USMNT draws vs. Saudi Arabia in final World Cup tune-up

USMNT draws vs. Saudi Arabia in final World Cup tune-up

Good morning, I’m Dan Gartland. I’m still waiting (not very patiently) for the day I can finally write about Aaron Judge breaking Roger Maris’s record.

In today’s SI:AM:

🇺🇸 Another shutout for the USMNT

🏈 How Ryan Griffin has lasted 10 years in the NFL

🗽 The Yankees wrap up the division

If you’re reading this on SI.com, you can sign up to get this free newsletter in your inbox each weekday at SI.com/newsletters.

So much for a World Cup tune-up

The U.S. men’s national team’s results in its recent friendlies haven’t exactly inspired confidence as the World Cup approaches.

The U.S. failed to score in either game, losing to Japan 2–0 Friday and playing to a 0–0 draw against Saudi Arabia yesterday. The team won’t get together again until it meets in Qatar in November for the World Cup.

The lack of offensive firepower is the biggest concern. The U.S. is 2-1-3 in six games after clinching a spot in the World Cup in March and has been shut out three times in that span. A 3–0 win against Morocco on June 1 is the team’s only win against a Qatar-bound side since beating Mexico last November.

That’s due in part to manager Gregg Berhalter’s struggle to find a reliable striking option. Ricardo Pepi, now 19 years old, looked like the answer after he scored three goals in his first two international appearances last year, but Berhalter has recently given more playing time to Jesús Ferreira, a 21-year-old who plays for FC Dallas. Other options include Josh Sargent and Jordan Pefok.

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