MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs LA Galaxy 

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, March 28 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: DC United 9/5 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 7/5

Match Preview

DC United host an unbeaten LA Galaxy side at RFK Stadium tomorrow evening in one of the standout fixtures of the weekend.

United, who finished top of the Eastern Conference in 2014, have started slowly this campaign and need to start reproducing the form we saw from them last season if they are to be a force again.

Galaxy have won once and drawn twice in their opening three and they will hope to continue that unbeaten run with a positive away result in DC.

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Bruce Arena needs to put an end to the Galaxy’s winless seven-game away streak, but this will be a tough ask at RFK Stadium.

DC have a tough run of fixtures coming up so need to make their home advantage count against the reigning MLS Cup champions. They will take consideration to Galaxy’s winless run on the road but they haven’t beaten their opponents since 2008.

Head coach Ben Olsen will be delighted that his side are not weakened by any international call-ups this week and the fact that LA are without Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes will be a worry for their supporters.

Team News

DC have four main injury concerns, Markus Halsti and Michael Seaton (knee), Luis Silva (hamstring) and Eddie Johnson (heart condition) will all be absent for the tie. Fabian Espindola is still suspended and without him, they have only netted once so far. Chris Pontius is likely to start alongside Jairo Arrieta once again in attack.

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LA have two injuries to deal with, Kenney Walker (groin) and Brian Perk (leg). But international games have decimated the Galaxy squad as Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Oscar Sorto, Bradford Jamieson IV and Jaime Penedo will all miss out. We can expect both Stefan Ishizaki and Jose Villarreal to continue to impress while Edson Buddle will need to score the goals in the absence of Keane and Zardes.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – As mentioned, Galaxy haven’t lost to DC since 2008 – a streak of ten games, and they will be hoping to continue that run this weekend.

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Key Player: Jose Villarreal – The young winger has made a great start to the season and has reportedly turned down a US U23 call-up to play this game. He has assisted goals in the past two games, and picked up a goal in the first. Expect him to be involved if the Galaxy are to find their first away win in seven.

Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 LA Galaxy – Bruce Arena’s men have started the season well and the squad is looking good. They can take advantage of DC’s slow start but will be worked hard for a win, especially with so many players out on international duty.

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International Preview and Prediction: Denmark vs USA

Competition: International Friendly – Denmark vs. United States

Venue: NRGi Park, Denmark – Wednesday, March 25 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Denmark 23/20 – Draw 11/5 – USA 5/2

Match Preview

Denmark host the USA on Wednesday night in an intriguing international friendly as Jurgen Klinsmann and his experimental US Men’s National Team squad face a skillful Danish side at NRGi Park.

Klinsmann has only called up six MLS-based players into his 23-man squad for the upcoming friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland as the new Major League Soccer season is underway. That means a lot of less experienced faces are involved and will hope to impress.

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Regardless of who plays, the main aim will be to take positives out of the game and that means a good performance is needed against a Denmark side that boasts quality players such as Christian Eriksen and Daniel Agger.

The Danes have only won one of their last four though and have yet to play a game in 2015 so the USA will look to capitalise on any rustiness from Morten Olsen’s men.

Klinsmann has seen his USMNT side in action twice already this year as they lost to Chile 3-2 back in January before beating Panama 2-0 at the beginning of February to record their first win in six.

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The USA squad’s last trip to Europe didn’t go too well as they lost to Colombia in London before being thrashed by the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and Klinsmann will be desperate for better performances against the Danes and Switzerland.

This will be the fifth meeting between Denmark and the USA and the USMNT will hope to record a first-ever victory against the Danes, having lost two and drawn two of the previous four encounters.

The last meeting saw Denmark run out 3-1 winners at NRGi Park in November 2009 and there are now just four places between the two nations in the FIFA World Rankings so this should be close.

Team News

Denmark coach Morten Olsen has named a strong squad for the game and Christian Eriksen will be hoping to earn his 50th cap with a start in this one, becoming the youngest-ever player to do so for the Danish National Team if he does. Former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger will expect to start at centre-back and could be partnered by Aston Villa’s Jores Okore. Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will hope to start in goal while former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner could start in attack.

