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USMNT 0, Colombia 2: The SBI Breakdown

Gyasi Zardes USA Colombia 06032016

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s run through the Copa America got off to a less-than-ideal start on Friday night.

Facing off with South American powerhouse Colombia, the U.S. was undone by two costly mistakes in the first half of a 2-0 loss. Despite some positive signs, especially on the defensive end, the U.S. never truly put Colombia on the ropes in Friday’s tournament opener.

It was a match that leaned towards the negative for the U.S., despite several positive signs. On a night were several players struggled, the U.S. did prove more proactive against Colombia, even if there was plenty lacking in the final third.

Although Costa Rica lies ahead, there were plenty of takeaways from Friday’s USMNT to loss to Colombia, including several things that must be fixed if the U.S. hopes to continue on their Copa America journey.

Here are some takeaways from the USMNT’s 2-0 loss to Colombia:


For a majority of Friday night’s clash, Geoff Cameron was one of the USMNT’s standout performers. However, a split second decision cost both Cameron and the USMNT in Friday’s Copa America opener.

In the game’s early moments, Cameron was fierce and aggressive, making several key tackles before unleashing a highlight reel spin in his own third to evade a Colombian defender. Overall, it was a good start from Cameron undone by a mistake on the opening goal.

The Stoke City defender simply lost sight of his man on the Colombia opener. There was no egregious pick play or foul in the box. It was a momentarily lapse, one that cost the USMNT deeply.

For the rest of the match, Cameron did not put a wrong foot in. Overall, it was a very good performance with one mistake that proved damning on the night.


Michael Bradley shined as a No.6 throughout the USMNT’s pre-Copa America friendlies. However, Friday’s effort was one of Bradley’s most lackluster in quite some time.

Penciled back into a deeper position, Bradley struggled throughout Friday’s match. Passes were errant throughout, and the veteran midfielder was never close to capable of unlocking a well-structured Colombia defense. Overall, Bradley was uncharacteristically sloppy and, truth be told, was one of the more detrimental players on the field.

However, any calls for Bradley’s benching are ridiculous. If the USMNT is to have any hope of reaching the knockout rounds, Bradley will need to be instrumental. Friday’s display was a perfect example of that, as a lackluster Bradley performance proved the chief catalyst of a lackluster USMNT performance.

Heading into what is now a must-win match against Costa Rica, the USMNT will need Bradley more than ever. If the USMNT hopes to enjoy more than a one-week stay in the Copa America, they will need Bradley, and they will need him a lot better than he was on Friday evening.


Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood have shown their different talents in recent weeks, but neither of the USMNT starters were cast in the right role against Colombia.

Played as wingers in a 4-3-3, neither Wood or Zardes could make a true impact on Friday night. Of the two, Zardes was likely the better option, but banished to wide positions, the duo struggled to create a link up with starting striker Clint Dempsey. The two forwards drifted far away from the box and never generated anything in the attacking third, prompting a switch to a 4-4-2 early in the second half.

Defensively, the pair’s unfamiliarity with their roles showed in a major way. With the two young forward leading the charge, the USMNT press was just always off. Colombia’s defenders never looked truly hurried, and the U.S. was never able to force Colombia into any mistakes in a lineup that featured a formation built for relentless pressing.

When looking at Wood especially, it’s time to admit that he is a striker, and a very good one at that. Arguably the USMNT’s most in-form player, Wood is wasted in a position where he is unable to find his way in the box. No coach wants Wood on the ball near the corner flag; they want him on the ball in the box with a chance to do legitimate damage, something he was unable to do in the slightest on Friday.


Friday’s performance presented plenty of reasons for concern, but no reasons to panic. At least not yet.

Heading into Tuesday’s match against Costa Rica, the USMNT is still very much alive. A win over their CONCACAF rivals puts the U.S. in good position ahead of the group’s final match. If a six-point scenario unfolds, the Colombia defeat will serve as little more than a footnote of a successful navigation through a difficult group.

It is still very true that Colombia was the USMNT’s toughest test of the group stage, and even if they didn’t pass it, there were still signs of life. For all of the ineptness in display in certain areas, some proved impressive against the No.3 team in the world. Defensively, the U.S. wasn’t undone from open play, a true compliment for a backline that will face less dangerous tasks going forward.

