MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, November 11, 2011
France vs United States
Friendly - Friday November 11, 2011
Stade de France
On a chilly night it Paris, it was the French who were the hotter team as they sent the Americans to yet another defeat. The coup de gras was delivered by substitute Loic Remy in the second half.

The Americans could only manage two shots on goal, giving team captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris a quiet night between the sticks.

Les Bleus started the game by refusing to share the ball with their visitors as they kept the ball for long spells. A Brek Shea steal however showed the hosts that the USA were here to play however as the Americans slowly got into the game.

Ten minutes Jeremy Menez found some space as he was played through the middle and burst past a defender but Clarence Goodson came to the rescue to intercept before any damage could be done. The French were at it again a minute later too but the defense was holding strong.

A pair of minutes later Shea was on the ball but was taken down by a Mathieu Debuchy elbow that leveled him. The Greek referee Micheal Koukoulakis however, must have blinked and missed it as he waved play on.

The French continued to have the lions' share of the ball and they almost paid dividends with it when it was played over the top to Karim Benzema. Carlos Bocanegra however saw it coming and made the Read Madrid man run for nothing.

Clint Dempsey picked out Timmy Chandler charging up the left wing and the Hoffenheim man whipped the ball into the box for Jozy Altidore but Lloris reached it first to deny the Jersey boy.

After Mathieu lost the ball on top of the box, Benzema found himself in possession and stuck a shot from the far left top of the box but again, this comes to nothing.

Benzema was at it most of the night and twenty minutes in he spotted Franck Ribery's run. The ball however went wide and the return ball was whipped into the box and across goal, no Frenchmen in sight, thus only producing empty promises to the capacity French crowd.

Adil Rami was looking for an assist but his pass to Ribery bearing down on goal ended in the Bayern man shooting wide of the post from very close range.

The Americans won their first corner soon afterwards that Steve Cherundolo whipped it. Maurice Edu got a head to it from six yards out but the lack of power enabled the Lyon shot stopper to make a simple save.

Altidore had a decent chance on the 34th minute mark when he bared down on goal, raced past a pair of defenders but as he struck from inside the box his effort skimmed wide of the near post.

Benzema found Ribery again and the midfielder danced around would-be defenders and managed a half hearted shot, as the crowd started to show their frustrations.

Five minutes before the intermission the French did manage a shot on goal after a clumsy Kyle Beckerman brought down Menez. The shot from distance was taken by the fouled Frenchman however Howard easily scooped it up.

Yann M'Vila played the ball cross field to Mathieu Debuchy and when the Lille defender played it into the box, he soon realized that there wasn't a team mate in sight.

Americans were very lucky not to concede a goal in the first 45 minutes as they appeared to lack any kind of shape and had the French attacking as they didn't at the D-Day landings!

The hosts came out of the locker room and got back to business almost immediately with Mathieu and Ribery charging forward almost immediately. This is soon followed by a free kick from 25 yards out after Altidore brought down Alou Diarra. Rami took the shot and missed the target completely.

Kyle Beckerman got off a shot of his own in the 51st minute from roughly the same distance but it was hit so feebly that it bounced a couple times before it reached the keeper.

Laurent Blanc's men came closer a few minutes later when a flick on by Benzema was drilled at the goal by Rami, but the man who plays his club soccer for Valencia only managed to rattle the post.

The pressure just wouldn't stop and a 20 yard free kick by the Madrid man almost resulted in the first goal of the night and would have had it not been for Tim Howard who was having a busy night.

The French side would pin the Americans back as soon as they gained possession and often by fouling but the Greek referee was obviously trying to gain French favors by leaving his whistle and cards in his pocket.

This opinion was reinforced in the 63rd minue when Altidore found an opening and burst through the middle but before he could make it to the box after flying past Diarra, he is bought down by Rami. But the Greek was bearing gifts again.

Chandler did manage to get a shot off 20 minutes into the second half but could only watch it sail over the crossbar. This was soon followed by a Maurice Edu attempt from the top fo the box but it was smothered by the defenders.

That elusive French goal should have come in the 69th minute when substitute Marvin Martin found himself with the ball and nobody around but Howard. He shoots from close range but the Evertonian's chests blocks it again and it falls to another sub, Olivier Giroud. With nothing but net in front of him from a comfortable distance, the Montpellier forward sends it high over the goal. It was the miss of the night.

The break through finally came in the 72nd minute. Remy broke into the final third and beats Goodson before firing a scorcher past Howard to send the crowd into a frenzy.

Fulham's Dempsey challenged a trio of defenders but is brought to his knees by fellow Londoner, Arsenal's Laurent Koscienly. The ensuing free kick from 19 yars out is hit by Jermaine Jones but not close enough to count.

