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USA will open the World Cup against Wales, held 0-0 by Uruguay

KANSAS CITY, Kan, (AP) — Two months after the World Cup draw, the United States learned it would open the tournament against Wales on November 21.

“It’s full steam ahead, focusing on Wales,” USA coach Gregg Berhalter said after Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Uruguay in a warm-up game.

In the draw on April 1, the United States were to open Group B against Wales, Ukraine or Scotland, then face England four days later and close out the first round against Iran. November 29. FIFA postponed Ukraine’s qualifying matches after Russia attacked. , and the Ukrainians won 3-1 in Scotland on Wednesday before losing 1-0 at Wales on Sunday in a game that ended around three hours before the Americans kicked off.

“My heart goes out to Ukraine,” Berhalter said. “The whole world was probably behind Ukraine and wanted her to go to the World Cup.”

Wales are ranked 18th in the world, three behind the United States

“We know what their team is doing and we’re going to have to put in a good performance,” said American star Christian Pulisic.

The American players watched the last 15 minutes.

“To be able to play against a guy like Gareth Bale, I think we can all be excited,” said defender Walker Zimmerman, referring to Wales’ career leading scorer.

Jesús Ferreira failed to convert a pair of first-half chances as the USA forwards continued to struggle to score goals in their second of four World Cup warm-up matches this month .

The Americans have extended their home unbeaten streak to 25 games since a September 2019 loss to Mexico. This is slightly less than the team record set from 2013 to 2015.

Ferreira had the best American chances, a 15-yard shot saved by Fernando Muslera in the 19th and then an open header a minute later. Haji Wright, who made his debut on Wednesday, replaced Ferreira in the 61st.

The American forwards have scored one goal in the team’s last 13 games – by Ferreira in a 5-1 loss to Panama in a World Cup qualifier on March 27.

“The final pass was a bit off,” Berhalter said. “We will continue to work with these guys.”

Edinson Cavani was wide with an 8-yard shot 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 with Uruguay in St. Louis in 2019, midfielder Weston McKennie played the first half on his first start for club and country since breaking two bones in his left foot. with Juventus on February 22.

Sean Johnson was in goal for the United States for the 10th time, the first since January 2020, and he used his left shin to block Darwin Núñez from close range in the 61st.

“I’ve been waiting for a moment like this for a while,” Johnson, 32, said. “I would love to build on it.”

Pulisic at 23 years, 71 days became the seventh youngest American to make 50 international appearances after Landon Donovan (22 years, 28 days), Chris Henderson, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley and Tony Meola.

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

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

The United States wore jerseys with rainbow-colored numbers for Pride Month and wore orange armbands to raise awareness of gun violence.

In a bizarre twist, match officials allowed Uruguay to make seven substitutions, one more than the rules allow.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso has changed 10 starters since Thursday’s 3-0 win over Mexico, keeping only defender Jose Gimenez.

The United States will face 170th-ranked Grenada on Friday in Austin, Texas in the World Cup send-off, the first of two CONCACAF Nations League ties, then will be in 74th-placed El Salvador on June 14.

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


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