For the first 90 minutes of Saturday's match between the U.S. men's national team and Uzbekistan, it looked like there would be just one moment of magic. An early goal in the fourth minute seemingly set the tone but, ultimately, it didn't. What came after was a largely-tepid attacking performance for the U.S., who couldn't put the game away until the very last moments.
That early moment of magic came via Tim Weah and Weston McKennie, who combined on the opening goal. It was a fantastic sequence, particularly for McKennie, who showed off that technical skill that his critics so often, unfairly, take aim at.
In the end, the U.S. emerged victorious via a 3-0 result, one that was a bit flattering thanks to two late goals from Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic. It was a game that showed both the good and bad of this USMNT: the effort, technical skill and possession, but also the attacking ineffectiveness that partially doomed them in Qatar last cycle.
Still, it's a start to the second Gregg Berhalter era, one which saw several players left out of the 2022 World Cup squad make big statements in their first opportunity since the coach's return