Jordan Morris’ late goal gives U.S. soccer exhibition draw against Uruguay
Jordan Morris scored his first international goal in more than two years in the 79th minute, giving the United States a 1-1 tie against Uruguay in an exhibition game on Tuesday night.
Brian Rodriguez, a 19-year-old Los Angeles FC forward who made his international debut in Friday’s 2-1 win at Costa Rica, put fifth-ranked Uruguay ahead off a counterattack in the 50th minute. Rodriguez took a pass from Federico Valverde, dribbled around defender Aaron Long and beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan to the near post with left-footed shot for his first international goal.
Morris scored after Jose Gimenez’s attempted clearance near the end line bounced of American defender Nick Lima and bounded in front of the open goal. Morris chested the ball in for his sixth international goal, his first since the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Jamaica. Morris tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in February 2018 while playing with Seattle and did not return to the national team until March 2019.
Morris’ goal was the first for the 22nd--ranked U.S. since Christian Pulisic’s 87th-minute strike in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal win over Jamaica. The Americans have not been blanked in three straight games since 2009.
The Americans have eight wins, four losses and two draws this year under coach Gregg Berhalter, hired in December to revive the team following its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They close the year with home-and-home matches against Cuba and Canada in the new CONCACAF Nations League but largely are focused on the start of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup next September.
Josh Sargent, an emerging 19-year-old forward from O’Fallon, Missouri, played in his hometown, where he sat in the stands for a 2015 World Cup qualifier. His header in first-half injury time when off a hand of defender Jose Gimenez, but Costa Rican referee Ricardo Montero did not award a penalty kick.
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera made diving saves on Christian Roldan’s header in the 11th minute and Sergino Dest’s long-range shot in the 39th. Dest, an 18-year-old who has gained playing time for Ajax this season, debuted for the U.S. on Friday and made his second straight start at left back.
Tyler Boyd had the best U.S. chance before the goal, but mis-hit an open right-footed shot from a Morris cross in the 22nd minute and sent the ball over the crossbar.
Guzan’s spill of a cross nearly led to a goal in the 23rd minute, but St. Louis native Tim Ream, captaining the U.S. for the third time, cleared Rodrigo Bentancur’s shot off the goal line. A day after his 35th birthday, Guzan was in goal for the Americans for the first time since last Nov. 15 at England.
Midfielder Sebastian Lletget got his first start since a Lisfranc injury in a World Cup qualifier against Honduras on March 24, 2017.
The U.S. was missing many regulars. Central defender John Brooks, right back DeAndre Yedlin and midfielder Tyler Adams are hurt, and star midfielder Christian Pulisic and goalkeeper Zack Steffen returned to their European clubs last weekend.
Uruguay’s roster did not include star forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani or midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro.
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