The USMNT started its summer with a friendly match against Morocco in Cincinnati since Ohio is now the country’s national stadium. It would be the team’s first game since qualifying for the World Cup and the work is now clearly focused on the next major task: getting out of Concacaf Nations League Group D.
US Soccer provided this list of players in the match. From there, it looked like Brenden Aaronson would be ready to play like no. 8 in the role of “useful midfielder who does things” that Weston McKennie plays when healthy. Otherwise, it looked like it was a close to first-choice XI for Gregg Berhalter.
Morocco have also fielded a roster of low-key players decent enough to challenge themselves at the top level in Europe.
Here is the 11 of Morocco tonight: X
Bounou – Saïss ©️ – Aguerd – Hakimi – Machine – Amrabat – Samy – Ounahi – Taarabt – Tissoudali – El Kaabi pic.twitter.com/BroosWcSkR
— TFT MOROCCO (@TFT_Morocco) June 1, 2022
In the end, goals from Brenden Aaronson Tim Weah and, a true American forward, Haji Wright, along with some big saves from Matt Turner brought another triumph for Ohio.
Video clips of great goals scored by Americans, including one by a real American striker
USA started well with a first try from Jesus Ferreira that forced goalkeeper Yassine Bounou into a save in the first minute. Morocco would have the best chance early in the game as Tarik Tissoudali broke through the American defense and found Adam Masina firing a shot that Matt Turner managed to block in the 12th minute.
However, it would be the Americans who would strike first as Brenden Aaronson completed a chance that was brilliantly set up by Christian Pulisic.
The Americans would strike again as Tim Weah, who finally regained some form at the end of the club’s 2022 season, fired a shot past Bounou.
The United States would enter the half ahead 2-0, but Morocco managed to create chances with 11 shots and five on target. Sometimes Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long seemed to have spice in their shoes.
After halftime, Berhalter went to his bench to bring in Joe Scally, Haji Wright and Cameron Carter-Vickers for Antonee Robinson, Ferreira and Zimmerman. With the striker a big question mark for the United States at this stage, Ferreira will have regretted not finding the back of the net on the night.
Especially because an American striker has finally scored a goal! In the 61st minute, Aaronson fired a shot which was blocked in Pulisic’s path just outside the penalty area. CP10 won the ball and was quickly sent off and awarded a penalty. After some shenanigans involving Moroccan players booked for dissent and saying mean things as the American striker waited to shoot, the referee cleared the penalty spot and Pulisic came forward and gave the ball to Wright. The current American striker made no mistake and shot into the net to make it 3-0.
Malik Tillman and Luca de la Torre came on after Pulisic and Tyler Adams scored in the 66th minute. Then there was a hydration break and Aaronson came out for McKennie in the 72nd as the game went into the “well it’s a friendly game so we’re going to do a bunch of subs and that going to break up the game a lot, but it’s a friendly game” to organize.
To say Morocco were having a bad night would be a fair assessment, but things got a little worse. In the 75th minute, Scally apparently exhaled too hard on Soufiane Rahimi and the Atlas Lions were awarded a penalty. But they missed it.
The next 15 minutes saw USA wrap up the game cleanly and secure the clean sheet. It was a solid performance all around. Although Morocco looked like they were on a march, it was also a solid victory against a formidable opponent. Another text arrives this weekend as Uruguay wait.