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American youngsters impress in Russia draw

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Mix Diskerud cap-tied with the United States
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Mix Diskerud cap-tied with the United States

Following his United States side's 2-2 draw against Russia, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke of his satisfaction with the performances of some of his greener charges. Joshua Gatt, 21, started the match, winning his first cap, 19-year-old Juan Agudelo set up Michael Bradley's goal, and 22-year-old Mikkel Diskerud scored his first senior international goal in stoppage time to ensure a positive result for the Americans.

“It was important for us to introduce some younger players to the senior level," said Klinsmann. "I think they all did great. There is nothing to lose for them in a game like that. They can only win. Obviously, Joshua Gatt won his first cap for the United States. So, you are pleased for them. For us, it’s important that we have these youngsters grow step-by-step.

"Our team over the last 6-12 months grew a lot. We developed a lot more personality and confidence to compete with the best teams out there. We still have a long way to go, but I think we have a very good path and these younger players are a very important part of this path.

"Hopefully, we get more opportunities to give them playing time.”

Goalscorer Michael Bradley talked up teenage striker Agudelo, whose header into the path of Bradley set up the midfielder for a thunderous volley to make it 1-1.

“Someone put the ball forward to Juan [Agudelo] and Juan did a great job of seeing that I was going off him and putting the ball on my right foot. I caught it perfect and was happy to see it go into the goal.”

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