Experimental USMNT fall short against Chilean B-squad

IMAGE, ANFP.CL

by DENY GALLAGHER
Staff Writer

The United States Men’s National Team opened up their 2015 campaign with an experimental formation — and a disappointing 3-2 loss to Chile.

With a new cycle comes a chance to change things up. For their first game of the 2015 calendar, manager Jurgen Klinsmann toiled with a 3-5-2 formation, featuring Jermaine Jones at centerback, and DeAndre Yedlin as a right midfielder.

It was noticeable that the formation allowed the United States to create more opportunities in the midfield. Returning to the national team picture for the first time since early 2014, Brek Shea made himself a factor early. In the sixth minute, Matt Besler played a bouncing ball in behind the Chilean backline. Shea was able to get his leg around the ball, and curve it into the lower right corner to give the United States a one-nil advantage.

As is common with a new defensive pairing, there was miscommunication. Minutes after the goal, Roberto Guiterrez would take advantage of the opportunity and heading home the equalizer with nobody around him. After 10 minutes of play, the United States and Chile were level at one.

In the 30th minute off a DeAndre Yedlin throw in, Mix Diskeruud played a terrific give-and-go with Yedlin. The combination allowed Mix to find an on-running Jozy Altidore, who scorched the net. After a half hour of play, the stars and stripes had a 2-1 lead.

On the stroke of halftime, the Chilean crowd believed their squad had equalized, but the assistant referee saw it differently.

The bright spots would be few and far between from the US in the second half. Chile began to apply an increasing amount of pressure on the makeshift backline. The holes became increasingly more noticeable as the contest went on.

The second half saw a return to the familiar 4-4-2 formation with Wil Trapp entering the match for Diskerud at the 60th minute. This gave Chile a numbers advantage on the wings that they would exploit for the rest of the game.

The matchup between Yedlin and Mark Gonzalez became one to watch with this tactical switch. After a strong half from the former Sounders defender, Gonzalez got the best of Yedlin down the right side on a combination that put him in on goal. Veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando came off his line, tried to prevent the pass to the middle,and Gonzalez would sneak one by the near post to level things at two after 66 minutes.

Drawn even, Chile pressed on to go for the win in front of a sold-out crowd. After Rimando made an incredible save on a volley from right outside the 18 yard box, Gonzalez got the rebound and buried home the eventual game-winner.

With the result, the United States falls to 1-5-1 all-time in South America, and 3-5-2 against the Chileans.

Jurgen Klinsmann and the US Men’s National Team are back at it on February 8th when they take on Panama at the Home Depot Center.

– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Chile
Date: Jan. 28, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Estadio El Teniente; Rancagua, Chile
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 88 degrees; clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        2 0 2
CHI                         1 2 3

USA – Brek Shea (Matt Besler)                 6th minute
CHI – Roberto Gutierrez (Mark Gonzalez)  10
USA – Jozy Altidore (Mix Diskerud)           31
CHI – Mark Gonzalez (Marco Medel)         66
CHI – Mark Gonzalez                               75

Lineups:
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 23-Steve Birnbaum, 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (20-Gyasi Zardes, 68), 10-Mix Diskerud (6-Wil Trapp, 60), 11-Brek Shea, 9-Bobby Wood (7-Lee Nguyen, 46), 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Chris Wondolowski, 75)
Subs Not Used: 3-Matt Hedges, 12-Sean Johnson, 15-Perry Kitchen, 16-Shane O’Neill, 19-Miguel Ibarra
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

CHI: 23-Johnny Herrera; 4-Osvaldo Gonzalez, 13-Jose Rojas (capt.), 17-Juan Cornejo; 6-Gonzalo Espinoza (16-Gonzalo Fierro, 72), 15-Erick Pulgar, 10-Marco Medel (5-Paulo Diaz, 79), 19-Diego Valdes (9-Juan Delgado, 60); 7-Bryan Carrasco, 22-Roberto Gutierrez (18-Andres Vilches, 90+4), 11-Mark Gonzalez (8-Angelo Sagal, 90)
Subs Not Used: 1-Paulo Garces, 2-Sebastian Vegas, 14-Cesar Valenzuela
Head coach: 
Jorge Sampaoli

Stats Summary: USA / CHI 
Shots: 10 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 1 /9
Fouls: 20 / 19
Offside: 0 / 6

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)    36th minute
CHI – Jose Rojas (caution)            43
USA – Bobby Wood (caution)        45+2
USA – Lee Nguyen (caution)          50
USA – Jermaine Jones (caution)    52
USA – Matt Besler (caution)          71
USA – Brek Shea (caution)            88

Officials:
Referee: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Fourth Official: Claudio Puga (CHI)