<
>

INSIDE LOOK: U.S. 1, Chile 1

Dax McCarty was one of the best U.S. players in its 1-1 tie against Chile. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

WHAT HAPPENED? Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury injected life into a dormant U.S. attack, and the American youngsters rallied to tie Chile's youngsters. Bunbury's 75th-minute penalty kick, after Agudelo drew a foul from Sebastian Toro, answered a superb finish by Esteban Paredes -- the only South Africa World Cup veteran on either roster -- eight minutes into the second half.

WHAT IT MEANS: Not a lot and perhaps plenty. The game was just a start-of-the-year friendly -- neither country fielded its A team; this was more C or D territory -- designed to give some inexperienced players with potential a taste of the international game and a chance to impress. Some did impress (see below) and some might not see further action any time soon.

BEST PLAYER: The most impactful player, certainly, was Agudelo, the 18-year-old New York Red Bulls striker, who enlivened the proceedings when he came on, along with Bunbury, in the 60th minute. Best player was Dax McCarty, the most active player on the field. He's a two-way midfielder best at winning balls and starting transitions, but the Americans' attack generally flowed through him, too.

Who else did we like? Of the Americans, there was New York's Tim Ream, who (much more so than L.A.'s Omar Gonzalez) impressed at center back. San Jose's Chris Wondolowski, out of position as the lone forward in a 4-2-3-1 alignment, was active without being truly dangerous. FC Dallas' Zach Loyd had a decent first half at left back, and Alejandro Bedoya was solid in midfield, especially after halftime. Two Chileans stood out: Paredes, who scored a fine second goal that was waved off (correctly) for offside, and midfielder Francisco Silva, who was at the center of Chile's best attacks.

BEST GOAL: Paredes' was a treat, for the finish more than anything, although the buildup -- between Fernando Meneses and Felipe Seymour on the right flank -- was sweet, too, especially Meneses' backheel before Seymour's cross. Paredes found space in the middle, but the ball caught him oddly and bounced up. As Bedoya and Marvell Wynne stepped in to knock the ball away, the Chilean forward leapt and volleyed the ball sharply into the net.

WORST YANK: We hate to say it, because he was so good for the Galaxy last year, but Sean Franklin -- making his international debut -- seemed out of his depth. Edson Puch tormented him on the flank, and Chile twice created goal chances after Franklin was beaten at the left corner. The right back was better in the second half, but he contributed less to the attack than he should have and was the weakest of the backline links.

ETC.: There was a lights failure about 17 minutes before the scheduled kickoff. The lights were back on in about 15 minutes. … Seven Americans won their first caps: Franklin, Loyd, Wondolowski, goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defenders Anthony Wallace and Eric Alexander, and midfielder Jeff Larentowicz.

UP NEXT: U.S. plays Egypt in Cairo on Feb. 9.

SUMMARY

At Carson, Calif.:

United States 1, Chile 1. Goals: US -- Teal Bunbury pen. 75; Chile -- Esteban Paredes (Felipe Seymour) 53.

United States: Nick Rimando (Sean Johnson, 46); Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez (Marvell Wynne, 46), Tim Ream, Zach Loyd (Anthony Wallace, 72); Jeff Larentowicz, Dax McCarty; Alejando Bedoya (Eric Alexander, 83), Mixx Diskerud, Brek Shea (Juan Agudelo, 60); Chris Wondolowski (Teal Bunbury, 60).

Chile: Paulo Garces; Paulo Magalhaes, Sebastian Toro, Juan Abarca, Eugenio Mena; Fernando Meneses, Francisco Silva, Edson Puch; Luis Pedro Figueroa (Felipe Seymour, 46), Daud Gazale (Lucas Dominguez, 71), Esteban Paredes.

Yellow cards: Silva 17, Loyd 23, Toro 82. Red card: Chile fitness coach Maurice Maria Bonnini 17.

Referee: Francisco Chacon Gutierrez (Mexico).

Att.: 18,580.