When the Kickoff Series slate was laid down for the fall of 2018, results weren’t number one on the priority list. Lining up six opponents ranked in the top 25 in the world was about providing valuable experiences for a group whose average age has hovered around 23 years old the whole year, not about gaining six wins.
So while there were positive moments from the MNT’s 4-2 loss to Colombia Thursday night – like the early second-half scoring burst to give the USA a 2-1 lead -- in the end, the lessons learned will prove more valuable for a group that continues to grow together.
“At halftime I thought we addressed the fact that we were pretty sloppy in terms of possession and we were a little impatient,” MNT head coach Dave Sarachan said about the 1-0 deficit at the break. “At times I think we could have really slowed the tempo, and I thought we put the game a lot on their terms in the first half. I’m really pleased with the second half start, obviously getting the goals was good, but I thought our approach in quality improved.”
Pressuring higher up the field, the MNT forced Colombia into mistakes and pounced on their opportunities to push the MNT ahead early in the second half. Kellyn Acosta hit home the equalizer via a deflected cross from Antonee Robinson in the 50th minute, followed by Bobby Wood’s clinical finish off a Tim Weah feed three minutes later.
Shortly after the U.S. took the lead, Colombia pulled things back to 2-2 via Carlos Bacca in the 56th minute. A few substitutions pushed the full tempo back into the favor of Los Cafeteros and the MNT’s inability to adjust to the changes allowed Radamel Falcao and Miguel Angel Borja to flip the script.
“They made a few changes, it changed the dynamic of the team, and we were playing a little bit of catch up,” Acosta, who scored his second international goal, said. “Overall we’re disappointed on the little details that we could have managed, and after going up 2-1 I thought we could have found a way to get a result. We didn’t manage the game well enough to finish it off.”
With a squad featuring 12 players that were part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup roster and a core group that has been together for several years, Colombia’s talent and cohesiveness served to punish an MNT group that is continuing to build its own identity early in the new cycle.
“They can slip little passes, and with their mobility and the way they move off of each other they can cause you real problems,” captain Michael Bradley said following his first MNT match of 2018.
“Experience on nights like tonight is still invaluable. You’re playing a game where in a lot of ways you’re not the home team. You’re playing against a good, skillful team that can punish you. These are teams that we see on a regular basis. The experience of playing on nights like this, having to keep concentration for 90 minutes, having to know what the game asks in different moments, you want guys to get a feel for that.”
As the MNT prepares for its next Kickoff Series match against Peru, there will be plenty of tape to review, as well as getting a different group ready to play La Blanquirroja on Tuesday in East Hartford, Conn.
“Going into these two games the idea was to get through the first game with a core group,” Sarachan said. “There are plans to make a number of changes for Tuesday. You play these friendlies to allow some players opportunities. We’ll address some of the issues from today and scout Peru. The same fundamentals will apply.”Read more
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2018) — Goals from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood pulled the USA ahead early in the second-half, but a flury of second-half strikes saw Colombia take a 4-2 victory in front of a Tampa-record crowd of 38,631 in the MNT’s third Kickoff Series match at Raymond James Stadium Thursday night.
A fantastic, curling effort from James Rodriguez in the 36th minute highlighted the first half. Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood struck early in the second to lead off a rain of second-half goals, but Colombia responded via Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and a stunning bicycle kick from Miguel Angel Borja to earn the 4-2 victory.
With a wealth of attacking talent, Colombia controlled much of the possession and came close in the fourth minute as Santiago Arias’ cross picked out Falcao at the top of the area, but the Monaco striker fired his first-time volley over the bar.
Though the U.S. absorbed much pressure, the team showed positive moments in attack. In the ninth minute, Antonee Robinson did nifty work down the left to play himself around Arias before shifting a pass to Julian Green. Cutting inside, Green hit a right-footed effort that tested Colombia ‘keeper David Ospina but zipped past the left post.
As the clock ticked towards halftime, Colombia put the hammer down in the U.S. final third. Just seconds after John Brooks blocked another first-time hit from Falcao, James Rodriguez conjured some magic, scoring a golazo in the 36th minute. After some combination passing on the right, the Bayern Munich maestro collected from Arias at the top right corner of the penalty area before bending an effort inside the opposite corner.
Colombia poured more forward before the break, but saw goalkeeper Zack Steffen make a clinical diving stop on Falcao’s 39th-minute effort, before Miazga slid through to save Rodriguez’s 41-minute effort off the line.
The U.S. response came quickly after halftime, with Robinson’s looping ball from the left falling for Acosta whose late run set up a perfectly-timed finish at the back post in the 50th minute to begin the second-half scoring.
Feeding off that energy, the MNT took the lead three minutes later when Tim Weah broke down the left before slipping a sublime pass for Wood who cut through the Colombia back line to beat Ospina in the 53rd minute.
Colombia clawed back quickly though as a combination on the right led to Arias centering for Carlos Bacca, allowing the Villarreal striker a clean, one-time finish from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. After some even moments, Los Cafeteros restored their lead via Falcao in the 74th minute, before Borja’s overhead effort closed out the scoring.