There remains plenty of cause for concern, as the U.S. now faces a do-or-die scenario. However, against a familiar foe, the USMNT holds their fate in their own hands as the Copa America continues on.


  1. Dempsey isn’t #9.

    Woods isn’t a winger.

    Zardes lacks soccer IQ against elite teams.

    Jones doesn’t have 90 minute vigor.

    Johnson is being wasted on defense.

  2. I have said this before and ill say it again, putting Fabian at LB is a detriment to this team and yesterday was further proof of that. When you push your most creatively technical and offensive player away from goal you are setting yourself up for failure. If we had midfielders and attackers capable of maintaining possession and who are able to break down a defense that’s one thing but this version of the senior team is not that team. Fabian is needed closer to goal where he can influence the attack either from midfield or as a part of that front 3 in a 4-3-3. The man has Champions League pedigree as a midfielder/attacker, not as a defender and it shows. The 4-3-÷ was supposed to allow him to join in the attack and be effective that way but again we don’t keep possession enough and in dangerous areas for him to an asset. If we are not going to start the likes of Nagbe or Pulisic to help keep the ball and create offense then FabJo needs to be pushed further upfield otherwise he’ll continue to be useless at the back and we’ll continue to be toothless in the final third

  3. With costa rica drawing paraguay, we still have a good chance of getting out of the group. Remaining teams are not Colombia, but we just have to go out there and play to our potential.

  4. Way way too much emphasis in these comments on the FIFA rankings. These rankings also say Austria is a top 10 side and that Turkey and Hungary are top 20 but does anyone believe that? Wales were in the top 10 recently too. The FIFA formula is flawed which results in flawed rankings. The US has been in the top 10 before but have we ever really been a top 10 side? I don’t think so.

    In any event, Colombia obviously have better players than we do but they also are not a possession based side. Once they got the early goal they were more than happy to bunker and we created pretty much nothing in 80+ minutes. They created very little other than a dubious PK but they didn’t need to. Back to the drawing board – the next two opponents are certainly beatable but we’ll have to play better.

    • As far as the rankings go though Colombia is almost always in the top 10-15, so you can count their ranking as more meaningful than the flashes in the pan like you mentioned who pop in for a month or two after a couple victories then drop again. Plus we do have Colombia’s good showing in the last WC to fall back on as well.

      • No question they are a good side but many of the posters above are making a big deal over the #3 ranking. They are nowhere near the third best side in the world. Does anyone really think they are better than Germany? In any event, they showed they are better than us which is all that really matters at this point.

  5. Why are so many of the sports journalists so down on the USMNT’s performance in the Colombia match? This article is actually more balanced than other articles I’ve seen, which describe the USMNT as having been “dominated” and “underperformed” and describe Klinsmann’s assessment as “delusional.” It’s as if the journalists thought we were playing Panama or Honduras. What did they think was going to happen in a match against one of the 5 or 10 best teams in the world? I was at the match and it wasn’t like matches I’ve seen when we square up against Germany, Brazil, Argentina, etc. Heck, it wasn’t even as scary as the match against Belgium in the WC knock out round.

    When you play against a good team, they are going to make you look worse and magnify your mistakes. Yes, Cameron could have done a better job marking on the first goal, but Zapata timed his run to perfection and the kick was a like a laser — it came in fast and was in the exact right spot at the exact right time. The replays show Cameron was a half step behind Zapata with his leg in the air to block the cross. If anything was a little bit off, the play probably doesn’t work. So, hats off to Colombia for a great goal. But was Cameron or the USMNT “awful”? Nope. The commentators complain that Yedlin and FJ didn’t get into the attack more. But no one mentions how James Rodriguez, Cuadrado, etc. had pretty quiet night, as if we could shut down some of the best players in the world without having our fullbacks sacrifice some offense punch. If we could do that, then we would be WC contenders.

    I’ll admit that Colombia were the better team in the match and a win for them was a fair result. I just think the margin of difference was close enough that luck could have easily tipped the balance the other way or lead to a draw. I don’t understand how any one can be so negative when we can hang with a top team AND we didn’t use the old bunker and pray for luck on a set piece strategy. Maybe the only other time I’ve seen us do something like this was the match against Portugal in the 2016 WC, but honestly, Colombia is a better team than Portugal. Nothing to be ashamed of in the last match and I’m really looking forward to the Costa Rica match!

