[RUSSIA-USA: Reaction]After beating Italy and Mexico on the road for the first time, the USA went for a hat trick of away upsets when it traveled to red-hot Russia in Krasnodar. The USA did not get the victory, but it sure felt like one, battling back twice to earn a 2-2 in stoppage time.
-- U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann liked what he saw. "The way our team fought back twice after being down a goal was great," he said. "It showed a lot of personality. It showed a lot of character. This is a young team, and a team that is growing. We are pleased with the game overall, and to score in the last minute was great.”
-- Klinsmann insisted his players have to be sharper early in the game. "For our players," he said, "it’s important that in an international game you have to be spot on from the first second on." He bemoaned the error by Danny Williams that led to the first Russian goal in the 9th minute, but praised the efforts of his young players. Juan Agudelo assisted on Michael Bradley's goal in the 76th minute, while another U.S. U-23, Mix Diskerud, scored his first goal for the USA in stoppage time to cap a wild finish at Kuban Stadium.
-- Jozy Altidore made a comeback after being passed over for the final two World Cup 2014 semifinal-round qualifiers and earned praise from Klinsmann. "I think you saw Jozy Altidore today was a handful," said Klinsmann. "He gets a big, big compliment for his performance.”
-- The USA finished the 2012 campaign with a 9-2-3 record and a .750 winning percentage, matching the top winning percentage of the modern era set in 2005 when the team went 13-3-4.
-- Indicative of the long-term changes in American player development, only two U.S. starters against Russia played college soccer: center backs Carlos Bocanegra (UCLA) and Geoff Cameron (Rhode Island).
-- Bocanegra left the game in the 18th minute with what was said to be an injured hamstring. He was replaced by Clarence Goodson, who was called for the foul that led to the second Russian goal from the penalty spot.
Nov. 14 in Krasnodar
Russia 2 USA 2.Goals: Smolov 9, Shirokov (pen.) 84; Bradley 76, Diskerud 90+3.
Russia --Gabulov; Anyukov (Yanbaev, 59), Berezutskiy, Ignashevich, Eshechenko, Shirokov, Denisov, Kombarov (Dzagoev, 46), Smolov (Grigoriev, 11; Cheryshev, 80), Kokorin (Dzyuba, 67), Kerzhakov (Glushakov, 46).
USA --Howard; Chandler, Cameron (Diskerud, 87), Bocanegra (Goodson, 18), F.Johnson; Williams (Edu, 73), Jones, Bradley; Gatt (Agudelo, 63), Altidore (Boyd, 87), Gomez (Kljestan, 65)
Referee:Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).