It won't do much to soften the sting of missing out on the 2018 World Cup, but Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams gave U.S. national team fans some hope for the future Tuesday in Portugal.
The teenage prospects stood above the crowd while making their international debuts in a 1-1 draw with the European champions, allowing the U.S. to cap a dreadfully disappointing 2017 with a dose of optimism.
A blunder from goalkeeper Ethan Horvath showed that experimenting with youth does have its pitfalls. But McKennie punctuated an impressive all-around outing with a debut goal in the 21st minute, and Adams proved to be a handful with an energetic display of his own.
Here are Goal's full player ratings from the Americans' friendly against Portugal:
GK ETHAN HORVATH, 2: Growing pains are part of the process in a game like this, though there's no beating around the bush here: The 22-year-old conceded a howler on Vitorino Antunes' equalizer, then saw an ill-advised pass nearly lead to a second for Portugal.
D DEANDRE YEDLIN, 6: There was a shaky sequence or two early, but Yedlin settled in and delivered a steady defensive outing while also jumping into the attack at opportune moments.
D MATT MIAZGA, 6: The center back grew more confident as the match went on, doing well to read attacks and intervene. An ill-advised push did negate a would-be John Brooks goal, though.
D JOHN BROOKS, 7: It was a commanding performance in central defense from the 24-year-old, who won his battles and saw his emphatic finish off a corner kick canceled out by an unrelated foul.
D ERIC LICHAJ, 5: The veteran delivered a solid enough outing at left back, even if his service left something to be desired. He did test Beto with one stinging effort.
M DANNY WILLIAMS, 6: A surprise selection as captain, Williams delivered a rangy performance in central midfield while successfully shielding the back line.
M TYLER ADAMS, 7: The 18-year-old offered a tantalizing glimpse of his potential on the right flank, playing with tenacity and nearly bagging a debut goal early in the second half.
M KELLYN ACOSTA, 6: Quietly got the job done in an advanced midfield role, doing well to apply pressure and keep the ball moving.
M WESTON MCKENNIE, 8: The 19-year-old Schalke midfielder looked as good as advertised in his U.S. debut, covering acres of space while winning his fair share of tackles. He opened his U.S. account with a poised finish and nearly made it a brace with a header off the crossbar.
M JUAN AGUDELO, 5: Wasn't overly involved while playing somewhat out of position on the left flank, though he did hold the ball up well at times.
F C.J. SAPONG, 6: The Philadelphia Union striker was lively up top, constantly putting his body on the line and floating out wide to set up McKennie's opener.
GK BILL HAMID, 5: Had one nervy moment controlling a rebound but delivered an otherwise stable performance over 45 minutes that saw him rarely tested.
D CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS, 6: The 19-year-old made some key challenges to highlight a promising international debut, showing chemistry with Miazga in central defense.
D JORGE VILLAFANA, 5: Replaced Lichaj for the final 31 minutes, keeping things tidy on his side of the field.
M LYNDEN GOOCH, 6: The Sunderland winger played with plenty of energy, using his pace to create separation and generate some momentum going forward.
F DOM DWYER, 5: Was starved for service after coming on for the final 13 minutes up top.
M ALEJANDRO BEDOYA, 5: Didn't see much of the ball during a late cameo.