HOUSTON – The centennial year of US Soccer began with a whimper as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side stumbled to a scoreless draw against Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night, their second straight goalless game against their North American neighbors.
A United States team composed primarily of Major League Soccer players was unable to break down the Canadians, beaten by four goals against Denmark just three days earlier, managing just two shots on goal over 90 minutes despite holding 66 percent of the possession.
On the other hand, Canada captain Dwayne DeRosario and his young side should head north extremely satisfied with their overall effort.
As if a continuation of their match at BMO Field last June, the two sides struggled to find any success going forward in a tepid first half. Most of the offensive duties were allocated to winger Brad Davis, making his first national team appearance since 2010, but the Houston Dynamo winger’s crosses failed to find either Eddie Johnson or Chris Wondolowski.
Klinsmann brought on Josh Gatt and Benny Feilhaber at halftime looking to inject some life into his side, but the start of the second half was much like the first. The US finally mounted a serious threat on the Canada goal in the 53rd minute when Feilhaber’s through ball found Johnson streaking down the right side. His cross found Davis bearing down on goal, but the ensuing shot took a slight deflection leading to a harmless corner kick.
As the second half wore on, Klinsmann’s litany of substitutions only increased the uncoordinated nature of the game. The biggest cheer of the night came when Dynamo forward Will Bruin was brought on in the 74th minute, but much like his Houston teammate, he was unable to find any space against the composed Canada defense.
The last 10 minutes brought some much-needed rain, but no goals, as the US begin the all-important final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at Honduras on Feb. 6.
Canada, meanwhile, enter the unknown as Colin Miller's two-game stint as interim head coach is now over. The Canadians next face Japan in a friendly in Qatar on March 22.