Chile's Hot Second Half Burns Americans
Jürgen Klinsmann firmly believes friendlies are just that.
He's seeing what he needs to see in those matches, and the score is secondary.
The Americans' German guru went experimental right from the start, deploying a 3-5-2 formation that showed definite possibilities. However, it also showed the squad often became disoriented within it. As Jozy Altidore explained:
|The 3-5-2 was difficult because ... we were just trying to see if we could play that formation. Obviously, in the first half, we allowed them too much time and space to pick out a man, especially in the wide areas|
And then the first glimpseof confusion set in. Roberto Gutiérrez split the back line to equalize moments later:
Target man Jozy Altidore's career may be on the wane in England, but he knew what to do in this match after a nifty 1-2 set him up 20 minutes later:
At the intermission, Klinsmann put resurrecting the 3-5-2 on hold, shifted to a 4-4-2, after which Chile shifted into high gear. How midfielder Mark González was allowed to scamper 50 yards unchallenged is anybody's guess:
And he wasn't done. Ten minutes later, aware of space, González put himself in the right place at the right time to rocket home a richochet for the game-winner:
So Klinsmann has more data as he points toward this July's Gold Cup, where the USA will defend its title. He expects his mixing and matching now to be well worth it. To keep the old boys at USA Soccer at bay -- and he's regularly trod on their toes in the process -- it had better be.