Sebastian Lletget Scores as USMNT Lose 2-1 to Switzerland in Friendly

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND - MAY 30: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Sebastian Lletget of USA celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates during the international friendly match between Switzerland and United States on May 30, 2021 in St.Gallen, Switzerland. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The U.S. men's national team showed its promise Sunday in a friendly against Switzerland, with the team's young talent showing bursts of ability and upside. 

But sloppy defending cost the team, as the Swiss pulled out a 2-1 win at Kybun Park in St. Gallen, Switzerland. 

Sebastian Lletget scored the game's opening goal for the United States, only to see Switzerland strike back with goals from Ricardo Rodriguez and Steven Zuber. 

It took the United States just five minutes to get on the board, as the ball made its way to Lletget in the box after a series of lucky bounces. He didn't waste the opportunity:


SEBASTIAN LLETGET.<br><br>GOAL FOR THE USMNT ‼️ pic.twitter.com/NVsHkqFmBb

But the lead was short-lived. Ricardo Rodriguez's long-range effort in the 10th minute took an unfortunate deflection off Reggie Cannon and beat Ethan Horvath, equalizing the match. 

Rodriguez could have had a brace in the 40th minute after a controversial handball called on Sergino Dest in the box, but he fluffed the penalty:

U.S. Soccer MNT @USMNT

Here's that penalty kick miss from Ricardo Rodriguez. <br><br>All to play for in the second half. #SUIvUSA pic.twitter.com/QmolNsGWL9

Zuber made it 2-1 after the United States scrambled to clear the ball out of the box in the 63rd minute. For all of the early positives Sunday, the USMNT's back line left much to be desired. 

Steve Davis @SteveDavis90

Ugh.#USMNT conceding a goal where the defending / clearing looked WAY too much like my Sunday pickup game.<br>(psst: that ain’t good)

Jeff Carlisle @JeffreyCarlisle

That is a textbook definition of sloppy defending there by the #usmnt. 2-1 to Switzerland.

But there were positives for the young USMNT side to build on going forward. The team's pressing, buzzing approach allowed the players to control the tempo, namely in the first half.

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Love the way this US team is pressing and winning the ball in dangerous spots.

They weren't static in attack, either, with players like Dest and Gio Reyna, among others, getting excellent chances on goal. 

U.S. Soccer MNT @USMNT

That @Sergino_Dest skill nearly pulled us back ahead...<br><br>Keep going Serg! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/7r2iwy16IB

U.S. Soccer MNT @USMNT

The high press forces a turnover and Gio Reyna freezes Yann Sommer only to see his effort ping off the post. pic.twitter.com/qGHVNNc1kK

Nico Cantor @Nicocantor1

It’s refreshing to see this team play. You can see the progress in this methodology put into play by Berhalter. There are interesting, complex movements that are a key part of the modern game. <br><br>They’ve come a long way. And they’re just kids. There’s been growth, credit to that

A couple of bounces one way or another and perhaps the USMNT draws or wins this game. There were goals in this game for the United States.

But Switzerland carved the USMNT defense to shreds in the second half, and were it not for a few timely Horvath saves and less-than-clinical finishing from the Swiss, perhaps the deficit would have been far greater for the Americans. 

Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves

FINAL- Switzerland 2, #USMNT 1. Pretty ugly second half for the USA. Swiss are a solid team, but the Americans offered little attacking threat, and the 2nd-half defending was pretty atrocious at times.<br><br>Not exactly the confidence-builder you want heading into Nations League.

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

The game lacked an intensity without an atmosphere but the 2nd half was alarming to an extent at how easy the Swiss created chances at a high level.<br>That was your "measuring stick" for the @USMNT and not sure any "raving reviews" other than Horvath. #USMNT

Brian Sciaretta @BrianSciaretta

Switzerland 2-1 #USMNT FT. The game lacked intensity. Pretty good first half but the team was disjointed in the second half. Lletget, Aaronson, McKenzie, Horvath, Reyna (in the first half) were all among the better players.

Maximiliano Bretos @MaxBretosSports

Takeaways #USMNT 🇺🇸-<br>1) Too much space in defensive 3rd, especially around Dest. He needs help or he can't play there.<br>2) The press makes opponents uncomfortable. Brendan Aaronson becoming important figure.<br>3) Horvath was good. Took 1 off face for team, guessed right on pen.

Ultimately, a friendly is just a friendly. But there's little doubt that this young USMNT side has some major question marks to answer in the next year in the build up to the 2022 World Cup, namely in the back.