The United States men’s national team finished winless in its two friendlies in January after a scoreless draw with Columbia at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., on Saturday.
The USA had better chances, mostly in the first half of the match, but failed to make the breakthrough against an inexperienced Colombia side who, like the Americans, were missing their European stars for a non-FIFA match.
Carlisle: Aaronson’s debut was a bright spot for the USMNT against Colombia
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Now with just four goals in their past seven matches, the lack of attacking supremacy continues to prove the biggest problem to solve for the United States as they begin to build towards co-hosting the World Cup in 2026.
Interim coach Anthony Hudson opted to field a more experienced side than he did in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Serbia, with all five players who participated in the 2022 World Cup starting.
Despite this, there were still a lot of youngsters left, including debutants Paxton Aronson And John Tolkien And first start to DeJuan Jones. Having Aronson mean him and Leeds United Brendan Aronson They became the eighth group of brothers to represent the United States at a senior level.
Hudson said, “Overall, I think we hit our targets. There’s a group of players we wanted to see with us in competitive situations. It was a case of being able to look at those players in our environment and being able to get through a couple of games physically.”
Meanwhile, Colombia fielded four Major League Soccer players in a squad that has only one player with more than five caps.
Although several players on both teams were in pre-season, there was a lot of intensity in the first 45 minutes.
And with both teams looking to attack quickly in the transition, there were chances galore at both ends, even if a lack of precision in the final third prevented anyone from taking advantage.
The energetic Aronson had two clear visions at goal, initially failing to get enough of his foot-side shooting after six minutes of aiming straight at Colombia goalkeeper Alvaro Montero. Later, a desperate dive was prevented by a cannonball Andres Lenas It blocked another Aronson effort off target.
“Paxton is a really exciting player, very confident. He came in a day or two late, but you can see his quality. We don’t know what his level is, but we believe in his talent and we’ll see what he can do,” Hudson said.
Perhaps the best opening ever came his way Matthew Hope. but with Paul Areola Begging for a square pass, the Middlesbrough forward shot straight at the Columbia keeper after being caught Jesus Ferreirathrough the ball.
The US defense still had a lot to think about at the other end, with LAFC’s Chishu Arango and Columbus Cucho Hernandez They were looking to gain a lead against an MLS defensive quartet. Colombia’s best chance of the first half went to Ylmar Velasquez, but his shot was parried wide by the midfielder.
Chances proved more than premium after the break. Walker Zimmerman A difficult chance headed in from a corner while Ferreira, playing against the country of his birth, failed to get a shot wide when he found a short opening in the penalty area.
But, with both sides making a lot of changes as time went on, the second half turned out to be more of a traditional slow January friendly. There was the USMNT’s debut off the bench Emmanuel Saby And Samuel Rogers But the United States had no target to show for its efforts.
“They’re a great group of guys,” said USMNT guard Sean Johnson, “and that speaks to the depth of our group of players. There are good times ahead of us. We would have loved to win, and we had our chances, but it was solid all around. As a group, I feel like this camp was a step up.” straight ahead. ”