RECAP: USA 2 - 4 BELGIUM
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JOHN KRETLOW - Thursday, May 30, 2013
Goals from Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron were not enough as the US Men's National Team went down to a strong Belgium squad in an international friendly from Cleveland. Substitute Christian Benteke highlighted the road team's dominance with two second-half goals that helped Belgium grab an easy 4-2 victory.

The first half was an even affair, with Belgium scoring an early goal but the US responding strong with a set-piece tally.

A storyline going into Wednesday's game was how the US backline would deal with Belgium's attacking talent. In just the fifth minute of the game, Belgium made its first strong attack of the game and found the back of the net.

Steven Defour split the US backline with a through ball to Romelu Lukaku who struck the ball towards goal but Tim Howard's sliding save knocked the ball into space. Kevin Mirallas then lofted the ball into the empty net and gave the road team the lead.

In the 22nd minute, the US leveled the game when a corner kick was headed by Dempsey towards the front of the goal and Cameron headed the ball home.

The second half was dominated by Belgium however, as they scored three goals quickly to put the game out of reach for the Americans.

In the 56th minute Belgium notched their second goal of the game when Omar Gonzalez' heavy touch in the US box resulted in a giveaway to Defour who squared the ball to an open Benteke. The Aston Villa striker scored from close range to give Belgium the lead.

Just nine minutes later, Marouane Fellaini got into the action for Belgium, as he headed home a goal from a corner kick situation that the US was unable to clear from danger.

Belgium then made it 4-1 when Benteke received a through-ball from Defour and then flicked the ball over Brad Guzan for the goal in the 71st minute.

The US was able to get one back in the 80th minute, however, when it converted from the penalty spot.

Eddie Johnson stormed into Belgium's final third and attempted a cross, but Toby Alderweireld stopped the ball with his hand and was called for the penalty. Dempsey stepped up to the line and buried the ensuing spot kick for the US.

Just a minute later, the US was close to cutting Belgium's lead to just a goal, but Johnson's cross was too far for Brad Evans to get good contact on goal.

With just minutes left in the game though, the US fans got something to cheer about when Stuart Holden made his return to the national team. The Bolton midfielder had not played for the US since 2010 because of a series of serious knee injuries. Holden was hardly enough to make up for his side's two-goal deficit, unsurprisingly, with the game ending at the same 4-2 scoreline.

The US will get a chance to continue to prepare for its June qualifiers with another friendly game on Sunday against Germany.
Logan
Sunday June 2, 2013 7:47 pm
Why is Lichaj not playing? from what I have seen of his play with the USMNT he is one their better defenders.
muchadu
Friday May 31, 2013 3:27 pm
This game is a perfect example of what I have been ranting about. Here is the number 15th ranked team in the world. Belgium is full of quality players and showed what they are capable of against a silly excuse of a team in the USMNT. Should really have been 5-0. Cameron pushed off on his goal and Belgium was not offside on one of theirs and questionable handball on our penalty. Our defense looked lame and completely unable to compete with their attack. How can anyone say we don't need Boca and Dolo back?!! Howard looked like he was having a full blown meltdown out there.

You cant even tell if our forwards are any good because the midfield was so ineffective they couldnt provide any good service. If I see one more long errant pass by the midfield I'm gonna be seriously ill. Only Beasley was giving it his all to try to make something happen.

Bring back Donovan, Adu, Charlie Davies,Dolo,Boca and combine them with Bradley, Dempsey, Jones, Boyd, Altidore, Chandler, Gonzalez, Shea,Johnson, Lichaq, Gatt and let's put this team back together before we hit rock bottom, which looks like it's not to far away.
JSchumacher
Thursday May 30, 2013 7:54 pm
another loss due to inconsistency. Goodson, Cameron, Sacha, Beasley and Zusi are not starters. Zusi has a lot of potential but until that comes to pass he is a sub. Goodson is simply of poor quality and should never even see the training field again for the USA. Experiment again with Besler if anything. Beasley is back enough to be a sub but also lacks starting quality. Play Casillas to free up F. Johnson for LM. IF Donovan comes back play him withdrawn behind Gomez. We NEED consistency to not only qualify but also to have any kind of chance at the World Cup this inconsistency is what screwed us in the past with Bradley. Please, Please play this starting XI every game here on out for a concept of consistency we so badly need to give the USA a chance.(baring injury)

GK: Howard
RD: Chandler CD: Besler CD: Gonzalez LD: Casillas
RM: Dempsey CM: Bradley CM: Jones LM: F. Johnson
FWD: Gomez FWD: Altidore
If altidore cant find the net in these upcoming games play Gomez with Johnson or Boyd at least they try. Again if Donovan comes back play him withdrawn behind Gomez. Klinsmann please wake up and give us a chance.
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