USA vs SA: Juan Agudelo scores on debut

Today’s winning goal over Bafana Bafana had a local flavour. Juan Agudelo of the Red Bulls scored on his debut and at 17 years and 359 days became the USA’s youngest goalscorer for the USMNT. Bob Bradley took the opportunity to debut Tim Ream also of the Red Bulls. The other debutantes were Mikkel Diskerud who provided Agudelo with the assist, Teal Bunbury, and Gale Agbossoumonde.
Agudelo cornered the plaudits for that immense goal in the 85th minute and deservedly so but it was Diskerud coming on in the 79th minute immediately catching the eye with his deft passing and ball control. He is a talent.
In fact, the Scandinavian contingent – Diskerud plays for Norwegian club Stabæk, Alejandro Bedoya for Örebro in the Allsvenskan, and Clarence Goodson in the Danish league for Brøndby all turned in solid performances. Ream also had impressive debut. Teal Bunbury coming in for Robbie Findley provided an instant attacking threat as the USA shrugged off its first half somnolence to change gear in the second half.
Eric Lichaj employed at Aston Villa was a muscular presence – creating scoring opportunities for others and then tracking back to help on defense. Eddie Gaven was solid in midfield. Brad Guzan, an infrequent presence in Aston Villa in goal with Brad Friedel as first choice pulled off some nice saves.
Not so stellar – Robbie Findley who unsurprisingly disappeared in the first half, Robbie Rogers was a bit lightweight on the ball although he did have a nice crack at goal, and Jonathan Spector continues his downward spiral.
Great win for the USA and a positive note to end the year on.

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