Denmark vs USA Predicted Lineups

Denmark vs USA Predicted Lineups (via LineupBuilder.com)

The USMNT have plenty of unfamiliar faces in the squad but the experienced heads in the team will likely start this one. Nick Rimando will start in goal, while Michael Bradley is almost guaranteed to start in midfield. Brek Shea will fill in at left-back once again, while DeAndre Yedlin could be used on the right wing if Fabian Johnson gets the nod at right-back. Gyasi Zardes impressed against Panama and could start again, though Dempsey and Altidore look most likely to start in attack.

Key Points

Denmark’s last five: W/D/L/W/L

USA’s last five: D/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: There have been 15 goals in the four previous meetings between the two countries. Add that to the fact that neither team has seen a 0-0 for a combined total of 43 games and it’s clear that we should be treated to goals on Wednesday evening.

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Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The Danish playmaker will be the most talented man on the pitch if he starts the game. It will be his 50th cap and he’ll want to mark the occasion with a fine performance and a goal.

Score Prediction

Denmark 2-2 USA – This should provide bundles of entertainment as both sides will look to attack from the outset. However, it is tough to separate them on paper and that could lead to a score draw in Denmark on Wednesday. It is important that the USA take positives from the game and avoiding defeat will be the main aim.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, March 21 – 22:30 ET (02:30 GMT – Sunday, March 22)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/9 – Draw 16/5 – Houston Dynamo 13/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center late on Saturday night in what could be an entertaining MLS game.

LA approach this game after earning a last gasp equaliser in Portland last weekend to deny the Timbers of two points and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans.

The Galaxy have all the assets to challenge for the MLS Cup again this season and have had to deal with the huge loss of Landon Donovan.

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However, with starting berths being given to Jose Villarreal and goalkeeper Brian Rowe, the Galaxy have managed to go two games unbeaten.

Bruce Arena will be hoping for a less dramatic result this time out, as they are clear favourites to win this one.

Houston have started slower than most in MLS this season yet remain mid-table and have struggled to get out of first gear under new boss Owen Coyle.

The 1-0 loss to Orlando at home last weekend was yet another disappointment for the Dynamo as an own goal from Tyler Deric settled the game.

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Houston seemed to lack a bit of creativity and the 4-4-2 system Owen Coyle is deploying makes the Dynamo a little flat, especially when you consider he played Oscar Boniek Garcia and Giles Barnes up front against Orlando, who are both not recognised strikers.

Like all changes in manager, success will take time. However, if the Dynamo perform well at the StubHub Center, they have the players to produce a result.

Team News

LA Galaxy have no injury concerns ahead of this weekend. We’re expecting the same team that took to the field in Portland. Baggio Husidic will continue in midfield with Juninho and Brian Rowe should start his third successive game in MLS.

Houston Dynamo’s Raul Rodriguez is a doubt after missing the Orlando game with a hamstring injury. Will Bruin is likely to come in, with Oscar Boniek Garcia moving back out to the right wing.

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Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D

Houston Dynamo’s form: W/L

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are undefeated in their last 20 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The USMNT star is set to partner captain Robbie Keane once again. Zardes is a star player for this Galaxy side now and he is always a threat to goal.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-0 Houston Dynamo – This should be a routine win for the Galaxy against a Houston side still adapting to life under Owen Coyle.

Robbie Keane eyeing up managerial role after playing career ends

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has no plans to hang up his boots just yet but he has spoken of his desire to stay in the game he loves as a coach when he does eventually retire.

The Republic of Ireland international has set his sights on one day managing his country but wants to ease his way into the coaching lifestyle by first becoming an assistant manager.

“It is something I would be interested in,” Keane said. “A few years down the line, it would have to be. I’m not going to get something like that at the start, like anything, it depends what opportunities you get. You don’t walk into jobs. You have to establish yourself.

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“The last year or so I have been doing my coaching badges. The reason I am doing them now is that if an opportunity does come along and I am finished playing, then I can look at it.

“Maybe going in with a manager as an assistant because I have a lot to offer on the training field in terms of sessions I know players will like,” he added.

“When you are an assistant manager, you have to be in between the players and the manager. You have to have the relationship where you can sometimes go to those players who don’t feel comfortable going to the manager.”

