By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. men's national team may have been hoping to head into World Cup qualifying with a confidence-building win, but they instead finished their summer friendlies with a frustrating result.
The United States was held to a scoreless draw by Canada at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday night in its third and final friendly before World Cup qualifying begins. The Americans struggled to create chances against a compact Canada side, and goalkeeper Tim Howard made a handful of saves to prevent the hosts from picking up their first win over the United States since 1985.
Canada did not have many quality looks either, but they saw a first-half goal waved off for a questionable Dwayne De Rosario foul on left back Edgar Castillo. Canada also missed a late chance to come out victorious when substitute Simeon Jackson missed a shot from point blank after De Rosario got by Michael Parkhurst on the left flank.
Clarence Goodson came closest to scoring for the United States in stoppage time, but Canucks goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld swatted away his headed effort seconds before the final whistle.
Castillo, who was given a late start after Fabian Johnson picked up a knock in pre-game warmups, also had a chance in the first half to break the deadlock before Hirschfeld parried away his volleyed effort from distance.
Playing in their third friendly in nine days, the United States was not able to create the number of chances that it had in a loss to Brazil and a lopsided victory over Scotland. Canada's midfield pressured the Americans and the hosts' back four stayed compact and disciplined.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann started Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey together for the first time since he took over. But the American duo were not able to muster much in the way of offense as Canada closed in on them quickly to prevent the quick combination passes that the U.S. team demonstrated in the two prior friendlies.
The United States will next take on Antigua and Barbuda at Raymond James Stadiun in Tampa Bay, Fla. on June 8 to start its World Cup qualifying campaign.
What do you think of the United States' 0-0 draw with Canada? Who impressed/disappointed you? Are you feeling good about the team's style of play as the head into World Cup qualifying?
Share your thoughts below.