U.S. Men’s National Team head coach BOB BRADLEY
On the match:
“We just talked a little bit to the team and certainly congratulated them on a good win, fighting from behind. I thought there were a lot of positives. There were some good efforts, as a whole, things that we’ve been trying to get at in a camp in January and then into February. There were some positive things on the field tonight and again, in these kind of games, showing the qualities on the field, when you get down, trying to push at the end to get a win, obviously a very good play at the end by Sacha [Kljestan] to get us a result.”
On Conor Casey and Brian Ching:
“Brian has just been in this camp. Brian had a little bit of an injury at the end of the season last year. We talked with him, we talked with Dominic Kinnear, we agreed that January he would work on his own, he would do strengthening, and we would get him into camp in February. I think in this camp, it’s like a preseason. He starts and the first few days, you can see it’s a little bit slow. But Brian has qualities on the field in terms of putting himself in good positions, holding balls, bringing guys into the game. He’s a player that works hard for the team. He puts himself in good positions. I think often he makes players around him better because of the type of honest, dirty work that he does. I thought that was clearly the case in the second half. Had some chances, the goalkeeper made some great saves, but he got himself a goal, and I thought he had a good presence.
“Conor has been in both camps. He came on as a reserve against Honduras and then tonight played the first half. I would say that if you look back to last year, Conor showed that he’s a good finisher. For a big man, still, as a striker, he’s deceptive. He finds a way to go by people. He gets chances. He scores different kinds of goals. He scored two very important goals for us in Honduras. I don’t think that in the early part of this year that we’ve seen the best of Conor, yet. What we just talked about with all these guys as we make some decisions tonight with regards to Holland, and then most importantly as we make decisions that go on and later on factor into the World Cup. We’re going to be watching how they’re playing with their teams. We’re going to be looking for form, fitness, mentality and we hope that they can make the decisions as hard as possible on the coaches by playing real well.”
On selecting players for the match against the Netherlands:
“It’s important to say that decisions for Holland involve many different factors. In some cases we might have an idea that we want to see another guy play, so not bring in a player isn’t necessarily a statement that he has for some reason dropped down a little bit, just that we have two opportunities, this week and the next game to see some guys and we also recognize that we’ve had a number of these players away from their club teams a good amount in January, in the case of a guy like Clarence Goodson, because his team in Norway had actually started doing stuff. MLS guys, it’s just been this last stretch but we factor all those things in.”
On the pressure as the time approaches to name a roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:
“There’s always pressure on the coach. It’s okay. We have a good staff. I think we constantly, we watch games, we have discussions, when we’re in camp, every day we’re reevaluating things and as we go forward, we’re confident that we’re going to get a really strong group, a group that will have a great mentality and a group that’s going to go and give it all a great shot.”
On how wide open the roster selection will be:
“If you take injuries out and you hope that certain guys can rehab well, I think that there’s probably a strong nucleus of guys that we’ve seen throughout qualifying that hopefully are going to be there. Again, whether that group is 15, 16, 17 or 18 depends on the discussion at any point. Some days it’s high, some days it’s low and then we just need to continue to watch games and check out rehab and see how it goes.”
On how much he takes into account what goes on in training compared to games:
“All of that gets factored in, but that’s true every time we come in when we have a double fixture date and we have a week of training leading into a game, then we might have an idea as players come in, what we think the lineup might be. But obviously, now, you still need to see when training begins how sharp guys are, are they fit, what’s the mentality, so that’s an on-going thing. You balance opportunities that they get in games with what you see in training. You put it all together and make those kinds of decisions.”
On Jonathan Bornstein:
“I thought Jonny played very well tonight. He has very good defensive qualities. He reads the game well. He’s quick. He’s a very athletic defender even though he’s not that big. We saw him play a lot last year as a centerback for Chivas and he did quite well. We’ve now tried to make sure that he’s comfortable and that in certain situations we can consider that. We thought he played well tonight.”
U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder SACHA KLJESTAN
On scoring in added time after missing a few chances earlier in the match:
“It felt good. It felt like I was doing a lot of the little things right tonight as compared to maybe the game in Honduras where maybe I wasn’t closing down fast enough or making plays in my area or being hard enough to play against. Tonight I think I did those better and that got me in the game more and got me some looks in front of the goal. Obviously, I had two good chances in the first half but I was glad I could make up for it in the end.”
On the goal:
“They were playing around with the ball in the back a lot tonight and at the very end the guy had his head down and I thought he wouldn’t see me coming from his blind side, and I guess I just picked his pocket and Ching played me a good ball back through.”
On whether he feels like he’s putting himself back into a good position with the U.S. MNT:
“I hope so. I feel like in the January and February camps I tried my hardest just to get back in the team. And prove to myself, prove to the teammates and prove to the coaching staff that I want to be here and deserve to be here and can be a positive for the team. I think the game against Honduras wasn’t my best but I think tonight I played a little bit better and I hope to continue to get a chance to move on and be a part of the team.”
On Brian Ching:
“Brian is a guy that makes guys around him better. It’s always easy to play with Ching because he shows up in the tough spots and he puts his body on the line in front of defenders, he holds the ball up well and he brings other guys into the play. When he came on tonight he had a very positive impact. It’s always easy playing with him because he does the tough things in getting a goal and setting off another. I’m just glad we could combine for the last goal.”
U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder EDDIE GAVEN
On his performance:
“I felt good. The team worked really, really hard and it was good to be able to come back after we went down 1-0 to come back and win. It definitely felt good for us tonight.”
On Brian Ching:
“Brian played great. He caused so much havoc for them. He just worked so hard off the ball, created chances and scored a very nice goal. He was very good for us tonight.”
U.S. Men’s National Team Forward JEFF CUNNINGHAM
On the difficulty of working together as a team while competing with teammates for a place on the team:
“The coach reminded that us before the match that we’re still a team. We’re all trying to show our abilities but it’s still a team game and we need to play together and get a result as a team. He knows what he’s looking for and I think we did that tonight. We fought and we deserved to win.”
U.S. Men's National Team Forward BRIAN CHING
Thoughts on tonight's 2-1 victory against El Salvador:
“I thought we played pretty well. We limited their chances and created a lot of chances ourselves. We could have done a better job finishing and put the game away a little earlier, but give credit to the 'keeper; I think he made some great saves.”
On coming onto the field as a second half sub and how he got into the game:
“Sometimes when you sit and watch the first half you kind of get to watch the defense and see how they are reacting. What I wanted to do in the second half was put myself in good positions and I think I did that. I tried to get everybody involved and hold the ball and lay it off and I think that went well today.”
On the experience of coming from behind to get the win:
“It's a young team so to come back from behind is good for us. It's a good learning experience and for a lot of guys, you could see their confidence build as the game went on. There were more and more chances we were getting at the end and everybody believed we could get the win. We went out there and we did it and I think it was a great game for a lot of guys to learn. Sometimes you're going to be in a tough situation and I think we reacted well to it.”
On starting his season off on a positive note:
"Anytime you play well it gives you a little bit of confidence. I hope I can keep that going for whatever my next game is, into the season and hopefully to the World Cup. It's one game so you can't read too much into it, but it was a good start to the season for me and hopefully I can build on that."
U.S. Men's National Team Defender JONATHAN BORNSTEIN
On tonight's 2-1 victory against El Salvador:
"I thought we fought pretty hard to come back. We gave up that goal but I don't think they had many chances other than that. It was a letdown at that moment but the guys showed a lot of character and a lot of heart. We ended up getting two goals in the end and got the W. That makes the game feel a lot better and I thought if we had taken more of our chances we would have been up a lot sooner."