The LA Galaxy captain is a natural leader and showed that as he led the Galaxy to their fifth MLS Cup title in December, netting the winning goal in extra-time.

He could start his coaching career in MLS with the Galaxy as he is already a leader to the younger players in the squad. The Irishman has scored 69 goals in 115 appearances for the reigning champions in all competitions and has recently helped Gyasi Zardes develop into one of the league’s most lethal attackers.

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Keane could step into management alongside his current manager, Bruce Arena in Los Angeles but his ultimate goal is to return home to manager his country.

The 34 year old is Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer and also holds the record number of caps for his nation so there would not be many people better equipped to lead the Boys in Green.

“Would the ultimate goal be to manage Ireland? Maybe one day, yeah. It is something I would be interested in. A few years down the line, it would have to be.”

Would Robbie Keane make a good manager when he retires from the game?

Gyasi Zardes: LA Galaxy “fired up” ahead of MLS season opener

Gyasi Zardes has revealed that he and his LA Galaxy teammates are “fired up” as they continue to prepare for the 2015 MLS season opener against Chicago Fire in two weeks time.

The 23-year-old forward was late joining up with the rest of the Galaxy team as he was busy impressing with the US Men’s National Team earlier this month but he played 72 minutes in the friendly against Hammarby in Sweden on Monday.

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The Galaxy lost that game 2-1 but Zardes earned an early penalty that Robbie Keane converted and the young star was lively throughout.

Bruce Arena’s side are now in Ireland preparing to take on Shamrock Rovers this Saturday and Zardes thinks the team is looking good.

“We’re getting ready pretty good. We’re having good training sessions so I think we’re going to be ready for this weekend,” he told the club’s official YouTube channel.

“I think the team is looking great. I know I’m fired up and these guys are as well so I’m really looking forward just preparing for March 6.

“You’ve got to go on and battle these teams with different styles. We went to Sweden and that was a different style and here in Ireland is going to be different too so we’re just adapting and matching up with our opponents.”

Zardes found the net 16 times last year and set an MLS record for most goals by a Homegrown player in a single season.

He has quickly become one of the most exciting attacking players in the league and LA Galaxy fans will be looking forward to seeing him back in action when they kick the new season off in a fortnight.

How important is Gyasi Zardes to the LA Galaxy? Will he build on last year’s 16-goal tally?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: LA Galaxy

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the LA Galaxy will be looking to achieve this year.

LA Galaxy head into the 2015 season off the back of one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of the club. They won a record fifth MLS Cup title and said goodbye to the legendary Landon Donovan following his retirement. The Galaxy must ensure that Donovan’s retirement doesn’t have a negative impact on their performances on the pitch. Deciding how they will set-up in order to get the best out of the team once new signing Steven Gerrard joins in July will be crucial. The aim for 2015 will be to achieve at least the same again in terms of honours.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D10 – L7

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What needs to change this year?

It’s not so much a case of what needs to change for LA Galaxy, but more how they can set about continuing from where they left off.  The 2014 season saw them lose just seven regular season games – the least out of any MLS team. Three of those defeats came in the opening eight fixtures, so a better start this time around will ensure they can be the early pacesetters.  The only disappointment from last year will be that they failed to win the Supporters’ Shield, so that will be one of their targets for 2015.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Steven Gerrard – Midfielder (Designated Player)

Outs: Landon Donovan – Midfielder/Forward, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfielder, Rob Friend – Forward

Key player: Robbie KeaneForward

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Robbie Keane‘s contribution throughout the 2014 season was astonishing. He is the captain, a leader of men and possesses bags of experience. He will have achieved hero status after his performance last year, including the famous MLS Cup Final winning goal. He will need to continue to take responsibility and guide his team along the way.

One to watch: Gyasi ZardesForward

The 23-year-old is an exciting prospect. Gyasi Zardes was very much the unsung hero last season, due to the attention given to Landon Donovan’s farewell season and Robbie Keane’s superb efforts. He scored 16 goals in the regular season campaign and is growing in quality with every second he spends on the pitch. The recent inclusion in the USMNT will only give him further confidence to act as a springboard for 2015.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 1st

Competition is going to be even higher in the Western Conference this season, but LA Galaxy still boast one of the strongest squads in Major League Soccer. They’re certainly one of the strong favourites for the Supporters’ Shield and will also expect to retain their MLS Cup title.