    • Honestly I don;t see any great insight here. People give him credit for “telling it like it is”. However does he have any real solutions? We’re paying him millions every year just to say “hey it’s not me, it’s up to the players”.

    • Also Emerson Hyndman on the U20s is a big reason you’ve actually had one youth tournament that’s wasn’t a complete embarrassment. Not sure I see the point in calling him out.

      He still acts completely helpless. You’re the one selecting who comes into January camp. If you want to go younger, then call in the younger players. Stop calling in Wondo, Zusi and Brad Davis ect.

      • We are going to continue seeing this with any manager that follows though, maybe they won’t be as vocal about it, but as National team manager you are really stuck. You don’t have time to develop players you can say work on this this and this, but if the club wants the player working on something different, or the players has a bad attitude or work ethic its not going to get done.

        January camp which was the traditional lets work stuff out is only available for MLS players everyone else is in season, so how can you use it to build your team when only maybe a 1/3 of your starters is coming from that pool. It worked for guys like Arena when most of the team came from MLS. Out of this years January camp we had Birnbaum, Kitchen, Finley, Bingham, Nagbe, Accosta, Vincent, Trapp, Kiesewetter, that;s nine guys with under 5 caps it was hardly the old folks home.

        Unless a player has a Euro passport they can’t go to Europe to play until they are 18 so MLS academies and the USL have to do a better job and MLS has to give this kids time in league games too (Bradford Jamison for example another good player on the U20 team that sees next to no time for Galaxy). If we are going to compete with countries that have teenagers spending as much time in a day on their game as ours are getting in a week it won’t matter if your manager is Pep Guardiola or Peppy LePeux.

        And Emerson Hyndman should be called out, he couldn’t get in the line up for a bad Championship team, contract issues aside if he was better than the other guys he would have played. Also, its good to see him call out Julian Greene, that was a clear stop being picky about where you are playing and get in the game and if you are going to play in the 4th division you better dominate it.

      • JohnnyRazor, i don’t think anyone can be so matter of fact when it comes to a players playing time, especially someone who is not apart of that organization and sees the daily occurrences there. Teams all over the world in most sports can play games with a player that has a contract renegotiation coming up, and it tends to be with players that are skilled and have upside. It was reported Hyndman didn’t want to sign what they were offering and being that he is so young they neglected to play him for whatever reason, maybe they were hiding him from potential suitors to drive the transfer fee down. None of us knows but to say that he wasn’t good enough to get minutes comes off as an assumption and naive.

  6. I am going to quote myself from May 31st (USMNT4- Bolivia 0: An SBI Breakdown)

    “Geoff Cameron is shaky. He is the weakest link. I fully expect him to cost us at some point. Personally I would start Birnbaum over him.But Klinsmann has seemed to favor him for sometime now.” – MiamiAl

  7. While true that we need Bradley to play if we are going to advance out of the group, it should really be that we need him to play *well*.

    Bradley is one of our best players, but in big tourneys he completely falls apart. He was dreadful in the World Cup (playing out of his natural position) and dreadful last night (playing in his preferred position).

    I was surprised that Politic replaced Wood and not Zardes (and I’m a Galaxy fan). Hope to see Politic and Nagbe start against Costa Rica, and that the good Bradley shows up…

  8. I was there as well. I was really impressed by Cameron and Brooks and their ability to play the ball out of the back. They are a big upgrade over the Gonzalez/Omar pairing.

    • They also bring a confident, commanding presence to the line. Both Cameron and Brooks did players dirty multiple times. Brooks’ ownage of Cuadrado in the second half was something special. It’s almost like it did not compute for the ref and he had to call a foul.

    • I posted this on another link here.

      “Both Cameron and Brooks were solid defending but playing the ball out of the back was critical for possession. The US had more of the ball and frequently both CB were the ones bringing the ball past midfield. The attack stalled in the midfield with ineffective disjointed passing and could not create attacking third link ups. Johnson and Yedlin could rarely get forward on over laps because most the time the US had already turned the ball over in the attacking third. With counter responsibilities Yedlin and Johnson were busy but the attack was lacking out wide.

