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.