The United States youth movement with Christian Pulisic at the helm has begun, and it appears the process will be fun to watch. The United States won the battle of program reboots against an equally inexperienced Bolivian team by a score of 3-0. The first exhibition for the Bundesliga pair of Pulisic and Weston KcKennie was to be their coming out party, but it was another pair of teenagers that stole the show.
Eighteen-year-olds Josh Sargent and Tim Weah scored a pair of second half goals to lead the U.S. to victory. The pair were also the highlight of the first half, showing nice interplay along the right side of the final third on a number of occasions.
The U.S. came out in full control with 56 percent possession in the first half, and more importantly out shot the Bolivians 13 to 1. Tim Weah had the best chance of the half in the 10th minute when Rubio Rubin sent a throughball to him for a one-on-one with the keeper, who made a nifty save with his outstretched leg.
For all of the hoopla surrounding the youth movement it was was a pair of veterans who opened the scoring in the 37th minute. A Joe Corona cross found center back Walker Zimmerman in the box, and he sent a strong header to the upper right corner of the net.
The second half was a more even affair except for the two goals by the U.S. The first goal was completely the work of Josh Sargent in the 52nd minute. Pressing by himself, he intercepted a lofted pass by Bolivian keeper Guillermo Vizcarra, turned the ball around and shot it past him. The moment was as embarrassing as it was a spectacular first goal for Sargent.
Everton defender Antonee Robinson set up the third and final goal seven minutes later with a long run down the left side before sending a perfect ball to an oncoming Weah for the clean finish.
Tim Weah joins in on the fun with his first USMNT goal! pic.twitter.com/A9p4hcErtO— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 29, 2018
The assist capped what was the strongest performance along the back line, and will have long suffering fans hoping the left back of the future is in the picture.
Most of the U.S. players showed well against a team with even less experience. The Bolivian midfield and forwards shared 29 caps between them and no international goals heading into the match. That Bolivia failed to put any of their four shots on target should not have been a surprise against a U.S. team that has been solid defensively under coach Dave Sarachan.
The USMNT’s challenges get increasingly more difficult during this window. The team takes to Europe to battle the Republic of Ireland this Saturday and then France the following Saturday.