The United States Men’s National soccer team had an overall good showing in the game against Switzerland on Tuesday. They created a lot of chances, and grabbed the lead late in the first half. But after Jozy Altidore got sent off after saying the F-word to the referee, the Swiss came back to tie the game. Sure, it was only a friendly, but once again the U.S. were unable to close out a game.
After the loss to Denmark, the United States were eager to play a better game against Switzerland and win back some pride. They started off well, and Alejandro Bedoya had a very strong first half in midfield and delivered a couple of great crosses. He created a very good scoring chance for Gyasi Zardes with a perfect cross from the right side, but Zardes was unable to get his shot on target.
Michael Bradley had a golden opportunity and should have scored when he got the ball in the box in the first half, but he blasted the ball high over the bar. Bradley always works hard in the center of midfield, but his finishing needs to improve when given chances like that or coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be tearing his hair out.
The break for the U.S. came right before halftime when defenseman Brek Shea curled a beautiful free-kick with his left foot over the Swiss wall and into the back of the net from just outside the penalty area. It was Shea’s fourth goal in the United States jersey and meant that the U.S. had a 1-0 lead after 45 minutes.
In the second half, the United States kept pushing forward, as the Swiss made four substitutions at halftime and it looked like we would have more of the same with the U.S. creating the better chances. William Yarbrough got his first international cap as he replaced Nick Rimando in goal at halftime. The 26-year-old goalie that plays for Leon in the Mexican league was born in Mexico to American missionaries and was eligible to play for both Mexico and the U.S. He had a good showing in his first international game and he could be a name for the future.
The majority of the 16,100 fans at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich got something to cheer about as Altidore got sent off in the 68th minute after swearing at the judge after committing a foul on a Swiss player. He was about to get a yellow card for the foul, but after saying something very nasty and idiotic to the referee he was shown the red card instead. It was totally unnecessary of Altidore to say what he did to the referee and he really put his team in a very difficult position as they had to play with 10 men for the rest of the game.
The Swiss took over play after Altidore’s sending off, and they equalize through Valentin Stocker in the 80th minutes. Stocker found himself at the right place at the right time after a Swiss corner and could put the ball into the net from a couple of yards away. The U.S. once again conceded a late goal, but they shouldn’t be blamed for only getting a draw since they were playing with 10 men and the fact that Switzerland is ranked number 12 in the world.
Hopefully Klinsmann gives Altidore a real talking to so that he can stay on the pitch in the future and concentrate on trying to score goals instead of swearing at the referee. The next game for the U.S. is on April 15 when they take on Mexico at a sold-out Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.