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Teen Agudelo makes an impact, again
by Mike Woitalla, January 23rd, 2011 3:13AM

TAGS:  men's national team


[USA-CHILE] Has the USA has found a gem of a striker in 18-year-old Juan Agudelo? It's far too early to tell, but after scoring the gamewinner against South Africa last November – when he was still 17 – the Colombian-born New Jersey boy made the difference in the USA's 1-1 tie with Chile on Saturday.

As was the case when he scored against South Africa in a 1-0 win – becoming the youngest player in history to score for the U.S. national team – Agudelo entered the game with about 30 minutes left. Subbed in at the same time to pair up with him on the frontline was Teal Bunbury, a 20-year-old who also debuted in the South Africa game.

The young frontline duo livened up the U.S. attack while the Chileans held a 1-0 led thanks to Esteban Paredes’ scissors-kick strike seven minutes before they took the field.

With 16 minutes left to play, the USA moved the ball smoothly through the center of the field from their own half.

Center back Tim Ream, also making his second U.S. appearance, delivered a precise pass to Dax McCarty, who one-touched it to Agudelo. As three Chileans converged on Agudelo he worked a wall pass with Alejandro Bedoya and upon receiving it moved into the penalty area, where Sebastian Toro tripped Agudelo to earn the Americans a penalty kick.

Bunbury stroked the penalty kick low just inside the right post as keeper Paulo Garces dived to the left.

Seven of the U.S. players who saw action were making their debut. The most capped player on the field was Bedoya, who was making his seventh U.S. appearance.

Coach Bob Bradley had brought in 23 players into the first training camp of the year and their combined games for the USA totaled 26.

The gathering of youngsters was Bradley’s audition call to determine whom he would integrate into a team that will have its veterans when the USA travels to Egypt for a friendly on Feb. 9 .

Agudelo, who played his first professional game, for the New York Red Bulls, just four months ago, should be a shoo-in for a trip to Cairo.

Jan. 22 in Carson, Calif.
USA 1 Chile 1

Goals: Bunbury (pen.) 75; Paredes (Seymour) 53.

USA --  Rimando (Johnson, 46), Franklin, Ream, Gonzalez (Wynne, 46), Loyd (Wallace, 73), Larentowicz, McCarty. Bedoya (Alexander, 83) Diskerud, Shea (Agudelo, 60), Wondolowski (Bunbury, 60)

Chile -- Garces, Maglhaes, Toro, Mena, Abarca, Meneses, Silva, Figueroa (Seymour, 46), Paredes, Puch, Gazele ( Dominguez, 71).

Shots: 7/9
Shots on Goal: 4/3
Saves: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 2/0
Fouls: 18/9
Offside: 4/5

Yellow cards: USA -- Loyd 23; Chile -- Silva 17, Toro 82.

Referee: Francisco Chacon Gutierrez (MEX).

Att.: 18,580

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: January 23, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
    Over all the USA backlne looked very shakey, but I have hope for Ream and Gonzalez as they mature.What does anyone see in Marvel Wynne? MacCarty ran his butt off but accomplshed little. Shea was awful. Diskerude was better once Shea was out of his way.I like him, despite total chaos in the MF, he seemed to keep his cool and tried to bring some order to the mess.At age 20, perhaps there is hope he will become the new Reyna? Agudelo and Bunbury exciting to watch. They put a scare in the Chile defense with their unpredictabilty.I'm sure with more exposure to B. Bradley, that will change.
  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: January 23, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.
    I appreciate Mike's approach of refraining from criticism. But I just can't get over how deficient our technical abilities are. There wasn't one guy on the field who appeared like he could dominate the ball as opposed to the ball dominating him. McCarty, the central midfielder and distributor for Saturday's match, spent half the game chasing his first touch (and he was hardly alone). How can Bradley be expected to do anything with this group if they don't have the technical abilities to execute passes? It's the most elementary part of the game. As nervous as this collection of players might have been, I don't see more caps as the solution to this problem.
  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: January 23, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
    Gak -- totally agree. It is absolutely depressing to see the lack of basic passing and trapping skills. While BB can't personally be blamed for the lack of these skills in his players, however as the most prominent member of the US coaching fraternity he does share the blame for failing to highlight this fact and asking the coaching fraternity to remedy it. Part of the problem is that the great majority of coaches don't even see this as a problem!! If they did you wouldn't have kids starting to play at the age of 6 or younger and still be unable to trap a ball cleanly in college. Just watch some youth practices and see how much emphasis is placed on passing and trapping -- nada!!
  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: January 24, 2011 at 2:01 p.m.
    One thing I noticed time and time again especially during the first half was the constant killing of our forward going momentum by unnecessay square and back passes. Agudelo's presence and runs on the wing did show some promise to the attack. Otherwise, we did not know how to penetrate and complete our attacks.

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