CHAD WINGER - Thursday, October 18, 2007
Freddy played the final 13 minutes
SC Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley bumbled home a flukish goal in the 86th minute to end the United States' longest losing streak in 13 years and defeat Switzerland in a drab affair at St. Jakob's Park.
Bob Bradley handed newbie Maurice Edu the start in midfield, in an otherwise nearly-complete first 11 for the travelling Americans, while Swiss boss Jakob Kuhn had eight regular first team players out through injury including top scorer Alex Frei and central defenders Philippe Senderos and Patrick Mueller.
Freddy Adu, making his second international appearance, entered in the 77th for Taylor Twellman. In the match, which was almost devoid of opportunities by both teams, the Benfica whiz kid nearly scored from a Clint Dempsey pass in the waning moments.
Two other international rookies, Robbie Findley and Danny Szetela, joined Edu in making their first national team appearances.
Both teams were booed off the field after a poor first half which had a single chance for each in a driving rain.
David Degen, currently on-loan at FC Basel, had the first chance of the match in the 22nd minute when he attempted to curl a 22nd minute drive past keeper Marcus Hahnemann who caught the drive with ease.
Hansa Rostock left back Heath Pearce came in for DaMarcus Beasley in the 31st minute after the Rangers midfielder was injured in an early challenge.
The first real US opportunity came in the 42nd minute when Eddie Lewis was unable to beat Pascal Zuberbühler with a near post blast to from the left side of the box.
From the ensuing corner, a Bradley shot rebounded to Edu who attempted a side-volley from near the spot, and Carlos Bocanegra, unmarked in the area, attempted to redirect the shot from five yards, but was likewise unable to get it past the Neuchâtel Xamax keeper.
The second half was much of the same, the Swiss having their only chance in the 83rd when Brad Guzan, on for Hahnemann at halftime, handled the ball just outside the area. Hakan Yakin took the free kick, but the CD Chivas netminder was able to snare the dead-ball strike.
Three minutes later the US got their game-winner when Edu pounced on a loose ball at the top of the penalty area, and laid off for substitute Szetela who entered moments earlier for Lewis.
The former Columbus Crew man whipped in a cross for Dempsey who miscontrolled, but luckily had the ball carom off his knee directly to Bradley who beat AJ Auxerre defender Stephane Grichting and poked home past Zuberbühler.
The US close out their 2007 schedule on Saturday, November 17th in Johannesburg, South Africa when they face Bafana Bafana in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup.