Former Chicago Fire defender Carlos Bocanegra scored a goal in the 88th minute, but it was too little, too late as the U.S. men's national team fell to the Netherlands 2-1 on Wednesday at Amsterdam ArenA. For Bocanegra, it was his 12th career goal, and it came off an assist from ex-Fire midfielder DaMarcus Beasley.
Beasley drove his free kick past the Netherlands' defensive line. Bocanegra was unmarked and he got his head on the ball just in front of Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and aimed the ball toward the right side of the frame to cut the U.S. deficit to one goal.
"[The Dutch players] were all standing there and they looked kind of confused," Beasley told USSoccer.com. "So I tried to take it as quickly as I could. Luckily, [Bocanegra] wasn't offside."
Beasley came into the game in the 34th minute for Stuart Holden, who left with a bruised shin. Beasley tried to make the most of his return to the team after not playing for USMNT since June 18 last year. He assisted Bocanegra's goal, but was it enough to impress U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to the point of working his way onto the FIFA World Cup-bound U.S. team?
"He was able to make some good runs forward," Bradley said. "You started to see his mobility and a little bit of his quickness. He had the confidence of being a threat and put defenders on their heels. Those are good things and hopefully they can be built upon."
Kubik on board: In case you missed it Tuesday, Bradley brought in another ex-Fire player to his coaching staff, 1998 MLS Defender of the Year Lubos Kubik. Earlier this year Bradley named former Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch as an assistant.
Fire come up empty against Atlas: The Fire dropped their first preseason match of the year, falling to FC Atlas, 2-0, on Wednesday in Guadalajara. Chicago drops to 2-1-1 in the preseason. They next take on FC Dallas at 3 p.m. Sunday in Ridgeland, Miss.
Squads were supposed to trim down their rosters early in the week, but on Monday the MLS delayed its roster compliance date as the league and MLS Players' Union continue their collective bargaining agreement discussions.