KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Julian Green's first half goal was canceled out by Monty Patterson's strike as the United States settled for a tie with New Zealand on Tuesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.
Back on home soil after 2-0 win over Cuba last week, the Americans were looking to improve on their play compared with what happened in Havana, but they would find it difficult against a New Zealand team that played quite well.
US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded almost an entirely different starting eleven compared with the Cuba game. William Yarbrough got the start in goal while Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco and Kellyn Acosta formed the defensive line. Perry Kitchen and DeAndre Yedlin started in midfield with Michael Bradley and Sacha Klejstan. Green partnered with Jozy Altidore up top.
It was yet another slow start for the US in the early stages of the game and they nearly conceded the first goal as Chris Wood unleashed a powerful left-footed shot at goal that Yarbrough had difficulty handling. However, the linesman had judged that Wood was offside.
After a period of struggling to get the offense going, the Americans got their first opportunity in the 14th minute. Altidore took a crack at goal from the top of the area, but it was blocked.
The US then found the goal they were looking for in the 27th minute. Green, who scored the team's second goal against Cuba, collected the ball from an Altidore header and began his run down the field. He cut to his right as defender Liam Graham also had to monitor the overlapping run by Acosta, and unleashed a shot that beat goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic at his near post to the Americans the lead.
It seemed that the US were starting to gain a rhythm as the game progressed, but things changed in the second half.
Lynden Gooch entered the game in the 58th minute to earn his first senior cap for the US and made quite an impression with his display on the field.
Gooch created the first chance for the team to extend its lead in the 64th minute as his cross found Green, but the Bayern Munich player's effort was too high.
The lack of offensive punch and settling things down on the defensive end came to haunt the US in the 72nd minute when New Zealand found the equalizer. Altidore failed scoffed at the ball from the visitor's corner kick, allowing Patterson to pounce and fire it past David Bingham, who replaced Yarbrough in the second half.
The US did have one last opportunity to break the deadlock when Gooch sent a corner kick into the area, but Gonzalez's header sailed over the bar.
It was a lackluster game for the US, but hopefully they will be prepared come November 11 when they face Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, to kick off the Hex.
Terrence Boyd entered the game in the 88th minute, marking his first time to play for the US since recovering from a knee injury he suffered in December 2014.