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A rainy day in Hartford, Connecticut saw the USMNT lose 3–1 to Germany with goals from Christian Pulisic, İlkay Gündoğan, Niclas Füllkrug, and Jamal Musiala.

Early on the USMNT was on fire, building well and making good runs. In the first five minutes U.S. forward Christian Pulisic got in behind the German back line and scored to make it 1–0, but the referee called the play offside, disallowing the goal. 

Pulisic continued to shine throughout the first half, helping the USMNT get some very good goal scoring opportunities. On the other side of the ball, Germans Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané were playing very well in the attacking half by making some big runs and pinpoint passes.

In the 25th minute, Pulisic got in behind and was tackled by German goalie Marc-André ter Stegen for a controversial non-call. Ter Stegen made several saves throughout the first half in the rain.

“I didn’t think I was offside on the first goal,” Pulisic said after the match. “And obviously they didn't call a penalty, but I just kept going.”

The Germans then launched an attack of their own, finding Füllkrug for a shot that's saved by USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner.

And then Pulisic happened.

Folarin Balogun found Pulisic on a give-and-go. Pulisic took on German defender Antonio Rüdiger and curled a shot into the top right corner to make it 1–0. The Hartford crowd went crazy as their USMNT was leading four-time World Cup winners Germany in the 27th minute.

After Pulisic’s goal, both teams turned it up a notch to create several offensive chances. Sané played with pace on the ball, causing quite the hassle for the American defenders. Late in the first half, he made a spectacular run into the box, weaving through the American back line before getting a very good shot on American goalkeeper Matt Turner. Turner made a strong save but couldn’t stop the follow-up shot from German captain Gündoğan.

The half ended at a 1-1 tie but that wouldn’t be the final score.

The Germans came out of the locker room strong with countless chances but some good saves from Matt Turner kept the game tied. That all changed when Niclas Füllkrug found himself alone in front of the goal. He got the ball and buried it into the bottom corner to give Germany the lead in the 58th minute.

Three minutes later, Füllkrug found Jamal Musiala for another German goal to make it 3–1.

USMNT midfielder Brenden Aaronson made an instant impact when he came on in the 65th minute. He was all over the pitch making plays on and off the ball in an effort to bring the USMNT back into the game late.

“I was happy with my performance," Aaronson said. "I came on and tried my best to help the team win the game.”

There were no more goals before the final whistle. It was a hard-fought 3–1 loss for the USMNT, but there were encouraging moments from players like Pulisic and Aaronson.

“It’s great for us to play against top competition, because it will get us ready for the Copa América," Aaronson said.

The 2024 Copa América will take place next summer and the USMNT will be facing some top competition, including reigning World Cup champions Argentina and No. 3 ranked Brazil. 

The USMNT will play two matches against Trinidad and Tabago on November 16th and 20th to qualify for the 2024 Copa América. While that may seem like easy sledding, Trinidad and Tabago eliminated the Americans from World Cup contention in 2017, so the tensions will be high.

GOAL has ranked the USMNT as the fourth-best CONCAF team going into the tournament, behind Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

“It’s a confident group inside the changing room," said U.S. defender Tim Ream. "A lot of young players, a lot of confidence flowing through the players—and I think that will help us for next summer.”

The 2024 Copa América starts on June 20th 2024.