Jan 30, 2013

U.S. MNT start 2013 with scoreless draw against Canada

  • Five U.S. Players Earn First Caps, Including Three of Four Starting Defenders
  • USA Extends Unbeaten Streak to 16 Games Against Canada (8-0-8)
  • U.S. MNT Opens Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Feb. 6 Against Honduras in San Pedro Sula (3 p.m. CT Kickoff; Live Broadcast on beIN SPORT) 

HOUSTON (Jan. 29, 2013) - A young U.S. Men's National Team controlled the majority of the match against Canada but couldn't find the back of the net in a scoreless draw this evening at BBVA Compass Stadium in the first match of 2013. 

The U.S., which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary, kicked off the Centennial campaign by extending its unbeaten streak against Canada to 16 games (8-0-8). 

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann gave five players their first international appearance with the senior team on Tuesday. Three of the USA's four starting defenders made their debut: left back Tony Beltran, center back Matt Besler and right back Justin Morrow. Forward Will Bruin of the Houston Dynamo and midfielder Alfredo Morales also earned their first caps as second-half subs.
"Overall we are really pleased with what we saw the last three weeks from these guys, and we want to give them a big compliment on how they worked and how much work they put in," said Klinsmann. "You could see that all that work wore on their legs, and they were missing the last little piece to it in creating final chances, playing the killer ball into the box, and finishing things off.  Unfortunately, we couldn't do that tonight against a very defensive-minded Canada. We tried a couple of different formations and all kinds of combinations, and it was good to see the players trying to find ways to score that one goal that didn't come."

Next up for the U.S. is the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying as the team opens the Hexagonal on Feb. 6 against Honduras in San Pedro Sula. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT at Estadio Olimpico, and the game will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT.

Following the Honduras match, the U.S. hosts a World Cup qualifier on March 22 against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN and the Univision Family.

Fans can follow all U.S. MNT matches online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
The U.S. held approximately 70 percent of the possession during the game's first 45 minutes, and the majority of the scoring chances were created by forward and 2012 MLS MVP forward Chris Wondolowski. The young Canada squad sagged back defensively with the mind-set of attacking on the counter and improved from its 4-0 loss against Denmark on Jan. 26 in Tucson, Ariz.

U.S. goalkeeper Sean Johnson, making his first career international start and third overall appearance, was called upon to make only one save en route to the shutout. That lone stop came against Canada captain Dwayne De Rosario in the sixth minute. After chasing a long cross down in the box, De Rosario hit a volley with his left foot from a tough angle toward the left side of the goal, but Johnson quickly reacted to bat away the 10-yard shot.

One of the USA's better buildups came in the 19th minute with some back-and-forth touches between Wondolowski and Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis. The play resulted with a modest Wondolowski shot that forced Canada goalkeeper Simon Thomas to make a diving save to his left.

Klinsmann made a pair of halftime substitutions, with Benny Feilhaber earning his 40th career cap replacing Beltran and Joshua Gatt coming on for Wondolowski as the U.S. switched to a 4-3-3 formation.

Similar to the first half, the U.S. scoring chances were sporadic. In the 53rd minute, Eddie Johnson's cross from the right side just outside the box deflected off Canada's Dejan Jakovic to Davis, whose right-footed shot also got denied with a block by defender Nana Attakora.

In the 66th minute, center back Omar Gonzalez, who made his third career appearance and his first since January of 2011, just missed the upper left corner of the goal as his header off of a free kick from Feilhaber just sailed over the crossbar.

Additional Notes:
  • The U.S. improved its current unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2) dating back to last year and moved to 13-8-11 all-time against Canada.
  • Midfielder Kyle Beckerman wore the captain's armband for the first time in his international career as he made his 24th career appearance.
  • Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya entered the game in the 64th minute in his first appearance since the USA's 4-2 loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on June 25, 2011, in Pasadena, Calif.
  • Brad Davis made his sixth National Team appearance and first since earning the start for the team's 2-1 win against El Salvador on Feb. 24, 2010, in Tampa, Fla.
  • Tuesday's game featured three players with ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Juan Agudelo, Will Bruin and Joshua Gatt.
  • All 11 U.S. starters play in MLS.
  • This is the second consecutive scoreless draw against Canada. The teams dueled to a 0-0 result June 2, 2012, in a match that celebrated the 100 th anniversary of the Canada Soccer Association.
  • The U.S. MNT moved to 10-5-6 all-time when it plays its opening game of the calendar year in January.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is 11-6-5 with the U.S. MNT as he kicked off his third calendar year in charge of the team.
-- U.S. Men's National Team Game Report --
Match: USA vs. Canada
Date: Jan. 29, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Attendance: 11,737
Weather: 75 degrees, rainy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F USA                        0 0 0
CAN                        0 0 0

USA : 12-Sean Johnson; 3-Tony Beltran (21-Benny Feilhaber, 46), 5-Omar Gonzalez, 4-Matt Besler, 2-Justin Morrow; 6-Kyle Beckerman (capt.) (14-Alfredo Morales, 74), 7-Graham Zusi (18-Juan Agudelo, 64), 11-Brad Davis (17-Alejandro Bedoya, 64), 8-Brad Evans; 10-Chris Wondolowski (19-Joshua Gatt, 46), 9-Eddie Johnson (23-Will Bruin, 74)

Subs not used: 1-Bill Hamid
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
CAN : 22-Simon Thomas; 2-Nik Ledgerwood, 3-Ashtone Morgan, 4-Nana Attakora (13-Doneil Henry, 64), 5-Dejan Jakovic; 7-Terry Dunfield (16-Matthew Stinson, 51), 8-Kyle Bekker (17-Kyle Porter, 90), 9-Tosaint Rickets, 11-Russell Teibert (19-Evan James, 89); 12-Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault, 14-Dwayne De Rosario (capt.) (10-Frank Jonke, 81)

Subs not used: 6-Philippe Davies, 15-Emmanuel Gomez, 18-Roberto Stillo, 20-Mason Trafford, 21-Andres Fresenga
Head coach: Colin Miller
Stats Summary: USA / CAN Shots: 11 / 2
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 13 / 23
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary: CAN - Ashtone Morgan (caution) 78th minute
CAN - Nik Ledgerwood (caution) 79

Officials: Referee: Raul Castro (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Melvyn Cruz (HON)
Fourth Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Omar Gonzalez