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Thoughts From Last Night’s USA vs. Chile Friendly

As I sat and watched last night’s exhibition between the United States and Chile, there were a few things that stood out in my mind. Neither team brought their best squads to California, and only one player from both teams played in this past years World Cup. With that said, it wasn’t so much the outcome of the match that mattered the most, but the development of the younger US players and how they performed on a big stage against a legitimate team.

The first thing that came to mind, was how I had to watch the entire match in Spanish, because ESPN or Fox Soccer Channel either didn’t want to broadcast the game or couldn’t. US Soccer matches only come around so often, and even though the game didn’t mean anything, it would have been nice for one of the ESPN channels to carry the game. Instead of having the soccer match on live, ESPN had Australian Open Tennis on one channel, and the ninth college basketball game of the day on the other channel. Its things like this that make it tough to be a soccer fan in America. If they want to spread the game in our country, they should at least broadcast the games on national TV.


As far as the game went, it was a relatively boring one to say the least. With the score ending in a 1-1 draw, both teams saw very few chances at goal. While the goal that Chile scored was an exciting one that Esteban Paredes ended up scissor kicking past Sean Johnson, the United States only managed to equalize about twenty minutes later on a penalty kick from Teal Bunbury.

The US had a chance in the first half with an ambitious effort from midfielder Dax McCarty, who’s shot was saved from about thirty yards out and tipped over the net by the Chilean keeper. Chris Wondolowski, who started the game at striker for the US, also had a chance in the first half, but he failed to take space and shot from outside the eighteen when he had room to dribble in further. His shot was eventually saved comfortably by the Chile goalie.


However, the play of Bunbury and 18 year-old Juan Agudelo, brought some life into the US attack in the second half. Both came on as second half subs, and it was Agudelo who won the United States the penalty with some neat dribbling inside the area. Bunbury calmly finished off the penalty, eventually giving the US a 1-1 draw. Agudelo and Bunbury were showing nice movement and passing throughout the game, along with midfielder Mixx Diskerud. These three were probably the most promising of all the players on the field for the United States.

The defense at times looked a little shaky, especially when Marvell Wynne misjudged a header that lead to the goal by Chile. Sean Franklin started the game, and almost gave away a penalty five minutes in. On the other hand, Tim Ream played well, looking solid and compact in the back, and not letting many attackers by him. He continues to play well in only his second USA start, and he may be a player that we hear from in the future as he gets more experience. Besides Ream, there weren’t any other defenders noteworthy of getting any praise.


All in all, I thought it was a productive night for US soccer. If anything, we got to see more of Agudelo and Bunbury, two very young promising strikers that our team so desperately needs. Bob Bradley can now decide if he wants to bring any of these young players to mix in with the first team starters in the Egypt friendly next month. It would be nice to see how these youngsters play against even better competition and with better players surrounding them.


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