The USMNT will need to be better than this when World Cup qualifying starts in 5 days. They played out to a rather dour goalless draw with CONCACAF rivals Canada at BMO Field in Toronto.
Overall the US looked tired and rather uninspired. They got off to a bright start and controlled play early, but as the game wore on the US faded and Canada actually enjoyed long periods of possession. That said, neither team really ever took hold of the match and scoring chances in general were at a minimum.
Clint Dempsey had what was probably the best chance of the evening for the US when he nearly went through clean before the Canadian keeper Lars Hirschfeld picked the ball off his feet. The vaunted Dempsey/Donovan combo never produced the kind of magic USMNT fans were expecting as Donovan didn’t see a lot of the ball and Dempsey had few chances in the final third. In fact, Dempsey drifted back into midfield often, which only further limited the US attacking options up top.
Canada probably had the best chances of the night, including a shocking miss from Simeon Jackson, who should have stuck in the game winner off a Dwayne DeRosario cross in stoppage time. The US also had a great chance just moments later when Clarence Goodson had a great header saved by Lars Hirschfeld.
US fans will likely question coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s use of Michael Bradley, who played in a deep holding role and failed to make much of an impact. Bradley has typically been most effective as a box-to-box attacking midfielder and never seemed to get into the game sitting in front of the back four. Fans will also wonder whether if Bradley was up higher, that Clint Dempsey would not have had to drop back as far as he was.
The result means the US extends their unbeaten streak against Cananda to 15 games. The Nats will kick off their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday, June 8th in Tampa against Antigua & Barbuda.