Attack still missing under Klinsmann
The United States remains at a loss for offense under Jurgen
Loic Remy outmuscled defender Clarence Goodson to score in the
72nd minute, giving France a 1-0 exhibition victory Friday night
that dropped the Americans to 1-4-1 since Klinsmann replaced Bob
Bradley as coach in late July.
”It could have been a draw,” said goalkeeper Tim Howard, the
best American player on the field. ”They played really well, and
they probably had better chances then we did.”
Under Klinsmann, the former German national team star and coach,
the Americans have been outscored 5-2 and shut out four times.
”Obviously you want to kind of score a couple of goals sooner
or later, so I wish there was one or two,” Klinsmann said.
The U.S. has not had Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey on the
field together since the 4-2 loss to Mexico in June’s final of the
CONCACAF Gold Cup. Donovan remained with the Los Angeles Galaxy to
prepare for the MLS Cup final on Nov. 20.
”At the end we were pressing the game and trying to leave here
with a result,” Dempsey said. ”We’re happy with our second half
performance. We just need to start doing a better job of getting
Before a crowd of 70,018 at the site of France’s win in the 1998
World Cup final, the American defense faded in the second half, and
the midfield was shaky throughout. Jozy Altidore had one of his
better games and came close to scoring a few times, but the U.S.
was outshot 14-5.
”They were a really physical team and stood up to us,” France
coach Laurent Blanc said. ”They did well in that domain.”
Karim Benzema hit the crossbar with a close-range header in the
55th minute after Adil Rami nodded on Franck Ribery’s corner kick.
A minute later, Benzema forced Howard into an excellent leaping
reflex save from a curling free kick, with Howard falling into the
goal as he parried the ball away.
Howard knocked down Kevin Gameiro’s volley in the 69th minute,
then threw himself at Olivier Giroud as the forward put the rebound
over the crossbar.
Remy, who had entered in the 65th, scored when he chased down a
long ball and held off Goodson, who fell, before beating Howard
from about 12 yards for his fourth international goal.
”Obviously it was difficult after their goal,” Klinsmann said.
”In these types of games, you make one or two individual mistakes,
you get punished.”
At 5-8-3 with only Tuesday’s exhibition at Slovenia remaining,
the Americans are assured of finishing with a losing record in a
calendar year for the first time since 1997. They dropped to 0-3
against France after their first game against Les Bleus in 32
Klinsmann gave Goodson a start at central defender in place of
Oguchi Onyewu, who was nursing a strained groin, but the rest of
the starting lineup was unchanged from last month’s 1-0 loss to
Fabian Johnson entered in the 71st minute in his national team
debut, replacing fellow German-American Danny Williams. Johnson
started for Germany in 2009 European Under-21 final, then asked
FIFA last summer for permission to switch nations.
France, which already has qualified for next year’s European
Championship, extended its unbeaten streak to 16 games as Blanc
gave debuts to Arsenal central defender Laurent Koscielny and
Valencia left back Jeremy Mathieu.
After the game, the Americans had a special guest.
”We have the pleasure that Arsene Wenger came into the locker
room, talking to the players and gave them a big compliment,”
Klinsmann said of the Arsenal manager.
Still, it was another goal-less night, a result that’s become
common for the U.S. team.
”Playing in the Stade de France in a wonderful atmosphere
against a top quality team is a great experience,” Howard said.
”It’s difficult for us, but we’ll get better from this, for
NOTES: American players signed their jerseys and donated them
for an online auction to benefit the Disabled American Veterans
organization. … U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra made his 99th
international appearance. … After Tuesday, the next game for the
Americans will likely be a Feb. 29 exhibition against Italy,
probably in Genoa.