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Bulls Abroad: Sacha Kljestan Goes Full 90 in USMNT, New Zealand 1-1 Draw

In final tuneup before Mexico, the US takes a step back

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

New Zealand has only been to two World Cups in their history (1982 & 2010), but that didn't stop them from taking it to the United States in DC in front of 9,012 supporters on Tuesday night.  One would think that the US would come out flying in front of their home crowd, but they would be mistaken.  The 88th ranked All Whites came out strong and kept heavy pressure on the US for the first 20 minutes.  Goalkeeper William Yarbrough bobbled the ball twice during his first few touches, allowing New Zealand to have a scoring chance early in the game.  Julian Green was the lone US goal scorer in the 27th minute and has scored in his last two appearances.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan played alongside Toronto FC's Michael Bradley, as two CAMs in a 4-1-2-3 formation.  It took the two a bit of a while to get on the same page, and they weren't highly effective the entire game.  As in the Cuba match, Kljestan was a bit of a ghost in this one too.  The only statistics he recorded (besides passing accuracy) were Fouls Committed (1) and Fouls Suffered (4).

It was a special match for Kljestan as he recorded his 50th cap with the national team.  He also has six goals, including a hat trick against Sweden in 2009.  Hopefully, Kljestan did well enough in his last four matches to earn a call up for Mexico (11/11) and Costa Rica (11/15) during the opening matches of the CONCACAF hex.  Let's all hope the US pulls things together in time for another Dos a Cero.