How will LA Galaxy fare in 2015?

Weighing up the 2015 MLS Top Scorer Candidates

As we draw closer to the new campaign Lewis Addley has a look at who could be the top goalscorer come the end of the 2015 season. In no particular order here are the top five candidates, followed by a selection of those who will hot on their tails.

  • Bradley Wright Phillips: The New York Red Bulls goal machine has to be a considered once again. His record-tying 27 goal tally in the regular season last time out was an astonishing total which he will be eager to better this season. Without the support of Thierry Henry he will have to work extra hard and teams across the league will be aware of how dangerous he is.
  • Dom Dwyer: Sporting Kansas City’s very own Englishman. The 24-year-old was runner up to BWP last season with his tally of 22. Dwyer will be looking to impress once again and will want to emulate his form going into the new campaign. If he continues to be as deadly in the box while remaining fit, we could have a real long-term gem working his way up the all-time MLS goalscoring list.

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  • David Villa: New York City’s new superstar doesn’t need much of an introduction. The Spanish goal machine has scored countless times for all the clubs he has played for and is the highest goalscorer in the Spanish National Team’s history. Villa will be playing alongside Patrick Mullins and MLS rookie Khiry Shelton, with all three players looking to prove why they signed for the expansion franchise. Villa could find himself wide left instead of spearheading the NYCFC forward line, a position he has played very effectively for both Barcelona and Spain, so his position will determine just how many times he finds the net in 2015.
  • Robbie Keane: The veteran 34-year-old cannot go without a mention. Scoring the winning goal in extra-time of the MLS Cup final in December shows he still has the legs and hunger to find the back of the net. His tally of 19 last season is impressive considering he was playing alongside Gyasi Zardes and Landon Donovan, who scored 26 goals combined. Keane is still a star and as long as he is playing, LA Galaxy will score goals.

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  • Obafemi Martins: The Nigerian striker was the Seattle Sounders’ top scorer last season and he will be looking to help the Sounders retain their MLS Supporters’ Shield this year. With the help of Clint Dempsey we can expect Seattle goals to be spread around again. ‘Obagoal’ will want to break the 20 goal mark in 2015 as he came close to doing so last campaign.

Close runners: 

  • Jozy Altidore: Expect the big man to find his goalscoring form now he is back home in MLS with Toronto after difficult spells with Premier League sides, Sunderland and Hull City in recent years. If he can find his feet quickly he could be unstoppable.

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  • Erick Torres: The Mexican’s impressive tally of 15 last season with Chivas led to his move to the Houston Dynamo and he will hope to recapture his form in front of goal when he eventually joins up with his new teammates.
  • Patrick Mullins: If, as mentioned above, Mullins is to play through the middle with Villa out-wide it could be another partnership like Henry and BWP. Mullins showed real promise with New England in 2014 and could be set for a big year in New York City.

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  • Clint Dempsey: Again, as mentioned above, ‘Deuce’ was in with a share of the Sounders goals last campaign and his killer instinct in the box makes him a deadly forward every time he takes to the field.
  • Gyasi Zardes: The emerging USMNT star netted 16 goals last season but he will expect to improve on that tally this season. The 23-year-old has bags of confidence and ability to go with it.

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USMNT end five game winless streak with 2-0 victory over Panama

The rot has been stopped. Jurgen Klinsmann and the US Men’s National Team ended a five-game winless streak with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Panama on Sunday.

First-half goals from Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey saw the USA record their first win since a 1-0 friendly victory against the Czech Republic back in September.

Panama were far from threatening but it’s important that the USMNT got a win under their belt and the second clean-sheet in seven since the World Cup will also please Klinsmann.

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The 3-5-2 system we saw deployed in the first-half against Chile last time out was not tried again as the German coach opted to start with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Jermaine Jones played in defence again but he looked a lot better than he did against the Chileans and that is a project that is certain to continue through 2015.

