US captain Christian Pulisic slammed the level of US support from the 19,512 crowd at TQL Stadium in a 3-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday night in the first of four World Cup warm-up matches in June .
“For some reason I’m not very happy with the number of Americans here, however, it’s working, if I’m being completely honest,” the 23-year-old Chelsea striker told an audience live on ESPN2. . “But thank you to those who came, and the support is always great from them.”
The United States had drawn a sold-out crowd for their first match at the stadium, a 2-0 win over Mexico in a World Cup qualifier on November 12.
Brenden Aaronson and Tim Weah scored midway through the first half and Haji Wright converted a second-half penalty on his international debut.
The 15th-ranked Americans, using a roster at around 75% of the full squad, won for the first time in four matches with No.24 Morocco, also preparing for November’s tournament in Qatar.
Wearing rainbow numbers on white jerseys for LGBTQ Pride Month, USA extended their unbeaten streak at home to 24 matches since a September 2019 loss to Mexico, two fewer than the team record.
Pulisic set up Aaronson for his sixth international goal in the 26th minute after netting a 50-yard pass from Walker Zimmerman, taking touches with both feet to spin defender Samy Mmaee and pass.
Weah scored in the 32nd minute for his third international goal, a 22-yard shot from the keeper’s glove.
Pulisic fired a penalty from Achraf Hakimi in the second half and handed the ball to Wright, his teammate at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, and Wright beat goalkeeper Yassine Bounou in the 64th minute.
“We are going back,” Pulisic said. “He needed that goal, and he said he was confident to go ahead and take it, so I wanted him to get that confidence, and I’m glad he scored.”
Wright and left-back Joe Scally came on early in their second half on their United debut and midfielder Malik Tillman came on in the 65th on his debut, a day after FIFA approved his change of affiliation from Germany.
The United States have used 118 players in this World Cup cycle, including 91 under coach Gregg Berhalter – 56 making their debuts.
Central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, son of former NBA player Howard Carter, came on early in the second half for his first international appearance in three years and Weston McKennie, returning from a broken foot, came on. at the 72nd.
Berhalter is using the June fixtures to mix up players beyond the 38 used in World Cup qualifying. He also experimented with moving Aaronson from a wing to central midfield.
American goalkeeper Matt Turner was not tested until the 52nd minute, when he dived to parry a header in a Tarik Tissoudali jump. Selim Amallah hit the crossbar with a 76th-minute penalty after referee Ismael Cornejo called Scally for a foul on Soufiane Rahimi, although replays showed Scally failed to make contact.
The United States play an exhibition against Uruguay on Sunday in Kansas City, Kansas, then have CONCACAF Nations League matches against Grenada on June 10 in Austin, Texas, and El Salvador four days later. The other World Cup warm-up matches for the United States are a pair of exhibitions in Europe in September.
The Americans open the World Cup in Qatar on November 21 against qualifier winners Wales-Ukraine on Sunday. They will face England four days later and close out the group match against Iran on November 29.
Morocco lost for the second time in 35 matches. In his second consecutive World Cup and sixth overall, he opens Group F against 16th-seeded Croatia on November 23, faces No. 2 Belgium four days later and takes on No. 38 Canada on November 23. 1st December.
Hakim Ziyech has been dropped from the Moroccan squad by coach Vahid Halilhodžić.
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