US set­tles for 1-1 draw vs New Zealand

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

After a sec­ond ex­cit­ing per­for­mance, US foot­ball coach Jur­gen Klins­mann says 21-year-old winger Ju­lian Green is “back in the pic­ture.”

Green scored his sec­ond goal in two matches, be­fore Monty Pat­ter­son’s equal­izer forced the US to set­tle for a 1-1 draw in an ex­hi­bi­tion against New Zealand on Tues­day night.

Lyn­den Gooch also im­pressed Klins­mann in his US de­but as a sec­ond-half sub­sti­tute.

The match fol­lowed a 2-0 vic­tory over Cuba on Fri­day, and was the Amer­i­cans’ last be­fore they open their fi­nal round of World Cup qual­i­fy­ing against Mex­ico on Nov. 11.

“We wanted to get some an­swers to a cou­ple of things to­ward the Mex­ico clash a month from now,” Klins­mann said. “And I think we found a cou­ple very in­ter­est­ing an­swers.”

Green scored his third ca­reer goal for the US in just his eighth ap­pear­ance.

He’s seen the field in in­ter­na­tional play just five times over the last two years, after he was in­vited to the 2014 World Cup and scored a late over­time goal in a 21 sec­ond-round loss to Bel­gium.

But the Ger­man-Amer­i­can earned an in­vite to Klins­mann’s camp after re­peat­edly mak­ing the 18-man ros­ter for Ger­man power Bay­ern Mu­nich dur­ing the start of their new sea­son.

“I’m re­ally happy about it,” Green said. “It’s my goal to al­ways be here in this team, and when I’m here I want to give my best. And I think I did very well.”

After scor­ing the sec­ond goal against Cuba, Green put the US ahead Tues­day in the 27th minute when he reached for­ward Jozy Alti­dore’s knock-down header on the left flank.

Green drib­bled to goal while de­fender Liam Gra­ham re­treated, cut to his right, and then fired a low, 18-yard shot that sneaked between wrong-footed goal­keeper Ste­fan Mari­novic and the left post.

“Ev­ery train­ing ses­sion he’s be­com­ing more ma­ture,” Klins­mann said. “He’s be­com­ing stronger. He has far more con­fi­dence. So it’s re­ally nice to see.”

New Zealand tied it in the 72nd minute.

Alti­dore failed to clear a cor­ner kick aimed at New Zealand’s Michael Box­hall, and Pat­ter­son popped up to thump the loose ball into the net from about 5 yards out.

“When they start throw­ing more num­bers at us and they start in some ways be­com­ing even more di­rect and more des­per­ate, that com­bined with some subs on both sides just means that the game be­comes hec­tic,” said US cap­tain Michael Bradley. “We gave away a bad goal, and ul­ti­mately that’s the dif­fer­ence between win­ning and ty­ing.”

Gooch, a 20-year-old who has ap­peared seven times this sea­son for Sun­der­land of Eng­land’s Premier League, came on in the 59th minute.

The Cal­i­for­nia na­tive — whose Ir­ish mother and English fa­ther give him three in­ter­na­tional op­tions — cre­ated sev­eral lively se­quences on the right, draw­ing chants of “Gooooch!” from the an­nounced crowd of 9,012 at RFK Sta­dium.

In the 64th minute, his cross found Green, who looped a shot well high of the goal. And in the 89th, his cor­ner found Omar Gon­za­lez, whose header also soared above the cross­bar.

“Gooch con­firmed what we saw in train­ing al­ready,” Klins­mann said. “He’s fear­less. He takes peo­ple on. Very phys­i­cal as well, doesn’t shy away from phys­i­cal­ity. You know, so there are a cou­ple things that we saw that we didn’t know be­fore that camp.”

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