez, Cade Cowell shine in Serbia loss

LOS ANGELES — Within the staff’s first recreation for the reason that 2022 World Cup, the USA males’s nationwide staff obtained an early aim from debutant Brandon Vazquez earlier than conceding twice in a 2-1 loss to Serbia at BMO Stadium.

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


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one. Heavy Mexican-American affect

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

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Vazquez, Zendejas — each making their first full nationwide staff caps — and Cowell performed collectively in a entrance three that was full of life and constantly harmful. Vazquez’s aim on a cross from fellow debutant Julian Gressell was a wonderful end — redirecting the ball to the far nook — and leaves a constructive first impression about his skill 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 other wing. The San Jose Earthquakes winger has been billed as a possible star for years and whereas he is nonetheless solely 19 years previous, it is a huge 12 months when it comes to solidifying what honest expectations for his improvement ought to be. If he is as harmful for the Quakes as he was towards Serbia, it is honest to reignite talks a few potential European switch.

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

2.Gabriel Slonina makes historical past

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

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

3. Typical vibe for a January recreation

If US Soccer hoped the thrill from the World Cup would translate to a better-than-usual January ambiance, it will have left disillusioned. BMO Stadium — the brand new title for LAFC’s residence — was about half full and had the suitable power degree for a glorified coaching train.

The fact for this kind of recreation is the consequence does 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’s staff side, in fact, however because the US 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 staff debuts, which was probably the most in a single recreation since 1988.


Finest and worst performers

Finest: Aidan Morris, USA

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

Finest: Cade Cowell, USA

As talked about above, Cowell was constantly impactful taking part in down the left wing. He did not have a aim or help to point out for it, nevertheless it felt inevitable each time he obtained 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-about for minutes in official competitions.

Worst: Jalen Neal, USA

Neal had some shiny moments however obtained caught of place a couple of instances and wasn’t sturdy in possession.


Highlights and noteworthy moments

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

Serbia’s targets at both facet of halftime gave them the lead and the win towards the USMNT.


After the match: What the managers and gamers stated

Submit-match quotes will seem right here when accessible. Verify again shortly…


Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data analysis)

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

  • Seven starters earn their senior staff debuts — probably the most first caps in a USMNT Beginning XI since 9 gamers debuted in a pleasant match towards 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 People have yet one more pleasant hooked up this camp towards Colombia on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 pm ET in close by Carson, California.

Serbia: For now, Serbia’s subsequent matches on the calendar should not till March for the qualifying match for the Euros towards Lithuania and Montenegro.

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