Bobby Wood Gives USA Initial Lead with 12th International Goal; Luca de la Torre, Shaq Moore and Tim Parker Earn First Caps for USA; U.S. MNT Concludes European Tour vs. France in Lyon on June 9 (3 p.m. ET; ESPN, UniMás)
DUBLIN (June 2, 2018) – A youthful U.S. Men’s National Team, with a starting XI that averaged just 23 years, 73 days of age, had played a seasoned Ireland squad even on the strength of Bobby Wood’s 12th international goal and some assured defending before a 90th minute goal allowed the hosts to slip away with a 2-1 win at Aviva Stadium. The defeat ended a four-match unbeaten run in which the USA had amassed a 2-0-2 record.
Chances were tough to come by for both teams in the opening stages of the match, but a handful of Irish set pieces challenged U.S. goalkeeper Bill Hamid and the USA defense. As the first half progressed, the U.S. began to carve out more opportunities with Tyler Adams, Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood all putting hard shots towards goal, but it was Wood’s well-placed, one-touch redirection at the close of the frame that proved fruitful.
Just after the fourth official signaled for one minute of first half stoppage time, the USA won a free kick near the half line. Captain Wil Trapp teed up a booming ball that found Matt Miazga at the far end of the penalty area, and the six-foot-four defender rose highest to head the ball across the six-yard box to Wood whose athletic, one-touch redirection guided it past the Ireland goalkeeper and put the USA up 1-0 on the stroke of halftime.
Ireland equalized shortly after the half via a similar method to the USA opener. A set piece was headed back into the mixer by Kevin Long where Darragh Lenihan fired on net and Graeme Burke touched it home. The goal was the first given up in 2018 by the U.S. MNT, which hadn’t conceded since the 1-1 draw against Portugal on Nov. 14, 2017 in Leiria, ending the team’s 368-minute shutout streak.
Buoyed by a raucous home crowd, Ireland ratcheted up the pressure and continued to threaten as the clock neared full-time. With only moments remaining, Alan Judge capped off Ireland’s final offensive flourish by smacking a close-range shot into the roof of the net.
Next Up: The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its European tour against France on June 9 at Groupama Stadium in Lyon (3 p.m. ET; ESPN, UniMás) before taking an extended break until the international calendar resumes in the fall when the USA will face Mexico, presented by AT&T, on Sept. 11 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, UniMás, UDN).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Bobby Wood (Matt Miazga), 45th (+1): As the first half came to a close, the USA lined up for an attacking free kick near the half line. A row of players stood just outside the box, and when Wil Trapp approached to take the kick, the line charged forward. Trapp’s booming ball found the towering Matt Miazga at the far end of the group, and he leapt above two defenders to head the ball towards the middle of the six yard box. Bobby Wood alertly adjusted his run to meet it and with a deft touch, redirected it past Ireland goalkeeper Colin Doyle into the back of the net. USA 1, IRL 0
IRL – Graham Burke (Darragh Lenihan), 57th minute: Ireland responded with a set piece of its own. After a short corner, Jeff Hendrick took a touch to find some space near the right sideline before launching a cross to the far post. Kevin Long rose above the melee and headed the ball to the center, where Lenihan whipped a shot on net that Burke put the final touch to for the equalizer. USA 1, IRL 1
IRL – Alan Judge (James McClean), 90th minute: An Ireland attack up the right side in the game’s final moments was able to find McClean just inside the left side of the USA box. He was able to turn and break past a defender, but as he closed in on goal, Judge stepped in to finish the play with a point-blank shot into the roof of the net with the final kick of the game. USA 1, IRL 2 FINAL
IRL – John O’Shea, 24th minute: The second of a series of corners, Wil Trapp’s service grazed some heads in the box, but trickled out to Tyler Adams lurking on the far top corner. Adams whipped a shot towards the net, but the veteran Irish defender got a piece of the ball and it rolled out-of-bounds.
USA – Bill Hamid and Matt Miazga, 45th minute: After winning a downfield ball in the air, Ireland launched a well-constructed build-up to counter. Dashing through the midfield, Burke dished to James McClean on the wing. McClean sent a service into the box, but Hamid and Miazga collided and pushed it away. Seamus Coleman tried to jump on the rebound, but couldn’t get a shot off before the USA cleared the ball out of danger.
- The USA falls to 2-6-2 all-time against Ireland.
- U.S. striker Bobby Wood scored his 12th career goal for the USA.
- Making his fifth MNT appearance, Wil Trapp captained the side for the third time.
- Ireland’s 57th minute goal ended a 386-minute shutout streak for the USA. The last goal conceded by the U.S. came in the 31st minute of its 1-1 draw at Portugal on Nov. 14, 2017. The USA had held kept three-straight clean sheets in its first three matches of 2018.
- U.S. MNT head coach Dave Sarachan started the same four-man back line (Yedlin, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Villafana) that went the full 90 minutes and helped keep a clean sheet in the USA’s 1-0 win against Paraguay on March 27 in Cary, N.C.
- Having partnered during the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga paired together for the third time with the senior MNT.
- Three players made their MNT debut: Luca de la Torre, Shaq Moore and Tim Parker.
- Midfielders Julian Green (right foot injury) and Kenny Saief (right knee injury) were held out of tonight’s squad due to injury. Midfielder Keaton Parks, defender Erik Palmer-Brown and goalkeeper William Yarbrough also did not dress for the match.
- The U.S. Men’s National Team wore rainbow numbers as part of U.S. Soccer’s celebration of Pride Month . The MNT will do the same for its June 9 match vs. France, as will the WNT for their two-game set against China PR on June 7 and June 12.
View the full match report at ussoccer.com.