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Goalkeeping gaffes leave USMNT, New Zealand deadlocked

Photo by Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON — A goalkeeping error helped give the U.S. Men’s National Team the lead. A goalkeeping error helped take it away.

The U.S. and New Zealand played to a 1-1 draw in a friendly at RFK Stadium on Tuesday night after a pair of mistakes at the back led to the two goals. Julian Green scored for the Americans in the first half before Monty Patterson found an equalizer in the 72nd minute, but each strike was at least in part due to some shoddy play in between the pipes.

Green’s strike came in the 27th minute. The left winger dribbled forward after receiving a flicked pass from Jozy Altidore, cut in on his right foot, and hit a low effort towards the near post. The shot possibly could have been saved, but New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic failed to react and only watched as the ball nestled into the back of the net.

The Kiwis pulled level midway through the second half when some subpar marking on a set piece allowed Patterson to rifle a low ball to the near post. Substitute U.S. goalkeeper David Bingham seemed to have the shot covered, but allowed it to skip between his legs and over the goal line.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, which played the match in a 4-3-3 formation, nearly found a late winner when it aggressively threw more numbers forward. Both Danny Williams and Michael Bradley had their attempts saved well by Marinovic, however, to end the match in a stalemate.

With Tuesday’s tie, the U.S. finished its October camp with a win and a draw. The Americans had gone on the road and beaten Cuba, 2-0, in a historic friendly last Friday.

All of the U.S.’s attention now turns towards Mexico. The North American rivals will begin the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying against one another in a much-anticipated showdown at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 11.


  1. Its like people were shocked by the fact that our B team had a tough game against an organized NZ team that is hungry for some respect. This is one of those games where back-ups can show well and push for a spot in the 23 or play poorly and get dropped off the radar… so what did we learn?
    GK: Howard, Guzan, Horvath = 1,2,3.
    DF: Backline will be Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, FJ (and the first sub at each spot will be Chandler, Orozco as RB/LBs and Besler as CB… Omar is a giant liability so if literally anyone starts getting some time, he is dropped. Acosta, Oroszco, isn’t quite ready to allow FJ to push up higher.
    MF: Bradley =6 with Kitchen as backup and Pulisic starts. The other two spots will be between Zardes, Bedoya, Klejstan, and Zusi. Green is not quite ready (though he will likely be on the 23 soon enough) and Gooch might be called in because he showed well… but Im not sure if he can find any playing time just yet. I say this because yes, he had good games… but this is Cuba and NZ… still a couple steps away from Mexico even.
    FW: Altidore starts with Wood, Morris subs in and Dempsey, if he comes back, becomes a 10. Boyd, Agudelo aren’t ready.

    There was an interesting comment during the NZ game that Nagbe asked to not be called in B/C of family… My thought is that he is effectively out of the 23 for the hex based on that.

    start for MX…


    • Morris is better than Altidore already and will for sure be way better than him as time goes on.

      ( not a Jozy hater )

      ps. Loving your family disqualifies you from being a nat team member? I don’t know the details, maybe he went home because his daughter had the sniffles, but that comment seems a bit weird. Nagbe could be a starter, he will keep getting calls up.

      • That’s ridiculous, running around aimlessly even at a really fast pace doesn’t make you better. Being primarily one footed makes you a huge liability at the international level unless your one foot is better than everyone else’s one foot ie. Arjen Robben.

        Jozy had a bad game (maybe even really bad if not for the flick on that allowed Green to do his thing) and not a very good one on Friday, but Morris has had a series of lackluster performances for the NT even when given large sections of time.

        Jordan is a good prospect, but he has 1 international goal, which puts him in the category of such US greats as Kyle Martino, Sasha Victorine, Kyle Beckerman, and Teal Bunbury.

    • Nagbe: The story that he opted out has been around since the roster release, but it was vague as if there was something pressing or an emergency, Twellman made it sound like he just wanted some time off. If it is more Twellman’s version hard to see him included in November.

      I would think you are spot on in your roster for Mexico, I also think Bedoya would be first choice in your other MF spot and his injury seems the least serious.

      Here’s my prediction for 23 man roster.
      Howard, Guzan, Horvath
      Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson, Chandler, Besler, Birnbaum, Accosta
      Pulisic, Bradley Kljestan, Bedoya, Kitchen, Williams, Gooch, Beckerman
      Green, Wood, Morris, Altidore,

      My last three on were Accosta, Gooch, and Beckerman: could be Arriola, Zusi, Johannsson, and Orozco or Gonzo

      Zardes and Jones are outside shots since they haven’t returned to action yet and there are not many games left for them to gain match fitness.

