Ireland records 4-1 win over Americans, who end 2014 winless in four.
By Robert Wagman
(Tuesday, November 18, 2014) -- After a year where the United States men escaped the “Group of Death” to advance to the second round of the World Cup in Brazil, the Americans stumbled to the conclusion of its 2014 schedule with a 4-1 loss to what constituted what might be Ireland’s “B” before 33,332 tonight in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
After the Irish dropped a tense Euro 2016 qualifier Friday against Scotland, Ireland, Ireland manager Martin O’Neill replaced his entire starting lineup and his new 11 managed three goals after intermission to break a halftime tie and send the Americans to their fourth consecutive setback.
A number of reserves and fringe players stepped in, including a pair from England -- Derby County defender Cyrus Christie and Ipswich Town forward David McGoldrick, who made their first international appearances. O’Neill called his lineup “experimental” but it looked like a veteran group which ran through a flat and seemingly dispirited U.S. team in turning a tight match into a romp after intermission.
Two of the Irish strikes came after the 80th minute, making it 11 times in its last 10 outing that the Americans conceded a goal after the 80th minute.
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann allowed defenders Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen and DeAndre Yedlin to return to their Major League Soccer teams ahead of this weekend’s playoff matches and he also sent defender DaMarcus Beasley home. The result was immediately obvious as the American back-line was shockingly disorganized, allowing the Irish reserves to run through and around them, almost at will in the second half.
The Americans lined up in a somewhat odd 4-1-3-2 formation with Kyle Beckerman in front of four defenders, and Alfredo Morales and Alejandro Bedoya on the flanks. Mix Diskerud was an attacking midfielder in the center, wjile Chris Wondolowski and Jozy Altidore were the strikers. On paper, this appeared to be a solid formation made up of experienced players, but as the evening wore on, it was anything but.
As has recently been the case, the U.S. came out for the second half completely flat. As the half wore on, the Americans simply looked tired and then dispirited. Since beating Ghana in the World Cup opener, the Americans have gone 1-4-3, scoring but eight goals while conceding 13.
The team will next get together in January for what Klinsmann has called a developmental camp in California.
U.S. Player Ratings
Goalkeeper Bill Hamid - 5: Except for perhaps the first goal, he could not be faulted for any of the others. It’s a shame he goes in the record books giving up four. Made one excellent first half save when the match was still in doubt.
Defender Fabian Johnson - 4.5: For the second match in a row, he left a lot to be desired. It’s really not clear if he is a better defender or midfielder.
Defender Matt Besler - 4.5: He looked disorganized and just plain tired. Was counted on to be the stopper, but did not play that way.
Defender Geoff Cameron - 5.5: He was counted on to be the anchor in the middle of the back-line. At times, he was, but too often had problems playing the ball out of the back. He received too little help when he needed it.
Defender Timmy Chandler 5: He had problems going forward and overall did not have one of his better nights. At times, he did well, but not often enough.
Midfielder Mix Diskerud - 5: He bagged the U.S.’s first-half goal and looked to be on his way to having a good night before disappearing in the second half.
Midfielder Kyle Beckerman - 6: He was solid in the middle, making some good defense stops. He got forward at times, but showed he couldn’t do it by himself.
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya - 5.5:He played a better first half than a second where he slowed and seemed to visibly tire. Had some very good minutes but, overall, not enough.
Midfielder Alfredo Morales - 5:He made a good effort, but he still lacks experience on the international level. He had some good moments, but then he made too made mistakes, despite holding a bright future.
Forward Chris Wondolowski - 4.5: He had little impact in the 45 minutes he played before exiting
Forward Jozy Altidore - 5.5: One minute, he was doing something just right and then, within moments, he was making some kind of blunder. As he has in the recent matches, he made a commendable effort, but had little to show for it.
Forward Bobby Wood (46th minute for Wondolowski) - 5.5: As he did Friday, he showed he has pace and is able to use his speed to cause problems for opponents. He forced Irish goalkeeper Shay Given into a good save but otherwise showed little in the way of results. Given his youth, looks to have promise for the future.
Defender Greg Garza (65th minute for Morales) - 6: He came into the midfield and showed he can play going forward as well as on the back-line. One of the bright spots for the Americans.
Forward Jordan Morris (76th minute for Chandler) - 5: The Stanford University (and Seattle Academy) product became the first college player to earn a first-team cap while in school since 1995.
Midfielder Rubio Rubin (76th minute for Diskerud) - 5: Reportedly, he did not start because of illness. Was flat and had little influence on the match.
Defender Tim Ream (86th minute for Beckerman) - no rating He did little right in a token appearance.
SoccerTimes U.S. Player of the Match: Kyle Beckerman.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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