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Michael Bradley

Comeback Falls Short as U.S. Men's National Team Defeated 2-1 to the Netherlands

  • Carlos Bocanegra’s Goal Ends U.S. Scoreless Streak against the Dutch
  • Kuyt, Huntelaar Score for the Netherlands
  • U.S. to Host Send-Off Series Games in Hartford, Philadelphia

AMSTERDAM (March 3, 2010) – The U.S. pressured the Netherlands late with three chances to tie the game in the closing minutes, but could not get the equalizer, falling 2-1 at Amsterdam ArenA in the final match before Bob Bradley selects his roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

After falling behind 2-0 in the 73rd minute, Carlos Bocanegra’s 12th career goal in the 88th minute provided the U.S. with its first-ever score against the Dutch, who had shut out the U.S. in three previous meetings. DaMarcus Beasley, who came on in the 34th minute for an injured Stuart Holden, assisted on the set piece goal after drawing the foul.

After cutting the deficit to one, the U.S. had three chances to equalize. Alejandro Bedoya drew a free kick just outside of the penalty area, and Beasley’s 18-yard free kick beat the wall but found the goalkeeper’s hands in the 90th minute. In the first minute of stoppage time, Clarence Goodson overshot a difficult side-volley from six yards out, and in the fourth minute of stoppage time Jozy Altidore cut inside to get shot off from 22 yards that Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg dived right to save.

The Netherlands took the lead on a 40th-minute penalty kick by Dirk Kuyt after Wesley Sneijder was tugged down by Jonathan Bornstein in the penalty area. The lead was doubled in the 73rd minute as Sneijder orchestrated a Dutch attack that resulted in a goal by Klaas Jan Huntelaar that deflected off Bornstein at the top of the penalty area.

"Certainly it was a good test for us, and I think overall the team played well,” Bradley said. “The collective effort was pretty solid. There were moments where it needed to be sharper, quicker and better and we still need to raise the bar. Late in the game it was nice to see a good push. We had the ability to move the ball forward get people running off it and we created some good opportunities. We take a lot from the game.”

The U.S. is now 0-4-0 all-time against the Netherlands, currently ranked third in the world by FIFA. The U.S. is 2-12-1 all-time against teams ranked in the top three.

The most dangerous moment the U.S. allowed early on came off José Torres’ foot as he cleared a 50-50 ball toward his own goal, forcing Tim Howard to tip it out for a corner in the 12th minute.

Sneijder, the most dangerous player for the Dutch on the day, twice forced Howard into saves with shots from outside of the penalty area in the first half. On the flanks, Arjen Robben and in particular, Eljero Elia, were dangerous and challenged Bornstein and Jonathan Spector, the U.S. left and right backs, respectively.

Already missing regulars including Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, Ricardo Clark, Charlie Davies and Benny Feilhaber, the injury bug bit again in the 30th minute when Nigel de Jong recklessly tackled Holden in the middle of the field, earning a yellow card. Holden left the game with a shin contusion and was immediately taken for precautionary X-rays.

In the 33rd minute, Torres – who earned his third career start – nearly gave the U.S. the lead with a shot from 30 yards out that just sailed over Stekelenburg’s crossbar for the only U.S. chance in the first 45 minutes.

The Netherlands opened the scoring in the 40th minute as Liverpool’s Kuyt slotted in a penalty as cross-town rival Howard of Everton dove left and the shot went inside the opposite post. Sneijder drew the penalty after a Gregory van der Wiel cut inside from the right wing and played a ball to his feet allowing him to turn into the penalty area unmarked. Bornstein turned to try to cover the open man, but tugged Sneijder’s arm and the midfielder went down to draw the whistle.

Five minutes into the second half, the Netherlands continued to make a statement with Sneijder the author. He played a bending ball over the U.S. back line that found Elia making a perfectly-timed run. Howard came off his line as Elia’s touch allowed Bornstein time to catch up, and the U.S. goalkeeper used his legs to save the low shot in tight space.

