FINAL: France 1, United States 0.
The Americans offered a stable first half before fading after the break. France shifted into high gear early in the second half, and after three serious threats, seized the lead in the 72nd minute on reserve Loic Remy’s strike. The Americans were living on the edge throughout the half. The midfield was non-existent and the backline, which showed well in the first 45 minutes, began to bend.
Karim Benzema headed off the crossbar in the 55th, Tim Howard made a spectacular save on Benzema’s free kick in the 56th, diving to his back and behind the goal line to stop the wicked bid as it reached the threshold. In the 57th, the Americans were fortunate to survive a mad scramble.
Remy’s goal came on a one-timer from 12 yards after warding off Clarence Goodson on a long ball over the top and into the box. Clint Dempsey’s 25-yard free kick in the 78th flew high and wide, and the Americans were lively in the closing minutes.
Juergen Klinsmann made several moves in the second half: Jermaine Jones for Kyle Beckerman, DaMarcus Beasley for Brek Shea, Fabian Johnson (debut) for Danny Williams and Edson Buddle for Maurice Edu. If Michael Bradley doesn’t start Tuesday at Slovenia, one has to wonder about his future under Klinsmann.
Klinsmann’s record fell to 1-4-1 with two goals scored. These matches are of no consequence, but the results and lack of attacking style and punch is worrisome.
HALFTIME: France 0, United States 0.
The Americans were committed and organized, remained largely composed in the back and made things difficult for Les Bleus. However, they didn’t create much. Altidore turned nicely in the box in an effort to beat a defender, who obstructed the path. Play continued. Later, Altidore pulled the ball from the opposition and stung a near-side shot wide of the post. The Dutch-based striker was the U.S. team’s most influential player.
France exhibited more flow in attack and served a few dangerous crosses into the box. Benzema provided a special moment, back-heeling a diagonal ball into space. In the 37th minute, Menez turned at 14 yards and smashed a promising chance well over the bar.
Klinsmann’s lineup for the U.S. national soccer team’s friendly against France:
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard.
Defenders: Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Timmy Chandler.
Midfielders: Daniel Williams, Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea.
Forward: Jozy Altidore.
Subs: Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, DaMarcus Beasley, Edson Buddle.
Not in uniform: Oguchi Onyewu (groin), Alfredo Morales, Robbie Rogers.
France lineup: GK Hugo Lloris (Lyon); Ds Matthieu Debuchy (Lille), Adil Rami (Valencia), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia); MFs Jeremy Menez (PSG), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich); Fs Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (PSG).
TV: 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Univision, ESPN3.com, univisionfutbol.com