On wearing the captain's armband for the first time:
"It is a tremendous feeling. It was my first game leading the team out onto the field and to get a win in the same game just topped it off. But I thought a lot of the guys showed heart and leadership out there, not just myself. I just tried to do the best job as captain I could."
U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder GEOFF CAMERON
On earning his first cap with the U.S. Men's National Team:
“It’s what you dreamed of when you were a little kid. It's just one stepping stone, and I want to accomplish a lot more as a player. It was a great experience training with the guys and being with the national team, and it was great to get my first cap.”
On fighting for the victory with teammates who have spent two camps together in January and February:
"You're representing your country and it's a little different level. We spent almost a month together during the last training camp and then this one. It's almost all the same guys fighting for it every day. You get used to the guys playing next to you and the win makes it all worthwhile."
- Twenty Players Will Travel from Carson, Calif. to Tampa, Fla. For Feb. 24 Game with El Salvador
- Kickoff for Match Set for 7 p.m. ET, with live Coverage on ESPN Classic and Galavision
CHICAGO (Feb. 20, 2010) â€” U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 20 players to travel to Tampa, Fla. for the Feb. 24 match against El Salvador at Raymond James Stadium. The U.S. team is concluding a ten-day camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. and will travel to Florida on Sunday in preparation for the game.
The match against El Salvador, the USA's second game of 2010, can be seen live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow along at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.
The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. 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. ROSTER BY POSITION Click Here For Detailed RosterÂ
GOALKEEPERS (2): Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
- U.S. Goes Down To 10 Men Only 17 Minutes Into Match
- Goodson Nets Second Career Goal and Second Against Honduras
- U.S. To Continue World Cup Preparations Against El Salvador on February 24 in Tampa
CARSON, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to fellow 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists Honduras in its opening match of 2010 after playing down a man for more than 70 minutes at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Clarence Goodson’s second half goal was not enough to overturn the deficit in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 18,626 fans. The loss ends an eight-game winning streak for the U.S. against Honduras, including four straight victories in 2009, highlighted in October by a 3-2 U.S. win in Honduras that clinched a World Cup berth for the United States.
"The starting point for the game in January is always assessing players," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who concluded a three-week camp with a largely inexperienced group of national team players, including 23 players with less than 10 caps. "Seeing them in a good game, a tough game, gives you the opportunity to find out what guys are all about. It gives you an indication as to where they might fit in as you move things forward. So we take a lot from it.”
The first half opened with some probing attacks by both teams, but neither squad was able to gain possession in the final third. The U.S. was thrust into difficult circumstances after just 17 minutes, when defender Jimmy Conrad was shown a second yellow card for a foul in the box. The ejection was compounded by Honduras’ goal, which Carlos Pavon rammed home from the penalty spot at the second attempt.
"I didn't think we had a good start to the game,” Bradley said. “Maybe some of that was nerves, but the sharpness you want to see at the beginning of games to establish things was not good enough. Obviously, the whole situation where we lose a player on a second yellow card on a play that also gives a [penalty] forces us to chase the game."
Conrad’s early card came back to haunt the U.S. when he was called for pulling down Palacios as the forward ran through the box in the 17th minute. Palacios started the play about 40 yards from goal, looking for a give-and-go to Pavon on his right. Pavon had other ideas and fired a shot over the crossbar, but while running through the box Conrad’s hand grazed the shoulder of Palacios and the Honduran went down easily. Pointing immediately to the spot, Mexican official Benito Archundia then showed a shocked Jimmy Conrad his second yellow of the night before ending the defender’s night with the ensuing red.
Looking to make up for his late penalty miss in Honduras last October, Pavon stepped up and finished cleanly to put Honduras up 1-0. A call from the assistant referee canceled out the goal, but Pavon calmly took the second attempt and placed it inside the left post outside the reach of Perkins to secure the lead in the 19th minute.
