D.C. United MLS Soccer 

Green, Gooch make impression in draw with New Zealand

The game started slow for the US, New Zealand would create a couple of chances early on, but nothing overly serious. The only dangerous part of those chances was that William Yarbrough couldn’t cleanly catch the ball. Christian Wood rifled a shot on goal and the young keeper was in position, but couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Luckily the rebound attempt was deemed offsides. The other chance was on a cross into the box and Yarbrough couldn’t catch it cleanly, again it worked out as one of his defensemen would clear the ball.

One of the things that stood out was the speed complimenting Altidore up front in Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin. The two were very active in both tracking back to defend and in the attack. The duo’s pace played a role in some of the chances that the US team created in the first half. In the 26th minute, Yarbrough played a ball up to Jozy who headed it into open space for Green. The youngster attacked his man 1v1 and put him on his heels, Julian took that space and fired a shot near post to which Stefan Marinovic didn’t react to.

There were a few times in which the two wings didn’t fill the gap that Altidore wanted them to, but it was evident that they complimented him well. Things got shaky at the end of the first half as Yarbrough again had issues catching the ball cleanly, on one shot he chose to punch it out rather than catch it cleanly. While the backline was unorganized at times, they did do a good job of standing in the line of fire and blocking shots.

The US didn’t build off their success of their first goal, they started the second half a bit flat. They had a couple of decent chances early before regressing. Gone was the solid passing of the first half, the lack of patience affected more than just the attack as their defense suffered as well. The backline started to come undone at times. More and more of the attacking players had to get back and that didn’t really help matters. One of the positives was Lynden Gooch coming in, like Yedlin and Green he had a ton of energy. Creating possessions for his team by sheer hustle.

New Zealand did not have that problem, they ratcheted up the pressure and had the US on their heels. Monty Patterson would even things in the 72nd minute.  It happened off a corner, there was a thicket of bodies on the near post after the ball was played in and Patterson put the ball through David Bingham’s 5-hole for the score. Bingham had come on at the start of the 2nd half.

From there, things continued to go in New Zealand’s favor. Danny Williams did get a chance in the 88th minute to take the lead, but Marinovic was in position to make the save on  a rocket of a shot. The US turned things up from that point on, Michael Bradley had a volley that the New Zealand keeper had to stretch out for, earning a corner in the process.

There were three minutes of stoppage time and the US really started to push for the winner. There were several forays into the box, but theUnited States couldn’t capitalize on them. The game would end in a draw, there were more than ample opportunities for the US to get the win.

Similar to their match against Mexico, New Zealand was the more consistent of the two teams from start to finish.  As New Zealand’s manager stated after the game, that US goal was “against the run of play.” Klinsman was fine with the result, but did agree that there were parts of the match that he wasn’t a fan of. Still, it felt as if he was content with what he learned from the players that took the field against New Zealand.


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CEO/Founder of My Mind on Sports For More Information on Wilson, check out his Bio in the "Team" Section Follow Wilson on Twitter: @Willietspeaks

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