CARSON, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National Team opened 2011 with a 1-1 draw against Chile in front of 18,580 fans this evening at The Home Depot Center. The U.S., which started a very young and inexperienced squad, came from behind to earn the draw.
Chile got on the board first in the 53rd minute when Esteban Paredes brought down a cross from Felipe Seymour and struck an impressive shot from close range. The U.S. equalized in the 75th minute after Juan Agudelo was tripped up in the penalty area by the Chilean defense. Teal Bunbury stepped up and buried the penalty kick, slotting it into the lower right corner for the first goal of his national team career.
“From the start of this camp we talked about how international games are faster so our movement needs to be better and things need to be cleaner,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who is now 3-1-1 all-time in opening matches of the year as head coach of the MNT. “For the past few weeks we tried to establish an idea of what that's like and today that's exactly what we got. We had seven guys get their first cap tonight, so that's always positive. When you have a young group of guys in camp, at the end of everything you want to put it to the test and it gives you a good picture of where these guys are, and I think that part was excellent.”
Four players in Bradley’s lineup against Chile were making their national team debut: Sean Franklin and Zach Loyd on the back line, Jeff Larentowicz as a holding midfielder and Chris Wondolowski playing as the lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation. By the end of the game seven players had earned their first caps as goalkeeper Sean Johnson came on at halftime, Anthony Wallace entered in the 73rd minute and Eric Alexander was the last of the debutants in the 83rd minute. Loyd was named the Budweiser Man of the Match for his performance at left back.
Starting midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who came in with the most experience on the squad, earned his seventh appearance, while Dax McCarty, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his career, earned his fifth international cap.
The game lacked much rhythm in the early going as players on both teams adjusted to the pace, but as it continued, both teams settled in and created several good chances.
Chile earned the first shot on goal with a dangerous free kick from the left edge of the penalty area. Edson Puch ripped a shot directly on goal, but Nick Rimando did well to see the shot and make the stop.
McCarty marshaled the center of the field and created the first opportunity of the match for the U.S. in the 12th minute. After collecting the ball in midfielder, the D.C. United midfielder moved forward and ripped a shot about 35 yards from goal that forced Chilean goalkeeper Paulo Garces into a nice save to tip the attempt over the cross bar.
Two minutes later, the U.S. was back on the attack. After a good buildup on the left flank, the ball was pushed inside to Brek Shea and he quickly touched it ahead for Wondolowski. The San Jose Earthquakes striker did well to turn sharply against his defender and hit a low shot, but Garces was able to sprawl out for the save.
In the 53rd minute, Chile took the lead when Paredes found himself on the end of a cross from Seymour. The ball took a hop after Paredes’ first touch just outside the six-yard box and he leapt sideways to strike a full volley past a helpless Johnson, who had come on for Rimando at halftime.
Agudelo and Bunbury both entered in the 59th minute and immediately added an offensive spark by combining on a number of attacks forward.
Building up near the center of the pitch, Agudelo played a great give-and-go with Bedoya near the top of the penalty area. Getting the ball back, Agudelo carried the ball past one defender but was tripped up by Chilean defender Francisco Silva. Referee Francisco Chacon Gutierrez did not hesitate to point to the spot, and Bunbury finished the ensuing to his right.
The U.S. is now 3-4-2 all time against Chile, but is undefeated in the last four matches against the South American side.
The next game for the U.S. will be against Egypt in Cairo on Feb. 9. That match, which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET, will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
After the Egypt match, the U.S. will return to home soil to take on two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Argentina on March 26 in East Rutherford, N.J. Kickoff at the New Meadowlands Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision. Three days later, the U.S. hosts Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville. The match will be televised live on an ESPN network and TeleFutura beginning at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
Match: USA vs. Chile
Date: January 22, 2011
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center – Carson, California
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Weather: 60 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
Chile 0 1 1
CHI – Esteban Paredes (Felipe Seymour) 53rd minute
USA – Teal Bunbury (penalty) 75
USA: 18-Nick Rimando (1-Sean Johnson, 46); 15-Sean Franklin, 5-Tim Ream, 4-Omar Gonzalez (2-Marvell Wynne, 46), 12-Zach Loyd (3-Anthony Wallace, 73); 8-Jeff Larentowicz, 10-Dax McCarty (capt.); 7-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Eric Alexander, 83) 16-Mixx Diskerud, 21-Brek Shea (17-Juan Agudelo, 60); 11-Chris Wondolowski (9-Teal Bunbury, 60)
Subs not used: 6-A.J. DeLaGarza
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
CHI: 1-Paulo Garces, 16-Paulo Maglhaes, 5-Sebastian Toro, 2-Eugenio Mena, 3-Juan Abarca, 8-Fernando Meneses (capt.), 6-Francisco Silva, 20-Luis Pedro Figueroa (14-Felipe Seymour, 46), 9-Esteban Paredes, 18-Edson Puch, 10-Daude Gazele (4-Lucas Dominguez, 71)
Subs not used: 7-Franco Ragusa, 11-Felipe Gutierrez, 12-Raul Olivares, 13-Santiago Dittborn, 15-Nicolas Mancilla
Head Coach: Marcelo Bielsa
Stats Summary: USA / CHI
Shots 7 / 9
Shots on Goal 4 / 3
Saves 2 / 3
Corner Kicks 2 / 0
Fouls 18 / 9
Offside 4 / 5
CHI – Francisco Silva (caution) 17th minute
USA – Zach Loyd (caution) 23
CHI – Sebastian Toro (caution) 82
Referee: Francisco Chacon Gutierrez (MEX)
First Asst.: José Luis Camargo (MEX)
Second Asst: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Fourth: Ricardo Salazar (USA)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Zach Loyd