McKennie scores in debut as US ties Portugal 1-1

From FOX Sports - November 14, 2017

Weston McKennie needed little time to make an impact for a U.S. soccer team starting a five-year wait until its next chance to play in the World Cup.

The 19-year-old midfielder from Texas scored 21 minutes into his national team debut, a 1-1 tie against Portugal on Tuesday night at Leiria in the Americans first match since failing to qualify for next years World Cup.

McKennie, who has played his way into German club Schalkes lineup this season, took a pass from C.J. Sapong, used three touches to create space from Ricardo Ferreira and then beat Beto to the inside post with a right-footed shot from 12 yards. McKennie joined with 18-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams to become the first pair of teenagers to start together for the Americans since 1988 and became the third-youngest American to score in his debut behind Juan Agudelo (17) and Landon Donovan (18).

We just want to turn the page and show the U.S. what the future holds, McKennie said. This group is full of energy. We went out there from the very first whistle until the end and we fought from beginning to end.

The U.S. used eight starters 24 or younger in Dave Sarachans first match as interim coach, and the missteps of youth were on display against third-ranked Portugal, which rested many regulars.

Ethan Horvath, a 22-year-old goalkeeper making his first appearance since his debut against Cuba in October 2016, allowed Vitorino Antunes volley from a flank following Bruno Fernandes pass to drop between his arms, through his legs and into the net for a 31st-minute equalizer. Horvath, who plays for Club Brugge, covered his face with his gloved hands.

Obviously, its a big blow for him personally, Sarachan said. In a career of a goalkeeper, youre going to have moments like that.

Adams made his first U.S. appearance and Cameron Carter-Vickers, a 19-year-old son of former NBA player Howard Carter, became the third debutante when he replaced John Brooks in central defense at the start of the second half. Loaned this season from Tottenham to second-tier Sheffield United, Carter-Vickers put a header off the crossbar in the 55th minute.

We all want to achieve, he said. We havent done anything yet in the game so we all want to push on and try and do things and try and win things.


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