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USMNT vs. Switzerland: Final score 1-1, Americans hold on for draw with 10 men

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

The United States drew Switzerland, 1-1, in Zurich. All alone, that would be an encouraging result, but when you toss in that the Americans finished the match with 10 men after Jozy Altidore picked up a red card and it looks all the better.

As we have learned over the last nine months, friendly results aren't especially important. Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't put much in them and neither should you so 1-1 away to Switzerland isn't necessarily a positive (or a negative). But that doesn't mean that it's not nice to get a result.

The U.S. struggled to keep the ball in the first half, but generally played pretty well. They generated chances and probably should have scored in the first half hour, but Michael Bradley skied a wide open look in front of goal and a couple other half chances went awry.

It looked like the match would go into halftime scoreless, but Brek Shea made sure that wouldn't be the case. He hit a gorgeous free kick from 20 yards that curled into the top corner and didn't even give the Switzerland goalkeeper a chance to dive. It was a work of art, and the Americans had a 1-0 lead.

The U.S. played pretty well in the second half too. That's not to say they were great, but they had their looks and they didn't concede chance after chance like they had in past matches. Switzerland were a bit better, but the Americans weren't played off the pitch.

That all disappeared in the 68th minute, though. Altidore pulled a Swiss player down from behind, meriting a yellow card, but when the referee showed it, Altidore cussed at the ref. That earned the American a second yellow card and a sending off.

Down to 10 men, the U.S. just tried to hang on. For a team that has struggled to close out matches already, doing so after a red card just made things nearly impossible. In the 79th minute, John Brooks almost put the ball in his own net, but it went just wide. The Americans were fortunate, but that wouldn't be the case a minute later when they failed to clear a corner kick and Valentin Stocker knocked it into the back of the net.

It was tough to give up another late goal, but the U.S. was still level at 1-1 and had more defending to do if they wanted a result. They did just that, clearing the ball with every chance and competing well in the air to preserve a 1-1 draw n a tough away match made tougher by Altidore red card.