Late goal gives Switzerland draw with U.S.

Action from the international friendly between the USA (blue jersey) and host Switzerland on March 31, 2015, in Zurich. (Photo:

ZURICH, Switzerland -- The United States conceded a late goal and settled for a 1-1 draw with host Switzerland in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Valentin Stocker scored in the 80th minute to equalize against the 10-man visitor at Stadion Letzigrund.  After the American defense could not clear a short-played corner kick, the unmarked 25-year-old midfielder poked the ball home easily from three-yards out.

The Americans were forced to play the final 32 minutes, plus stoppage time, a man down following Jozy Altidore’s 68th minute ejection.

Brek Shea was handed the starting role at left back for the U.S. once it was determined that Fabian Johnson could not play due to flu-like symptoms.  The Orlando City SC standout’s insertion proved to be serendipitous.

In the 45th minute, Shea lofted a 24-yard free kick from the left side over a four-man wall, past goalkeeper Roman Burki and inside the upper near post to give the USA a 1-0 halftime advantage.

Altidore was dismissed after accruing a pair of cautions within seconds of one another in the 68th minute.  The first was issued when he fouled Jacques Fracois Moubandje.  The Toronto FC forward said something to referee Luca Banti, who immediately showed the Toronto FC another yellow.  It was Altidore’s first red card in his 80-game international career.

The U.S. will return to action on April 15 against CONCACAF archrival Mexico in San Antonio, Texas, on April 15.