USMNT forwards struggle for goals in World Cup tuneup vs. Uruguay

·3 min read
USA defender DeAndre Yedlin (2) blocks a shot attempt during the first half of an international friendly.
U.S. defender DeAndre Yedlin, front, blocks a shot during the first half of an international friendly against Uruguay on Sunday. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Jesús Ferreira failed to convert a pair of first-half chances as U.S. men's soccer forwards kept up their goal-scoring struggles, and the Americans played a 0-0 draw against Uruguay on Sunday in their second of four World Cup warmup matches this month.

The U.S. took the field three hours after learning Wales would be its opening World Cup opponent in November, and the Americans stretched their home unbeaten streak to 25 matches since a September 2019 loss to Mexico. That's one shy of the team record set from 2013 to '15.

Ferreira had the best American chances, a shot from 15 yards saved by Fernando Muslera in the 19th minute and then an open header wide a minute later. Haji Wright, who debuted Wednesday, replaced Ferreira in the 61st.

American forwards have one goal in the team's last 13 matches — by Ferreira in a 5-1 rout of Panama in a World Cup qualifier on March 27.

Edinson Cavani was wide with a shot from eight yards for Uruguay in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

In the United States' first game against a South American opponent since a 1-1 draw against Uruguay at St. Louis in 2019, midfielder Weston McKennie played the first half in his first start for his country since breaking two bones in his left foot with Juventus on Feb. 22.

Sean Johnson was in goal for the United States for the 10th time, the first since January 2020, and the 32-year-old used his left shin to make a point-blank block on Darwin Núñez in the 61st minute.

The 15th-ranked U.S. started right back DeAndre Yedlin for Reggie Cannon, left back Joe Scally in place of Antonee Robinson and McKennie instead of Brenden Aaronson.

Yedlin stood out in bright green hair. Scally got his first start after making his debut against Morocco and shifted to the right when Robinson replaced Yedlin in the 62nd.

The U.S. wore jerseys with rainbow-colored numbers for Pride Month and wore orange armbands rainbow to raise awareness against gun violence.

In an odd twist, match officials allowed Uruguay to make seven substitutions, one more than rules allow.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso changed 10 starters from Thursday's 3-0 win over Mexico, keeping only defender Jose Giménez.

The U.S. plays 170th-ranked Grenada on Friday at Austin, Texas, in its last game on home soil before the World Cup, the first of two CONCACAF Nations League matches, then is at No. 74 El Salvador on June 14.

The Americans are planning two September exhibitions in Europe, then return to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament. They open Group B in Qatar on Nov. 21 against Wales, which beat Ukraine 1-0 Sunday for Europe's final berth, then play England four days later and close the first round against Iran on Nov. 29.

No. 13 Uruguay plays South Korea, Portugal and Ghana in Group H.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.