The United States men’s national team lost to a physical, talented Switzerland side on Sunday, 2-1, in an international friendly ahead of next week’s Concacaf Nations League semifinals. In St. Gallen, Switzerland, the United States went up 1-0 in the first half, but defensive woes saw the victory slip away in a match where the result means next to nothing for a young squad looking to build chemistry.
The Swiss were the better side for much of the match, but U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made two really great stops on Breel Embolo to keep things close. Sebastian Lletget was the lone goal scorer for Gregg Berhalter’s side.
The USMNT will next play Thursday against Honduras in the Nations League semifinals in Denver. You can watch all of the Concacaf Nations League on Paramount+; the USMNT semifinal and next Sunday’s final will also air on CBS Sports Network.
Here are three takeaways from Sunday’s match:
Lletget continues to be key contributor
There weren’t a lot of bright spots going forward, but Lletget was one of them. He continues to deliver for Berhalter, scoring his seventh national team goal. He won’t blow you away with speed, technical ability or anything of the sort, but his effort and attentiveness put him in spots to succeed, and that was the case vs. Switzerland. He was the biggest threat for the U.S. from the middle of the park and showed his reactions to score the game’s first goal.
Unorganized defense leaves room for improvement
The defense was decent early, but things went south as the match went on. The duo of John Brooks and Mark McKenzie held their own, but as soon as Brooks was taken off, the holes in defense began to show up. Add on top of that the fact that there were no defensive midfielders for the U.S., and you saw how much this team needs Tyler Adams healthy. Expect a much different looking lineup next week.
Patience and awareness in the box is looking sharp
What I did like was the patience of attackers when they were played to feet in the box or at the top. Gio Reyna did well to put a shot on frame that had Yann Sommer beat, hitting the post and going out. Brendan Aarsonson also had a good look in the box, putting a shot on goal that was saved well. There were times like these where another pass might have been expected from the position, but the awareness to look at what was around them and realize a shot was the best opportunity is encouraging to see from such a young group.