First Game at the Newly Renamed BMO Stadium
BMO Stadium opened its doors and welcomed the United States Men’s National Team. Their first match following their World Cup elimination. Along with the debut of Anthony Hudson, who took over for Gregg Berhalter. After the incident between Berhalter and Giovanni Reyna. The Stars and Stripes would have a couple of new faces. Mainly youth from the domestic league (MLS). Two new additions played their first minutes as well. Brandon Vazquez and Alex Zendejas mad their first team debut. Both were hot commodities as they have dual citizenship. LAFC would not go unrepresented in this game. Newcomer defender Aaron Long and 2022 MLS Cup Winner Kellyn Acosta both received the call up! Even their rivals the LA Galaxy made their presence. With the young and talented Dejan Joveljic representing Serbia.
First Half Thoughts
It would be a shaky start for the American side as just four minutes in they would almost go down a goal. A well-orchestrated set piece forced Gaga Slonina to make a diving save that denied Serbia the first goal. Serbia would retreat and the US began dominating the match. Slowly and surely the US creeped onto Petrovic’s goal. A wonderful strike from Aidan Morris forced Petrovic to make an outstanding save. Newcomer Branon Vazquez would score on his debut! A phenomenal cross from Julian Gressel saw Vazquez leap with a towering header. Ultimately, Serbia would get a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Where Luka Ilic would sneak his shot under the wall and level the game for Serbia in the 43rd minute. The two teams would go into the half tied at one a piece.
Second Half Thoughts
It would not take long for Serbia to take the lead. As they would score just 50 seconds into the start of the half! Poor defending from the USMNT allowed Veljko Simic to score. Ultimately, this would be the game winner. Since Serbia was able to hold onto the one goal lead. Once again, another mishap in the defense saw Serbia put up another goal. However, it was ultimately ruled offside. With the first five minutes being very shaky the US buckled down and once again regain possession. It wouldn’t do them good as unfortunately they could not find the back of the net. The came close in the 55th minute. As Cade Cowell would hit the post not once but twice in a span of 10 seconds. From there the possession remained with the US but nothing was done. Both LAFC players saw minutes, with Aaron Long entering and captaining the US at the start of the half. Kellyn entered in the 62nd minute but had a quiet night. Overall, a solid and exciting night as the future continues looking bright for the USMNT.
What Is Next
The USMNT will remain is California as they will face off against Colombia for their second match. This time they will play at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy. Will Hudson play this squad again or will he give the more experienced players some minutes. As for some of the youngster’s majority of them had a showing against Serbia. Cade Cowell was a bright spot for the team. Brandon Vazquez is as lethal as they get. He will be dangerous if he chooses to play for the US. Gaga Slonina is a remarkable keeper, and it shows why he was sold to Chelseas of the Premier League. Alex Zendejas was a big letdown as he did not have the punch that he has shown with Club America. The first five minutes of the second half was also a negative spot as too many errors almost saw this game get away from the US. However, with so many options to pick from the US’s future is bright and the sky’s the limit for these youngsters and this team.