New England Soccer Today

U.S. Falls to Ecuador, 1-0

The U.S. Men’s National Team failed to convert a bright start into goals, allowing Ecuador to grab a later winner to beat the U.S. 1-0 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. The loss brings the U.S. record to 1-3-1 under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with just two goals in five matches.

Ecuador scored the game winner in the 79th minute when Jaime Ayovi beat Tim Ream to a cross from his cousin Walter Ayovi on the left flank after a short throw-in. Ayovi powered a low header just inside the far post to beat goalkeeper Tim Howard.

“I was watching the man, and as I looked back I saw the ball coming,” said Ream. “He was past me as soon as I took a step.”

The U.S. made just one change to the line-up that beat Honduras 1-0 on Saturday, replacing Michael Orozco Fiscal with Oguchi Onyewu at center back. The change seemed to help solidify the U.S. backline and the home side was the more positive in the first half.

“The team tried really hard to do what we asked them to do,” said Klinsmann.  “We asked them to step it up another notch after the Honduras game and I think they did that. I think we played a brilliant first half and created a lot of chances. We didn’t score but we didn’t allow anything for Ecuador at all.

“We had to make some changes and we also wanted to give players the possibilities to express themselves and show themselves. Ecuador in the second half got more into the game. They created some chances but never really threatened Tim Howard besides the one beautiful goal they scored.”

Jozy Altidore threatened under a minute into the match, breaking into the box off a short throw-in. Altidore’s shot from a tight angle was saved by a well-positioned Máximo Banguera.

Ex-New England Revolution midfielder Clint Dempsey would come close three minutes before half time, volleying a thirty yard shot just high of the crossbar.

The visitors rarely threatened in the opening period and when they did Howard was up to the task. Looking to rest a few players who had seen time on Saturday, Klinsmann inserted Jonathan Spector, Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley and Juan Agudelo for Steve Cherunolo, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea and Altidore, respectively.

The changes seemed to have a negative effect, however, as the U.S. failed to generate many chances in the second period and Ecuador began to create more going forward. After a spell of possession Jefferson Montero shot just wide of the far post in the 60th minute.

The U.S. was forced to resort to long range efforts and Beasley’s shot from distance was easily saved by Banguera in the 69th minute.

The substitution of Tim Ream in for captain Carlos Bocanegra at center back in the 71st minute would prove the undoing of the U.S. backline seven minutes later when the young defender failed to properly mark Ayovi on the game winning goal.

“It’s a learning moment for Tim Ream, that he has to be in front of that guy and unbalance him,” said Klinsmann. “Tim needs these moments and he needs these minutes on this level in order to learn.”

Dempsey had one final chance to equalize for the U.S. in the 93rd after he combined with Onyewu down the right flank. The creative midfielder ran into the box and power a shot towards goal, but a sliding defender managed to deflect it wide for a corner kick.

The U.S. is expected to return to action in November for one or two yet to be announced matches.


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