With the World Cup starting in less than 100 hundred days, it was time to see how the U.S. stood against one of the top three or four teams in the world. And after losing 2-1 to Holland in Amsterdam, the U.S. performance was ok.
The U.S. for the most part kept the Dutch at bay and away from many clear scoring opportunities. The problem was that the U.S. created very little in this game until the last five minutes. And that has to worry U.S. coach Bob Bradley.
“We had some moments in the first half that were OK, but I don’t think we put enough pressure on them,” said U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan, who hardly touched the ball. “It took us too long in the second half before we made some real plays.”
Dirk Kuyt converted a penalty kick in the 40th minute after Bornstein pulled on Wesley Sneijder’s arm in the penalty area. Kuyt sent his kick to the right of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who dived the other way.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute with a shot that deflected off Bornstein’s chest and left the already committed Howard with no chance to stop it.
U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra scored in the 88th minute, getting his 12th goal in 77 appearances by beating goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to the top of the 6-yard box to head in Beasley’s 35-yard free kick.
One of the few bright lights for the U.S. was the fit again DaMarcus Beasley who might have gotten himself a trip to South Africa with his performance. It was also nice to see Maurice Edu make his first international appearance knee surgery last June.
While the U.S. welcomed back Beasley and Edu, they were still without Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Steve Cherundolo and Charlie Davies all through injury.
On this performance the U.S. will struggle to create many chances against England in the first game in the World Cup. There was just a lack of quality in midfield needed to open up a top defense.
If the U.S. hopes to progress to the knockout stages it needs to finish ahead of Algeria and Slovenia. Tonight Slovenia hammered Qatar 4-1 on goals by Milivoje Novakovic, Bostjan Cesar, Andraz Kirm and Bojan Jokic. Algeria surprisingly lost 3-0 at home to Serbia tonight.
The U.S. plays Slovenia on June 18th. Whoever wins that game will finish second in the group behind England.