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U.S. Mens National Team Draws Poland 2-2 at Soldier Field


  • Altidore Opens Scoring with his 10th Career Goal in the 13th Minute  
  • Jones Earns Assist in First Cap for the U.S.  
  • Onyewu Scores Second Goal for U.S. but Poland Equalizes for Draw  
  • Next Match for the U.S. is Against Colombia on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2010) — In the first of their final three matches in 2010, the U.S. Men’s National Team drew with Poland 2-2 behind goals from Jozy Altidore and Oguchi Onyewu in front of 31,696 fans at Soldier Field.

The U.S. twice took the lead, on Altidore’s goal in the 13th minute and again on Onyewu’s in the 52nd, but Poland was able to respond both times to earn the draw. The tie was the second straight for the U.S. against Poland on home soil as the last match between the two countries on July 11, 2004 – which was also played at Soldier Field – ended in a 1-1 draw.

The U.S. will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday to prepare for their match against Colombia on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at PPL Park in Chester. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.

A few changes in the roster will be made before the match against Colombia as U.S. head coach Bob Bradley released defender Carlos Bocanegra back to St. Entienne, while FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea and defender Heath Pearce will join the team in Philadelphia on Sunday. 

U.S. head coach Bob Bradley used a 4-2-3-1 formation to start the match, placing Maurice Edu – normally used as a central midfielder – in central defense alongside Oguchi Onyewu who earned his first start since the World Cup. Jermaine Jones, who earned his first cap for the U.S. after recovering from a shin injury that delayed him from joining the team for more than a year, started in central midfield along with Michael Bradley. In front of them were Stuart Holden, Clint Dempsey and Benny Feilhaber, while Altidore started alone up top.

"We started the game off well and did a good job to earn an early goal," said Bradley. "We let them back into the game and could have done better to keep more of the tempo. The same thing happened in the second half, as we were able to take the lead, but again weren't sharp enough to finish the game off. Overall, we'll take some of the positives from this game and continue to work on the areas where we need to be better."

Altidore opened the scoring in just the 13th minute. His 10th career goal came after U.S. debutant Jermaine Jones played a perfectly weighted ball over the Polish back line. Altidore took the ball down with his first touch and with his second, took a low hard shot past Artur Boruc to take the lead.

In the 22nd minute, Tim Howard was up to the task when Robert Lewandowski sneaked through two U.S. defenders and had a clear breakaway opportunity. Lewandowski was unchallenged as he carried the ball into the box, but Howard got a foot on his low shot to keep the U.S. ahead.

Poland did get on the board with a goal in the 30th minute after a failed clearance attempt led to some confusion in the box. Ludovic Obraniak controlled the ball with his feet and laid it off for an oncoming Adam Matuszczyk. Matuszczyk smacked a shot low, and Howard was unable to make the diving save.

Minutes before halftime, the U.S. began an attack with some deft passing through the midfield. Bradley and Holden combined to send Altidore through on the attack. The 20-year-old hit a first time shot that smacked off the crossbar.

In the second half, the U.S. came out and took command early on. The pressure finally paid off in the 52nd minute when Onyewu converted a corner kick at the far post. Taking one of the United State’s five corner kicks on the night, Stuart Holden drove the ball into the crowded penalty area where the 6-foot 4-inch defender was able to outmuscle his defender and head the ball straight to the far side netting.

The U.S. couldn’t hold the lead though as Poland would round out the scoring and earn the road draw on another defensive miscue. After losing possession near the top of the area, Ludovic Obraniak took the ball down and slipped it to Jakub Blaszcykowski. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder hit a perfect shot with the outside of his right foot that curled around Howard and landed just inside the far post.

The U.S. nearly took the lead for a third time in the 90th minute when Onyewu came close to putting away his second goal on the night. Once again, the opportunity came from a Holden corner kick, and Onyewu headed it towards goal but it was cleared off the line at the last moment by a Polish defender. Despite the close call, the ball clearly did not cross the goal line.

Before the match, former U.S. international striker Brian McBride, a native of Arlington Heights, Ill., was acknowledged on the field. The three-time World Cup veteran, who is retiring from professional soccer at the end of the season, finished his national team career with 30 goals in 96 appearances, and was the first U.S. player to score in multiple World Cups.

The match against Colombia will mark the national team’s return to Philadelphia – one of 18 cities included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 – for only the third time since 1990, and will play their first match at the new home of Philadelphia Union. Philadelphia leads all U.S. bid cities in petition signatures supporting the bid with 84,335 signatures, ahead of Houston with 76,391 signatures and Indianapolis with 74,916 signatures.

After the Colombia match, the U.S. will play their final game of the year on Nov. 17 against South Africa at the magnificent Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. The U.S. will be returning to South Africa for the first time since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where they finished in first place in Group C ahead of England, Slovenia and Algeria before going out in the Round of 16. Coverage of the match against Bafana Bafana begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the match will also be broadcast live on Galavision. Fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker or at twitter.com/ussoccer.

- U.S. Soccer Match Report -

Match: United States vs. Poland
Date: October 9, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 31,696
Weather: Clear – 67 degrees

Scoring Summary:             1              2              F
USA                                     1              1              2
POL                                     1              1              2

USA –Jozy Altidore (Jermaine Jones)                           13th minute
POL – Adam Matuszczyk (Ludovic Obraniak)                 29
USA – Oguchi Onyewu (Stuart Holden)                        52
POL – Jakub Blaszczykowski (Ludovic Obraniak)            73

Lineups:
USA:  1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 19-Maurice Edu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.); 15-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 11-Stuart Holden, 8-Clint Dempsey, 22-Benny Feilhaber (7-Alejandro Bedoya,63 ); 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Jonathan Spector, 9-Eddie Johnson, 13-Eric Lichaj, 16-Michael Parkhurst, 21-Clarence Goodson
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

POL:  1-Artur Boruc; 2-Lukasz Mierzejewski, 8-Rafal Murawski, 9-Robert Lewandowski, 10-Ludovic Obraniak, 14-Michael Zewlakow (capt.), 15-Adam Matuszczyk, 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski, 18- Adrian Mierzejewski (17-Andrzej Niedzielan, 71), 24-Dariusz Pietrasiak, 26-Lukasz Piszczek
Subs not used: 4-Hubert Wolakiewicz, 5-Grzegorz Bonin, 6-Jacek Kielb, 7-Ebi Smolarek, 12-Przemyslaw Tyton, 13-Kamil Glik, 19-Bartosz Salamon, 20-Radoslaw Majewski, 21-Artur Jedrzejczyk, 22-Grzegorz Sandomierski, 23-Kamil Grosicki
Head Coach: Franciszek Smuda

Stats Summary: USA / POL
Shots: 17 / 8
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
POL – Dariusz Pietrasiak (caution)                77th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution)                      84 

Officials:
Referee:                  Steven DePiero (CAN)
AR1:                       Darren Clark (CAN)
AR2:                       Phillippe Briere  (CAN)
Fourth Official:         Jorge Gonzalez (USA)

ussoccer.com  Man of the Match:
Steve Cherundolo

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