Late Jozy Altidore goal gives USA 1-0 win over Canada
The U.S. men's national team and Canada were on the verge of playing their third straight dud, but a second straight set of late heroics gave the Americans another positive result.
The Americans wrapped their month-long winter camp with a 1-0 win against their neighbors to the north, just avoiding a third consecutive scoreless meeting between the two dating back to 2012, as Jozy Altidore's 89th-minute header was the difference. Ethan Finlay, just into the game as a substitute, delivered a pinpoint cross from the left to Altidore at the edge of the six-yard box. The Toronto FC striker elevated and powered home his second goal in as many games to secure the win.
The U.S., which has not lost to Canada on home soil since 1957, extended its unbeaten streak against its CONCACAF foe to 17 (9-0-8). It added to its 3-2 win over Iceland, which was decided by Steve Birnbaum's 90th-minute header.
The hosts had the better of the chances at the sparsely attended match, with Altidore hitting the post with a close-range effort in the first half and then missing a pair of headers wide midway through the second. He nearly put the U.S. ahead minutes before his eventual game-winner, trying to chip steady Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who had been caught off his line. Crepeau recovered, though, and swatted the chance while crashing into his own net.
Michael Bradley also had a chance for the U.S., with an attempt to replicate his Olimpico against Panama last year at the same venue tipped over the bar by Crepeau.
With Brad Evans and Michael Orozco leaving after Sunday's match, Jurgen Klinsmann opted for some experimentation with his defense, slotting Jermaine Jones at center back, pushing Birnbaum wide to right back and playing Kellyn Acosta out of position at left back, with center back Matt Besler the lone player in a natural position. David Bingham also received his first cap in goal.
With Acosta picking up a hamstring ailment, Brandon Vincent made his U.S. debut, with the Chicago Fire rookie coming on at halftime.
Next up for the U.S. is a pair of World Cup qualifiers in March against Guatemala, on the 25th and 29th. The U-23s will play Colombia in their Olympic qualifying playoff on the same days, with the second leg being played at FC Dallas's Toyota Stadium.
Here's how the match unfolded:
GOALKEEPERS: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire)
MIDFIELDERS: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Perry Kitchen (Unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
GOALKEEPERS: Maxime Crépeau (Montreal Impact), Tyson Farago (FC Edmonton), Callum Irving (University of Kentucky).
DEFENDERS: Nik Ledgerwood (FC Edmonton), Samuel Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Doneil Henry (West Ham United), Adam Straith (Fredrikstad FK), Wandrille Lefèvre (Montreal Impact), Steven Vitória (Benfica), Karl W. Ouimette (New York Red Bulls), Mallan Roberts (FC Edmonton)
MIDFIELDERS: Julian de Guzman (Ottawa Fury FC), Iain Hume (Unattached), Will Johnson (Toronto FC), Kyle Bekker (Montreal Impact), Issey Nakajima-Farran (Terengganu FA), Jamar Dixon (FF Jaro), Marco Bustos (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Marcel De Jong (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARD: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Caleb Clarke (Unattached), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)