Going into today’s friendly against Chile, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann broke out a new formation: an aggressive, attack-oriented 3-5-2 meant to put a lot of pressure on the opponents’ back line. And, for a while, it worked.
Unfortunately for the Americans, much like in previous games they were unable to hold onto a lead late in the match, and suffered their third loss in a row as Chile scored in the 66th and 75th minute to take a 3-2 win at home. The US is now winless in their last five matches, and heads into their next friendly against Panama looking for a much-needed win.
Things got off to a great start to the Americans. Brek Shea—once a promising prospect who has fallen on hard times—got the US on the board with this outstanding strike:
It took just a few minutes for Chile to rally back, however. Some poor marking from Jermaine Jones allowed Roberto Gutierrez to slide between the two central defenders and nod home the equalizer:
The Americans were able to seize the lead back about 20 minutes later when Jozy Altidore—who is returning to MLS after a rough stint with Hull City and Sunderland in the Premier League—finished with the kind of skill that has been missing in his limited overseas action:
Chile came out strong in the second half, and were rewarded after about 20 minutes when some poor US defending allowed Mark Gonzalez to complete a 50 yard run with a nifty near post finish past goalkeeper Nick Rimando:
The winner came not even 10 minutes later when after a great stop by Rimando, Gonzalez pounced on the rebound and saw his shot take a fortunate deflection into the back of the American net:
Despite some quality chances created by substitutes Lee Nguyen and Gyasi Zardes, the Americans were unable to find an equalizer over the game’s final 15 minutes. They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves on February 8 against CONCACAF rival Panama, whom they’ll meet in the friendly confines of the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
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