Down to 10 men, the U.S. tried to rally, but both forwards again found themselves starved for service. Honduras doubled their lead when Pavon took a pass deep down the right sideline and curled a cross in for Palacios, the striker’s diving header beating Perkins to give Honduras true breathing room.
Despite improved passing in the midfield, the U.S. entered the locker room at the half still looking to get on the scoreboard. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley exchanged defender Clarence Goodson for Cunningham, and the team began the second stanza looking to push to get back in the game.
In the 49th minute, Rogers received a ball from Feilhaber on the left side, and taking the space afforded inside, let fly with a blast from 40 yards that beat Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober but rattled off the right post. Rogers again threatened one minute later, taking a ball down the middle of the pitch before being brought down from behind by Honduran captain Amado Guevara. The Honduran captain was shown a yellow, and the resulting free kick by Sacha Kljestan went high.
Honduras appeared to finish off the game in the 53rd minute with a six-pass sequence that led to their third goal. Taking a throw-in down the left sideline, Guevara passed it to Palacios, who dropped it back to Roger Espinoza at the top left corner of the box. Espinoza gave a small touch to Guevara, who gave it to Palacios running across the top of the box. With the defense looking to close down the shot, Palacios slipped a through ball in for Espinoza, who remained unmarked and tucked a left-footed shot into the far post side netting.
Bradley made four substitutions at the hour mark, bringing on Conor Casey, Heath Pearce, Alejandro Bedoya and Brad Davis. The appearance was the first for Bedoya, giving the young midfielder his first cap at age 22.
The new entrants began to push the pace of the game. It paid off in the 70th minute, when defender Marvell Wynne earned a corner with a streaking run down the right side. Davis sent a floating cross towards the back left post where Goodson rose above Escober’s gloves to head it home for his second-career goal.
With U.S. fans awakening, the Americans kept up the pressure in an attempt to pull back another. Bedoya’s probing run down the right side in the 80th minute resulted in a curling cross looking for Casey, but a tentative Escober managed to punch it clear.
As stoppage time approached, the U.S. earned some late chances, the most threatening a Brad Davis free kick just outside the top of the box. The well struck blast was smartly pushed over the bar by the goalkeeper. Honduras cleared the ensuing corner, and Archundia blew his whistle for the final time on the night to give the U.S. its first January loss since 1997.
U.S defender Jonathan Bornstein enjoyed a kind welcome from Honduran fans, as his goal against Costa Rica in stoppage time on the final day of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying last year clinched a World Cup berth for the small Central American nation. Honduran and U.S. fans alike can bid on the boots Bornstein was wearing when he scored that historic goal at ussoccer.com, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross to help fund relief efforts in Haiti.
The U.S. will continue preparations with a game against El Salvador on February 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Bradley will conduct a camp at The Home Depot Center two weeks before the match, before traveling to Florida.
U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report
Match: United States vs. Honduras
Date: January 23, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Weather: Cool, clear – 55 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
HON 3 0 3
HON – Carlos Pavon (penalty kick) 19th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (Carlos Pavon) 37
HON – Roger Espinoza (Jerry Palacios) 53
USA – Clarence Goodson (Brad Davis) 70
USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Jimmy Conrad (capt.), 8-Chad Marshall (2-Heath Pearce, 61), 4-Marvell Wynne; 14-Robbie Rogers (6-Brad Davis, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber (10-Dax McCarty, 77) 7-Kyle Beckerman (9-Conor Casey, 60), 16-Sacha Kljestan (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 61); 19-Jeff Cunningham (3-Clarence Goodson, 46), 17-Robbie Findley
Subs not used: 18-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
HON: 12-Donis Escober; 5-Erick Norales, 6-Johnny Palacios, 23-Mauricio Sabillon, 17-Roger Espinoza (7-Mariano Acevedo, 90); 19-Danilo Turcios, 20-Amado Guevara (capt.) (13-Melvin Valladares, 56), 21-Emilio Izaguirre, 15-Walter Martinez (14-Oscar Garcia, 68); 9-Carlos Pavon (25-Georgie Welcome, 78), 16-Jerry Palacios (10-Ramon Nunez, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 2-Osman Chavez, 4-Carlos Palacios , 18-Noel Valladares
Head Coach: Reinaldo Ruida
Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 0 / 2
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution) 6th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (caution) 9
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution) 17
USA – Jimmy Conrad (sent off) 17
HON – Amado Guevara (caution) 50
Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Lopez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Jonathan Bornstein
Cunningham Gets First International Goal
Castillo Earns First U.S. Men’s National Team Cap as Second-Half Substitution
U.S. Awaits 2010 FIFA World Cup Draw on Dec. 4
AARHUS, Denmark (Nov. 18, 2009) – Three quick second half goals by Denmark canceled out a first half goal by Jeff Cunningham and provided the Danes with a 3-1 victory against the U.S in their final match of 2009.
