WASHINGTON (AP) — After a second exciting performance, U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann says 21-year-old winger Julian Green is “back in the picture.”
Green scored his second goal in two matches, before Monty Patterson’s equalizer forced the U.S. to settle for a 1-1 draw in an exhibition against New Zealand on Tuesday night.
Lynden Gooch also impressed Klinsmann in his U.S. debut as a second-half substitute.
The match followed a 2-0 victory over Cuba on Friday, and was the Americans’ last before they open their final round of World Cup qualifying against Mexico on Nov. 11.
“We wanted to get some answers to a couple of things toward the Mexico clash a month from now,” Klinsmann said. “And I think we found a couple very interesting answers.”
Green scored his third career goal for the U.S. in just his eighth appearance.
He’s seen the field in international play just five times over the last two years, after he was invited to the 2014 World Cup and scored a late overtime goal in a 2-1 second-round loss to Belgium.
But the German-American earned an invite to Klinsmann’s camp after repeatedly making the 18-man roster for German power Bayern Munich during the start of their new season.
“I’m really happy about it,” Green said. “It’s my goal to always be here in this team, and when I’m here I want to give my best. And I think I did very well.”
After scoring the second goal against Cuba, Green put the U.S. ahead Tuesday in the 27th minute when he reached forward Jozy Altidore’s knock-down header on the left flank.
Green dribbled to goal while defender Liam Graham retreated, cut to his right, and then fired a low, 18-yard shot that sneaked between wrong-footed goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and the left post.
“Every training session he’s becoming more mature,” Klinsmann said. “He’s becoming stronger. He has far more confidence. So it’s really nice to see.”
New Zealand tied it in the 72nd minute.
Altidore failed to clear a corner kick aimed at New Zealand’s Michael Boxhall, and Patterson popped up to thump the loose ball into the net from about 5 yards out.
“When they start throwing more numbers at us and they start in some ways becoming even more direct and more desperate, that combined with some subs on both sides just means that the game becomes hectic,” said U.S. captain Michael Bradley. “We gave away a bad goal, and ultimately that’s the difference between winning and tying.”
Gooch, a 20-year-old who has appeared seven times this season for Sunderland of England’s Premier League, came on in the 59th minute.
The California native — whose Irish mother and English father give him three international options — created several lively sequences on the right, drawing chants of “Gooooch!” from the announced crowd of 9,012 at RFK Stadium.
In the 64th minute, his cross found Green, who looped a shot well high of the goal. And in the 89th, his corner found Omar Gonzalez, whose header also soared above the crossbar.
“Gooch confirmed what we saw in training already,” Klinsmann said. “He’s fearless. He takes people on. Very physical as well, doesn’t shy away from physicality. You know, so there are a couple things that we saw that we didn’t know before that camp.”