USMNT 1-1 New Zealand: Depth issues on show in disjointed draw

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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  • Green scores third goal
  • Patterson equalizes in 73′
  • Gooch earns first cap

The United States men’s national team showed the limits of its depth in a disjointed 1-1 draw with visiting New Zealand on Tuesday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Playing without a bevy of first choice players including Geoff Cameron, John Brooks, Fabian Johnson, Tim Howard, and Christian Pulisic, the Americans simply didn’t have the A game from their B squad.

The Yanks move onto the final round of World Cup qualifying, with November matches set with Mexico and Costa Rica.

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William Yarbrough started in goal, earning his third cap, as the Yanks rolled out a 4-3-3.

Kellyn Acosta, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, and Michael Orozco started in the back, with Perry Kitchen, Michael Bradley, and Sacha Kljestan in the midfield. A three-man attack of Julian Green, Jozy Altidore, and DeAndre Yedlin completed the XI.

Leeds striker Chris Wood ripped a shot on William Yarbrough that the U.S. keeper parried into the path of an offside Kiwi attacker, who was offside anyway, but any underestimation of New Zealand would’ve been taken care of there.

Michael Boxall fouled Yarbrough on a dangerous NZ free kick, and it was clear the Kiwis would bring a physical approach to the proceedings.

The Americans were a bit disjointed thanks to an aggressive and well-stationed New Zealand side, but broke through off a long pass from Yarbrough that Altidore flicked to Green. The Bayern man cut to space and bounded a shot past aimless goalkeeping to make it 1-0.

It was nearly 2-0 moments later, as Altidore worked in Yedlin and the Newcastle man made an electric move before seeing his shot stopped by Stefan Marinovic.

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A bad giveaway by Perry Kitchen sprung a chaotic few scenes for the Yanks, but the U.S. took it to halftime with that 1-0 lead.

New Zealand’s Monty Patterson had a terrific chance to equalize but blazed over the net at the hour mark.

Lynden Gooch made an impact in his debut, subbing into the game for the final 30 minutes. After nearly causing Marinovic to give away in a poor position, he ended up with the ball on the right wing. His cross fell to Green, who shot over the bar.

The Kiwis leveled things up in the 73rd minute off a corner kick. Patterson lost Matt Besler and then pushed a screen shot through traffic and between the legs of Bingham. 1-1.

And it was New Zealand who had most of the play for the final half hour, building off a slim loss to a weakened Mexico side on Friday.

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The U.S. found some moments in the late stages, with Danny Williams driving the ball against the run of play for a strong rip that was moved out for a corner. Gonzalez headed the ensuing set piece over the frame.

Gooch and Bradley then combined to force a great save from Marinovic, and Gonzalez headed another chance wide in the third minute of stoppage. Gooch had an excellent debut.