USA’s Aaronson, Weah and Pulisic star in dominant win over Morocco | Friendlies

Brenden Aaronson and Tim Weah scored midway through the first half, Haji Wright converted a second-half penalty in his international debut and the United States beat Morocco 3-0 on Wednesday night in the first of their four World Cup warm-up matches in June.

The Americans, who were not at full-strength, beat Morocco for the first time in the four meetings between the teams. Wearing rainbow numbers on white jerseys for LGBTQ Pride month, the US extended their unbeaten home streak to 24 matches since a September 2019 loss to Mexico, two shy of the team record.

Christian Pulisic set up Aaronson for his sixth international goal in the 26th minute after controlling a 50-yard pass from Walker Zimmerman, taking fine touches with both feet, beating defender Samy Mmaee and laying the ball off to Leeds United’s new signing.

Weah scored in the 32nd minute for his third international goal, with a powerful shot from distance that was too much for goalkeeper Yassine Bounou to handle. Achraf Hakimi brought down Pulisic for a penalty in the second half. The Chelsea player handed the ball to Wright, his teammate at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, and Wright beat Bounou in the 64th minute.

Wright and left-back Joe Scally had entered at the start of the second half for their US debuts. Midfielder Malik Tillman came on in the 65th for his debut, a day after Fifa approved his change of affiliation from Germany.

The US have used 118 players in this World Cup cycle, including 91 under coach Gregg Berhalter. Fifty-six players have made their debuts.

Central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, a son of former NBA player Howard Carter, entered at the start of the second half in his first international appearance in three years and Weston McKennie, returning from a broken foot, came on in the 72nd.

Berhalter is using the June matches to look at players beyond the 38 used in World Cup qualifying. He also experimented by moving Aaronson from the wing to central midfield.

Matt Turner wasn’t tested until the 52nd minute, when he dived to parry Tarik Tissoudali’s header. Selim Amallah hit the crossbar with a penalty in the 76th minute after referee Ismael Cornejo called Scally for a foul on Soufiane Rahimi, even though replays showed Scally had not made contact.

The US play a friendly against Uruguay on Sunday in Kansas City, then have Concacaf Nations League matches against Grenada on 10 June in Austin, Texas, and in El Salvador four days later. The other World Cup warm-ups for the US are a pair of games in Europe in September.

Source link