      What confuses me is the left and right sides personal lacked consistent link up possibilities? Starting from back on the right Cameron can hold the ball and pass. Yedlin is okay but not all that accurate passing and best on stretching the field with overlapping runs. Bedoya, is pretty well rounded with the ball and defending but not that great. Zardes, is work in progress but not a possession player. The right side with this personal really needs to focus on stretching the field and look to counter or expect long angular switches from the left side.

      The left side is were the US should be able to build the attack with possession. Brooks is good with the ball and can run. Johnson, might be the best US player with all his various talents and IQ combined, Jones, does not fit on the left with his hasty decisions and spontaneity of sprayed turnovers. Jones routinely plays the low percentage long pass over a quick short ball into space? Wood, is a good target guy even on the left. He can link up on give and goes in tight spaces and great speed into space. Pulisic and Nagbe would make Bradley’s life easier and make the right side relevant.”

  9. I was at the game last night, and here are my observations (not claiming any greater insight, just need to get them out there somehow):

    Bradley was terrible.

    Zardes was way better than expected. Very effective with his back to goal. Rarely lost possession. But with him inside with his back to goal, we had no wing.

    Jones works his ass off, but either he was always slow, or he has slowed. Always a step behind, or unable to get past his defender

    We play the ball out of the back rather well these days.

    Yedlin’s positioning is bad. He is often too far forward in 1v1 moments, allowing his man to get by him.

    Pulisic plays like a pit bull

    The game was pretty even, but not necessarily good by either side.

    There a fair number of folks in Mexico jerseys waving USA flags, which was cool. I was sitting next to a Mexican man who was there to root for USA. Although he spent most of his time on his phone. He said we really miss Landon Donovan.

    Colombian girls look good in yellow.

  10. would you play it safe and keep same line up against costa rica or would you play CP22 and Nagbe to see how that plays out.

      • Hate to burst your bubble but at this level and with the skill on the field last night Beckermann has no place!

        Beckermann lacks the skill and athleticism to defend without grabbing and ankle chips. His first step is always backwards, especially with the ball or receiving the ball. Beckermann cannot go box to box with his legs. Most of all he cannot hold the ball or shake a defender on him

        Anyone that thinks Bradley is not the best option at the 6 spot is delusional. Bradley needs an outlet or security blanket. Someone he can play a quick pass to and get the ball back. Jones does not offer that option. If Bradley has Nagbe to work with all of a sudden the left side has possession and passing triangles start with the combo of Bradley, Nagbe, and Johnson. The left could be a strength and go to for the attack and the right side were long runs happen and off the shoulder switches.

    • I would probably drop Zardes push FJ to MF and bring on Castillo for the next couple games. CR has no Cuadrado… and FJ pushed up should let Wood and Demps stay high. Alternatively, I might bring off Dempsey, bring on Nagbe and play a 4-4-2 diamond with Zusi and Bedoya wide.

      We have to be careful and you can’t put all your attacking firepower out right from the start because we aren’t clinical enough. We need that second gear in the second half and pulisic is that change. I’m not sure about dempsey vs. nagbe starting… Dempsey is definitely still better. So probably I stick with him, but If Nagbe can hold the fort down for 45, Dempsey may be even more powerful as a 50th minute substitution… just not sure there.

      • We are best when we can connect passes. I would like to know who you all believe are the front 6 players who best connect passes and, of course, also have the ability to put away chances when they are created.
        A few opinions, Johnson needs to be higher up the field, Dempsey and Bradley are still effective players when paired with guys who look to connect passes and Wood will finish chances @ #9 if we create them.
        Ok there are 4 of my front 6. Who else belongs in that group?

  11. I think you can see that Zardes currently doesn’t have the quality for the international game due to his poor first touch and suspect decision making. I will however give him credit for his defensive work which is why he probably started last night and played the full game. Also, as mentioned many times in the past he is not a true winger and his best position is center forward. I think going forward in this tournament in the group stage we need better on the offensive side of the ball in the winger position and replace Zardes with Pulisic or Nagbe. We sacrifice some defense up top to get a more skilled offensive player in the final third.

  12. Is it just me or are people forgetting we stood up and went toe to toe with arguable one of the top 10 teams in the world??? Apart from the goals we were neck and neck. How quick we are to forget that not too long ago we got beaten by Jamaica and Panama back to back…..the world did end then, against weaker opponents, why should it end now??

