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Jordan Morris late equalizer gives USMNT 1-1 draw against Uruguay

Morris scored after an attempted Uruguay clearance near the end line bounced off American defender Nick Lima.

United States' Jordan Morris (11) scores past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera during a friendly soccer match Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in St. Louis. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Morris scored his first international goal in more than two years in the 79th minute, giving the United States a 1-1 tie against Uruguay in an exhibition game Tuesday night.

Brian Rodriguez — a 19-year-old Los Angeles FC forward who made his international debut in Friday’s 2-1 win in Costa Rica — put Uruguay ahead off a counterattack in the 50th minute. Rodriguez took a pass from Federico Valverde, dribbled around U.S. defender Aaron Long and beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan to the near post with a left-footed shot for his first international goal.

Morris scored after Uruguay defender José Giménez’s attempted clearance near the end line bounced off American defender Nick Lima and bounded in front of the open goal. Morris chested the ball in for his sixth international goal, his first since the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup final against Jamaica. Morris tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in February 2018 while playing with Seattle and did not return to the national team until March 2019.

Morris’ goal was the first for the U.S. since Christian Pulisic’s 87th-minute strike in the Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal win over Jamaica. 

The Americans have eight wins, four losses and two draws this year under coach Gregg Berhalter, hired in December to revive the team following its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They close the year with home-and-home matches against Cuba and Canada in the new Concacaf Nations League, but largely are focused on the start of 2022 World Cup qualifiers next September.

Josh Sargent, an emerging 19-year-old forward from O’Fallon, Missouri, played in his hometown, where he sat in the stands for a 2015 World Cup qualifier. His header in first-half injury time went off the hand of Giménez, but Costa Rican referee Ricardo Montero did not award a penalty kick.

United States' Sebastian Lletget (17) gets off a shot as Uruguay's Federico Valverde (15) and Jose Gimenez (2) defend during the second half of a friendly soccer match Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in St. Louis. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera made diving saves on Christian Roldan’s header in the 11th minute and Sergiño Dest’s long-range shot in the 39th. Dest, an 18-year-old who has gained playing time for Ajax this season, made his second straight start at left back after debuting for the U.S. on Friday.

Tyler Boyd had the best U.S. chance before the goal, but mis-hit an open right-footed shot from a Morris cross in the 22nd minute and sent the ball over the crossbar.

Guzan’s spill of a cross nearly led to a goal in the 23rd minute, but St. Louis native Tim Ream, captaining the U.S. for the third time, cleared Rodrigo Bentancur’s shot off the goal line. A day after his 35th birthday, Guzan was in goal for the Americans for the first time since Nov. 15 against England.

Midfielder Sebastian Lletget got his first start since a Lisfranc foot injury in a World Cup qualifier against Honduras on March 24, 2017.

The U.S. was missing many regulars. Central defender John Brooks, right back DeAndre Yedlin and midfielder Tyler Adams were hurt, and star midfielder Christian Pulisic and goalkeeper Zack Steffen returned to their European clubs last weekend.

Uruguay’s roster did not include star forwards Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani or midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro.

Debut

Paxton Pomykal, a 19-year-old Dallas midfielder, made his U.S. debut when he replaced Morris in the 85th.

Welcome back

The U.S. was making its first appearance at Busch Stadium since a 6-1 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a World Cup qualifier on Nov. 13, 2015.

Small crowd

The announced attendance was 20,625, well under the crowd of 35,761 that watched the U.S. women beat New Zealand 5-0 in a send-off series match at Busch Stadium on May 16.

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