US loses 1-0 to France, 1-4-1 under Klinsmann

The United States remains at a loss for offense under Jurgen

Klinsmann.

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

results.”

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

years.

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

Ecuador.

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

sure.”

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.