GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 21: Goaltender Jose Morales #1 of Venezuela makes a save on the shot from Brek Shea #11 (C) of USA during the first half of the friendly match at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 21, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

United States Vs. Venezuela: Ricardo Clark Scores Late Winner For USA

A poor match finally had a moment to write home about when Ricardo Clark's 98th minute header won it for Jurgen Klinsmann and the USMNT.

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USA Vs. Venezuela: Ricardo Clark Goal Gives USA Late Win

The United States' 'B' side struggled to break down a very poor Venezuela team, but eventually managed to win the game thanks to a very late header by second-half substitute Ricardo Clark. In truth, it wasn't a very impressive match, with the USMNT fielding mostly second string players thanks to the European-based big guns being in the middle of their seasons, and the MLS stars largely misfiring.

At the centre of the disappointing display were Brek Shea and Teal Bunbury, both of whom had poor nights on the international stage. Shea in particular was creating promising situations only to immediately throw them away with a poor decision or terrible pass. Bunbury just mis-hit everything, which was more entertaining but less sad.

Anyhow, the US had the better of play and improved as the game went on. By the end of the match it was only the heroics of Leonardo Morales that was keeping them off the board. Eventually, however, a corner awarded in the seventh minute of injury time (there were originally supposed to be four, but Morales spent a lot of time on the ground injured) was nodded in at the first post by Clark.

It was virtually the last action of the match, and it was good enough to give the USA their first win against South American competition in 13 matches. Still, a win in a friendly's secondary to playing well, and, uh. They didn't.


United States Vs. Venezuela: Halftime, Scoreless After Average First Half

You've probably heard this before if you keep up with the United States men's national team: The USMNT played well in the first 30 minutes of the first half, passing well and creating chances. In the final 15 minutes of the half, they slowed down, their off-the-ball movement stalled, and they stopped creating good chances. This is a B-team friendly for the USA against Venezuela, but the story has been the same. Promising possession, but a poor final 15 minutes of the first half. After 45 minutes, it's 0-0.

Benny Feilhaber has been the United States' most promising player, while Jermaine Jones looks like the most veteran player in the team. Graham Zusi and Geoff Cameron are also looking solid in their first career USMNT starts. Brek Shea, Jeff Larentowicz and Teal Bunbury have been more in the realm of "average".

The United States has had nearly 60 percent of the possession and has not allowed Venezuela to create a single good scoring opportunity, but most of their possession has not been in dangerous areas. The passing is good, but the movement isn't. There are positives to take from the first half, but there simply weren't enough chances from a U.S. perspective.

For additional coverage, head over to SB Nation Arizona, who is live at University of Phoenix Stadium for the game.


United States Vs. Venezuela: USMNT Lineup

Jurgen Klinsmann's United States lineup for the "Camp Cupcake" friendly against Venezuela doesn't feature a great deal of surprises, and the team that he's selected makes sense based on how he's set up his teams in the past. Jermaine Jones, Jeff Larentowicz and Brek Shea resume roles that they have played with the first team, with one interesting aside. Jones, who is with the team due to his exile from Schalke 04 for the second time, by a second manager in two years, has been named captain. Here is the lineup.

United States (4-2-3-1): Hamid; Pearce, Parkhurst, Cameron, DeLaGarza; Larentowitz, Jones; Shea, Zusi, Feilhaber; Bunbury

The back line players will be under the microscope the most, as they have a much better chance of cracking the first team than the likes of Hamid, Zusi, Feilhaber and Bunbury. Parkhurst is coming off of a great year in Denmark, while the other three members of the back line are among the best defenders in MLS.

Kickoff is at 9:00 p.m. ET from Phoenix, Arizona. You can see the game on Galavision and ESPN3.

For additional coverage, head over to SB Nation Arizona, who is live at University of Phoenix Stadium for the game.

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