Cunningham capitalized on a Danish mistake for the match’s first goal in the 26th minute, but three substitutes made immediate impacts by scoring for Denmark in the first 10 minutes after the break.
“I thought the first half tonight was solid. We stayed organized and got an opportunistic goal," U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley said.
The match was the second in five days in Europe as the U.S. begins their preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and second straight against a fellow World Cup qualifier. The U.S. was one of only five teams to play two fellow World Cup qualified opponents on the final two international matchdays of 2009.
The United States concludes 2009 as the top team in CONCACAF World Cup qualification, besting rival Mexico by one point at the top of the standings. The U.S. also reached the final of a FIFA international tournament for the first time in their history, defeating No. 1 ranked Spain in the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup before eventually falling 3-2 to Brazil in the championship match in South Africa. The following month, a younger and less experienced U.S. team marched through the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, reaching the final for the sixth time.
The U.S. now awaits the draw on Dec. 4 in South Africa to find out their group opponents for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which you can follow on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET or via Drawtracker on ussoccer.com.
“Two-thousand and nine was still an excellent year,” said Bradley. “The main job was to secure qualification for South Africa next June. Today Denmark picked up the pressure early in the second half and the six minute stretch really teaches us some lessons in terms of our reactions and our ability when a team really comes after us. That's something we can really look at closely and try to use down the road.”
Similar to the match against Slovakia, Bradley tapped into the depth of the U.S. player pool without the likes of Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Howard. After making his first-ever appearance at center back for the U.S. on Saturday against Slovakia, Jonathan Spector again partnered with Carlos Bocanegra in the middle of defense. With Howard staying in England to nurse a foot injury, Brad Guzan again started in goal, while veteran Frankie Hejduk started at right back, and up top Cunningham earned his first start for the U.S. in four years.
A trio of players were also added to the roster since the game against Slovakia with the Houston Dynamo duo of Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden getting the starting nod, while Tigres defender Edgar Castillo, who earned his first call-up to national team camp, came on as a substitution in the 61st minute.
Despite playing Denmark five previous times, this was the team’s first game in the Scandinavian nation and Denmark capitalized on an energized crowd to get the first good chance of the match. After a foul by Benny Feilhaber on the right side of the pitch, Jakob Poulsen quickly took the free kick and dropped it in behind the U.S. defense for an onrushing Jesper Grønkjær. The forward was in a full sprint with Hejduk on his back and could not put his shot on frame, firing the volley over the crossbar from eight yards out.
The U.S. responded with their own attack, earning a free kick in the sixth minute. Holden’s cross didn’t find a teammate and the clearance was passed out to Daniel Jensen, but Feilhaber stepped in to strip the ball away. Taking one touch towards the box, the midfielder shot hard towards the near post, but Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen dived to his left and pushed the shot aside.
The next 20 minutes saw probing attacks up and down the field by both teams, but the slick pitch made final shots hard to come by.
