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Agudelo, Bunbury provide sparks in USA draw

TealBunbury (Reuters)


CARSON, CALIF — The U.S. men's national team's first match of the new year didn't start well, but ended with some promising signs as the young forward tandem of Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury helped the United States salvage a point on opening night.

Bunbury scored a 75th-minute penalty kick drawn by Agudelo to tie the match after Esteban Paredes opened the scoring for Chile in front of a crowd of 18,580 at the Home Depot Center.

The match was a fast paced one with each side featuring players with little or no national team experience. Seven American players earned their first cap on Saturday night and the entire roster consisted of players with no more than six appearances with the national team, which made adjusting to the speed of the international game crucial.

The Americans struggled early on against a Chilean team that utilized its speed to put the home side under pressure at the start of the match. With the Gold Cup and other international matches on the horizon, Bradley was optimistic about how his young side handled the pace of the match.

"There was certainly some moments when we lost some balls and they were dangerous, but there was a strong response when we were down, which I thought was quite good," Bradley said. "When you have a lot of young guys in the camp at an end of everything you want to put it to the test and get a good picture of where people are and from that point it was excellent." 

The U.S. team struggled to get close to goal and nearly conceded a goal off a free kick in the 6th minute of play. In the early stages, the United States was unable to create chances, but came close to taking the lead in the 12th minute when Dax McCarty fired an audacious strike from 40 yards that forced a save from Chilean goalkeeper Paulo Garces. Chile opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when Felipe Seymour fired in a cross to Paredes. The World Cup veteran, left unmarked by defender Marvell Wynne, slotted home the opening goal. 

The U.s. team struggled to create chances in the first half, but drew a tangible spark from the inclusion of Bunbury and Agudelo in the 60th minute. The pair worked well to create attacks and put pressure on the Chilean defense, combining well with midfield distributor Mixx Diskerud.

The United States struck pay dirt in the 75th minute when Alejandro Bedoya worked a give-and-go with Agudelo, who drew a penalty after being tripped inside the box. Bunbury immediately called Agudelo off the penalty and slotted it home for his first international goal. 

"We were down and we wanted to make something happen so I worked with Alejandro and we earned the penalty," said Agudelo. "Then Teal stepped up to take it and was very sure that he was going to make it. I'm just happy that we made it and I'll run up next time to take the next [penalty]."

Similar to the United States situation, Chile is approaching a vital 2011 with the Copa America in July. Following the match, head coach Marcelo Bielsa announced that he would be making an announcement on his coaching future with La Roja next week in Santiago. Bielsa's return for the Copa America has been in some doubt after disagreements with the Federation in the past. 

The United States will take on its next opponent on February 9th facing Egypt in Cairo. Due to the success of the combination of Bunbury and Agudelo, the pair may have a chance of inclusion with the full squad. Throughout the camp, the pair have continued to work well and Bunbury — who Agudelo referred to as "like a brother" after the match — hopes that the two see more opportunities to work together in the future.

"Our chemistry is really going well and I'm looking to more games with him in the future," said Bunbury. "We're always trying to work well together and push one another to make each other better it really showed for us tonight."


  1. Truth. Wynne is a good MLS player, but not a good International player. With more intelligence and a softer touch, he could push for a full team bench spot. But he is still very raw.

  2. Marvell Wynne was awful. Mix was relatively invisible for most of the game. Agudelo and Bunbury should have started. McCarty was lights out; I think he is poised for a very big MLS season. Sean Johnson impressed the hell out of me. I was hoping for more from Larentowicz.

  3. Cervi can’t even see the pitch on a bottom-feeder club in the SPL.

    Being a “Soccer Buff”, you’re aware how poor of quality that tier of club is, right?

    The only call-up Cervi deserves at this point would be at a Soup-Kitchen when it’s his turn to eat.

  4. First, in a post above you bring up Barca’s possession style football when talking about this crop of national team players.

    Now, you’re comparing the International level to MLS competition in reference to Wynne’s ability to perform?

    Really? Wow…

  5. it was nice to see new faces and to see if they are up to for the Senior USNMT. There were some of kids that did well, Diskerud, McCarthy,Agudelo, Bunbury, & Loyd Badoya had some good changes but he was really off his game. I was very disappointment with O.Gonzales, #11 guy from San Jose, Franklyn, Shea. Another think I really upset is why Bob Bradly bring a guy all the way from Russia and don’t even give him a time to play. I think Eugene should have play or else why call him up for the Jan. camp….

  6. The you’d better tell Gary Smith, manager of the champion Colorado Rapids. He is the guy who started Wynne at CB for the Rapids. Obviously he doesn’t know how bad Wynne is.

  7. That’s correct. No mention of Lloyd. He did okay. No great exploits, no great criticism. I look forward to seeing more appearances by him. On the whole, though, I still think Franklin performed best on the back line. I think he brought a more robust package with him.

    I’m with fishy on this one.

    We can go all day long on how Franklin was shaky in the first half and I’ll counter that Lloyd was marking thin air when Chile scored their goal. And I didn’t have to be drunk to notice it.

    But I’m not going to discount Lloyd’s talent for that one mistake – just as I ask you not diss Franklin for same.

    Now, you’re welcome to have a contrary opinion and I promise not to point fingers and accuse you of having a big bias. It’s just how awesome of a guy I am.

  8. Franklin’s turns were mistakes, granted, but they happened in the first half and without exception – including the foul – he tracked back and made up for it.

    I’ll forgive him his mistakes on his first outing, just like I’ll forgive Wondo and the others.

    Lloyd is a solid prospect, but I’m with fishy and others: Franklin had the better night. On top of that, while Lloyd “joined in” on attacks, Franklin *created* them with penetrating runs and overlaps. Sure, his crosses weren’t as crisp as they normally are, but he had the balls to commit and make them. I didn’t see that from the other fullbacks.

    As for Wynn, I really want him to pan out. On a good day, you can see his great potential. But his inconsistency is his worst enemy. Once his confidence stabilizes, he’ll be good. But his Gold Cup callup hopes probably disappeared with last night’s performance.

  9. Was at the game. All these young guys need to work a on a better first touch, and better passing. They, of course, looked like a bunch of young guys who haven’t played together a lot (well, duh.)Several guys looked slightly statled when someone passed to them in the first 20 minutes.

    Remember when Spain won the world cup, they a lot of players who played on the same team in the regular season, and you could see how time playing together is important.

    So not disappointed in the young US play. What I did like was the ‘game vision’ that I saw from Mix and Dax, who seemed to have a good feel for each other’s play.

    On a side note, the US needs someone to come up with a good soccer chant to the tune of Yankee Doodle (people would know the tune, and has a good historical context). Lots of great chants and singing from the Chile fans, while all we have is USA, USA. We can do better.


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