January 30, 2013
5 U.S. players earn their 1st caps
HOUSTON -- Five U.S. players made their first international appearance in the scoreless draw with Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night.
The list included three of the four starting defenders. The first-timers were left back Tony Beltran (Real Slat Lake), center back Matt Besler and right back Justin Morrow (SJ Earthquakes). Forward Will Bruin of the Houston Dynamo and midfielder Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), also earned their first caps as second-half substitutes.
“Overall we are really pleased with what we saw the last three weeks from these guys, and we want to give them a big compliment on how they worked and how much work they put in,” U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann said. “You could see that all that work wore on their legs, and they were missing the last little piece to it in creating final chances, playing the killer ball into the box, and finishing things off. Unfortunately, we couldn't do that tonight against a very defensive-minded Canada. We tried a couple of different formations and all kinds of combinations, and it was good to see the players trying to find ways to score that one goal that didn't come.”
Besler, who performs for Sporting Kansas City, said he was "comfortable" with his performance.
"I'm not going to look at the game too much, and put too much pressure on it," he said. "I just try to go out and win the game first and play my best. The rest will take care of itself. I think my distribution out of the back is one of my strong points. It was definitely a good game to show that."
New York Red Bulls defender-midfielder Connor Lade, who was invited to his first training camp in Carson, Calif., did not play. He was named to the 23-man roster for the international friendly, but was not selected to dress.