You're forgiven if you don't recall much of anything about last night's 0-0 draw between the U.S. Men's National Team and Canada. When people started tweeting out pictures of storm clouds rolling in during the hours before kickoff, we may have thought we'd see something interesting happen, but even in rainy Houston, the match was utterly forgettable. No goals. Barely any chances. Lots of possession for the USMNT but rarely any real purpose or cutting edge.
After their drubbing last week by Denmark, we had to know the Canadians would be thinking "defence" (they spell things weird up there) first, second and last. And that's just what they did, putting nine and ten men behind the ball almost the entire night. Which is exactly what teams like Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica or Panama might do during U.S. home matches during the Hexagonal.
Luckily, there aren't a whole lot of conclusions we can draw as fans of the USMNT from this game. For one, this wasn't the first team - guys like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are all over in Europe with their club teams, but they should be in the Red, White & Blue come Wednesday's WCQ in Honduras. Last night was about fringe players trying to impress Jurgen Klinsmann enough to make the trip to Honduras with the big boys.
Few enough were up to the task. Omar Gonalez and Matt Besler were good in the back, and Sean Johnson did what he needed to to keep the clean sheet, but beyond that, things are pretty sparse. In the first half, Klinsy utilized a 4-4-2/4-1-3-2 system that seemed more suited to direct play than the patient build-up he preaches. The second 45 minutes opened with a switch to 4-3-3, which resulted in better and more incisive possession for the U.S. But still no goals or really any particularly great chances - a half-chance here and there to be sure, but nothing that Opta might characterize as a big chance (i.e. one a player should reasonably be expected to convert).
As D.C. United fans, what do we think? I would have liked Bill Hamid to get a look in goal for at least a half (he did make the bench), but Johnson went the full 90 and seems likely to take the third 'keeper's seat on the plane to San Pedro Sula. The big news, though, has to be Dwayne De Rosario. DeRo was the best player on the field last night and had the evening's best chance, forcing a save off of a left-footed volley. Dejan Jakovic was strong in defense - and in occasionally playing out of the back - for Canada, too. Most importantly: both players left the field uninjured and will be rejoining United's preseason camp in Florida soon.
Check out the highlight package below (or, y'know, don't - you won't be missing much) and let us know your take on the game in the comments.