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Bulls Abroad: Miazga, U-23 USMNT Drop Friendly to U-21 England

90 minutes for Matt Miazga in his audition for a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying roster spot.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

The U-23 USMNT dropped a friendly game, 1-0, to U-21 England at Deepdale Stadium in Preston, England. Don't read too much into the age-group difference: this is a relatively young U-23 group for the USA, with several players from this year's U-20 World Cup cohort being evaluated by head coach Andi Herzog; nine of England's starting XI appeared for their senior EPL teams this past weekend, so there is loads of talent on the Young Lions.

New York Red Bulls defenseman Matt Miazga started for the Stars and Stripes and played all 90 minutes. He was initially paired with Shane O'Neilly, and then his regular center-back partner at the U-20 level, Cameron Carter-Vickers joined him in the 62nd minute.

Commentary agreed that Miazga had a strong outing, but the US defense couldn't stop a 72nd-minute set piece off a free kick. James Wilson was able to poke a shot past Zack Steffen after a slow ball squirted right into his path. He had entered the game 10 minutes earlier, so a little luck was on the Manchester United striker's side.

Both coaches agreed before the game that they wanted to allow unlimited substitutions, so the match featured plentiful changes to both starting lineups as it progressed.

The US will be back in action on Tuesday September 8th against Qatar.  The game will also be played in England.  This will be their last game before CONCACAF Olympic qualifying starts the first two weeks of October in the US.  Miazga will be heading back to the Red Bulls before the Qatar game, so this game was the only U-23 opportunity he'll get to persuade Andi Herzog to select him for the upcoming CONCACAF tournament.

We'll find out in a few weeks if Herzog was sufficiently impressed to hand Miazga one of just 17 places for outfield players on the Olympic qualifying team's roster.