Three thoughts on U.S.-Ecuador
The U.S. team's lack of goal scoring under Jurgen Klinsmann is troubling
Veterans DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu showed glimpses of their old form
Defender Omar Gonzalez deserves a call-up given the U.S.' back line issues
HARRISON, N.J. -- Three thoughts after the U.S.'s 1-0 loss against Ecuador in a friendly on Tuesday:
Five games, two goals. We can keep saying until we're blue in the face that results don't matter right now, but at some point the object of the game is to score goals, and the U.S. has now scored just two in the first five games of the Jurgen Klinsmann era. On Tuesday the Americans simply didn't have many good chances in front of the goal, even though they had their share of possession in the attacking third. Clint Dempsey didn't appear to be on the same wavelength very often with front-runner Jozy Altidore, and crosses into the box -- there were a few, mainly from left back Timmy Chandler -- rarely found their target. Injuries to Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden and José Torres are hurting the U.S.'s creativity in the midfield, and they can't get back on the field soon enough.
Time to call in Omar Gonzalez. Not sure what more there is to say about Gonzalez's continuing omission from the national team after Tim Ream joined fellow center back Michael Orozco Fiscal in having brutal games in a U.S. jersey over the past week. Orozco Fiscal hasn't shown that he can play at the international level. Ream had at least provided flashes of that potential in the past year, but he has suffered through a miserable year with New York and the national team, including letting his man Jaime Ayoví inside to head home the winning goal here on Tuesday. Ream and Orozco Fiscal need some time to get back on track with their club teams before any more U.S. call-ups. As for Gonzalez, he's my choice right now for MLS Defender of the Year, but he can't get a sniff with Klinsmann's national team. Time for that to change.
These blasts from the past can still be useful. Oguchi Onyewu and DaMarcus Beasley haven't been in their best form for the U.S. in years, but both players made a case that they should continue being part of Klinsmann's plans moving forward. Onyewu was moving much more fluidly on Tuesday than he did against Argentina last spring, a sign that his steady playing time with Sporting Lisbon is already earning dividends. The Gooch, whose career changed the night he hurt his knee in 2009, was a clear upgrade on Orozco Fiscal while playing 90 minutes in the central defense. Beasley, too, had some good moments on the ball in his 45 minutes of action and showed flashes of the younger player who spent so much time on the field in Champions League games. His move to Mexico's Puebla is evidence of a player who wants to revive his career.