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Soccer-U.S. fringe players fail to shine in Canada stalemate

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was left disappointed when a team of fringe players could only muster an uninspiring 0-0 friendly draw against Canada as the German prepares his squad for the next round of World Cup qualifiers

The U.S. travel to Honduras for the opening fixture of the six-team final round of regional qualifying on Feb. 6, so Klinsmann used Tuesday's friendly in Houston as a chance for new faces to force their way into his squad.

The friendly against Canada at the BBVA Compass Stadium was the culmination of a two-week training camp but neither team showed any urgency in a game devoid of any standout performances.

Defender Omar Gonzalez had been the subject of a fair amount of positive publicity ahead of the contest but neither he nor goalkeeper Sean Johnson were tested.

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman was one of the few players to shine while 21-year-old attacker Joshua Gatt came on as a second half substitute and added some energy to a largely sterile game.

As well as in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, Klinsmann will be hoping for a marked improvement from his squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

One positive for the U.S. was that the stalemate extended the home team's unbeaten streak against Canada to 16 games dating back to their last defeat in 1985. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130130/soccer-us-fringe-players-fail-shine-canada-stalemate