United States Mens National Team

Reflections on USA v. Colombia, Plus Two Post-Game Interviews

First Half

  • Geoff Cameron in the first ten minutes epitomizes this U.S. team. He started strong and looked like he would have an excellent match, then falls asleep on a set piece and the U.S. is down a goal. Being “picked” on the set piece so easily was a mental failing, which we see way too often from this U.S. team.
  • The first goal really allowed Colombia to settle into their game. Because they had the lead, they could allow the U.S. some possession, then pounce on a mistake and start the counter.
  • The U.S. set piece defense AND offense was poor in the first half. This was doubly disappointed considering this was listed as a U.S. strength coming into the game.
  • The handball was an obvious call. The referee was in a great position and Yedlin’s hands were up. Say what you want about the player’s momentum, but you have to avoid having your hands in any way up in the box. It’s going to get called.
  • There was no doubt that Klinsmann picked the wrong XI for this match. Half of the players on the pitch had a first half rated as “forgettable” and the 4-3-3 allowed the Colombia midfield too much space to operate.

Second Half

  • What many U.S. fans admire in Clint Dempsey may be what makes him not a world class player. He tries to go solo and do too much himself, which may look cool but deprives his team of offensive flow.
  • It was not until the 80th minute that I felt the U.S. actually played well consistently.
  • I am not sure if it was fatigue or something else, but Michael Bradley got worse as the game went on. And he was poor to begin with. It’s obvious Klinsmann is trying to play Bradley as a box-to-box midfielder – which is the best use of him – but unless he puts the right kind of players around him who can help him link up with the forwards or provide cover when he goes on runs, he will fail with this team. Not turning the ball over also helps.
  • For Colombia, it’s obvious James Rodriguez at least separated his shoulder, if not worse. How long he is out and if he will be effective later in this tournament will be a huge factor in how far his team can go.
  • David Ospina was typically Ospina.  After watching a Dempsey shot from distance almost bend into the net when he misjudged it, he made a few reflex saves in the second half to secure the Colombia victory. Ospina is a good keeper prone to stinkers, and Colombia fans should hope that, just like the World Cup, the tournament is short enough to avoid any brain fart matches.

Despite what U.S. Soccer fanboys will say, the U.S. was outclassed in this match. Considering what was at stake, this was an incredibly disappointing result. We will see what team show up against Costa Rica.

Hear more of my post-game thoughts (and reflection on today’s games) on the World Soccer Talk EuroCopa podcast (#EuroCopaPod) and on Feuerstein’s Fire.


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