The Gregg Berhalter era is off to a winning start. The United States and Ecuador didn’t play the cleanest game on Thursday, but the Stars and Stripes ended up getting a 1-0 win. The US controlled the run of play throughout, and they can feel confident about a defensive performance where Ecuador only managed one shot and didn’t put any balls on net. However, they have to work on their attack as they managed only five shots themselves and put just two shots on net. They will look to improve against Chile on Tuesday.
Don't miss this international friendly from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN2.
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Chile are playing on the road here, and as such they are likely to be underdogs. The Red One surprisingly didn’t make it to the World Cup last year, and they have been a mixed bag of results since that point. They beat World Cup teams Sweden and Serbia in Europe, and they also grabbed draws from Denmark and Poland on the road before the World Cup.
Over the last six months, it’s been a rollercoaster performance for Chile. This team suffered a bad 3-0 loss to Peru in Miami in October, and they were stunned 3-2 by Costa Rica at home in November. However, they did grab a 1-0 win on the road in Mexico and a 4-1 thumping of Honduras was their most recent result. They will play Mexico in San Diego on Friday prior to this game.
This is the third win in three games for the United States in 2019. They were disappointing over the latter half of 2018 with their only results being a draw with Peru and a win over Mexico, so this team is still figuring it out. The US were fortunate to beat Ecuador on Thursday too. Gyasi Zardes’ goal took a weird deflection that caught the goalkeeper unaware and that was the game’s lone tally.
Chile Player to Watch
With Alexis Sanchez on the mend following a knee injury in early March, Chile will be relying on another one of their stars to get a result against the United States. Arturo Vidal is one of the top two-way midfielders in the world, and he has been great since joining Barcelona from Bayern Munich. He isn’t a big goal scorer for his club as they have other options for that, but he is tenacious in the midfield and one of Chile’s top goal scorers. He has netted 26 times for 105 games with Chile, and he should be fully rested as he is unlikely to play against Mexico on Friday since a passport issue delayed his arrival.
United States Player to Watch
Christian Pulisic did not have a great game for the USMNT on Thursday. Pulisic sent in some nifty crosses and gave Chile’s defense a little bit of trouble early on, but for the most part he was unnoticed all night and wore down in the second half. He is the most recognizable name on this team now, and he must do a better job at creating chances in the final third.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
In their first game, I didn’t see enough from the USMNT to make me a believer in their offense. They were defensively sound, so I don’t expect teams to score multiple goals against them often, but they need to show something more before I start betting them to win.
International Soccer Betting Odds: USA 1, Chile 1
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