After a lackluster and uninspired performance in a 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan Saturday at St. Louis CITY SC’s CITYPARK, the USMNT played on the front foot from the opening kickoff and took a deserved lead on 13 minutes as Folarin Balogun tapped in off a saved shot by Sergiño Dest that fell to the Monaco forward’s feet at the edge of the six-yard box.
Tim Weah thought he doubled the lead four minutes later, but it was ruled he handled the ball.
After much probing, the Yanks finally got their second goal on the hour mark with Aaronson’s wall-splitting free kick finding the back of the net. Pepi scored for the second consecutive game in the 79th minute and Kevin Paredes forced an own goal two minutes later to close out the scoring.
The next test will surely be stiffer for the US, with Germany coming to East Hartford, Connecticut as part of the October international window.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Gregg Berhalter wanted to see a more inspired performance, especially in the attacking third, and the USMNT delivered an impressive win that was never in doubt. It’s a positive to close out the September window, while much stiffer tests in Germany and Ghana await next month.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Balogun scored the only goal the US needed in the 13th minute on a well-worked buildup. It was his second goal for the USMNT since his well-publicized one-time switch from England to the United States in May.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Weston McKennie pulled all the strings, set up teammates for goal-dangerous chances and did everything but score in another strong 90-minute outing.
- USA: Saturday, October 14 vs. Germany | 3 pm ET, International friendly
- OMA: Thursday, November 16 vs. Chinese Taipei or Timor-Leste | World Cup qualifier/Asian Cup qualifier