Michael Bradley started in a deeper midfield role and controlled the game well. He opened the scoring with a ridiculously good corner that looped over LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and into the net.

Michael Bradley’s goal against Panama (via US Soccer on YouTube):

Gyasi Zardes made his first start for the USMNT and impressed throughout as the Galaxy forward thrived at StubHub Center in the USA shirt.

Zardes played a key role in the second goal of the game as he burst into the middle of the field before threading a perfect ball to Clint Dempsey. The Seattle Sounders forward then rounded Penedo before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Clint Dempsey’s goal against Panama (via US Soccer on YouTube):

Players will now return to their clubs as the new Major League Soccer season gets underway in less than a month.

One concern to take from the game is that DeAndre Yedlin limped off and headed straight down the tunnel. Spurs fans will hope that it is nothing serious as the pacey fullback has yet to make his debut for the Premier League club since completing his move in January.

The next time we see the USMNT in action will be at the end of March as Klinsmann’s side take on Denmark and Switzerland in a pair of tricky fixtures.

What did you make of the USMNT’s performance against Panama on Sunday?

International Preview and Prediction: USA vs Panama

USA vs Panama – International Friendly

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, February 8 – 9:00PM GMT (4:00PM ET)

Match Odds: USA 4/7 – Draw 11/4 – Panama 5/1

The US Men’s National Team take on Panama in their second friendly of the year and will look to record their first win in six after last week’s 3-2 loss to Chile made it three defeats on the bounce.

Jurgen Klinsmann tried a 3-5-2 system in that game but there was a lot to work on in terms of the formation and it will be interesting to see if he is bold enough to start with that against Panama on Sunday.

Late goals continue to haunt the USA and they conceded twice in the final 25 minutes against Chile to lose the match, despite leading 2-1 at halftime. They have taken the lead in four of their last five but have not won in any of those matches.

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Fitness is a valid excuse at this stage of the year with Major League Soccer players only just returning to action, and 20 of the 23 players in the squad play in MLS now so they are yet to reach full match fitness.

Klinsmann has hinted that the 3-5-2 system will be used again by saying: “Definitely, we want to keep developing it, because we want to use it when the moment is there and maybe we have the players for it. And therefore, it’s a card to keep working on.”

USA Predicted Lineup vs Panama

Possible USMNT lineup vs Panama (via Lineupbuilder.com)

A friendly means substitutions can help things though and Klinsmann will expect to see his side get back to winning ways against a Panama side that is set to play their first game of 2015.

The CONCACAF side are 28 places lower than the USA in the FIFA World Rankings but will be looking to kickstart 2015 in the same form as they ended last year as they only lost one of their last seven in 2014.

USA vs Panama head-to-head record: Played 14 – USA 11 – Draws 2 – Panama 1

Three MLS players have been called up to the squad for the game against the USMNT as LA Galaxy’s Jaime Penedo, FC Dallas striker Blas Perez and Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres will all expect to feature.

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If he starts, Penedo will be playing in a familiar environment as LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center will host the game.

Another Galaxy player hoping to feature will be Gyasi Zardes and the young striker will hope to start after looking sharp when coming off the bench against Chile last week.

USA’s last five: D/D/L/L/L

Panama’s last five: W/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: Panama have only beaten the USA once in 14 previous meetings – a 2-1 win in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2011.

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The LA Galaxy striker showed promise on his debut against Chile and will be pushing for a start. Expect him to make a difference if he is given the time.

Score Prediction: USA 3–1 Panama The USMNT to get back to winning ways with an improved performance back on home soil.

Five takeaways: Chile 3–2 USA – What did we learn about the USMNT?

The US Men’s National Team got their 2015 campaign underway against Chile in Rancagua last night and although it was only a friendly, the game left us with plenty to think about.

Jurgen Klinsmann started the game with a 3-5-2 formation in place but a close to full strength USA side lost the game 3-2 against a Chile B side.

The Chileans have all started their new season and are much fitter than the MLS-based players who have only just started preseason training and that showed in the second-half as the USMNT let a 2-1 lead go as a result of fatigue.

Here are five things we learnt from last night’s game:

1) 3-5-2 is not the reason behind defeat and needs to be tried again.

