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
”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
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
”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
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
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
”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
”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
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.