      • yeah, its a question mark because there are lots of possibilities… you could find kitchen in there… you could find Green/morris and a 4-3-3… you could stick bedoya in… Zusi, or gooch… who knows.

      • Asked of Green’s inclusion in the team in November, Klinsmann said: “[It’s] difficult to say. Maybe we send some people to watch his training sessions, just to spend a few days there and see how active and involved he is there as well.

        “I know everybody in that club. A lot also depends on how we come to a conclusion on what system we want to play against Mexico. But he left a very strong impression these 10 days.”

      • meh, while he could get a call in… he still isn’t getting minutes at Bayern and he is a forward behind Altidore, Wood, Dempsey, and Morris… Assume Dempsey is out… he is still 4th based on everything I have seen. He scored and played well, but this is Cuba and NZ… no one there is lighting the world on fire. If he wanted to get a spot, he needed to set the world on fire and I just don’t think he did. That being said… I definitely see him being included in rosters going forward.

      • JK doesn’t really seem to think of Green as a striker so trying to rate him with Altidore, Wood, Dempsey, and Bizzy’s guy Wondo seems pointless. I think when both Wood and Altidore are available we will play the 442 Diamond and a 433 when only one of them is or after one is subbed.

      • Nevermind… Asked of Green’s inclusion in the team in November, Klinsmann said: “[It’s] difficult to say. Maybe we send some people to watch his training sessions, just to spend a few days there and see how active and involved he is there as well.

        “I know everybody in that club. A lot also depends on how we come to a conclusion on what system we want to play against Mexico. But he left a very strong impression these 10 days.” I think that is where Green is.

      • Turk if we go 433 which would shock me Green could get in against Mexico, Chile used it in their 7-0 victory, but then why didn’t we use it against Cuba.

      • johnnyRazor… going 4-3-3 wouldn’t really shock me. We did it in Copa America… it is what JK wants to play… and it seems like we might be short on MF… so not totally out there.

  2. Didn’t look like a team ready to beat Mexico, even in Columbus. So, I hope JK brings a different team and different mentality.

  3. All credit to New Zealand they had a strategy and were able to execute it well. Their high energy press clearly took the US by surprise and forced the US to play a lot of rushed passes & lumped long balls. Dominated the physical battles.

    Overall a disjointed performance from the US players. They struggled to connect their passes from the opening whistle. Defensively players were missing their marking assignments, were beaten to nearly every 2nd ball, and looked a step behind the entire night. Yarbrough & Bingham did not help their standing with the team. Both keepers bobbled the ball way to often. This moves Horvath & Hamid into the 3rd & 4th keeper slots IMO.

    The few positives for the US were produced by Green & Gooch. Green was the most consistent & dangerous attacker. Challenged the defenders, made smart runs, and made some good scoring chances. Gooch’s cameo showed good technical ability, a willingness to take defenders on 1 Vs. 1, and connected with his teammates well. If these 2 continue their development they’ll be major contributors by the end of the Hex.

    • If Gooch can develop and be consistent on the wing does that open it up for CP to move into the middle. I saw a limited amount of Accosta at LB, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this midfield in the near future.


      I know Gooch claims he likes to play as a #10, but with that quickness I think he’s destined for a wing. In this formation he and Pulisic could interchange and really cause people fits.

      • Gooch is actually better suited centrally than Pulisic right now IMO. His physical build allow him to better absorb punishment and he’s a fairly gritty player willing to get stuck-in during tackles. Placing him centrally in a 4-2-3-1 with Pulisic and Green flanking him would funnel the opponents to the outside and limit them to crossing balls into the box where Brooks & Cameron can clean up. I’m imagining something along the following:


        Gooch, Pulisic, & Green weaving and interchanging position providing the creativity & speed on attack. Provide initial high press on defense. The versatility of Pulisic & Gooch provides any number of opportunities to tailor the line-up to exploit match-ups.
        Fabian & Yedlin overlapping to provide width. Williams & Bradley direct the attack from deep and provide the engine & grit on the defense.

        There are any number of potential impact subs that could be rotated in based on the opponent and what we need.
        Zardes: High motor, speed, & size option that could be used as a rotational starter or fresh legs against a tired defense. Played as a wide mid or a striker.
        Nagbe: Another versatile 2-way player with speed & technical ability that could be a rotational starter. Perfect coming off the bench if we’re down a goal to add a spark w/out increasing defensive liability.
        Bedoya: A more defensive sub when trying to hold onto a lead.
        Jozy/Morris/Agudelo/ArJo/Boyd: Options to change to a 2 striker formation, or insert a more physical/technical central striker option depending on need. Too early to know which will be best options (Pick 2 or 3).
        Arriola/Chandler/Birnbaum/Besler/Acosta: Standard depth players to deal with injuries and/or suspensions during tournament play.

