Opara, Polster, Steffen make US debuts in 0-0 tie vs Bosnia

2
Opara, Polster, Steffen make US debuts in 0-0 tie vs Bosnia
United States midfielder Gyasi Zardes, bottom, falls to the ground after he was pushed by Bosnia and Herzegovina defender Daniel Graovac during the first half of an international friendly soccer match on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Defenders Ike Opara and Matt Polster made their U.S. national team debuts along with goalkeeper Zack Steffen as the Americans played a listless 0-0 tie in an exhibition against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday night.

Haris Medunjanin sent a penalty kick off Steffen’s right post in the 53rd minute as the goalkeeper dove the other way, a kick awarded when Walker Zimmerman fouled Luka Menalo just inside the penalty area.

The Americans played their second game since they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup and they used an inexperienced roster. Interim coach Dave Sarachan ran the team for the second straight match following the resignation of Bruce Arena, who quit after the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances ended with a 2-1 loss at Trinidad and Tobago in October.

Opara, a starter at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, made his debut at age 28 in central defense after earning Major League Soccer’s defender of the year honor in 2017. Polster started at right back and Steffen replaced Bill Hamid at the start of the second half.

Midfielder Wil Trapp captained the U.S. for the first time in just his third appearance and first start.