Team USA returned to the World Cup after 3065 days, and the truth is that Gregg Berhalter's team left a good feeling on the pitch.
With a goal by Tim Weah in the 36th minute, the U.S. national team tied 1-1 against Gareth Bale's Wales, who equalized the score thanks to a penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
The USMNT returns to action next Friday, November 25, against England and closes its group stage action against Iran on Thursday, November 29.
A great first half
Gregg Berhalter set up a dynamic match with a 4-3-3 formation, and honestly, the team played a very good game during the first 45 minutes of action, in fact, Team USA had chances to increase the score to 2-0.
The U.S. settled in across the width of the pitch, setting up fast-paced duels down the flanks. Antonee Robinson and Sergiño Dest were free to attack, while Tim Weah and Christian Pulisic caused problems for the opposing defense.
The best word to describe the team in the first half is "electric," because the USMNT showed a fast and dynamic game. Berhalter has one of the youngest and most promising squads in the tournament, and we already saw that high pace is one of his focuses for Qatar 2022.
If the team can keep this going without getting bogged down in the back, they have a good chance of making it to the next round.
Matt Turner is real
Many criticized Berhalter for leaving out Zack Steffen, goalkeeper for England's Middlesbrough. Worse were the complaints for using Turner over Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath, as the Arsenal keeper has yet to see a minute of action this season.
Well, Matt Turner showed that he is up to the task, playing a great game where he looked solid and confident in goal. He could do nothing to stop Gareth Bale's penalty, although it is worth noting that Turner touched the ball, but the shot was very powerful.
Inexperience pays dearly
Precisely because they were one of the youngest teams in the tournament, the United States made many mistakes, mostly by committing unnecessary fouls.
In the first half, Sergiño Dest and Weston McKennie received yellow cards just two minutes apart on plays where it was not necessary to tackle that hard, as they were plays that did not pose any danger to the team.
In a moment of confusion, Walker Zimmerman committed a foul inside the area to give Wales a penalty. This action could have been avoided, but at the end of the day, these mistakes are part of soccer.
Twenty-five of the 26 players in the squad are seeing action for the first time at the World Cup, and these details were expected to appear on their debut.
Obviously, the best thing would have been to beat Wales in the opener, as they are the USMNT's direct rival to qualify for the Round of 16. But to be honest, the tie is not all bad.
With a draw against England (assuming Wales will lose to them), the United States would already be a long way off, especially since the English have never been able to beat the USMNT in the World Cup.
Iran was badly beaten by England, so it will also be important to see how Wales performs against the Asians. Will they be able to beat them, and by how many goals? The good thing is that the United States will close the group stage against the weakest opponent.