      • No Gooch is months from starting a match with Klinsy’s take it slow approach. (Plus we have only actually seen him play 31 minutes in which the US was chasing the ball for 20) The earliest could be Honduras at home in March, but more likely TnT next June if he continues to see regular minutes with Sunderland.

      • That was where I was going with the question. No way Gooch starts against Mexico or Costa Rica. Do you really think Klinsmann would start someone who has played a total of 30 minutes with the Nats for two most important WCQ games this cycle.

        There is no way he benches altidore in favor of wood. If he elects to go with two defensive midfielders, Wood will play off Altidore on the right or left. We saw this in the Copa. I expect Klinsmann to trot out a very similar lineup to the Copa, with the exceptions of Pulisic and Kljestan.

    • Kitchen was in large part responsible for the early possession enjoyed by New Zealand. He essentially hid from teammates by positioning himself with a defender between himself and the teammate. Often it looked like he could not decide whether to retreat to get open or get forward to get open and simply wandered in no-man’s land. He will have to do better next time.

  4. I missed the first 40 minutes, but I’d describe the regular players as disinterested. I don’t know if it was the weird travel or the lack of many regulars, but the guys that played Friday seemed out of it. Gooch showed promise and Green is playing with confidence. We’ve got to find a way to connect our midfield to our forwards when other teams pressure. A little pressure and it becomes give away city or lob it deep and hope.

    • iMO, they showed more effort and spirit in the first half than in the second. Until the last 5 or 10 minutes of the game, the second half was almost like they were sleepwalking through the game. Of the regulars, Kljestan showed some occasional spark by making some good passes, but that seemed about it. They were lucky to get the draw.

      • I thought the US played well between 40th and 60th with both fullbacks storming up and down the wings and controlling possession and then we started making changes and everyone let off the gas again or perhaps NZ just picked it up.

    • I didn’t see any goalkeeping error for the NZ goal. The shot was from about 5 yards away. Really no time to react after spreading yourself big.

      • To be fair, I think the Kiwi keeper was screened by one of his defenders on Green’s goal. Don’t know if that technically counts as a keeper error.

      • He went 5-hole … whether soccer or hockey, you have to be able to force a goal to go around you, not through you.

      • He didn’t go five hole, the keeper was starting to cheat far post and Green rifled it near post, by the time the ball cleared the screen there was nothing he could do.

  5. Excellent result just before Mexico and Costa Rica. It’s going to be a long hex for USMNT this time around. Not beating Mexico 2-0 will be the beginning of that long arduous road four our team. I wish them well but, Klinsi’s luck has run dried. Ohhh, and if we make it to Russia 2018, he will definitely leave Bradley out and bring Miguel Ibarra again to the rescue citing some conscripted bunch of lies.

      • I didn’t watch the game closely (trying to fix a TV) so I don’t know if Altidore was good, bad or horrible; but I did see the Green goal and Jozy doesn’t deserve much credit or praise for that assist. Basically Green dribbled at the defender for a few yards then made his juke-inside cut and scored on a good shot (plus bad goalkeeping). In soccer sometimes you get an assist for simply being the last person to touch the ball before the goal scorer puts it in the back of the net. That doesn’t mean you setup the goal though. Wondo’s pass to Green in the Cuba game was a legit assist, but not that Altidore knock down to Green imo.

    • Klinsi keeps giving him all the time so that he can break the US scoring record to justify himself. That guy is pure manure in our team at this moment, He is taking away any momentum that Bobby Wood ever had. Hopefully our best striker at the moment Bobby Wood will get the starting role without the Antigoal pest around him.

    • A waste of space is not fair. He did check back for balls and won his fair share despite being fouled repeatedly without getting a call. There was one instance that stands out, before the aerial ball arrived, the defender put his elbow in Altidore’s back and pushed him forward 3 feet so the ball went to the defender.

      He played a nice pass to Yedlin who should have scored from it.

      OTOH, he was one of the 3 players who were responsible for failing to prevent or block the shot.

      In the first half, Kitchen was making poor decisions, had poor movement and was basically hiding from teammates who were left with no outlet available. It was obvious that Bradley had to drop back to fill that role and until he did after the first several minutes, NewZealand had a lot of possession and the US could not get out of the back. Also, I expected a lot more bite from a guy who is the captain of a Scottish team.


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