- Eric Lichaj and Brek Shea Both Earn First Cap for National Team
- Michael Bradley Becomes Fourth Youngest to Earn His 50th Cap for National Team
- U.S. MNT Will Play its Final Game of the Year in Cape Town, South Africa, on Nov. 17
CHESTER, Pa. (Oct. 12, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Team played to a scoreless draw against Colombia this evening at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., to earn their second shutout in 2010 in the team’s final domestic match of the year.
The first-ever match for the national team at the new PPL Park provided head coach Bob Bradley with the opportunity to give a number of young players international experience as he begins the start of the new four-year cycle. Bradley made a number of changes to his lineup from the team’s 2-2 draw against Poland on Saturday night, and the average age of the starting XI was under 25 years old.
Colombia was the early aggressor in the match, getting a couple good looks on goal in the first 10 minutes, but the U.S. was able to settle in and limit their chances for the rest of the night. On the other end, the U.S. was able to hold possession well at times, but couldn’t create many threatening chances in front of Colombia’s goal.
The final match of the year for the U.S. will be against 2010 FIFA World Cup host South Africa on Nov. 17 at the magnificent Green Point Stadium in Cape Town. Coverage of the USA’s final match of the year begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and the match will also be broadcast live on Galavision. Fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker or at twitter.com/ussoccer.
“It was an interesting game for us,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “In the first half we changed our formation a little bit, and I think we didn’t in that way find a good rhythm on playing out of the back and playing forward fast enough. The second half we played more in the way that we are accustomed, and I think the movement and the flow was much better. There were some good things that took place. There is a lot to look at, and a lot to build on. These situations help move us along.”
No. 2 ‘keeper Brad Guzan earned his first start since May 25 against the Czech Republic, and has now recorded six shutouts in 15 appearances for the U.S. for an overall record of 7-4-2. The Aston Villa net-minder also played 45 scoreless minutes on Aug. 10 against Brazil.
Three out of four players on the U.S. backline were different from Saturday’s match against Poland, including both outside backs as Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo were released back to their respective club teams. In their place, Jonathan Spector and Heath Pearce started, while Maurice Edu moved into central midfield in Bradley’s 4-3-3 and Clarence Goodson filled in at central defense to combine with veteran Oguchi Onyewu.
Onyewu, the lone carryover from Saturday’s match in the back line, wore the captain’s armband for the first time in his career while earning his 58th cap. Jermaine Jones was lined up as a right inside midfielder as he earned his second cap for the U.S., playing alongside Michael Bradley. With the start, Bradley became the fourth youngest player to earn his 50th cap for the U.S. MNT, following Landon Donovan, Chris Henderson and DaMarcus Beasley.
Brek Shea, a member of the U.S. team at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, earned his first cap. The 20-year-old became the first player born in the 1990s to ever earn a cap for the national team.
Defender Eric Lichaj (21) also collected his first cap on the night, with Shea playing the first 45 minutes up front and Lichaj coming on to the backline to start the second half.
The most dangerous chance for either team in the first half came early, as a fourth minute turnover led Victor Ibarbo on the dribble heading toward the U.S. back line. Ibarbo did well to draw in one defender before slipping the ball through to Falcao Garcia, whose initial shot was blocked at the last second by Onyewu. Giovanni Moreno was there for the rebound, but his follow-up shot was saved by Guzan at point-blank range.
The only shot of the half for the U.S. came from a free kick that Jones earned in the 19th minute. Holden whipped in an excellent free kick from the left side of the field, but Onyewu’s header was off target as he was nudged off balance by his defender.
Bradley made four changes at halftime, brining on 21-year-old Eric Lichaj for his first international appearance at right back. Lichaj’s substitute appearance marked the first time that two players debuted for the U.S. since the opening game of the 2009 Gold Cup against Grenada.
Lichaj was joined on the backline at halftime by Michael Parkhurst, who slipped into central defense for Onyewu. Offensively, Eddie Johnson subbed on for Edu while Clint Dempsey came on for Shea, shifting the U.S. into a 4-4-2 formation.
A good buildup led to the USA’s first shot on goal in the 53rd minute as Holden cut inside and took a shot with his right foot, but he was not able to get much power on the take and the ball skipped into Faryd Mondragon.
With 10 minutes to go, Jones played a quick ball over the top that found Altidore, but his cross into the box was blocked out for a corner.
The U.S. attack became more urgent as the game continued, and a quick U.S. attack in the 86th minute almost created the game-winner. The ball was put out wide right for Lichaj and he whipped a cross into the box looking for Altidore. The Villarreal forward snapped his header down and on frame, but it went directly to the well-positioned Mondragon.
The match against Colombia marked the national team’s return to Philadelphia – one of 18 cities included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 – for only the third time since 1990. Philadelphia leads all U.S. bid cities in petition signatures supporting the bid with 92,534 signatures, ahead of Houston with 77,118 signatures and Indianapolis with 75,033 signatures.
- U.S. Soccer Match Report -
Match: United States vs. Colombia
Date: October 12, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: PPL Park – Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 65 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
COL 0 0 0
USA : 18-Brad Guzan; 2-Jonathan Spector (13-Eric Lichaj, 46), 5-Oguchi Onyewu (capt.) (16-Michael Parkhurst, 46), 21-Clarence Goodson, 14-Heath Pearce; 19-Maurice Edu (9-Eddie Johnson, 46), 15-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 11-Stuart Holden (22-Benny Feilhaber, 59), 17-Jozy Altidore, 23-Brek Shea (8-Clint Dempsey, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Tim Howard, 7-Alejandro Bedoya
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
COL: 22-Faryd Mondragon; 18-Juan Camilo Zuniga, 2-Aquivaldo Mosquera, 3-Mario Yepes (capt.), 6-Juan David Valencia; 8-Victor Ibarbo (4-Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, 63), 15-Jhon Viarfara (19-Jhon Valencia, 63), 21-John Restrepo, 20-Adrian Ramos (11-Teofilo Gutierrez, 73); 10-Giovanni Moreno (7-Pablo Armero, 81), 9-Falcao Garcia (17-Darwin Quintero, 56)
Subs not used: 1-David Opsina, 12-Breiner Castillo, 14-Luis Amaranto Perea
Head Coach: Hernán Darío Gómez
Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 4 / 4
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 15
Offside: 2 / 5
COL – Adrian Ramos (caution) 72nd minute
USA – Jermaine Jones (caution) 75
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution) 90
COL – John Restrepo (caution) 91+
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
AR1: Joel Rangel (MEX)
AR2: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
4th: Brian Dunn (USA)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: