TORONTO — The final tune-up for the US national team before 2014 World Cup qualifying begins later this week won’t go down as a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. The sleepy 0-0 draw with Canada at BMO Field on Sunday night was probably most remarkable for the dearth of goal-scoring opportunities, which obviously disappointed manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
“In the first half, what we were lacking was in the final third to create more chances, get down to the endlines and get crosses in, which is what we trained on,” the US manager said after the match. “The second half was more open. I think either team could’ve scored a goal, especially in the final minutes.”
The flurry of stoppage-time near misses included a blown sitter from Canada’s Simeon Jackson, whose pace and energy after subbing on caused several problems for the US defense. Fatigue was clearly a factor for a US side playing its third match in nine days. Seven of the starters on Sunday evening here also started in the 5-1 win over Scotland last weekend and in the 4-1 loss to Brazil on Wednesday.
“That game on Wednesday, that cost a lot of energy,” Klinsmann said. “They were chasing the game almost the whole game. But I think they tried [tonight]. We can clearly see they have 18, 19 days of hard work in their legs.”
The Americans now have five days to rest up before they host Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla., on Friday night. It remains to be seen what formation Klinsmann will opt for. He chose his preferred 4-3-3 system in the Scotland win and at the start of the Brazil match. But the US shifted to a 4-4-2 in the second half against Brazil, and that same setup was used for the first hour or so against Canada. After the insertion of Jozy Altidore in the 62nd minute, the went with three attackers up top.
“We switched a bit the systems throughout the game,” Klinsmann said. “At the end, we had a 4-3-1-2. We’re trying different ways of doing it. We have different ways of finding creativity and finding solutions and finding more determination in the final third.
“It’s a work in progress and it’s hopefully going to be alright on Friday.”
WATCH: Klinsmann, US break down 0-0 draw with Canada