If you missed the first 25 minutes of yesterday’s U.S.–Belgium friendly in Brussels, you could be excused for wondering just where Jurgen Klinsmann was steering this ship.
Almost exactly at the 25-minute mark, Belgium took control of the game and started to put the screws to the U.S. backline. During the following 20 minutes, Tim Howard came up with several huge saves, the U.S. midfield couldn’t hold the ball, and the team was fortunate to reach the break tied at zeros.
But! If you watched the game from the opening whistle, you saw that the Americans made a very bright start, controlling possession and dominating the match for more than half of the opening session.
Then, after giving up a 55th-minute goal, and ceding possession for the early part of the second half, the Yanks came alive again near the end. They appeared to tie the game in the 86th minute, when Maurice Edu got in the mixer off a free kick and snapped a header into the far corner, but the referee disallowed the apparent goal. Edu was not offside, and it was never made clear why the goal was waved off.
In all, it was a decent performance against a pretty good European side on their home turf. Not great, but not awful, either, and the performances of Brek Shea (again) and Edu stood out.
Here are the highlights:
The U.S. returns to action on Oct 8 in Miami, where they will take on Honduras, and reports out of Ecuador suggest that the Americans will host that nation for a friendly on Oct 11 in Connecticut.