If it’s any consolation for Seattle Sounders fans missing their star players during the international break, at least they are performing well for their respective national teams.
After an abject performance against their top rival last Friday, the US Men’s National Team regained a bit of respect in a 1-1 draw versus Uruguay Tuesday night in St. Louis. Most of what the USMNT did right had to do with Cristian Roldan and — especially — Jordan Morris, who scored his first international goal since the 2017 Gold Cup final.
Playing on the left wing, Morris had a clear Man of the Match performance, creating most of what passed for dangerous chances for the USMNT. Taking advantage of his pace on the wing, he repeatedly got past the Uruguay backline to send in dangerous crosses with his left foot. In the 22nd minute, he drove to the end line and sent in a pinpoint cross that forward Tyler Boyd impossibly missed.
Morris also displayed some technical skill on the ball, as exemplified in this sequence where he was able to escape pressure at midfield and slide a pass out to the wing to create danger.
As great as Morris' play was to set up Boyd, this was my favorite sequence from him in the first half. Dude is officially A Winger™️ now pic.twitter.com/LRDYNMvF5m— Joseph Mondello (@JoeMondelloFC) September 11, 2019
Morris’ hard work was finally rewarded in the 78th minute, when he stayed active on a ball that appeared to be going out. After San Jose Earthquakes right back Nick Lima did well to keep after the loose ball, he kicked the ball off of a Uruguay defender. The resultant rebound went right to Morris at the far post, and he was able to chest the ball in.
Roldan wasn’t as dynamic, but he put in a solid shift from the midfield in Coach Gregg Berhalter’s 4-3-3 lineup. He provided the first chance of the game for the US in the 10th minute, putting a header on goal that forced a smart save from Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. While he arguably had a hand in the goal scored by forward Brian Rodriguez for Uruguay, he especially grew into the game the second half, controlling possession with his passing and helping to unlock the Uruguay defense with passes into the right attacking wing.
Most importantly, both players appeared to escape the game (and questionable playing surface) without injury, and should be available this Sunday for a pivotal home game versus the New York Red Bulls. The game has been rescheduled from its original 12:30 PM start time to 3:00 PM and will air locally on JOEtv.