The U.S. struck first in the 26th minute from the foot of Cunningham, punishing the Danish defense for a mistake in their end. Sørensen had possession and looked to pass it out to his left back, but neglected to see the MLS Golden Boot winner lurking nearby. Pouncing on the casual pass with his first touch, Cunningham took one more towards the top of the box before letting fly with a left-footed shot that beat the goalkeeper to the near post.
Cunningham’s goal was his first international strike, making him the ninth player this year to get his first goal with the national team and equaling a team record set in 1993. He’s also the 21st different player to score in 2009, setting a new record for the Men’s National Team.
Denmark head coach Morten Olsen made three substitutions to start the second half, bringing on Johan Absalonsen, William Kvist Jørgensen and Søren Rieks. The change paid dividends immediately, as Absalonsen pulled Denmark even in the 47th minute. Receiving a high cross into the top of the box behind the U.S. defense, the forward collected and turned towards the endline on the right side. Holding off Spector, the Dane got a clean shot past Guzan and inside the near post.
Five minutes later the home side took the lead, this time through Rieks. Denmark’s attack down the left side found Absalonsen with space. Turning towards goal and entering the box, the striker drew the defenders towards him—leaving Rieks open on the back post. With Absalonsen sliding the pass across the six yard box, Rieks calmly shot past Guzan to take the lead.
Three minutes later the final damage was done, this time on a strike from Bernburg. A pass into the arc at the top of the box was aiming for Lars Jacobsen, but the defender dove after light contact. With Bocanegra and Spector trying to close down Rieks, the striker slipped a pass between them to Bernburg, who had space to turn and fire past Guzan for a third goal in nine minutes.
Bradley responded with three substitutions of his own in the 61st minute, calling on Eddie Johnson, Robbie Rogers and newcomer Castillo to replace Cunningham, Holden and Michael Bradley, respectively.
Castillo and Rogers did well to combine with Jozy Altidore eight minutes later. Castillo’s pass up towards Altidore was touched back to Rogers 22 yards from goal. Firing a hard shot towards the right, Sørensen dove for the save and held onto the ball.
Content with a two goal lead, Denmark played for possession for the remainder of the game, passing around the pitch in a bid to kill off the clock. Two late free kicks and a Rogers corner caused some trouble for Denmark, but a tight backline ushered the game to a victorious end.
Since taking the helm in 2007, Bradley is 6-6-0 against European opponents, and 2-5-0 on European soil. The U.S. record in 2009 record moved to 13-8-3. The teams had split their previous games with identical 1-1-3 records before today’s match.
In other matches, five teams earned final spots in South Africa next summer. Algeria defeated Egypt in a one-game playoff in Sudan 1-0 to book a spot, while Portugal, Slovenia, Greece and France all won their European playoffs. The final spot is up for grabs between Costa Rica and Uruguay as the South Americans will host tonight’s second leg and hold a 1-0 aggregate lead.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: United States vs. Denmark
Date: Nov. 18, 2009
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: NRGi Park – Aarhus, Denmark
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 46 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
DEN 0 3 3
USA – Jeff Cunningham 26th minute
DEN – Johan Absalonsen (Simon Kjær) 47
DEN – Søren Rieks (Johan Absalonsen) 52
DEN – Martin Bernburg (Søren Rieks) 55
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 22-Frankie Hejduk, 2-Jonathan Spector (15-Jimmy Conrad, 70), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (25-Clarence Goodson, 70), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (19-Robbie Rogers, 61), 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley (33-Edgar Castillo, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber; 17-Jozy Altidore (28-Dax McCarty, 80), 32-Jeff Cunningham (36-Eddie Johnson, 61)
Subs not used: 35-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
DEN: 1-Thomas Sørensen; 6-Lars Jacobsen, 3-Simon Kjær, 4-Per Krøldrup, 5-Michael Lumb; 7-Daniel Jensen (18-Johan Absalonsen, 46), 2-Christian Poulsen (13-William Kvist Jørgensen, 46), 8-Jacob Poulsen; 10- Martin Jørgensen (capt.) (19-Jesper Bech, 80), 9-Morten Rasmussen (17-Martin Bernburg, 35, 20-Thomas Enevoldsen, 90), 11- Jesper Grønkjær (15-Søren Rieks, 46)
Subs not used: 12-Anders Møller Christensen, 14- Leon Jessen,16-Kim Christensen
Head Coach: Morten Olsen
Stats Summary: USA / DEN
Shots: 7 / 8
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 3 / 1
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Cunningham (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Gordon Middleton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Michael Svendsen (DEN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (Nov. 14, 2009) – A penalty kick on the only shot of the first half by Slovakia was the deciding factor as the U.S. lost the first ever meeting between the two 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists 1-0 at Tehelne Pole in Bratislava.
The U.S. continues preparations for next summer’s World Cup in South Africa traveling on Sunday to face another fellow 2010 qualifier, Denmark, on Wednesday, Nov. 18 in Aarhus. Prior to the Denmark game, some roster changes are expected pending the results of this weekend’s matches involving some of the team’s North America-based players.
The match against Denmark will kickoff on ESPN Classic live at 2:30 p.m. ET and then will switch over to ESPN2 immediately following the conclusion of the UEFA qualifying playoff match between Ukraine and Greece. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at www.twitter.com/ussoccer. The U.S. is just one of five teams that was able to schedule two matches on these FIFA international fixture dates against two 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists.
“I thought we had a good start in the match in the first 25 minutes,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “The penalty and going down 1-0 changed the game. Slovakia is a very well organized team and has a lot of people behind the ball. We were not sharp enough with our ability in the attacking third to make a play and get through the defense.”
With several regulars unavailable for selection due to club commitments and injury, Bradley tested his depth without the likes of Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Howard. Other than U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, the three central defenders with the most caps in 2009 – Onyewu (knee), Jay DeMerit (eye) and Chad Marshall (knee) – were unavailable due to injury, which meant Jonathan Spector got his first start in central defense alongside Bocanegra. With Howard staying in England to nurse a foot injury, Brad Guzan started in goal for the first time since the Egypt match at the Confederations Cup.
The U.S. started strong in the first half, getting five total shots and forcing Slovakia’s Ján Mucha to make four saves, but in the end couldn’t break through for the equalizer. In the second minute, Michael Bradley headed the ball into the net after a second-straight corner taken by Robbie Rogers, but Jozy Altidore was ruled offside during the scramble in the box before the U.S. midfieler finished past the Slovakian goalkeeper.
The U.S. continued to press in the first part of the match with Steve Cherundolo getting two crosses into the area as he overlapped from his position at right back. In the 22nd minute, Clint Dempsey had a good look on goal from the top of the area, but his left-footed strike swerved just wide left.
With the match settling down and the U.S. controlling most of the possession, Slovakia earned a penalty kick in the 25th minute. Starting off a throw-in deep in U.S. territory, Róbert Vittek played a ball into the top right corner of the penalty area for Vladimír Weiss. Jockeying for position to win the through ball, Jonathan Bornstein made contact with Weiss, who went down easily, and Austrian referee Stefan Messner immediately pointed to the spot. Marek Hamsík calmly scored the penalty shooting right as Guzan guessed the wrong way on the only shot he faced in the first 45 minutes.
As has been the case for most of 2009, the U.S. continued to battle back against the deficit. After a pair of good buildups by the U.S., Altidore’s shot from 18 yards and Benny Feilhaber’s shot from 23 yards forced Mucha to make saves.
In the 37th minute, Dempsey pushed Mucha to make his best save of the half on a free kick from long distance on the left wing. The U.S. set up a play that drew one of two players out of the Slovakia wall, opening the space for Dempsey to hit a low line-drive at the far post.
