Norwood named NWC Player of Week
Puget Sound junior Wren Norwood was named Men’s Northwest Conference Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 24 to 30 by the NWC.
Norwood, a 2015 Kenai Central graduate that now plays in Hillsboro, Oregon, impressed with two stellar showings in goal for the Loggers, including a clean sheet in a win over Willamette (Oregon). Norwood made six saves and allowed one goal over the weekend.
US Soccer asks about non-Cup teams
The U.S. Soccer Federation is looking into the possibility of an event next year involving nations that did not qualify for the World Cup.
The idea of an exhibition tournament has been floated for soccer teams such as the United States, Italy, Chile and Ghana that won’t be playing in Russia.
The USSF confirmed it was exploring the idea after a report Tuesday by Fox. The United States was eliminated from World Cup contention when it lost 2-1 at Trinidad and Tobago last month.
The tournament idea, first suggested on social media, gained traction Monday when Italy was eliminated by Sweden, which advanced with a 1-0 aggregate playoff win. The Italians will miss soccer’s premier event for the first time in six decades.
It is not clear whether FIFA would allow exhibition games during the World Cup, which runs from June 14 to July 15.
US men draw with Portugal
Weston McKennie needed little time to make an impact for a U.S. soccer team starting a five-year wait until its next chance to play in the World Cup.
The 19-year-old midfielder from Texas scored 21 minutes into his national team debut, a 1-1 tie against Portugal on Tuesday night at Leiria in the Americans’ first match since failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
McKennie, who has played his way into German club 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. McKennie joined with 18-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams to become the first pair of teenagers to start together for the Americans since 1988 and became the third-youngest American to score in his debut behind Juan Agudelo (17) and Landon Donovan (18).
“We just want to turn the page and show the U.S. what the future holds,” McKennie said. “This group is full of energy. We went out there from the very first whistle until the end and we fought from beginning to end.”
The U.S. used eight starters 24 or younger in Dave Sarachan’s first match as interim coach, and the missteps of youth were on display against third-ranked Portugal, which rested many regulars.
Ethan Horvath, a 22-year-old goalkeeper making his first appearance since his debut against Cuba in October 2016, allowed Vitorino Antunes’ volley from a flank following Bruno Fernandes’ pass to drop between his arms, through his legs and into the net for a 31st-minute equalizer. Horvath, who plays for Club Brugge, covered his face with his gloved hands.
“Obviously, it’s a big blow for him personally,” Sarachan said. “In a career of a goalkeeper, you’re going to have moments like that.”
Adams made his first U.S. appearance and Cameron Carter-Vickers, a 19-year-old son of former NBA player Howard Carter, became the third debutante when he replaced John Brooks in central defense at the start of the second half. Loaned this season from Tottenham to second-tier Sheffield United, Carter-Vickers put a header off the crossbar in the 55th minute.
“We all want to achieve,” he said. “We haven’t done anything yet in the game so we all want to push on and try and do things and try and win things.”
Adams became a regular this year with the New York Red Bulls.
“Goosebumps,” he said of his debut. “I think that going forward, we have to be patient, but the future is bright.”
Sarachan was the top assistant to Bruce Arena, who quit three days after the 2-1 loss last month in Trinidad that ended the Americans’ streak of seven straight Word Cup appearances. Right back DeAndre Yedlin was the only player from the starting lineup in Port-of-Spain to open against the Portuguese, who also used a mostly young lineup.
Brooks, who missed the last four qualifiers because of a torn thigh muscle, made his first U.S, appearance since June. He headed the ball in the net off a corner kick in the 44th minute, but the goal was called off because of a push away from the ball by 22-year-old defender Matt Miazga, who played in just his fourth national team game.