On This Day presented by UMKC takes daily strolls down memory lane and celebrates memorable moments in Sporting Kansas City history. As one of Major League Soccer's proud charter members, Sporting has a decorated past full of thrilling victories, amazing goals, momentous off-the-field developments and more. This series pays tribute to these specific instances, turning back the clocks while treating fans to nostalgia and club history lessons. For more, visit SportingKC.com/OnThisDay.
Four years ago today, two Sporting Kansas City veterans and a rising wunderkind of American soccer took the field at world-class Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
On May 28, 2016, the United States Men's National Team completed its series of friendlies in preparation for Copa America Centenario with a comfortable 4-0 win over Bolivia. Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler started and played 45 minutes as a left back, collecting his 33rd cap at the international level, while Graham Zusi entered in the 73rd minute for his 35th international appearance.
The headlines, however, belonged to Pennsylvania native Christian Pulisic, a gifted 17-year-old who scored his first senior international goal as the U.S. MNT improved to 4-0-1 all-time at Children's Mercy Park and 6-0-1 in Kansas City.
Gyasi Zardes fired the U.S. ahead after 26 minutes, running onto the end of Alejandro Bedoya's lofted pass and slotting low past Bolivia goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra. Bedoya also assisted the Yanks' second strike 11 minutes later, squaring low to John Brooks who side-footed into an empty net. Besler contributed to a backline effort that limited Bolivia to just two shots in the first half and none on target.
The Yanks asserted further control after the break, going up 3-0 in the 52nd minute when Bobby Wood set up Zardes for his brace. Second-half substitutes Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe combined for the Americans' fourth tally in the 69th minute as Pulisic became the youngest U.S. MNT goal scorer during the modern era. Zusi then made a 17-minute cameo in front of his home fans, helping the U.S. seal back-to-back victories against CONMEBOL opponents for the first time since 2003.