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2022 World Cup: Highlights and best moments from USA vs. Wales

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Kasey Keller: Lack of match fitness could doom USMNT (1:09)

Kasey Keller says that with so many players lacking game action in recent months, fitness could be an issue for the United States for the rest of the World Cup. (1:09)

The United States men's national team began their 11th World Cup appearance with 1-1 draw against Wales in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Tim Weah's first-half goal gave the USMNT an initial lead before Gareth Bale converted from the penalty spot late in the game.

It was a frantic match that saw plenty of fouls and six yellow cards combined. The U.S. finished with four yellow cards, the team's most in a World Cup match since drawing five against Germany in 2002.

The game marked a return for the USMNT to soccer's biggest stage after missing out on the 2018 World Cup in Russia. For Wales, their absence was even longer, having not appeared since the 1958 edition.

Here are the best moments, key observations, and post-game reaction as the USMNT and Wales faced off in Group B action:

Lessons learned ahead of key England match

As ESPN's Sam Borden writes:

To be clear: USA 1, Wales 1 is no disaster. No tragedy. As Tim Weah rightly said, "In a World Cup, the most important thing is that we didn't lose." But what happened to the U.S. on Monday night brought to mind that old Mike Tyson line, the one he famously said in response to a question about whether he was worried about the plan Evander Holyfield might have for him in their upcoming boxing match.

"Everyone has a plan," Tyson said, "until they get punched in the mouth."

Read on to see what Gregg Berhalter needs to do with just a couple days of preparation before taking England.

Should Pulisic sit against England?

ESPN's Luis Miguel Echegaray says he would opt for Brenden Aaronson over Christian Pulisic for USA's clash vs. England.

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Why Pulisic should start on the bench vs. England

Luis Miguel Echegaray says he would opt for Brenden Aaronson over Christian Pulisic for USA's clash vs. England.

Captains showing up

Both Tyler Adams and Gareth Bale had pivotal roles in the game, both left everything on the field tonight.

Why no Reyna for the USA?

Many of the young talent on the US roster played some sort of role in Monday's game, except for unused substitute Giovanni Reyna. The 20-year-old playmaker has been beset by injuries the past season, limiting his role with both the US and his club Borussia Dortmund.

When asked why he left Reyna on the bench, coach Gregg Berhalter said: "It was trying to get him up to speed. There was some tightness we were guarding against."

As for Reyna, he said: "I feel really good. I feel great. I feel fine ... [Berhalter] doesn't have to tell me why he didn't put me in or why he does. But I'm 100%. I'm good to go."

Did the USA let one slip away against Wales?

Credit to Wales for the comeback, but should the United States feel disappointed about not getting win? As ESPN's Jeff Carlisle writes:

"The 1-1 draw is a result that will stick in the U.S. team's craw. It was minutes away from claiming all three points, and putting it in a position in which it could control its own destiny in Group B. With England rocking Iran 6-2, the battle for second place now remains wide open, with a difficult game against the Three Lions up next. While the result is by no means fatal, it's not what the U.S. was hoping for given how long it was ahead in this match."

Read the full analysis, including why Wale's second-half adjustments were key and how Tim Weah burst on the stage with his dynamic play.

Bale: 'Great performance' from Wales

After the match, Gareth Bale hailed his side for rallying from a goal behind get a draw.

"It's an amazing feeling to get off the mark personally, but we would much rather have had the three points," Bale said.

"It was a great team performance, especially in the second half when we showed that real grit and determination to get back into the game.

"We are proud of that. We have things to build on and things to work on."

FINAL: 1-1 draw

Full time! A frenzied finish to a game that was a tale of two halves that sees the USA and Wales draw 1-1.

The USA looked to have things in control after going into break with a one-goal lead thanks to Tim Weah. But Wales came out on all cylinders and deservedly earned a goal thanks to a penalty strike by Gareth Bale.

The Group B standings are now: England with three points, Wales and the US with one apiece, and Iran with zero.

Next up for the USA will be that big-time clash against England on Black Friday, while Wales take on Iran in the other group game.

We're on to stoppage time

Nine minutes of stoppage time and the players on both sides are cramping and visibly fatigued. Are we in store for some late-game antics?

Tim Weah, the easy favorite to be Man of the Match for the USMNT, comes off as Jordan Morris enters as the fifth and final sub.

It is a bit of a journey for Morris, the Seattle Sounders star who has had two ACL surgeries to now making his World Cup debut.

Wales answer back

The game is level! Wales capitalize on a penalty and Gareth Bale scores from the spot in front of the frenzied Wales fans.

USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman crashes into Bale fighting for the ball right in front of the goal, and it's not a hard call for the ref to make.

The captain hits it with power and even though Matt Turner gets a hand on it, it's not enough to stop the equalizer.

Subs come in

Berhalter goes to his bench and makes four substitutes in quick succession in hopes of grabbing the momentum back from Wales.

On comes Brenden Aaronson for Weston McKennie, who can provide a needed spark in the midfield. DeAndre Yedlin, the veteran from the 2014 World Cup, comes on for Sergino Dest. Haji Wright -- a surprise inclusion to the squad -- comes in for Josh Sargent up top. Will the change in striker provide that second goal?

Yunus Musah also comes off after he appeared to be cramping, and he is replaced by Kellyn Acosta to help settle the midfield.

A bit of an injury worry as Christian Pulisic goes down hard after a foul and briefly walks off the field before returning.

Are you not entertained?

The game has come to life as Wales had a couple of big chances with half-hour left to play.

Matt Turner makes a big save in the 64th minute as he stretches out and puts his palm on Ben Davies' powerful header and knocks it over the bar.

On the subsequent corner kick, Kieffer Moore's header has everyone beat but also just misses the goal.

Wales won't go quietly

Second half kicks off and no changes to either sides' lineup. But you can already see a change in intensity from the Wales side. An early corner kick saw USMNT keeper Matt Turner come off his line to punch out the ball for his first real taste of action in the game.

Tim Ream picked up a yellow card after holding back Gareth Bale and keeping Wales from pressing on a counterattack. It was an unfortunate but savvy foul by the veteran Ream to keep Bale from potentially racing forward.

Thoughts at the half: Weah the difference as yellow cards fly

The USMNT have had their foot on the gas pedal throughout the first half. Tim Weah's goal is the difference against a Wales side that has yet to have a clear attacking chance in the first 45 minutes.

Weah nearly had the US up in the first 10 minutes when his cross into the box bounced off a Wales defender that came close to being an own-goal, if not for the clutch save by keeper Wayne Hennessey. But Weah made no question about it in the 36th minute with his finish, giving the USMNT their first World Cup goal in eight years.

Both managers will now to be careful as several key players were booked with yellow cards. With Sergino Dest and Weston McKennie now each with a yellow, expect Gregg Berhalter to sub them out at the some point in the second. Could Brendan Aaronson or Giovanni Reyna come in after the break?

As for Wales, two late bookings for Gareth Bale and Chris Mepham might have Rob Page looking at his bench.

Wondergoal from Weah!

Tim Weah gets USMNT on the board by streaking past Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey after latching onto a beautiful throughball from Christian Pulisic down the middle of the pitch.

The son of AC Milan legend and Liberia president George Weah, the Lille winger has had the USMNT knocking on the door throughout the first half.

Fans out in force

Sparse attendance is becoming an emerging issue at the World Cup, with some fans even having trouble just getting access to the venues. But supporters for both these sides are making their presence felt.

The Eagle has landed (with the help of Wonder Woman) in Qatar.

Amazing scenes as the Wales fans in the stands belted out a stirring rendition of their national anthem.

Youth movement

Along with the youngest USMNT World Cup captain ever in Tyler Adams, we've have the youngest lineup ever for the squad at the tournament, averaging at just over 25 years old. Yunus Musah, who played for England's youth teams before switching to the U.S., is the youngest at 19 years old.

The oldest for the squad? Tim Ream, who at 35 years old, hasn't made start for the U.S. in over a year. The Fulham defender will be the steady veteran presence in the backfield. DeAndre Yedlin, 29, is the lone holdover from the 2014 team.

Lineups are out!

The starting XI for the USMNT is out -- their first since losing to Belgium at the 2014 World Cup in the Round of 16. Since then, the USMNT has seen the emergence of so many new faces and exciting new talent, led by Christian Pulisic.

Tyler Adams wears the captain's armband for the USMNT (the youngest ever at a World Cup to don it at 23 years old). A surprise start for Joshua Sargent up top as striker, and we'll see how much Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest can contribute as they've been hampered by injuries.

If you think it's been awhile since the USMNT played in a World Cup, Wales hasn't been to the big show since 1958. There are several star playmakers to keep an eye on, obviously starting with captain Gareth Bale. Others to note will be Daniel James and Aaron Ramsey, both with plenty of big game experience.

Let's hear it for the home team

Family members of every player sent their well wishes to the USMNT ahead of its first match of group play.