    We lost respectably (if there is such a thing)

    • A top 5 team. Those of us who have followed the team closely for many years agree with Klinsmann because we can put the performance into context and perspective. Some people have a pre-ordained conclusion and fit things into that to fit what they believe.

    • I would call it a good loss if we rebound, learn, and continue to grow as a team. At no point did I think we were outmatched, but at no point did I think we would win either. I think this team is on the upswing right now.

    • That game really deserved to be 1-1 or 0-0. It was pretty evenly played except for that we had more of the ball.

  13. I dont agree that neither Zardes and Wood can play on the wings. Especially when Dempsey checks in and they make diagonal runs over the top into the center. But I do think Wood is much better as the striker and can press a defense for a whole game, which Dempsey cant do for a whole half. Zardes can play wing, but his touches and decision making on the ball is severely lacking. But Zardes has the physical presence to press the entire game and get back and defend, which he did well last night. I think Zardes would be better suited as an impact sub who can help us go for a goal or defend a lead with his fitness. Zardes problem wasnt linking up with Dempsey, it was linking with Yeldin and the attacking midfield. Zardes would check into a good amount of space betwene their backline and midfield and his touch let him down too many times. He either misplayed a first touch pas to Yedlin overlapping, or took a bad touch inside that forced him to take another touch back and slow down the whole attack.

    • Because so many people complain about Zardes’ first touch, I watched him pretty closely. The announcers don’t always keep you up to date on who gets the ball and with cross the field shots from the camera it isn’t always clear, but I saw only one time where Zardes’ first touch let him down, or about the same amount as Wood, Dempsey, and a number of other players. Klinsmann will continue to play him because he will examine the video many times in evaluating all the players and he will realize that Zardes played pretty well.

      • I saw several bad first touches from Zardes. Only 2 stood out as immediate possesion loosing touches to me (1 was a very poor attempt at a chip/flick outside that went straight up and landed on a defender, and the other was a pass that was intercepted where he had a huge whole to make the pass) the other touches that i consider bad first touches are both the long first touches that he has to tack back to get and is forced to play right back to the center backs because he single handily stopped the momentum of an attack that started with a well played ball to his feet from deep, or his touches that stick under his feet and allow defenders to get all over his back so he cant turn and is forced to play a desprate pass back where the ball came from.

        I will say he had some good touches to the inside where he dribbled away from his defender and connected a pass or atleast had a good intention with a throughball of switch to the corner. But with all the space he had to check into behind their midfield, he should have been able to turn more and face the defnder with a good first touch to advance the attack, but his first touch let him down too many times for him to have a real impact in the attack.

      • I will say his performance as a whole was far from the worst on the team last night. He tracked back good on defense and pressed their back line forcing some bad passes from their defenders. I also saw him make several good diagnol runs over the top (where he was wide open and would have been in on goal) that bradley usually spots and executes on, but for some reason Bradley refused to play any of Zardes or Wood’s runs over Dempsey even though they both had multiple good runs into space.

      • The Opti map will show how many waisted chances Zardes had. Not to point fingers at him because the rest of midfielders could not contribute in the attacking third. The US had 84% passing accuracy. Not bad but in the attacking third the accuracy went to 69%. Equating to 2 shots on target and 4 blocked shots. The attack was erratic at best really lacking unlocking passes played to teammates feet.

    • “We had to commit some fouls because Dempsey is a very intelligent player, and generates a lot of danger,” said Pékerman. “He was their man up top and he’s not a natural No. 9 which allowed him to pull back; and that doesn’t mean they lose depth, instead he creates chances for both wingers who make very dangerous diagonal runs.

      “That situation forced us to get to the ball a bit late in a few plays, and that’s why we committed fouls close to the 18, which is normal when a team isn’t able to find its position well.”

  14. Benching MB is not “ridiculous”. This is what, 3 years, of MB folding in big games. This is a recurring theme that is making our team worse. Who cares about friendlies.

    JK dumped Bocanegra, who was not costing the USA games. Sack up and do it again. Send a message that you are just not good enough.

