The U.S. national soccer team performed well in the first half against Ecuador on Tuesday night but suffered a dip in form after the break, conceded a soft goal in the 79th minute and dropped a 1-0 result in front of 20,707 at Red Bull Arena.
Positives: Oguchi Onyewu made a strong, influential impression in his return to the backline. Brek Shea was confident and comfortable running at players. Timmy Chandler, a natural right back, impressed on the left corner. Clint Dempsey orchestrated the attack in the first half but needs to partner with Landon Donovan for full impact.
Negatives: Tim Ream, a second-half entry for Carlos Bocanegra, was dazed and confused in getting beat to the header that resulted in the goal. Two-way central midfielder Maurice Edu sputtered in both ways. Steve Cherundolo was off his game at right back, serving subpar set pieces and laboring to keep pace.
Coach Juergen Klinsmann’s record dropped to 1-3-1 with two goals scored. The Americans will play two friendlies in Europe on the mid-November FIFA fixture dates. All MLS candidates will have completed the league season, except those preparing for MLS Cup a week later.
Watch the video package and then proceed to the continuation for the USA lineup and subs, as well as bonus quotes.....
Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo (Jonathan Spector 46th), Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra (Tim Ream 72nd), Timmy Chandler; Kyle Beckerman; Danny Williams (Edson Buddle 65th), Maurice Edu (Michael Bradley 46th), Brek Shea (DaMarcus Beasley 46th); Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore (Juan Agudelo 46th).
Klinsmann: “We played a brilliant first half and created a lot of chances. We didn’t score but we didn’t allow anything for Ecuador at all. We had to make some changes and we also wanted to give players the possibilities to express themselves and show themselves. Ecuador in the second half got more into the game. They created some chances but never really threatened Tim Howard besides the one beautiful goal they scored.”
Klinsmann: “You put in all that effort and work and you feel like you should be rewarded. But it went the other way and this is very good experience for us. It’s important for these players to understand that one little thing can change a game.”
Howard: “It’s hard because one goal kills the game so it looks terrible, but we’ve given up four goals in five games and that’s not the end of the world. We’re not giving teams chances, and that’s a positive thing for me as a goalkeeper. We’re creating chances too; they’re just not falling.”
Bradley: “We’re playing friendly games and trying to build things and lay the groundwork for how we’re going to play and what we’re going to be about moving forward. There are no guarantees that every night, every time we step on the field, it’s going to be perfect. There’s still enough there that we feel like we’re moving ourselves along and as we get into the middle part of next year, into qualifying, that we’ll be ready to go.”