The United States opened its 2012 schedule with a 1-0 friendly win against Venezuela at University of Phoenix Stadium. The USA got a last gasp goal, with Ricardo Clark scoring from a Jermaine Jones corner kick late into stoppage time. The goal was the third of his National Team career.
“I think the two corner kicks before were dangerous as well," Jones said of an attacking sequence that had the US pressuring Venezuela goalkeeper Jose Morales. "I had it in my mind that maybe this was my last chance and I needed to hit a good ball. I was happy to see Rico was in the right place and scored the goal.”
On what otherwise was a frustrating night from an attacking standpoint, the United States out shot Venezuela 15 to 6, putting five of those shots on goal and winning seven corners will giving up none. Bill Hamid recorded the shutout. Hamid, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Graham Zusi started in their first National Team appearances. C.J. Sapong also won his first cap, subbing on in the 74th minute.
Venezuela finished a man down when Jose Valesquez was sent off just before the final whistle after picking up a second yellow card.
"Overall I thought we had a very good performance tonight," US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We created a ton of chances and really didn't give them any good opportunities. We did an extreme amount of work these past two and a half weeks, and we were glad to see the players get the reward. We switched to a 4-4-2 to push the game towards the end. It was just about getting one goal sooner or later. We got it a bit late, but not too late."
Both teams were using experimental lineups, with the game falling outside of the international window. The USA plays Panama in Panama City, Panama on Wednesday (8pm ET - ESPN3/Galavision).
-- GAME REPORT --
Match: USA vs. Venezuela
Date: Jan. 21, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
Venezuela 0 0 0
USA - Ricardo Clark (Jermaine Jones) 90+6 minute
USA: 1-Bill Hamid; 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Heath Pearce (13-Zach Loyd, 72); 6-Jeff Larentowicz (15-Ricardo Clark, 62), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Graham Zusi (18-C.J. Sapong, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (17-Chris Wondolowksi, 62), 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (16-Brad Evans, 88)
Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Jeff Parke
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
VEN: 1-Jose Morales; 2-Carlos Rivero, 3-Carlos Salazar, 4-Jose Manuel Velasquez, 21-Andres Rouga; 5-Miguel Mea Vitali (23-Emilio Renteria, 78); 10-Alejandro Guerra (14-Diego Guerrero, 89), 8-Francisco Flores, 6-Agnel Flores, 7-Edgar Perez Greco (17-Angel Chourio, 73); 15-Alejandro Moreno (9-Richard Blanco, 86)
Subs not used: 11- Jose Reyes, 12- Alan Liebeskind, 13-John Chancellor, 16-Ruben Arocha, 19-Rubert Quijada, 20-Javier Gonzalez, 24-Diomar Diaz, 25-Darwin Machis
Head coach: Cesar Farias
Stats Summary: USA / VEN
Shots: 15 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 15 / 13
Offside: 0 / 4
VEN - Jose Velasquez (caution) 44th minute
VEN - Carlos Salazar (caution) 46
USA - Jermaine Jones (caution) 67
VEN - Francisco Flores (caution) 90+2
VEN - Emilio Renteria (caution) 90+3
VEN - Jose Velasquez (sent off) 90+7
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Hector Delgadillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Terry Vaughn (USA)