Bradley introduced Bedoya, who made just his second appearance for the U.S., for Robbie Findley in the 63rd minute, and pushed Landon Donovan up top from his left midfield position. The U.S. almost immediately created its best passing sequence of the half with Bedoya, Donovan and Michael Bradley all getting touches before Beasley’s cross from outside the right post was too far ahead of Altidore, who hit a shot into the side netting as he stretched to shoot from a very tight angle.

The Netherlands repeated the passing demonstration with some trademark ball control that resulted in the second goal in the 73rd minute. Sneijder again fueled the attack, holding the ball and keeping the U.S. midfielders on their toes before he played a ball to Rafael van der Vaart. He quickly got the ball to Huntelaar. With space, he ripped a hard shot that deflected off Bornstein’s chest as the U.S. defender tried to get out of the way. The deflection gave a committed Howard no chance to recover as he watched it bounce to his right into the goal to give the Oranje a 2-0 lead.

In the 82nd minute, Howard kept the U.S. in the game making the last of his four saves the best. Real Madrid’s van der Vaart, a second-half sub for the hosts, blasted a bending, left footed shot from 23 yards out that Howard kept out of the top corner with a sprawling, right handed save.

Bocanegra’s goal moved him into a tie for 12th place on the all-time scoring list for the U.S. with Clint Mathis, Frank Klopas and Eddie Johnson. He is one behind Marcelo Balboa (13) for the most all-time by a defender.

Making his first appearance since June 18, 2009, against Brazil, Beasley’s assist was his first point since Oct. 11, 2008, against Cuba.

The match featured the on-field debut of the 2010 Men's National Team away kit which the team will wear during this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Designed by Nike with the national culture and identity of the U.S. in mind, the new away jersey is obsidian blue with a white sash with red trim across the front from the right shoulder to the left side and is made of recycled materials. Replica jerseys are available for purchase now at

Following a training camp that begins in mid May, the U.S. will play a two-match Send-Off Series in late May before departing for South Africa. First, on May 25 the U.S. will play host to the Czech Republic at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., with an 8 p.m. ET kickoff. Four days later, the U.S. will kick off Memorial Day weekend against Turkey in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, May 29, at 2 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match in Connecticut go on sale March 11, and more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the match in Philadelphia. More ticket information and television listings for both matches is available on the Schedule & Tickets page.

The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After traveling to South Africa on May 30, the U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

- U.S. Men's National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. vs. Netherlands
Date: March 3, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA; Amsterdam, Netherlands
Kickoff: 8:45 p.m. local/2:45 p.m. ET
Attendance: 46,630
Weather: 40 degrees

Scoring Summary:     1     2     F
USA                            0     1     1
NED                            1     1     2

NED – Dirk Kuyt (penalty kick)                             40th minute
NED – Klass jan Huntelaar (Rafael van der Vaart)   73
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (DaMarcus Beasley)          88

USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector, 15-Jay DeMerit (11-Heath Pearce, 70), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 13-Jonathan Bornstein (21-Clarence Goodson, 86); 22-Stuart Holden (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 34), 14-José Torres (16-Maurice Edu, 46), 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan (9-Eddie Johnson, 76); 12-Jozy Altidore, 19-Robbie Findley (17-Alejandro Bedoya, 63)
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

NED: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen (20-Ron Vlaar, 46), 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst (capt.) (15-Edson Braafheid, 67); 7-Arjen Robben (19-Klaas jan Huntelaar, 46), 8-Nigel de Jong (23-Rafael van der Vaart, 60), 10-Wesley Sneijder, 6-Mark van Bommel (17-Ibrahim Afellay, 74); 11-Eljero Elia, 9-Dirk Kuyt (21-Ryan Babel, 81)
Subs not used: 12-Andre Ooijer, 13-Piet Velthuizen, 14-Demy de Zeeuw, 16-Sander Boshker, 18-Orlando Engelaar, 22-Stijn Schaars
Head Coach: Bert van Marwijk

Stats Summary: USA / NED
Shots: 8 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 17
Offside: 1 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
NED – Nigel de Jong (caution)         31st minute
USA – José Torres (caution)            31
NED – Edson Braafheid (caution)      90

Referee: Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tank Ongun (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Fourth Official: Serdar Gozübüyük (NED)

Man of the Match:
Michael Bradley