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All things considered, the United States were fortunate to walk out of Kuban Stadium with a 2-2 draw.
It was a good result, but it can't mask the team’s deficiencies on defense.
Carlos Bocanegra’s age and condition had already come into question before yesterday’s match. With the seasoned center back turning 35 before the 2014 World Cup, an heir to the defensive throne is of the utmost importance for the United States.
His substitution in the 18th minute due to an apparent hamstring injury only reinforced that sentiment.
Clarence Goodson did not see much action with the senior team in his professional career, and after his performance in yesterday’s match, I am not sure if he ever will again.
Goodson’s unnecessary challenge inside the box in the 84th minute drew the penalty that allowed Russia to regain its lead. With Tim Howard in position to possess the ball, Goodson showed his inexperience in the definitive moment of an international friendly.
The only thing more criminal than Goodson’s performance was Danny Williams’ gift in the ninth minute.
His inexplicable turnover off a free kick left the center-back pairing of Bocanegra and Geoff Cameron vulnerable to the Russian attack. Fedor Smolov would easily capitalize, giving his team an early 1-0 lead.
Fabio Capello’s dynamic forwards went on to create chance after chance, especially in the second half.
If not for Howard’s heroics in goal, the United States would have returned home from Krasnodar, Russia, with a far worse result.
With the hexagonal just three months away, it is apparent what Klinnsman’s top priority should be.
The MLS season is almost over Mr. Klinnsman. Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler are just a phone call away.