Breaking down U.S. win over Slovenia
The United States defeated Slovenia 3-2 on Tuesday in the Americans' final game of 2011. Here are five notes and trends coming out of the match:
• The United States snapped a seven-game road losing streak against European teams, winning for the first time since a 3-0 win over Poland in 2008. USA also ended a six-game winless streak against European teams, with the last win over Turkey in the send-off match before the 2010 World Cup.
• After scoring a total of two goals in Jurgen Klinsmann's first six matches, USA scored three goals for the first time in 25 games (since June 2010 versus Australia, which was also the last time that Edson Buddle scored an international goal). USA hadn't scored three goals in a half since clinching a World Cup berth with three second-half goals in Honduras in 2009. The last time USA scored three goals in a first half was against Barbados during World Cup qualifying in 2008.
• U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley completed a game-high 18 passes in the final third of the field. In his first three appearances under Klinsmann, Bradley combined for only 23 completed passes in the attacking third. He also completed a team-high 45 passes overall in the match.
• After averaging slightly more than four chances created in its first six matches under Klinsmann, the U.S. created eight goal-scoring opportunities against Slovenia. Seven of these chances came in the first half.
• Clint Dempsey became the first player to score multiple goals under Klinsmann after heading home a Bradley cross in the 41st minute. Headed goals are nothing new to Dempsey, as he has six for Fulham since the beginning of the last EPL season. That is tied for third-most in the EPL during that span.