Portland Timbers Sporting Kansas City MLS Cup 2018 Tactical Analysis

Defending Copa America champions Chile faced off against USA in their last friendly before defending their title. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. The USA – led by recently appointed Gregg Berhalter, still unbeaten since he took charge – left the game with a sweeter feeling. They had a hard time defending deep against Chile’s intense and high-paced football, and were unable to deploy their attacking strength as much as they had against Ecuador.

Without Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez, the visiting team deserved more. However, they struggled to create enough clear chances given their high possession (65%), a frequent criticism Reinaldo Rueda has faced since he took charge. This tactical analysis shows an unexciting game that left fans more worried than positive, but that still had a decent first half despite a less intense second one.

First half: Entertaining from both sides, until USA lost Pulisic

The home team started the game with a 4-2-3-1 that had Paul Arriola, Christian Pulisic and Corey Baird as the attacking line behind Gyasi Zardes. The first 15 minutes were frenetic, and the US inflicted a lot of damage to the defensive line of Chile, taking advantage of their speed, especially through the left wing. Meanwhile, Chile started with an unconventional 3-6-1.

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