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USMNT vs. Venezuela: Your Live Commentary

Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Before facing two vital World Cup qualifiers, the U.S. Men’s National Team faces off with Venezuela to prepare for the task ahead.

The U.S. takes on Venezuela at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday in a pre-qualifying friendly, allowing Bruce Arena a look at his first-choice squad before facing Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico. The venue will also offer a bit of altitude as the U.S. prepares to play in Denver and at the Azteca.

With several key players returning to the squad, the U.S. opens Saturday’s friendly with a strong starting XI. The team features the returning Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin alongside the likes of Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard.

The SBI staff will be offering updates and analysis in the comments section below, so feel free to follow along, and as always, please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions below.

Enjoy the action.


  1. All in all, a disappointment. I know it’s a friendly, but Venezuela often looked like they fought harder. Especially in the first half the US looked like they were playing leisurely with no sense of urgency. I thought Fabian was disappointing and not a lot of players stood out positively. Impressed by Villafana. He could be the answer at LB

    • Thought Villafana’s crossing in the first half was pretty poor though, he wasn’t receiving much pressure and his crosses were not very accurate.

  2. Scratch the diamond with CP playing so high up and MB basically a 3rd center back it’s pointless. It waste FJ on the wing because he’s pinching in so much. With this lineup should be a flat 4-4-2 with nagbe in the middle and CP on the wing

    • Sounds about right. Pretty MLS-based as expected. Gonzalez a slight surprise given the recent news about his international future, but fairly straight-forward.

  3. The US look a little rusty and it looks like they’re still acclimating to the altitude after some had long club seasons. I’m more interested to see what the second half response is to a lackluster first half. That’s a true sign of a team for me.

    • 6′ Dangerous cross in from Yedlin but it doesn’t find anyone. On the other end, a Venezuela shot/cross goes wide of Tim Howard’s goal.

      • 11′ Venezuela looking dangerous through these first few minutes. Been a pretty lively start for both sides.

      • 14′ Unselfish from Johnson, but maybe a bit too unselfish. Gets the ball at the top of the box and tries to slide a pass in, but it’s cleared away.

      • GOAL VENEZUELA! Set piece goal for Venezuela. Ball into the far post isn’t properly cleared by Dempsey and is headed right back into the mix. Great finish from Velazquez and it’s 1-0 to Venezuela.

      • OFF THE POST! Howard gets a fingertip to a headed shot and the ball hits the post and bounces out. Bradley able to clear as the U.S. dodge a MAJOR bullet there.

      • HALFTIME: A deserved lead for Venezuela, who could be up more than 1-0. U.S. has possession, but not moving the ball with any real purpose.

      • Omar Gonzalez in for Geoff Cameron to start the second half. Arena giving this group a chance to work out of it.

      • GOAL PULISIC! USMNT finally gets through as Pulisic fakes a defender and then slots a shot into the corner. Great shot. 1-1.

      • 80′ Ball nearly finds its way to Morris, but Contreras gets off his like to get it away. Just inches away as the U.S. pushes for a winner.

  4. Hey all and welcome to tonight’s live chat. Busy night, all things considered, but tonight’s USMNT friendly is an important one. Strong lineup from Bruce Arena as he looks to get a look at the first team before T&T and Mexico.

    With that in mind, any pregame predictions/comments/questions? Fire them our way.


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