U.S men’s soccer bests Uzbekistan in a friendly at CITY Park

| Staff Writer

Christian Pulisic slots US third goal into Uzbekistan net. (Joel Swirnoff | Student Life)

The United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) beat Uzbekistan on Saturday, September 9th with a final score of 3-0. Held at St. Louis CITY SC’s CITY Park, this game was the first time the United States has faced Uzbekistan in any competition. The game has no standing for the USMNT in international competitions as it was staged as a friendly  international competition. 

The match marked the United States’ first game in St. Louis since the men’s team beat St. Kitts and Nevis 5-0 in June, the first time they had played in CITY Park.

The match was also the first match under a new contract for Gregg Berhalter, who returned as head coach despite the USMNT dropping out of the World Cup in the round of 16. Many fans voiced frustration with the decision, noting that his attitude towards certain players and his mind for tactics were lacking. Some also criticized U.S. Soccer for rehiring him after a domestic violence allegation from 1991 was revealed.

Despite disappointment with the organization’s coaching decision, over 15,000 St. Louisans filled CITY Park on Saturday during the U.S. team’s win. Soccer fans in St. Louis have been lauded for their support recently, with St. Louis CITY SC regularly selling out CITY Park.

“Growing up in the United States, we’ve always viewed St. Louis as the soccer capital of the United States,” said Berhalter before the match. His comments point to a long history of national team players coming from St. Louis. Famously, in a 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup, five of 11 starting players were from St. Louis. One St. Louisan, Fulham FC’s Tim Ream, featured in the squad for the USMNT’s game against Uzbekistan and Tuesday’s match against Oman.

US men’s team gets ready to defend a corner. (Joel Swirnoff | Student Life)

Ream captained the U.S. to a slower moving win. After an early goal by Timothy Weah, the game stagnated at 1-0 until the 91st minute, when Ricardo Pepi scored. Christian Pulisic added a goal from a penalty kick to round off the match in the 95th minute.

“Honestly, they didn’t really play that well,” said Saul Weiss, a sophomore who attended the game. “It was still pretty cool to see them play though.”

The USMNT will take on Germany next in a friendly match on October 14th in Connecticut.

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