CARSON, Calif. – The U.S. men played a rather uneventful scoreless draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first game of 2018 at StubHub Center before a crowd of 11,161 Sunday night.
Starting defenders Ike Opara and Matt Polster as well as substitute goalkeeper Zack Steffen were handed their international debuts, while Wil Trapp captained the tea, in his first start.
The U.S. came closest to a first-half goal seven minutes in when striker CJ Sapong latched onto an errant back pass and powered an effort that forced Ibrahim Šehić to push the ball out for a corner kick.
A mostly even first half saw Bosnia nearly go up 1-0 just before the break when Luka Menalo pounced on a loose ball in the box, only to have goalkeeper Bill Hamid come off his line to turn away the danger in the 43rd minute.
Things opened up on the other side of the break, beginning with a U.S. chance. A ball over the top from Trapp found Jordan Morris striding into the area before he brought it down with a deft touch. Morris pulled to his right past Šehić, but put his low effort just wide of the post in the 51st minute.
Two minutes later it was Bosnia that saw a chance go begging. Catching the U.S. in transition, Menalo appeared to foul Trapp just outside the area before being slightly upended by defender Walker Zimmerman inside the box. Referee Hector Martinez awarded the visitors a penalty kick, but captain Haris Medunjanin’s left-footed take pinged off the lower left post, in the 53rd minute.
The U.S. tried at the hour mark when a nice diagonal ball from Kelyn Rowe picked out Polster striding down the right flank. The full back’s low cross was partially deflected, but fell for Cristian Roldan who drove his shot just past the left post.
Steffen was called into action into action in the 67th minute as Menalo forced a diving save.
Both teams traded strong attacking sequences in the closing moments, only to have Opara turn away danger in the 79th minute before OGnjen Todorović returned the favor one of Bosnia.
USA: 1-Bill Hamid (12-Zack Steffen, 46); 15-Matt Polster, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 3-Ike Opara, 2-Justin Morrow, 4-Tyler Adams; 9-Gyasi Zardes (20-Paul Arriola, 46), 6-Wil Trapp (capt.) (14-Rubio Rubin, 83), 8-Cristian Roldan (7-Juan Agudelo, 69), 13-Jordan Morris; 17-CJ Sapong (11-Kelyn Rowe, 46)
Subs Not Used: 5-Tim Parker, 16-Russell Canouse, 18-Marky Delgado, 24-Nick Lima
Head coach: Dave Sarachan
BIH: 1-Ibrahim Šehić; 2-Almir Bekić, 5-Marko Mihojević, 6-Daniel Graovac, 7-Darko Todorović; 8-Tomislav Tomić (3-Marijan Ćavar, 46), 10-Haris Medunjanin (capt.)(18-Dino Beširević, 72), 15-Elvis Sarić (13-Nemanja Bilbija, 80); 17-Mersudin Ahmetović (9-Elvir Koljić, 46), 19-Luka Menalo (4-Elvir Ibisević, 83), 20-Goran Zakarić (14-Ognjen Todorović, 68)
Subs Not Used: 11-Stjepan Lončar, 16-Adnan Šećerović, 12-Kenan Pirić
Head coach: Robert Prosinečki
Stats Summary: USA / BIH
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 19 / 15
Offside: 2 / 0
USA – Justin Morrow (caution) 32nd minute
BIH – Ognjen Todorović (caution) 70
BIH – Darko Todorović (caution) 75
Referee: Hector Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Melvyn Cruz (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Walter Lopez (HON)
Fourth Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)
Man of the Match: Jordan Morris