Continuing to test itself against strong international sides, the MNT continues the Kickoff Series against 2018 FIFA World Cup participants Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in East Hartford, Conn. (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN). More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold for the match at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
COL – James Rodriguez (Santiago Arias), 36th minute: Juan Cuadrado began a well-worked combination on the right, leaving for Arias before he found Rodriguez in space at the top right corner of the penalty area. Rodriguez took advantage and curled an incredible left-footed effort inside the top right corner to give Colombia the lead going into halftime. USA 0, COL 1 [WATCH]
USA – Kellyn Acosta, 50th minute: The U.S. responded early in the second frame, as Antonee Robinson looped a cross in from the left that deflected ever so slightly off of Davinson Sanchez and fell perfectly for Kellyn Acosta, whose smart run from midfield put him in place to volley home a one-time finish at the back post. USA 1, COL 1 [WATCH]
USA – Bobby Wood (Tim Weah), 53rd minute: Feeding off the equalizer, the U.S. pulled ahead three minutes later. Julian Green sprung Tim Weah up the left side, where the 18-year-old pushed forward before picking out Bobby Wood’s run through the middle with a perfectly weighted pass. The striker did well to burst through the Colombia back line before sending a low finish past Ospina and inside the right post. USA 2, COL 1 [WATCH]
COL – Carlos Bacca (Santiago Arias), 56th minute: Galvanized by going down, Colombia pulled level after just three minutes. Following a throw-in, Santiago Arias broke down the right and centered for Bacca whose first-time hit from the penalty spot beat U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen inside the left post. USA 2, COL 2 [WATCH]
COL – Radameel Falcao (Juan Fernando Quintero), 74th minute: Colombia re-took the lead with a well-worked counter attack. Rodriguez looped the ball forward for Bacca who held up play before sending a nifty back heel into Quintero’s path. Quintero then picked out Falcao, who bent his finish inside the lower right post. USA 2, COL 3 [WATCH]
COL – Miguel Angel Borja (James Rodriguez), 79th minute: Los Cafeteros increased the advantage five minutes later. Arias ran free down the right side, playing for Rodriguez who held up in the area before crossing to Borja whose bicycle kick on the left sneaked past the diving Steffen and in off the post. USA 2, COL 4 [WATCH] FINAL.
Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Zack Steffen and Matt Miazga, 39th minute: Arias broke down the right and sent a low cross to Falcao at the top of the area. The Colombia captain took the ball on the bounce, firing a half-volley which saw Steffen make a clinical diving stop to his right before Miazga was there to nod the ball out for a corner.
USA – Zack Steffen and Matt Miazga, 41st minute: Cuadrado broke through the U.S. midfield and threaded a pass to Rodriguez on the right. The Bayern Munich attacker cut back to his left to beat Robinson, then hit a low effort that Steffen got a touch to before Miazga’s anticipatory slide cleared the ball off the line and out for another corner kick.
- The MNT falls to 3-13-4 all-time against Colombia and moves to 3-3-2 in 2018.
- Bobby Wood recorded his 13th international goal and team-leading third of the year in the 53rd minute.
- Kellyn Acosta’s 50th minute strike was his second international goal and first since the MNT’s 2-1 win against Ghana on July 1, 2017.
- Tim Weah recorded his first assist at senior international level on Wood’s goal.
- The Starting XI comprised an average of 24 years, 113 days and 29.6 caps
- In his first appearance of 2018, captain Michael Bradley earned his 141st cap, tying him with Clint Dempsey for third on the MNT’s all-time list. He sits behind only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157).
- With the start, Zack Steffen earned his sixth cap, tying the modern era record jointly held by Kasey Keller (1990) and Troy Perkins (2009) for most appearances by a goalkeeper during their debut year with the National Team.
- A native of Palm Harbor, Fla., Ben Sweat earned his first MNT cap not far from his hometown, becoming the 16th player to earn their debut in 2018 and 19th player to do so since November 2017.
- Kenny Saief returned to the MNT lineup for the first time since the 1-0 win against Paraguay on March 27 in Cary, N.C.
- For the second time, Sarachan deployed a back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Miazga, John Brooks and Antonee Robinson. Brooks and Miazga paired in central defense for the third time.
- Dave Sarachan has handed out 19 MNT debuts since last November and 16 in 2018. Substitute defenders Reggie Cannon and Ben Sweat will hope to add to those totals tonight.
