United States holds their own, draws against France

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France's midfielder Paul Pogba (R), goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (C) and forward Antoine Griezmann (L) applaud to supporters at the end of the friendly football match between France and USA at the at the Parc Olympique lyonnais stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon on June 9, 2018. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

LYON, FRANCE (June 9, 2018) – Nobody in Stade des Lumières expected Julian Green to score the first goal in the United States Men’s National Team victory over France.

Green’s goal occurred right before halftime, in the 44th minute. However, the United States weren’t able to relish a victory.

Instead, Kylian Mbappé scored the equalizing goal in the 78th minute. Right after Mbappé scored, France awarded another free kick. Nabil Fekir’s blast from outside the box was saved by Zack Steffen.

United States draw France: The United States holds their own, draws against France

It was one of five saves for Steffen.

The story of the United States Men’s National Team not making the World Cup has been talked — and written — about since that bleak Oct. 10, 2017, day in Trinidad & Tobago. The United States has been subjected to finger pointing and failure to take blame within U.S. Soccer and the men’s program.

However, Dave Sarachan, a former assistant under Bruce Arena, has taken the reins and brought in a younger generation. It wasn’t an easy task for Sarachan. He had the job of making U.S. Soccer fans excited about a younger generation of players, all while still swallowing the disappointment of no trip to Russia.

The team regrouped in May after a March victory over Paraguay. Facing a second-string, or even third-string, team from Bolivia, the United States claimed a 2-0 victory. Scoring their first national team goals were Josh Sargent and Timothy Weah.

Then, Ireland came along. However, the United States failed to score a goal, falling to Ireland, 1-0.

After a mixture of results, the United States marched into France, ready to face a World Cup qualified team. France is one of the favorites in the World Cup, with a roster including players like Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud — just to name a few.

Fans were silenced when Green’s goal went in Hugo Lloris’ net.

France will now mull over their decisions in the match and attempt to correct them before the World Cup. The tournament, which is being held in Russia, begins on Thursday.

Three Takeaways

  1. Cameron Carter-Vickers was a let down again: This entire three-game spree of matches for the United States proved one thing about the defense: Cameron Carter-Vickers isn’t ready yet. He was shaky against Ireland and did not mark Mbappé on his successful goal. Matt Miazga, Tim Parker, Antonee Robinson and Shaq Moore were relatively consistent.
  2. Green gets some confidence: Julian Green was out of Bruce Arena’s and Jurgen Klinsmann’s good graces for a while. Now, back with Dave Sarachan in the national team program, Green has been hungry for his first goal in almost two years. His last goal was against New Zealand in October 2016.
  3. A draw is a good step: Nobody expected that kind of result in Lyon. France is a World Cup favorite team and has tons of superstars on their roster. The combined cap appearance for the United States’ Starting XI was only six caps. For a young team, a draw isn’t anything to dismay. The United States held their own over a great team — and Zack Steffen proved how he is the new face of the future for U.S. Soccer.

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