Many questioned Klinsmann’s decision to lineup in a 3-5-2 setup against Chile on Wednesday night but the system seemed to work well overall, despite some defensive issues. The USA scored more than a single goal in a game for the first time since the World Cup which is obviously a positive but the wingback positions need more attention. DeAndre Yedlin and Brek Shea struggled to get back and defend wide areas as the USA allowed Chile to cross the ball 41 times.

As Shea opens the scoring look at how far forward he and Yedlin are

As Shea opens the scoring look at how far forward he and Yedlin are.

The still shot above shows how far forward Yedlin and Shea were willing to get from the start of the game. As Shea blasts his shot in, Yedlin is as advanced as strikers Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore. Effective in attack, but not in defence.

Klinsmann reverted to a more familiar 4-4-2 after halftime as the USA went on to lose the game 3-2, despite leading at the break. Fitness is a key issue this early in the year but the 3-5-2 experiment cannot be scrapped just yet. Needs more work.

2) Jermaine Jones is too reckless to play in the centre of a three-man backline.

Jermaine Jones played in defence once again on Wednesday, but this time at the heart of a three-man backline alongside Matt Besler and Steve Birnbaum. Jones was seemingly allowed to play where he wanted on the pitch though and he failed to stick to his position on several occasions. Being a natural midfielder – the position he thrives in for New England Revolution, Jones has a tendency to carry the ball out of defence, but he was caught on more than one occasion and Chile created chances from his turnovers as a result, with Jones then missing from defence.

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He was seemingly playing in midfield in the second-half but he uses his athleticism too much at points and goes charging into areas that he doesn’t need to. Some more tactical discipline would keep Jones in a position where he could break down an attack, but chasing the ball is not something that will help him, or his teammates.

Jones should be played in midfield alongside Bradley in the upcoming friendly against Panama to allow him to express himself in his natural position. The USA need his box-to-box athleticism, just not from defence.

3) Does a game have to have two halves?

The worrying trend of second-half slumps continued as Chile battled back to turn the game around in the second 45. The USA have now lost their last three games, and conceded nine second-half goals in their last five, a spell in which they haven’t won a game. That is a major concern. Fitness was a reasonable excuse this time around as players haven’t played a competitive game for a couple of months, but the staggering drop in performance levels as the game goes on is something that needs to be addressed quickly.

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One positive is that the USA managed to avoid conceding a goal in the final ten minutes for the first time in four games. They had conceded 11 goals in the last ten minutes of their last 11 games, but managed to stop that becoming 12 in 12 against Chile.

4) Steve Birnbaum largely impressive, Bobby Wood not so much.

Steve Birnbaum and Bobby Wood were both given their first starts in a USMNT shirt against Chile but had differing nights. DC United defender and 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year, Birnbaum played well and looked comfortable at the back, despite having to play in a back three. He almost scored an own goal in the second-half as a cross bounced off his thigh and fortunately into the arms of Nick Rimando in goal. That blunder seemed to affect him as he wasn’t as well organised for the remainder of the game, with the third Chile goal deflecting in off his leg, but that was down to fatigue as much as anything else.

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Bobby Wood started in attack alongside Jozy Altidore but didn’t offer enough of a threat, before being taken off at halftime. He’s struggling for gametime with 1860 Munich in Germany and that showed as he looked off the mark. There are better players that should start ahead of Wood for now.

5) Lee Nguyen needs to start, Gyasi Zardes showed promise.

Lee Nguyen had to settle for another substitute appearance as he gets used to life back in the USA setup, but Klinsmann should have started the New England playmaker. Nguyen has the ability to thread killer balls through – something desperately missing, but he came into the game alongside tiring teammates against a Chile side that controlled possession. Nguyen needs to start against Panama.

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Gyasi Zardes made his international debut last night and left us wanting more. The LA Galaxy striker has improved dramatically over the past 12 months and deserved his chance with the USMNT. He came on and looked lively, despite the lack of service, and forced a save late on with a shot that he will feel he could have done better with. The main thing is that he showed he can create space with his movement, and we look forward to seeing more against Panama.

What did you make of the USA game against Chile on Wednesday night?