Joe Scally and Malik Tillman make USMNT debuts in Morocco friendly
Bundesliga youngsters Joe Scally and Malik Tillman both made their senior debuts for the US national team in Wednesday night’s friendly win over Morocco.
Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Scally, 19, had previously been called up to the USMNT in November but didn’t feature. However, he was handed his debut as a half-time substitute in Cincinnati as head coach Gregg Berhalter – himself a former player in Germany with Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich – looks to narrow down his squad with the FIFA World Cup coming up this winter.
Scally replaced Antonee Robinson for the second half at left-back, showing that he offers options on both sides of defence, having proven himself at both right and left full-back during his maiden Bundesliga season with the Foals.
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Although the teenager gave away a penalty that many would say was unlucky, he received praise for stifling Morocco’s attacks down their right through ex-Borussia Dortmund defender Achraf Hakimi and looked very much at home.
Twenty-year-old Tillman later became the 53rd different player to earn his first USMNT cap in Berhalter’s 51 matches when he was introduced in place of captain Christian Pulisic on 65 minutes.
Described by the manager in the build-up as having a “knack for scoring goals, good calm around the penalty box, good technique scoring, both footed”, the Bayern Munich attacker was recently granted FIFA approval to switch his international allegiance from Germany to his father’s country.
Nuremberg-born Tillman had previously played up to U21 level for the four-time world champions, but will now be hopeful of appearing at the World Cup for the Stars and Stripes after getting a good half hour on his debut.
The USMNT have another friendly against Uruguay in Kansas City, Kansas on Sunday, 5 June. They begin the defence of their CONCACAF Nations League title at home to Grenada in Austin, Texas the following Friday before a trip to El Salvador on Tuesday, 14 June. Their 2022 World Cup campaign starts on 21 November against either Wales or Ukraine, before taking on England and Iran in Qatar.
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