May 25, 2010
By Michael Lewis
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Edu, Gomez, Holden help their cause while Goodson and Pearce don't
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- With precious few spots on the World Cup team at stake, several U.S. players put their best feet forward Tuesday night in the Americans' 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic.
|Stuart Holden set up both U.S. goals against the Czech Republic.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Central midfielder Maurice Edu and forward Herculez Gomez helped their cause the most by scoring goals, although midfielders DaMarcus Beasley and Stuart Holden certainly did not hurt their chances of making the team in the World Cup warm-up match.
On the other side of the coin, central defender Oguchi Onyewu, in his first competitive match since his knee injury last October, defenders Heath Pearce and Clarence Goodson and forward Eddie Johnson did not help their chances before 36,218, a Rentschler Field record for soccer.
Forward Edson Buddle played OK in his first-half appearance, but was slowed down some by a bloody nose that necessitated cotton to be stuffed up his nostrils and a new shirt to replace his bloody one.
Coach Bob Bradley will name his 23-man roster for South Africa on ESPN's SportCenter during Wednesday's 1 p.m. telecast.
Martin Fenin snapped a 2-2 tie in the 77th minute, as he converted a rebound of a shot past goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Pearce missed a tackle and Goodson failed to clear the ball. Tomas Necid added an insurance goal two minutes into stoppage time.
Jan Polak helped the Czechs break a 1-1 deadlock in the 56th minute, beating goalkeeper Brad Guzan from point-blank range, only two minutes after David Lafata's goal was negated due to an offsides goal.
But Gomez equalized in the 66th minute off a Holden corner kick. Clarence Goodson's header on the far end of the penalty area redirected it to Gomez, who beat goalkeeper Peter Cech with a header from four yards.
Edu, who was solid at central midfielder, could not have timed his first international goal better. Holden sent a 25-yard free kick from the left side into the area that Edson Buddle managed to nudge forward toward the goal. With Cech trying for the ball Edu got between two defenders and knocked it into the net in the 17th minute.
The visitors, however, tied in the 44th minute on defender Tomas Sivok's header over Onyewu. Midfielder Jaroslav Plasil sent in a free kick from the left side and Sivok leaped over Onyewu to place a shot past Guzan to the lower right corner of the goal for a 1-1 deadlock.
Bradley did not dress several regulars, including goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielders Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey and forward Jozy Altidore, saving them for the Turkey game in Philadelphia on Saturday.