Denmark vs. USA
enmark's Nicklas Bendtner (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the friendly football match Denmark vs USA in Aarhus, Denmark on March 25, 2015. CLAUS FISKER/AFP/Getty Images

Since their historic victory over Ghana in the 2014 World Cup opener in Brazil, the United State’s Men’s National Soccer team is 2-6-3. On Wednesday, Denmark became the latest opponent to make mince meat out of the USMNT. The United States got off to an early 2-1 lead, but once again had a late defensive collapse and allowed their opponent to rally late as they lost 3-2 in Aarhus, Denmark.

Jozy Altidore scored a goal and an assist as USA had a 2-1 lead after 80 minutes of play. Nicklas Bendtner scored in the 83rd minute and in the first minute of stoppage time however to net the hat trick, and give Denmark the 3-2 victory. With Bendtner’s two late goals, the United States has now given up 12 goals in the 80th minute or later in their last 12 games. Needless to say, this is a terrible trend that the USMNT needs to buck in order to compete on the global stage.

“We have to learn from this and get better,” said midfielder, Michael Bradley, who wore the captain’s armband on Wednesday for the first time in his national career.

Altidore scored the first goal of the match in the 19th minute after a cross from Timothy Chandler landed on Altidore’s left foot, which he promptly placed in the upper left corner of the net from the left side of the box. Bendtner scored his first goal of the match 14 minutes later and the game was tied at 1-1 at halftime.

Aron Johannson scored on an Altidore assist to open the second half as he slotted a shot from the center of the box into the bottom left corner of the net and past the outstretched arms of Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Anderson. It was Johannson’s first appearance with the USMNT since their World Cup loss to Belgium last summer.

Unfortunately for team USA, the defense was disastrous from that point forward and it was all Bendtner for Denmark as the Danish striker scored twice in the final eight minutes for his first career international hat trick.

The United States was outshot by Denmark 12-4 in the match and was on its heels throughout the game. It’s no coincidence that team USA has struggled since the World Cup, and many fans are calling for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s resignation.

However, it’s noteworthy to mention that this is a fresh new World Cup cycle, and that Klinsmann is still experimenting with the roster and with formations. He has four years before the 2018 World Cup in Russia and he needs to discover now which players have what it takes to play for their country on the international stage. The defense is clearly the culprit in their most recent string of international friendlies, but the team is without No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Howard, number two goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, and World Cup defenders, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez.

It will take time, but patience is a virtue at this point in the international game. Klinsmann will figure it out before the 2016 Olympics in Rio next summer and it’s too early to press the panic button just yet. Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones were also out with injuries for this match, and should return this summer for the next round of international friendlies.

The No. 32 ranked United States team will next play 12th ranked Switzerland in Zurich on Tuesday.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.