KANSAS CITY, Kan., — Two months after the World Cup draw, the United States learned it would open the tournament on November 21 against Wales.
“It’s a whole lot ahead, focusing on Wales,” American coach Greg Berhalter said after a 0-0 draw in a prep match against Uruguay on Sunday.
In the draw on 1 April, the US were placed against Wales, Ukraine or Scotland to open Group B and then play England four days later and close the first round against Iran on 29 November. FIFA postponed Ukraine’s playoff games following Russia’s attack. , and the Ukrainians won 3-1 in Scotland on Wednesday and lost 1-0 in Wales on Sunday in a match that ended almost three hours before the Americans started.
“My heart goes out to Ukraine,” said Berhalter. “The whole world was probably behind Ukraine and wanted them to go to the World Cup.”
Wales ranks 18th in the world, third behind the US
“We know what his team is about and we have to do well,” said American star Christian Pulisic.
American players watched the last 15 minutes.
“I think we can all be excited to play a player like Gareth Bale,” said defender Walker Zimmerman, referring to Wales’ career scoring leader.
Jesus Ferreira failed to convert his chances in the first half as the American forward continued his goal-scoring struggle in the second of four World Cup warm-up matches this month.
The Americans extended their home unbeaten streak to 25 matches since their loss to Mexico in September 2019. This is one shy of the 2013–15 team record.
Ferreira had the best American chance, a 15-yard shot saved by Fernando Muslera in the 19th and then an open header a minute later. Haji Wright, who made her debut on Wednesday, replaced Ferreira at 61st.
The American forward has one goal in the team’s last 13 matches – by Ferreira in a 5–1 defeat to Panama in a World Cup qualifier on March 27.
“The last pass was a little off,” Berhalter said. “We will keep working with these people.”
Edinson Cavani was wide with an 8-yard shot for Uruguay in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
In the United States’ first game against a South American rival since a 1-1 draw against Uruguay in St. Louis in 2019, midfielder Weston McKennie has made his mark for club and country since breaking two bones in his left leg. Played the first half on the first start. With Juventus on February 22.
Sean Johnson was on goal for the United States for the 10th time, the first since January 2020, and he used his left shin to create a point-blank block on Darwin Nunez in the 61st.
“I’ve been waiting for a moment like this for a long time,” said 32-year-old Johnson. “Would love to build on this.”
At 23 years, 71 days, Pulisic became the seventh-youngest American to make 50 international appearances, behind Landon Donovan (22 years, 28 days), Chris Henderson, Jozy Altidore, DeMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley and Tony Meola.
The 15th-ranked US started with DeAndre Yedlin for Reggie Cannon, leaving behind Antoine Robinson instead of Brendan Aaronson and Joe Scally in place of McKennie.
Yedlin stood out in bright green hair. Scali made his first debut against Morocco and shifted to the right in the 62nd when Robinson replaced Yedlin.
America wore a rainbow jersey for Pride Month and an orange stripe to raise awareness against gun violence.
In a strange twist, match officials allowed Uruguay to make seven substitutions, one more than the rules allowed.
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso converted 10 starts in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Mexico, keeping only defender Jose Jiménez.
The United States play 170th-ranked Granada in Austin, Texas on Friday, in their World Cup sendoff, the first of two CONCACAF Nations League matches, then number 74 in El Salvador on June 14.
Number 13 Uruguay plays South Korea, Portugal and Ghana in Group H.
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