111913_isi_austria_usmntte111913107 Thomas Eisenhuth/isiphotos.com
Direct from Austria

Failing in Vienna: U.S. Loses 1-0 to Close Out 2013

Jurgen Klinsmann's American side ended 2013 with its best ever record but could have done better in the last match. Brian Sciaretta has a report from the match at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
November 19, 2013
4:51 PM
VIENNA—On a cold night in Austria, the United States national team finished a good year but a disappointing November international window with 1-0 loss against the home side.

Klinsmann made three changes to the starting lineup that earned a listless 0-0 with Scotland on Friday. John Brooks started at central defense and Geoff Cameron moved to right back for Brad Evans. Aron Johannsson played the role Sacha Kljestan had at the top of the midfield, and Brek Shea earned the start after an effective performance off the bench last week.

The United States struggled with its touch early and Austrian dominated possession. The home side nearly moved on top in the 10th minute when Marc Jenko slid a pass across the goal mouth but no one was there to tap it home.

In the 15th minute the U.S team came to life with a series of chances. It started with Jozy Altidore hitting a shot from 19 yards that was just wide of the left post. One minute later, Johannsson shot forced a save. On the ensuing corner kick the U.S appeared to have been denied a goal when Cameron's header was knocked out of the net by Robert Almer. Replays suggested that the ball crossed the line.

After the flurry of chances for the Americans, Austria once regained the edge in possession. In the 33rd minute, they took the lead when David Alba fed the ball out wide to Gyorgy Garics. His low cross skipped past Brooks and Marc Janko fired it home past a helpless Tim Howard into the top of the goal.

In the 43rd minute, the U.S team had another chance when Altidore got behind the Austrian defense in the box. His cross from the right side found Michael Bradley whose shot was deflected close to the goal and was eventually cleared.

Austria opened the second half with another good chance. Martin Harnik appeared to be offsides on a through ball but the flag stayed down. His shot from the left side narrowly went wide of the far post.

It wouldn't be until the 74th minute when the U.S team would get another decent chance to score when Cameron's cross found its way to Altidore. He took a step into the middle of the box but his shot was saved by Almer.

Just a few minutes later, it was Howard who was forced to make a save when Marko Arnautovic has a shot from 12 yards off a counter attack.

In injury time, United States had two more chances. The first came when Altidore's free kick from 25 yards was wide of the near post. The second came just a minute later when a deflection appeared to hit an Austrian defender on the arm. Altidore's appeal for a handball was denied and instead he was whistled for the foul.

Minutes later, the referee blew his whistle and the game was over.

Next up for the U.S team will be the annual January camp, which is set to open shortly after the new year and conclude with one or two friendlies. More importantly, in just a few weeks the U.S will learn its opponents for the 2014 World Cup when the draw takes place on December 6th.

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