The U.S. soccer team put on a strong showing against Venezuela on Saturday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Americans dominated the run of play for the entire match and had numerous scoring chances that they were unable to convert until the 97th minute. Ricardo Clark was finally able to beat the Venezuelan keeper Jose Morales off a Jermaine Jones corner kick to give the USMNT the 1-0 win.
The star of the game was veteran midfielder Jermaine Jones who controlled the center of the field and initiated the attack on multiple occasions. Jones' fitness allowed him to be all over the field helping from penalty box to penalty box.
The U.S. led 19-6 in shots and 7-0 in corner kick attempts. If it weren't for several brilliant saves from Morales, the final margin would have been at least 3-0. Venezuela never really threatened young American keeper Bill Hamid.
The victory marks the first win for the United States over a South American team since 2007. Team USA now travels to Panama for a second friendly of this training camp session. That game will be on January 25th.
Here's a recap of the several U.S. second half chances that came up short prior to Clark's stunning late goal.
- Following a set piece foul shot from well outside the box, keeper Bill Hamid quickly secured the ball an initiated the counter attack. The Americans had a man advantage on the break which resulted in a solid chance from Jermaine Jones that found the side of the net.
- In the 71st minutes the Americans got pressure in the box. Midfielder Graham Zusi intercepted a clearance attempt from the Venezuelan keeper and fired a shot that missed just wide.
- Klinsmann substituted more offense to the mix adding Chris Wondolowski (63') and C.J. Sapong (74') to the attack. Wondolowski made his presence felt finding a way to get a foot on a bouncing ball that was headed for the back of the net before Jose Morales was forced to make a great save.
- In the 82nd minute, Wondolowski back-heeled a pass to wide open Teal Bunbury who whiffed on a left-footed attempt. The Americans' got another shot on goal in the 85th minute that was deflected out by keeper Jose Morales. On the ensuing corner kick the U.S. got their head on a ball after a flurry of activity but once again the attempt was off target.
- The U.S. had another fantastic shot saved by another great effort by Morales. A Zach Loyd cross from the left found Wondolowski's head for a sure goal before the save robbed the Americans of the go-ahead score.
Stay tuned for postgame quotes from the coach and players in the coming hour.