The remaining minutes of the game were like most of the minutes, belong to the French is the frigid Stade de France. An Altidore break through was called offisides and that pretty much ended any hopes of an equalizer.

"The real piece that was missing, is scoring a goal," coach Jurgen Klinsmann said after the game. "I think from a tactical perspective, how the team was shaped and working and really finding a rhythm after a difficult first 10-12 minutes."

"We made life very difficult for France and they realized after about half an hour they realized this was a team that would have a go at them."

"We would have liked to have gotten a draw or a win," Dempsey said after the game.

"I don't think we deserved the win but a draw would have been fair. France has a lot of quality players on their team- but we still need to work on a few things and hopefully improve in the future."

Nest up for the Americans will be a rematch against World Cup 2010 opponents Slovenia on Tuesday evening.
Monday November 14, 2011 8:25 pm
After reading all of the negative reports on the match, I finally watched the replay myself, and found that the USA was not as bad as publicized. France came into the game on a 15-game undefeated streak, and were playing at home in Stade de France. That's like playing Mexico in La Azteca, so a defensive, counter-attacking style is what any country except Brazil would play under the circumstances. For the first half the US defended well, kept their shape and made occasional runs forward. On a neutral pitch, Jozy Altidore might well have earned a penalty for his run into the box. Once the substitutions began, there was less continuity for the Americans, but not the French, a tribute to their depth. Some impressions: 1. Danny Williams is not ready for that position. His passing was atrocious. 2. If Gooch had been healthy, France probably would not have scored on the play they did. 3. At some point, we need to switch to a 4-4-2 with a single holding midfielder and Deuce as a withdrawn striker/attacking mid. 4. Jozy Altidore is coming into his own. He was a load for the French defense all night.

Hopefully we can adopt a more attacking style against Slovenia, which will be less of an attacking force than France and give Edson Buddle and Jozy Altidore a chance to work together up front. They looked promising at the end of the match against France.
Ed C.
Monday November 14, 2011 11:26 am
Beckerman? Why is he on the team?!?! I found him useless and very much out of his depth. Kljestan anybody?!?! Why wasn't he brought into the squad?
Gary Page
Sunday November 13, 2011 1:21 am
The US never brought many players forward and they really need a playmaker in the midfield. Until Torres and Holden are healthy, Klinsy should be looking at Feilhaber and/or Adu. There was no decent service forward and they seemed to rush and make bad passes whenever they got in the final third. Demps and Jozy showed they can do good things if given the ball in good positions with some support.
Saturday November 12, 2011 11:17 pm

Gooch was hurt. groin strain.

on a seperate note this team looked an awefull lot like BB's.
Saturday November 12, 2011 3:58 pm
Beckerman is clearly not able to think at that speed yet. Bradley should be playing in that spot because he can think at that speed.

Not sure why Gooch didnt play. Him and Goodson may be a good pairing.

Not much happening in the attacking third, seems like only Altidore and Dempsy were holding and running at the defense the other guys were too quite/passive.

I think playing France 1-0 is no tragedy but we should have more offensive steam by now. My recommendation is take more risks in the attacking third! If were going to loose the ball there anyway mind as well do it with a little positivity.
Saturday November 12, 2011 10:47 am
At this point, we need to start caring about results, but maybe not for the reasons you'd think.

1) Caring about results means players have incentive to score. Our defending was acutally pretty damn good, but France wasn't scared of our offense one bit. The team never seemed concerned with scoring till they were already down.

2) It means we choose a formation, drill it, and stick to it. Oh, we're clearly playing some sort of 4-3-3, but the midfield is listless, the wingers are not incisive (see Danny Williams) and Dempsey and Jozy are trapped. JK seems to believe the style will come from the players, but they are looking to him, and he needs to provide tactical guidance.

3) It would force JK to realize that yes, this is a process, but that doesn't make it a good one. The team has potential, but you can't use the restructuring as a whitewash for legitimate mistakes.
Saturday November 12, 2011 10:35 am
What does the coach see in Beckerman? His zone defense or lack of offense don't contribute to the team's efforts. He is not the future of US soccer.
Saturday November 12, 2011 7:07 am
Good job Bob Bradley, welcome back! Wait bob b is not the coach, wow it fooled me.
Friday November 11, 2011 10:38 pm
The US has only scored 1 goal since Klinsmann took over???!!! Also baffled with the fact that the 4th best player on the team (Michael Bradley) doesn't start or even get his minutes. Didn't disagree that we needed a coaching change, but am not sure what Jurgen is thinking. Trying to be patient but seriously. Sunil Gulati should have thrown money at Guus Hiddink.

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