The U.S. started the second half with Eddie Johnson replacing Conor Casey. Making his first appearance since June 15, 2008, he had the first U.S. chance of the half. Dempsey dribbled up the center channel and found Johnson on the right side of the area, but the forward’s touch went a bit long and his shot hit side netting.
Slovakia found consecutive opportunities on counter attacks, forcing Guzan to save a pair of Erik Jendrisek shots. In the 52nd minute, a Feilhaber turnover allowed Slovakia to attack and a good combination eventually got the ball to Jendrisek on the left, but his shot to the far post didn’t fool Guzan. Two minutes later, Jendrisek got behind from a tough angle on the left and Guzan came off his line to cut down the angle and make a stellar save.
Dempsey’s second free kick of the game once again called on Slovakia’s defense to make a play. After Rogers was taken down 27 yards from goal, Róbert Vittek stuck out a leg on the right side of the wall to block the shot into the air before it bounced and spun just wide of the right post as Mucha struggled to slug through the muddy six-yard box to try and cover.
In the 72nd minute, Bocanegra gave way for Clarence Goodson, and right away Slovakia nearly capitalized on the new U.S. pairing in central defense. Ján Durica mishit a low shot that found the feet of striker Stanislav Sesták, who led the Slovaks in scoring in World Cup qualifying with six goals. With time to gather and shoot, Guzan did well for a third time in the match to come off his line and make a big save.
Bradley went to his bench late and Dax McCarthy and Jeff Cunningham became the 52nd and 53rd players, respectively, used by Bradley his year (Johnson was the 51st coming on at halftime). For McCarthy, it was his first cap with the full national team as he became the 15th player from the 2008 Olympic roster to make an appearance. Cunningham, the top scorer in MLS in 2009, made his first appearance since Sept. 7, 2005.
Sacha Kljestan came on in the 82nd minute to make his first appearance since the Confederations Cup and his first touch was a free kick that forced Mucha to punch out of his six-yard box.
Down the stretch, the U.S. continued to press and hold possession but could not break down Slovakia’s defense, which gave up just 10 goals in Group 3 UEFA qualifying matches.
Since taking the helm in 2007, Bradley is 6-5-0 against European opponents, and 2-4-0 on European soil. The U.S. record in 2009 record moved to 13-7-3.
In other results around the world, three more teams qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – New Zealand, Nigeria and Cameroon.
- U.S. Men's National Team Match Report -
Match: United States vs. Slovakia
Date: November 14, 2009
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Tehelné Pole – Bratislava, Slovakia
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET)
Weather: Overcast, 45 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
SVK 1 0 1
SVK – Marek Hamsik (penalty kick) 26th minute
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 2-Jonathan Spector, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (25-Clarence Goodson, 72), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 19-Robbie Rogers (16-Sacha Kljestan, 82), 5-Benny Feilhaber, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (28-Dax McCarty, 72); 17-Jozy Altidore (32-Jeff Cunningham, 82), 9-Conor Casey (36-Eddie Johnson, 46)
Subs not used:, 15-Jimmy Conrad, 35-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
SVK: 1-Ján Mucha; 5-Radoslav Zabavník, 3-Martin Skrtel, 16-Ján Durica, 4-Marek Cech (2-Peter Pekarík, 90+2); 7-Vladimír Weiss (14-Juraj Kucka, 82), 6-Miroslav Karhan (8-Ján Kozák, 90+1) 17-Marek Hamsík (capt.) (15- Zdeno Strba, 90+1), 10-Miroslav Stoch (9-Stanislav Sesták, 61); 11-Róbert Vittek (13-Dusan Svento, 68); 18-Erik Jendrisek
Subs not used: 12-Lubos Kamenár
Head Coach: Vladimir Weiss
Stats Summary: USA / SVK
Shots: 8 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3
Referee: Stefan Messner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Claus Strasser (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Moser (AUT)
Fourth Official: Richard Trutz (SVK)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
Date of Birth
Aug 21, 1976
Crystal River, Fla.