USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia score: The USA was held to a goalless draw in their last friendly before the World Cup in November.

USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia score: The USA was held to a goalless draw in their last friendly before the World Cup in November.

In the team’s final game before the World Cup, the United States was held to a 0-0 draw by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in Murcia, Spain, thanks to a strong performance from Matt Turner.

It was a chance for the United States to go into Qatar on a high note, but there were more questions than answers when Gio Reyna came off for a caution after 30 minutes of action and another disappointment from Ricardo Pepi. With the expected return of Christian Pulisic, the attack will be better than in the 2-0 loss to Japan, and according to the statistics, he kept four on target from seven shots, but it was not enough to secure a victory against Saudi Arabia. Arab country.

The game started brightly with the trio of Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic making creative runs, but outside of the trio the attack went nowhere. Dest’s lack of ability to cross on the right proved too severe, with Pepi unable to check his runs to stay on his side or get on top of crosses in the air.

After the game, Berhalter said he was happy with the game, but was not impressed with the performance. With the amount of rotation the team faced, it didn’t take long for its best lineup to coalesce, which contributed to Peppy’s problems late in the run. Key cogs like Christian Pulisic, Tim Weeha, Gio Reina, Anthony Robinson and Younes Mussah have all missed time in the last few international windows so it’s fair to say the team’s time has been missed but it just shows how weak their depth pieces are. 55 days left for the World Cup.

The U.S. will next face Wales in the Group B opener on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m.

Here are some quotes from the match:

Learn from mistakes, don’t dwell on them

After scoring just two goals in 180 minutes of football this international break, you couldn’t ask for a better performance from the national team’s strikers. But there is time to improve before the start of the World Cup against Wales in Qatar in November. Things could be very different in a few months if players like Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest and Luca de la Torre can use this camp as motivation to start and find starting places at their respective clubs. Combined, the trio have played just 536 minutes for club and country this season, one fewer than Tyler Adams’ record for Leeds United (540) this season. Berhelter will want his best players minutes before the World Cup because the time to gather for camp and prepare to face Wales will not be enough time to rush into decision-making. That can only come with the minutes they need to earn at their respective clubs.

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Save for deep options

In these two matches, it became clear that the deep selection in the national team is not enough if the regular players are cut. There is depth in attack if someone like Josh Sargent is called up in place of Pepy, but no one has stepped up after the front three in midfield. Berhelter has been hesitant to use Reyna and Aaronson in the deep spots, but he still hasn’t given Jordan Pefok a backup forward for the change of pace he’ll bring to Qatar. Berhelter’s plan relies on starting players he says he won’t have at the World Cup, and it’s fair to worry that the team could be eliminated. The best managers can adjust things if their system isn’t working, but Berhalter has shown a reluctance to make those shifts and the players won’t make the calls.

What a difference midfield balance makes.

Although the attack was not good, the defense did their job by stopping Saudi Arabia in key positions. Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman knew the midfield could not be crowded, while Dest and Yedlin made key stops in the midfield. Acosta and Adams provide a security blanket for the defense, but they have the added problem of disrupting the formation on offense. The team needed Robinson as soon as possible because Yedlin’s crosses were more likely to meet with a Saudi Arabian defender than a United States forward, but he did the job when called upon defensively. It won’t be pretty, but it feels like Berhaler’s backline of Robinson, Long, Zimmerman and Dest will leave three spots open before the World Cup. These are Turner led at goal, Ferreira at forward and Tim Wiha at right wing where he seems to have the advantage.


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