MIAMI, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The United States lost its first international soccer match of the year Saturday, falling to Argentina, 1-0.
The Orange Bowl crowd was announced at 27,196.
Argentina holds a 5-2 all-time lead over the Americans dating back to 1928. It was the first loss for the Americans since they fell to Germany by the same score in Ulsan, Korea in the World Cup quarterfinals last summer.
"This was a good game for our team to play," U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said. "And if we can be faulted, it is in the way we came out to play today. I think we demonstrated a lack of confidence and took 20 minutes to get into the game."
"We just couldn't get that last pass," said striker Taylor Twellman, who was one of a handful of Americans frustrated by a smothering Argentine defense. "There was just so much pressure we couldn't get out of the back fast enough."
It was not an attractive game with seven cautions and an ejection, along with a scoreline that remained unchanged for 81 minutes after an early American error led to a goal in the ninth minute by Luis Gonzalez.
However, it was a solid game for the Americans, who displayed grit and skill against a faster squad. The Americans learned Saturday that the central defense of Carlos Bocanegra and Danny Califf could deflect attacks, that DaMarcus Beasley continues to impress and improve at maintaining possession and that Sasha Victorine probably is not the answer at right back.
Gonzalez took advantage when Beasley was forced the wrong way at the halfway line and ran straight through the American defense. With River Plate's Andres D'Alessandro pairing on the give-and-go, Luis Gonzalez chipped a sleek ball over Tim Howard for the early goal.