A young U.S. men's national team played a 0-0 tie with El Salvador in the first CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Thursday in San Salvador, El Salvador.
There will be 13 more qualifiers leading to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The top three teams in the region go to Qatar, and the fourth-place teams enters a playoff in June 2022.
The best chance to end the deadlock came in the 76th minute when the United States' Kellyn Acosta had a shot from the left side of the 6-yard box that forced a strong save by Mario Gonzalez. The Salvadoran goalie made two saves in the match.
Matt Turner of the New England Revolution had to make only one save as the U.S. outshot the hosts 13-7.
The U.S. was missing several key players and fielded one of its least experienced teams for an official competition in history.
Midfielder Christian Pulisic did not travel as he is recovering from testing positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 19. He was vaccinated and did not have any symptoms. The Chelsea star may be available when the U.S. hosts Canada in Nashville on Sunday.
Also absent due to injuries were forwards Tim Weah and Gyasi Zardes and goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
The U.S. starting lineup averaged 19 international appearances and seven in official competition. Nine of the starters made their World Cup qualifying debuts, tying the men's national team modern era record in a qualifier.
The only other time it happened was Nov. 3, 19996, against Guatemala in Washington.
With the tie, the U.S. is 18-1-6 all-time vs. El Salvador. However, the United States' streak of nine straight wins was ended.
Honduras, which played Canada to a 1-1 draw on Thursday in Toronto, travels to face El Salvador on Sunday.