PARIS — The US national team fell 1-0 to France on Friday night at Stade de France, with Loic Remy's 72nd-minute goal the lone tally in the Americans’ latest defeat under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The US are now 1-4-1 in Klinsmann’s new regime and have scored just two goals in that span. They are now winless in their last seven games on European soil with one game remaining on the current mini-tour, at Solvenia on Nov. 15.
The Americans enjoyed a steady first half on the back line on Friday, but were inevitably done in by a moment of confusion midway through the second half. Marvin Martin chipped a ball to the onrushing Remy, who brushed off a weak shoulder charge from US defender Clarence Goodson and coolly slotted a shot past US goalkeeper Tim Howard.
It was the only moment of vulnerability for Howard, who made four saves on the night and at times kept France from blowing the game wide open. His best moment came in the 56th minute, when he somehow batted a curling free kick from Karim Benzema off the line to help keep France at bay. Moments earlier the French striker had clanged a header off the crossbar after Goodson — who struggled mightily and was lucky not to see an early red card — left him unmarked at the back post.
The American offense, meanwhile, struggled all night to generate any real scoring chances and managed just three shots on goal. Clint Dempsey had a brief look at a breakaway opportunity in the 77th minute after a clever heel flick from Jozy Altidore, but he was taken down just outside the box by France’s Laurent Koscielny. Dempsey scorched the ensuing free kick high and wide of the far upper corner.
France created their first real chance of the game in the 27th minute, with Franck Ribery back-heeling an Adil Rami centering feed just wide.
Shortly thereafter, the US achieved their first corner kick. Maurice Edu was able to get a head on Steve Cherundolo's serve, but with no pace on his attempt, it was easy picking for Hugo Lloris. France quickly broke out on the counter, with Benzema eventually firing his shot into the chest of Goodson.
Klinsmann adjusted his tactics over the game's final 15 minutes, bringing on Edson Buddle to pair with Altidore in a 4-4-2 lineup, moving the Yanks away from what had been such an ineffective 4-5-1. While there were no clear-cut chances created, it did inject some life into what had been a turgid attack.
Real Salt Lake midfiedler Kyle Beckerman enjoyed his fifth start during Klinsmann's now-seven-match tenure at the helm of the USMNT, and turned in perhaps his finest performance during a 67-minute stint. Beckerman's usual duty of dirty work for the Red, White & Blue was highlighted by a pair of shot blocks in quick succession around the hour mark, helping to keep the match scoreless until his exit for Jermaine Jones minutes shortly thereafter.
Right midfielder Fabian Johnson was the only US player to earn his first cap in the loss, while Goodson and Jermaine Jones both made their first appearances under Klinsmann.
FRANCE: Hugo Lloris; Laurent Koscielny, Jeremy Mathieu, Adil Rami, Matthieu Debuchy; Yann MVila (Maxime Gonalons 61'), Alou Diarra, Franck Ribery (Loic Remy 65'), Jeremy Menez; Kevin Gameiro (Olivier Giroud 60'), Karim Benzema (Marvin Martin 66')
USA: Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Timmy Chandler: Maurice Edu (Edson Buddle 78'), Kyle Beckerman (Jermaine Jones 67'), Daniel Williams (Fabian Johnson 72'); Clint Dempsey, Brek Shea (Damarcus Beasley 72'); Jozy Altidore
*** RSL Communcations contributed to the above match report.