Reporting from Glendale, Ariz. -- Juergen Klinsmann called Saturday's friendly with Venezuela a good test for his U.S. national soccer team. Good thing it wasn't the final exam.
Because while the Americans did a lot of things well in their first match of the year, they needed to go deep into stoppage time to make that pay off, with Ricardo Clark scoring on a header to give the U.S. a 1-0 win before a crowd of 22,403 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Since replacing Bob Bradley as national team coach in July, Klinsmann has pushed a fast, aggressive European style of play new to the U.S. — one his players haven't always been able to keep up with. But Saturday they controlled nearly every facet of the game, outshooting Venezuela, 15-6, and dominating possession time though failing to finish a number of excellent scoring chances.
"They implemented everything we told them. We controlled [Venezuela] completely. It gives them confidence," said Klinsmann, whose team takes a two-match winning streak into Wednesday's game in Panama City, the second-to-last scheduled exhibition before the U.S. begins World Cup qualifying in June.