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Morris scores first international goal in two years as USA draw with Uruguay

With both teams missing many of their regular starters, the United States displayed some style and flair against Uruguay on Tuesday night.

Jordan Morris scored his first international goal in more than two years in the 79th minute, giving the US a 1-1 draw. It was a welcome result against a team fifth in the Fifa rankings, especially after the US were beaten by Mexico 3-0 at the weekend.

“Internally we’re very confident that we’re moving in the right direction and that things are progressing forward,” Morris said.

Brian Rodriguez, a 19-year-old Los Angeles FC forward, put Uruguay ahead off a counterattack in the 50th minute. Rodriguez took a pass from Federico Valverde, dribbled past Aaron Long and beat Brad Guzan at his near post for his first international goal.

Morris scored after Jose Gimenez’s failed clearance dropped in front of an open goal. Morris chested the ball in for his sixth international goal, his first since the 2017 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.

U.S. Soccer MNT

However it comes, you love to see it!

Have a look at @JmoSmooth13’s equalizer! 🇺🇸 ⚽️

September 11, 2019

“I knew that I needed to get in and take a chance and was just fortunate that the ball landed where it did,” Morris said. “Coming off a long injury last year, it’s nice to get back on the scoresheet.”

Morris’ goal came after the US had failed to score in their previous two games. “It was about the tenacity of our guys, the relentlessness of our guys to hang in there and keep battling,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Overall, I think it was a good step for this group to be able to play a game like this.”

Josh Sargent, an emerging 19-year-old forward from O’Fallon, Missouri, had about 65 family and friends on hand to watch him play in his hometown, where he sat in the stands for a 2015 World Cup qualifier. His header in first-half injury time hit Gimenez’s hand, but Costa Rican referee Ricardo Montero did not award a penalty kick. “It’s been a dream to play like this in front of my home fans,” Sargent said.

Both teams fielded weakened sides. For the US, Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen returned to their European clubs last weekend. Uruguay’s squad did not include star forwards Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani or midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro.

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