Following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Honduras, Klinsmann was unable to pick up his second win as U.S. coach after a poor offensive showing.HARRISON, N.J. -- The United States attacked just as Jurgen Klinsmann wrote it up. But that doesn’t mean anything if his players can't put the ball in the back of the net.
Playing in front of a pro-Ecuador crowd in Red Bull Arena, the U.S. team missed numerous offensive opportunities as it dropped a 1-0 decision to Ecuador on Tuesday. It was only so long that the defense could keep the home team in the game.
The U.S. tested Ecuador goalkeeper Máximo Banguera within the first few minutes and consistently put on the pressure. However, at total of 18 shots – including 10 in the first half – weren’t enough for the struggling offense to get on the board.
Ecuador only needed five attempts before it took the lead thanks to a Jaime Ayoví header in the 79th minute. It was the nation’s only shot on target in the entire 90 minutes.
In five games since Klinsmann took over for Bob Bradley in late July, the U.S. has only scored two goals. For a coach who has made a career off his attacking philosophy, Klinsmann has yet to improve this national team’s offense. As a result, he holds a 1-3-1 record.
"You are going to have chances," U.S. striker Jozy Altidore said. "And this level, especially in the international one, this is how teams are going to play and you have to adjust to it. You're not always going to get clear cut chances and sometimes you gotta put away the tough ones."
The U.S. controlled the first half with Clint Dempsey providing most of the scoring chances, including a long volley that sailed just above the crossbar. Brek Shea and Danny Williams also showed glimpses of their offensive potential.
"It would have been nice to get a goal for all our hard work," Dempsey said.
But it was the U.S. backline anchored by Oguchi Onyewu that gave the Americans hope in the game as it held Manchester United's Antonio Valencia and the speedy Jefferson Montero in check before both players were substituted in the second half.
Due to fatigue after Saturday's win over Honduras and the fact that the offensive front couldn't capitalize on scoring chances, Klinsmann made several substitutions at the beginning of the second half, including bringing in New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo for Altidore.
That was about the same time Ecuador picked up its pace.
The South American nation eventually scored as the game was approaching its end. In what was one of the few defensive lapses for the U.S., defender Tim Ream let Ayoví beat him on a header off a cross directly in front of goalkeeper Tim Howard.
"We're not giving teams chances and thats a really positive thing for me as a goalkeeper," Howard said.
The U.S. had two corner kick chances during the four minutes of penalty time, but nothing came out of them and the U.S. walks away with a 1-1 record in October.
"I thought we put enough pressure where we could have squeezed it out, a draw, but I'm really excited about the way we played in the first half," Dempsey said.
Alex Labidou contributed reporting to this article.