Brenden Aaronson Leads USMNT Over Morocco In International Friendly

by Chrös McDougall

Christian Pulisic competes against Morocco during an international friendly on June 1, 2022 in Cincinnati.


Brenden Aaronson opened the scoring while Matt Turner kept the door shut as the U.S. men’s national soccer team defeated Morocco 3-0 in a friendly between World Cup-bound teams Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
The victory came in the first of an expected six tune-up games for the USMNT ahead of the World Cup that begins in November in Qatar. It also came on a day when the U.S. came one step closer to learning its opponent for the World Cup opener.
Fielding a mostly first-choice lineup against World Cup-bound Morocco, the Americans got on the board in the 26th minute. Christian Pulisic received a long pass on the run and took the ball into the Atlas Lions’ penalty area. When two defenders swarmed, Pulisic found a wide-open Aaronson, who one-timed it in.
Timothy Weah doubled the lead six minutes later with a long-range blast from outside the penalty area. Haji Wright, in his first USMNT game, closed out the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 64th minute. Turner was credited with eight saves.
Coming in their first game since securing the World Cup berth, the Americans started several players who are expected to play a big role in Qatar, including Pulisic, midfielder Tyler Adams and center back Walker Zimmerman. Less than six months before the World Cup, the U.S. squad also saw the return of star midfielder Weston McKennie, who had been out with a foot injury since February. He replaced Aaronson in the 72nd minute.
The performance continued what’s been a big few days for Aaronson. On May 26, the 21-year-old winger officially announced a deal to join Leeds United in the English Premier League.
With his assist, Pulisic became the fastest USMNT player to reach double-digit goals and assists. He now has 21 goals and 10 assists in 49 appearances for the national team.
Earlier Wednesday, Ukraine beat Scotland in a European playoff. That sends Ukraine on to play Wales on Sunday, with the winner of that match facing the U.S. on the World Cup opening day Nov. 21 in Qatar. The U.S. also plays England and Iran.
The Americans continue this international window with another friendly Sunday against Uruguay in Kansas City, Kansas, then turn to Concacaf Nations League play on June 10 and 14. Two additional friendlies are planned for September, though they haven’t been announced yet.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic Movement for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.