USA national team boss Bob Bradley admitted he was happy to see his side fight back to force a 1-1 draw with the world’s number four team, Argentina, on Saturday.
The US battled against a fairly strong La Albiceleste outfit which contained the likes of Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria and Esteban Cambiasso to come away with a positive result at New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey in the international friendly.
Cambiasso struck first, smashing a 42nd-minute rebound past Tim Howard after he had saved a Di Maria shot after he was set up by Messi.
But the USA hit back just before the hour-mark when young gun Juan Agudelo score his second international goal in just his third appearance with a opportunistic finish from close range after Argentine keeper Mariano Andujar failed to hold onto Carlos Bocanegra’s header which came from Landon Donovan’s free-kick.
Bradley praised his players for hanging in there after the Argentina goal and admitted that his 4-4-2 formation was slowly coming together with a range of players gaining experience in various positions.
“Whenever we get the opportunity to play against these great teams there are a lot of challenges, and there are things that now we can set our sights on,” he said.
“Argentina was very good with the ball in the first half and found a great rhythm that made it difficult on us, and the goal before halftime changed the thinking. I was very pleased with response from the team in the second half.
“To come away with a good result against a very good team there are some things to talk about, some things that need to be improved but also some positives.
“You know, we’re still at a point where we’re trying to get different players in, get them experience, figure out what they do,” he added.
“So now in the first half I think the understanding between Michael [Bradley]and Jermaine [Jones]and Mo [Maurice Edu] still needs work.
“When Mo got pushed a little bit higher, that puts him in spots that in the moment probably aren’t the most comfortable for him and the fact that Argentina came out with such a good rhythm means we get put on our heels.”