Mckennie scores in debut as U.S. ties Portugal 1-1
Weston Mckennie scored in his U.S. debut, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath allowed a seemingly harmless cross to drop between his arms and into the net for an equalizer and the Americans tied Portugal 1-1 Tuesday night at Leiria in their first match since failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
The U.S. used eight starters 24 or younger in Dave Sarachan’s first match as interim coach, the start of a five-year rebuilding process ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Mckennie, a 19-yearold from Texas who has played his way into Schalke’s lineup this season, took a pass from C.J. Sapong, used three touches to create space from Ricardo Ferreira and then beat Beto to the inside post with a right-footed shot from 12 yards in the 21st minute.
Mckennie became the third-youngest American to score in his debut, behind Juan Agudelo (17) and Landon Donovan (18).
An embarrassing mistake by Horvath led to the tying goal in the 31st minute.
Vitornio Antunes volleyed Bruno Fernandes’ pass toward the goal from a flank, and Horvath missed the ball, which bounced between his legs and into the goal. Horvath, a 22-yearold with Club Brugge, covered his face with his gloved hands. He was making his first appearance since his debut against Cuba in October 2016.
Bill Hamid took over in the second half and tipped Goncalo Paciencia’s shot off the crossbar in the 68th minute.
Mckennie was among three Americans to make their debuts. Tyler Adams, an 18-year-old midfielder with the New York Red Bulls, also started.