Landon Donovan flat, but DaMarcus Beasley shines as U.S. loses, 2-1, to the Netherlands
Landon Donovan was an anonymous figure but his longtime teammate and sidekick DaMarcus Beasley played himself back into World Cup contention on Wednesday night when the U.S. was beaten, 2-1, by the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Beasley provided the free kick from which Carlos Bocanegra scored on a header in the 87th minute to give the Americans their first-ever goal against the Dutch in four games, all of them losses.
By the time the U.S. finally ended the scoring drought, the Netherlands already had taken a two-goal lead, courtesy of Dirk Kuyt's 40th-minute penalty kick after a foul by defender Jonathan Bornstein on Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 72nd-minute shot that deflected past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard off the chest of the luckless Bornstein.
The Dutch were seldom troubled in a game they controlled for all but the final five minutes or so, when the American team finally came to life. A stinging shot by forward Jozy Altidore almost earned the U.S. a tie in stoppage time, but the ball was punched away by diving goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The U.S. team lost midfielder Stuart Holden to a bruised shin after 30 minutes, and the player was taken for precautionary X-rays. He was replaced by Beasley, who showed flashes of the speed and guile that were once his trademark.
The game was the last scheduled match for the U.S. before Coach Bob Bradley announces his 23-man World Cup roster in May. The next warmup game for the Americans is a May 25 match against the Czech Republic in Hartford, Conn.
For a complete report on the Netherlands-U.S. game, plus another on all of Wednesday's other key World Cup warmup matches, please see http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/ later on Wednesday.
-- Grahame L. JonesPhoto: DaMarcus Beasley, far right, makes a free kick against the Netherlands on Wednesday. Credit: Frank Augstein / Associated Press