USA, Venezuela Play to 1-1 Draw in Friendly; Christian Pulisic Scores Goal

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2017

SANDY, UT - JUNE 3:  United States midfielder Christian Pulisic #10 fights for the ball with Venezuela's defender Mikel Villanueva #3 during the first half of an international friendly soccer game on June 3, 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

The United States earned a 1-1 draw against Venezuela in a friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday.

Jose Velazquez opened the scoring for Venezuela when he redirected a header past USA goalie Tim Howard in the 29th minute.

Christian Pulisic evened things up for the United States in the 61st minute with a shot that just snuck past Venezuela goaltender Jose Contreras.

Head coach Bruce Arena noted before the second half his team was being outplayed by Venezuela, via Fox Soccer:

After Pulisic got Team USA on the board, the pressure shifted back to Venezuela to respond. The action went mostly silent after that, forcing both teams to settle for the draw. The U.S. only had two shots on goal, while Venezuela only managed four.

Since the 18-year-old Pulisic figures to be a key part of U.S. soccer's future, the internet shared its thoughts on his goal against Venezuela:

Even though there wasn't a great deal of action at the nets, Howard did step up huge in the 33rd and 34th minute with back-to-back saves that allowed Pulisic to tie the score in the second half.

In particular, Howard was able to dive to his right on a Rubert Quijada header that looked like it was destined for the back left portion of the net. The ball hit off Howard's hand and nearly crossed the line, but it bounced back into play after hitting the side post.

Howard's heroics drew plenty of praise from social media:

On the bright side for the United States, this was only a friendly contest designed to get the team back in the swing of things with two World Cup qualifiers coming up against Trinidad and Tobago on June 8 and Mexico on June 11.

Those two games will be the real test for the U.S. to determine where it stands looking ahead to the 2018 World Cup.