U.S. draws 2-2 with Poland in Chicago
Oguchi Onyewu scored one goal and German-born Jermaine Jones set up another in his United States debut as the Americans settled for a 2-2 draw with Poland in an international friendly on Saturday.
The Americans looked as if they might have the game-winner from a corner in the 90th minute, but a Poland defender cleared the ball off the line, and the U.S. couldn't convert a handful of other chances.
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Onyewu's header in the 52nd minute made up for a first-half gaffe, which led to Poland's first goal. But Jakub Blazczykowski scored on a deflected pass in the 73rd minute for Poland.
Jozy Altidore scored his first goal for the U.S. since May 29, and Adam Matuszczyk also scored for Poland, which had lost three of its previous four games against the United States.
"Both goals tonight were situations where we didn't do a good job of clearing balls out of our defensive third, and eventually the penalty area," said U.S. coach Bob Bradley, directing his first game since agreeing to a four-year contract extension following the end of talks between the U.S. Soccer Federation and Juergen Klinsmann. "Those are mistakes that certainly you don't want to make and cost us two goals tonight. So certainly, that's something we've already talked about."
Bradley mixed some newcomers - Jones included - with Europe-based veterans. Landon Donovan stayed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, which is trying to retain its No. 1 seed in the Major League Soccer playoffs.
"It's not so much getting used to each other, it's knowing how to win games," America's Stuart Holden said. "Poland did some good stuff tonight but, overall, I thought we were the better team."
The Americans saw some positives that they can take into Tuesday's match against Colombia. After a first-half mishap, Onyewu played perhaps the best he has since injuring his knee almost a year ago in a final World Cup qualifier.
Onyewu, who hadn't played a competitive match since June 18 at the World Cup, hasn't taken the field for AC Milan this season. He rose above Dariusz Pietrasiak to reach Holden's corner and headed the ball into the corner of the net to give the United States a 2-1 lead.
Jones, who took advantage of a change in FIFA rules to switch nationalities from Germany to the United States last year, looked sharp in his debut, feeding Altidore with a long ball in the 13th minute. The ball landed right at Altidore's feet in front of the goal, and he let it bounce once before slotting a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
"I'm really happy the coach gave me an opportunity to be able to wear the USA uniform for the first time," Jones, the son of an American father and German mother, said through a translator. "I just hope I get another opportunity."
Poland made the most of some shoddy defending and poor attempts at clearances by the Americans.
Tim Howard dove, but could do nothing to stop Matuszczyk's close-range shot.
Poland 1 1-2
United States 1 1-2
First half-1, United States, Altidore (Jones), 13th minute. 2, Poland, Matuszczyk (Obraniak), 29th minute.
Second half-3, United States, Onyewu (Holden), 52nd minute. 4, Poland, Blaszczykowski, 73rd minute.
Yellow Cards-Dariusz Pietrasiak, Pol, 77th; Altidore, 84th. Red Cards-None.
Referee-Steven DePiero, Canada. Linesmen-Darren Clark, Canada; Phillippe Briere, Canada.
Poland-Artur Boruc; Lukasz Mierzejewski, Rafal Murawski, Robert Lewandowski, Ludovic Obraniak; Michael Zewlakow, Adam Matuszczyk, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Adrian Mierzejewski (Andrzej Niedzielan, 71st); Dariusz Pietrasiak, Lukasz Piszczek
United States-Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra; Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, Stuart Holden, Clint Dempsey, Benny Feilhaber (Alejandro Bedoya, 63rd); Jozy Altidore