USA's new era starts with draw against European champions Portugal

Tom Dart
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">USA midfielder Weston McKennie celebrates after scoring his first ever international goal against Portugal on Tuesday. </span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images</span>
USA midfielder Weston McKennie celebrates after scoring his first ever international goal against Portugal on Tuesday. Photograph: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images


Sometimes that hoped-for breath of fresh air is just halitosis, but try telling Weston McKennie this was a meaningless and pointless first step on the road to 2022.

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The midfielder scored on his US senior debut on Tuesday, providing a low-wattage moment of brightness for a program still enveloped in gloom.

The 19-year-old Texan spent part of his youth in Germany and starts for Schalke in the Bundesliga. Born in the Dallas suburb of Little Elm, he developed in the FC Dallas youth system and is friends with Christian Pulisic, of Borussia Dortmund, who was the stand-out American in the Concacaf qualifying campaign.

McKennie dribbled into the area in the 21st minute, feinted to fool Ricardo Ferreira then slid in a low shot to the near post that sent Beto sprawling in the wrong direction. He also hit the crossbar with a second-half header.

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