      • I do not think Kitchen is better than Bradley, but I cannot see Bradley on Roma right now either, and if I remember he left because he could not find playing time? I think the better question right now is how much better is Bradley than Williams? Not sure but Bradley has to play better for us to have any chance. I would not bench him, but if he under performs the rest of this tournament I could see someone else later in the year.

      • JG-correct but my point was moreso that kitchen isn’t good enough now to even gain attention from Roma nor is any other US8. Kitchen is the same age as Bradley was at Roma. So sure Bradley may have ‘regressed’ but he’s still better than the rest of our pool. Also, Bradley left Roma for a few reasons. He was liked there, but when he left Roma had just won a bid for a super talented mid that was surely an upgrade. In hindsight they could have used Bradley because that new player got badly injured during that season. It wasn’t like he couldn’t cut it. His minutes were gaining and he was starting rotationally. He also left for a huge pay raise and the recent birth of his son had large affect on his decision.

      • Kitchen is a 6 not 8. GCam, Williams are better 6s. Nagbe is a better 8 and 10.

        Are you seriously making the case that MB is our best CM at any if those roles? Point to a meaningful game please and prove it.

    • To be boringly repetitive, according to FIFA, they are better than every other team except for 2. So, they should have been better, yet we weren’t seriously outplayed.

  15. While I agree that we weren’t run off the pitch, this should not be taken as a positive performance under any circumstances. Outside of the Brooks header and the Dempsey near miss, Columbia was never really tested. The offense showed no creativity and not ability to score. It was clear early on that the only way we were scoring was on a set play or counter attack and the counter attack was non-existant. I was at the match and one thing that really stuck out to me was Yedlin having a horrible game. He didn’t do anything on offense and never really got forward which is sort of his calling card. When he did, he couldn’t hold the ball or made a terrible pass. And he wasn’t very good on defense either. Bradley certainly didn’t have a very good game, but he got zero help from any one out wide as I can’t remember even one good cross that looked remotely dangerous. Just a big fail all around on the offensive side of the ball.

    • yeah, you are wrong Mr. Bennett… The US found lots of space in Colombia’s defense. 3-4 chances is actually a lot against the top teams in the world… you don’t get many. That is why this is soccer not lacrosse… or basketball. 3-4 chances… if you want to be counted among the top teams in the world you have to score those… to be a rung down you have to score at least 1. We didn’t they got their one chance… and then they got lucky with the penalty.

      • Indeed. We found space in front of their back line about 25 -30 yards out pretty consistently. The ball circulation was not great but, along with very good player movement, it was good enough to get into those positions. A few times we got a good shot or a half chance, a few times we got fouled and wasted the opportunity, and a few times we lacked the skill to do anything with the positive position. Not a terrible outing at all, and if Bradley had played well or Dempsey had pulled off some magic, then we would have a completely different tone right now. Consider that we have some talent coming through that can upgrade the lineup soon, and I like the direction we are going. It’s completely different than the direction that Klinsmann had this team going in up until this point, so let’s hope this tournament is a turning point and not just another “experiment.”

  16. It was always going to be a big upset if the U.S. got a result in tis game. The term upset means…. it’s probably not going to happen! We weren’t run off the pitch or embarrassed, but the difference in quality showed with a clinical, awesome finish of a set piece opportunity- then a cool, disciplined game thereafter with the lead. There are some good things to take away from this game, plenty to critique/lessons to be learned, but honestly- most of all, playing against a lesser team will be the best cure.

    • Colombia is one of the best teams in the world. One good set piece, a debatable hand ball and then they could bunker in. We have never beaten a team this highly ranked in a tournament. I keep reminding people–perspective and context. It’s not like they aren’t formidable opponents, they are for anyone.

      • Little thing called Fact Check–I recommend you familiarize yourself with it before posting.

        The USMNT beat Argentina (FIFA ranked 7th) 3-0 during the July 14, 1995 Copa America in Uruguay.

      • Forgot to mention, Argentina was ranked #7 on average for 1995, but if you go month-by-month, they were as high as #2 & #3 earlier in the year.

      • What Gary is, I believe, trying to say is that in the past we have never beaten a good team when trying to go toe to toe with them. We beat spain with bunker-ball. We beat that argentina team with bunker-ball (and they were being lazy having already qualified for the next round). We tried to play open against Brazil, but once they woke up they put us to bed (final confed cup). Colombia 94… own goal and Bunker. 2010 England… only a tie, and OMG green’s mistake. 2014 Ghana, nicked one quick, bunkered 90 minutes, and then got a set piece late. Portugal… first time we played well, and they had a bunch of guys out with injuries, and we only drew… and Colombia is much better…

        Italy 06… playing with 9 men… and an Italy own goal. And name any of those games where we weren’t bunker+counter?

      • We also beat Colombia in the 94 World Cup! Although I think his point still stands. It doesn’t happen very often, or even often enough to take for granted.

    • 100% agreed here. You don’t have to look far back to think where we have been utterly dominated in games vs this level of competition. It is true that Colombia managed the game vey well against us and we did not threaten much, but we were not over run and j don’t see the need for wholesale changes. I do, however, think 1-2 changes are warranted.
      It’s time for Nagbe to get a shot as a starter for the next 2 games. It is also time to leave Zardes out of the lineup.
      The biggest question for me is Dempsey. He is still by far our most effective player within 25-30 yards of goal, but he is contributing less and less in the other 2/3 of the field. Our most dangerous moments of the game were all from Dempsey, but I wonder if team would be more dangerous letting Bobby Wood lead the line and having Dempsey as a substitute.
      It also killed me to watch Fabian Johnson pinned back by Cuadrado all night. He is our best player, and I can’t help but think we are limiting him. I believe we would do much better to play a strong defensive minded player there and let FJ contribute to our anemic attack more.

      • Yeah I was thinking about how I would change things if I were JK… not sure that I would have changed anything. But if I did change something, it would probably to go to a 4-4-2/3-5-2, bring Wood in tighter to Dempsey, drop Zardes and add Nagbe/Zusi. But the problem was Cuadrado on FJ. in the 4-3-3 FJ really needed to give the team their width… but he kept getting pinned back… and therefore pulling wood back into more of a 4-1-4-1… then when we had possession, it was just too far/too long for those two to get back up into a more attacking position.

  17. Is it me or is this one of the worst teams we have had in years? I want to be optimistic, but Dempsey and Bradley are just not going to cut it anymore. There pace is not there. I missed the Donovan days and how he used to chase the ball down the field. It’s refreshing to see Yedlin’s speed, but I don’t see it from anyone else. Technically, we are just simply not there.

    • I disagree 100%.

      If you would have told me five years ago that we’d go into this tournament and have the #3 team in the world play a conservative near-bunker against us where the packed the midfield to slow down our attack up the middle of the field I would not have believed it.

    • This is hardly “one of the worst teams we’ve had in years”. This team has greater technical ability than most of the teams we’ve had in the past 15 years. Brooks & Cameron are likely the most Technical CBs we’ve ever had. Fabian, Nagbe & Pulisic are great at controlling the tempo and getting their teammates involved. Bradley & Jones, while not great on the night, are very good at switching the point of attack and distributing from deep.
      We have a number of speedy players with Fabian, Yedlin, Wood, Nagbe & Zardes. They just weren’t able to break down or get behind a very well organized Colombian defense.

      Is this team perfect…NO. Are there area’s where we need to improve….YES. The fact of the matter is that in many regards this US Team is fairly young, inexperienced, and inconsistent. Players like Wood, Zardes, Nagbe, Yedlin, & Pulisic should learn a lot from this type of game, and will hopefully improve a lot over the next 18 months to where they’ll be able to make real differences in the future.
      My concern with this team has been and remains our reliance on Dempsey, Jones, and to a lesser extent Beckerman. Dempsey doesn’t really fit as a CF in a 4-3-3….he’s better suited either out wide in a 4-3-3 or directly under a lone striker where he can play off their shoulder. Too often he’s been cramping the space of his teammates (either dropping to deep, or drifting into others areas out wide). This tends to make it easier on defenses to mark up and prevent any real threats. Jones was OK….but realistically how much longer can we expect that level of energy from him. We need to look at moving him to a sub role in the near future.

      • Agree on Jones. Dempsey is still a player who can make a difference. (He just missed to the left, had a header almost miraculously saved and hit a free kick that tested the keeper and was only a foot and a half away from scoring).

        I did think that for all the time Colombia gave Brooks on the ball he should have been able to make more of his distribution.

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