Jaime Ayovi leads Ecuador over US 1-0

Jurgen Klinsmann is finding wins and goals hard to come by in

his first few months as coach of the U.S. soccer team.

”It’s going to take time,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said after

Tuesday night’s 1-0 exhibition loss to Ecuador dropped the

Americans to 1-3-1 since the former German star and coach replaced

Bob Bradley in late July. ”People are going to ask questions, and

that’s natural. But it’s still in the infant stages.”

Second-half substitute Jaime Ayovi beat defender Tim Ream to a

cross and scored in the 79th minute, the only good chance Ecuador

had.

”It’s a growing process and, obviously, also a couple of knocks

that you have to accept,” Klinsmann said.

With no competitive games until the start of World Cup

qualifying in June, Klinsmann is experimenting with players and

formations. He generally wants the Americans to play higher upfield

and use more width.

The U.S. has just two goals since Klinsmann took over, tying

Mexico 1-1 and losing to Costa Rica and Belgium 1-0 before last

weekend’s 1-0 win over Honduras.

”The first few results haven’t been great,” captain Carlos

Bocanegra said. ”It’s just frustrating, but we’re moving in the

right direction.”

With the Americans using a 4-1-3-2 formation and sometimes a

4-3-3, they are attacking more than they did under the conservative

Bradley.

”Especially in the first half, movement with the ball is

better, is brighter collectively,” defender Steve Cherundolo said.

”I think we have a better idea of what we want to do.”

Timmy Chandler, starting at left back, neutralized Manchester

United winger Antonio Valencia before a pro-Ecuador crowd of 20,707

in the first U.S. game at Red Bull Arena, which opened last

year.

Ecuador didn’t have many threats until the goal. The play began

on the flank and took advantage of Ream, who entered seven minutes

earlier for Bocanegra.

Walter Ayovi received a throw-in and made a left-footed cross to

Jaime Ayovi, a 60th-minute sub who got free about 8 yards from the

goal. Jaime Ayovi headed the ball to the left of Howard for his

fifth international goal – he also scored Friday as Ecuador opened

World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 home win over Venezuela.

”I was watching the man, and as I looked back, I saw the ball

coming,” Ream said, ”and he was past me as soon as I took a

step.”

A top rookie in Major League Soccer in 2010, Ream has struggled

in his national team appearances.

”This is important, for these players to understand that one

little thing can change a game and decide the game,” Klinsmann

said. ”That’s a learning moment for Tim Ream, that he has to be in

front of the guy, that he has to kind of unbalance him.”

So far, Klinsmann has not had Landon Donovan (strained

quadriceps) and Clint Dempsey available for the same game. He also

is missing Jose Torres (left foot surgery), Fabian Johnson (neck)

and Stuart Holden (out until spring following his second knee

surgery this year).

Klinsmann made just one change to his starting lineup from

Saturday, putting Oguchi Onyewu in central defense for the first

time since June and dropping Michael Orozco Fiscal. Following knee

surgery in October 2009, Onyewu had struggled to regain his form

until becoming a regular starter with Sporting Lisbon this

season.

”He’s back, and that’s awesome to see,” Klinsmann said. ”He’s

getting his rhythm, and his presence is amazing.”

Like the U.S. team, the 6-foot-4 Onyewu is a work in

progress.

”There’s no substitute to playing games, and fortunately I’ve

found myself in a good situation with Sporting,” he said. ”You

get more confident, and you get more comfortable with

yourself.”

NOTES: U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati agreed with

Klinsmann’s comments a day earlier that Major League Soccer needed

a longer season, saying Klinsmann’s quip that he would give a hug

to players who wanted a six-week vacation and tell them not to come

back was ”positively brilliant.” ”Jurgen’s right,” MLS

Commissioner Don Garber said. ”The season is too short. I’d like

to have global warming take its effect.” … Garber said a stadium

in Queens or Randall’s Island was possible for an eventual

expansion team in New York City. … The U.S. may play an

exhibition at France next month, now that Les Bleus have clinched a

European Championship berth and don’t need the November dates for

playoffs. … Ecuador used just five of the starters who began

Friday’s game in Quito.