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United States finishes 2013 with 1-0 loss at Austria

Nov 19, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

A fantastic year for the United States has ended on a bit of a downer, two consecutive scoreless nights.

In the latest, Jurgen Klinsmann’s team dominated Austria after intermission Tuesday but could not match the home team’s first-half goal in the driving rain of Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna. So something of a breakout year for the Klinsmann and the World Cup-bound United States finished with a 1-0 loss to Austria.

Austria’s Marc Janko took advantage of some questionable defensive positioning from young U.S. center back John Brooks, converting from close range for the game’s only goal. Perhaps most disappointing among a bunch of defensive mistakes was that Austria had gotten the ball originally on a foul throw-in, of all things.

Jozy Altidore was involved in the best U.S. chances, but good opportunities were sparse as both teams dealt with the slippery footing. So the United States finished its year by being shut out twice in a row. The team played to a scoreless draw last Friday in Scotland.

Still, Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. team will finish with a 16-4-3 record, its best winning percentage ever.  The 16 victories are a record for a calendar year, topping the previous mark of 13 wins in 2005 and 2009.

(MORE: Geoff Cameron certainly helped himself with a good night)

The night was a big test for two young attackers in particular: Brek Shea, not playing at all for Stoke City, started on the left in the team’s 4-2-3-1. And Aron Johannsson, having lined up previously as a forward, was assigned the role of attacking midfielder, tucked in behind Altidore, once against Klinsmann’s first choice at striker.

Brooks, the 20-year-old German-born center back, also got his second start under Klinsmann. He was generally solid, aside from some needed positional adjustments here and there.

(MORE: Video of Geoff Cameron’s goal for the United States … that wasn’t counted)

United States pressed mightily through the second half, energized by a steady flow of attacking substitutions. While Klinsmann kept his back line intact until the game’s final minutes, the U.S. manager added young striker Terrence Boyd along with veteran forward Eddie Johnson early in the second half.

With a shift into a 4-4-2, in fact, Klinsmann had three natural strikers on the field; Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson, who was on the left.

United States’ lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard; Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, DaMarcus Beasley; Jermain Jones, Michael Bradley; Alejandro Bedoya, Aron Johannsson, Brek Shea; Jozy Altidore.

  1. hildezero - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Wtf? Brooks was a starter? He shouldn’t.

    • bear06 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      Why the hell not? He looked a bit rusty since it was his first game in about a month due to his arm/elbow injury, but he’s the only American CB playing in one of the best leagues in the world. He’s the best young CB prospect the U.S. has.

  2. player169 - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Jermaine Jones is beyond HORRIBLE for an international player. I counted 8 turnovers in a 10 minute period (not to mention ones that made me start counting). His poor first touch, lack of on the ground passing touch, lack of one time balls when they are clearly called for, poor long balls and general carelessness negate any positives he may have on the defensive side. It’s ridiculous that he starts at the international level. He wasn’t even a bubble player coming into today’s game, but he sure his trying hard to show that he shouldn’t be in the lineup. I get that he was playing even with MB and maybe that is the coaches fault. I can’t think of another international that shows such a lack of ball skills…embarrassing…

    • berniefranko - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      I completely agree! What makes it worse is his stupid on field antics (like his little face slap of the Austrian player) and his overall dirty play. He gives you nothing in the way of positive play (his only completed passes were back passes) and is at risk of being sent off EVERY game. He shouldn’t be on the roster, much less first choice!

      • bear06 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Jones had a bad game but he shouldn’t be on the roster? lmao! Jones is a starter for Schalke a big German CL club, he definitely deserves to be on the roster.

    • bear06 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Embarrassing? Ummm no. Take a chill pill player169.

  3. player169 - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Jermaine Jones SUCKS!!!!

    • bear06 - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      player169 SUCKS!!!!

  4. jimeejohnson - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Should have had the schnitzel.

    • jimmycrackcorn99 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      Don’t – they’re serving schnautzer.

  5. Brandon - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    It would be nice if NBC posted the replay of this game for the vast majority of fans who cannot watch soccer during the work day. The network has spent a ton for the rights to BPL and a bit more for USMNT but are only offering second tier access to the content. Figure out who the best provider of live and replay sporting events is (hint: ESPN) and strive to be better – because that’s the quality by which fans are judging you. You are losing eyes that you’ve spent a lot of money to buy.

  6. jimmycrackcorn99 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Just as we should not overrate a win, nor should we overrate the loss. Of course the US goal was good, I hope that FIFA implements goal line technology soon everywhere to avoid these discussions – it can’t be that hard.

    Couple of comments: Shea and EJ looked lost. Both Jones and Bradley tried to take over the creative-mid role by lobbing the ball to forwards with little success. We missed a few 100% finishes, but that’s normal in soccer/football. Brooks needs more minutes as does Johannsson, who was out of his role as mid-forward behind JA. The game seemed to have more dynamic as it morphed to a 4-4-2 in the 2nd half.

    All in all a decent game for a quasi A/B team which is going through experimental rotations and systems. Didn’t like what you saw? Have a beer and get over it.

  7. player169 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    That’s funny. I guess Jermaine Jones was trying to be “creative” by turning the ball over 8 times in a 10 minute period. The guy does not possess the ball skills to be a starter at the international level. Need a guy to come in and play defense while your team is hunkering down to preserve a lead…maybe he is serviceable then…

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