- With the MNT dressing 20 players, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, defender Aaron Long and midfielder Jonathan Amon were healthy scratches from tonight’s match.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: October 11, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 80 degrees; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
COL 1 3 4
COL – James Rodriguez (Santiago Arias) 36th minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta 50
USA – Bobby Wood (Tim Weah) 53
COL – Carlos Bacca (Santiago Arias) 56
COL – Radamel Falcao (Juan Fernando Quintero) 74
COL – Miguel Angel Borja (James Rodriguez) 79
USA: 12-Zack Steffen; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks, 17-Antonee Robinson (19-Ben Sweat, 75); 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 23-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Tim Weah (8-Marky Delgado, 68), 16-Julian Green (13-Josh Sargent, 80), 10-Kenny Saief (14-Fafa Picault, 58); 7-Bobby Wood (9-Andrija Novakovich, 80)
Substitutes not used: 1-Brad Guzan, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18-Reggie Cannon, 20-Wil Trapp
Head coach: Dave Sarachan
COL: 1-David Ospina; 4-Santiago Arias, 23-Davinson Sanchez, 22-Jeison Murillo, 21-Deiver Machado; 15-Mateus Uribe, 5-Wilmar Barrios (18-Juan Daniel Roa, 89), 11-Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (20-Juan Fernando Quintero, 55, 17-Yimmi Chara, 83), 10-James Rodriguez (6-Didier Moreno, 82); 9-Radamel Falcao (capt.) (8-Edwin Cardona, 76), 7-Carlos Bacca (19-Miguel Angel Borja, 76)
Substitutes not used: 12-Alvaro Montero, 13-Helibelton Palacios, 16-Cristian Alexis Borja, 3-Oscar Murillo, 2-Felipe Aguilar, 24-Sebastian Villa
Head coach: Arturo Reyes
Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 5 / 17
Shots on Goal: 2 / 7
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 1 / 2
USA – Tim Weah (caution) 32nd minute
USA – Antonee Robinson (caution) 35
COL – Wilmar Barrios (caution) 63
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
4th Official: Hector Said Martinez (HON)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Bobby WoodRead more
USA vs. Colombia
Oct. 11, 2018
Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Live Broadcast: 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and UDN
Tonight’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Colombia: 12-Zack Steffen; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-John Brooks, 17-Antonee Robinson; 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 23-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Tim Weah, 16-Julian Green, 10-Kenny Saief; 7-Bobby Wood
Substitutes: 1-Brad Guzan, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 8-Marky Delgado, 9-Andrija Novakovich, 13-Josh Sargent, 14-Fafa Picault, 18-Reggie Cannon, 19-Ben Sweat, 20-Wil Trapp
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, U.S. Soccer encourages fans to donate to the relief effort through the American Red Cross. Contribute by clicking here or text MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- U.S. MNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Michael Bradley (141), DeAndre Yedlin (55), Bobby Wood (42), John Brooks (35), Kellyn Acosta (20), Julian Green (13), Matt Miazga (10), Zack Steffen (6), Tim Weah (6), Antonee Robinson (5) Kenny Saief (3)
- Midfielder Michael Bradley captains the side in his first appearance of 2018.
- The Starting XI averages 24 years, 113 days and 29.6 caps
- Having begun with the MNT in 2006, tonight’s match marks Bradley’s 141st international appearance, tying him with Clint Dempsey for third on the MNT’s all-time caps list. He sits behind only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157).
- With the start, Zack Steffen earns his sixth cap, tying the modern era record jointly held by Kasey Keller (1990) and Troy Perkins (2009) for most appearances by a goalkeeper during their debut year with the National Team.
- Eight players took part in last month’s 1-0 victory against Mexico. Acosta, Miazga, Steffen and Weah started the match, while Green, Robinson, Wood and Yedlin entered as subs.
- Kenny Saief returns to the MNT lineup for the first time since playing 67 minutes in the 1-0 win against Paraguay on March 27 in Cary, N.C.
- For the second time, Sarachan deploys a back four of DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Miazga, John Brooks and Antonee Robinson.
- Brooks and Miazga pair in central defense for the third time.
- Dave Sarachan has handed out 18 MNT debuts since last November and 15 in 2018. Substitute defenders Reggie Cannon and Ben Sweat will hope to add to those totals tonight.
- Wood (2 goals), Green and Weah (1 each) have found the back of the net for the MNT in 2018.
- Having provided helpers against Bolivia (May 28) and Mexico (Sept. 11), left back Antonee Robinson leads the MNT with two assists in 2018.
- Tonight’s match against Colombia comes 34 years to the day of the MNT’s first win against Los Cafeteros, a 1-0 victory on Oct. 11, 1984 in Los Angeles.
- Five of the starting XI are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Zack Steffen (FC DELCO), Tim Weah (New York Red Bulls/BW Gottschee), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC/Crossfire Premier)
- The MNT trails the all-time series with a 3-12-4 mark against Los Cafeteros. The USA won the highest stakes match between the two nations, with current General Manager Earnie Stewart scoring the game-winning goal to help the MNT to a 2-1 group stage win in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
- The MNT starting XI represents clubs in six different countries: Germany (3), England, France and USA (2 each); Belgium and Canada (1 each)
- With the MNT dressing 20 players, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, defender Aaron Long and midfielder Jonathan Amon are healthy scratches from tonight’s match. Teams are allowed to make six substitutions.
- Tonight marks the MNT’s sixth match at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. The MNT holds a 4-1-0 all-time record and last defeated Martinique 3-2 during the Gold Cup group stage on July 12, 2017.
PREVIEW: MNT Continues Kickoff Series vs. Colombia in Tampa | Oct. 11 | 7:30pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN
The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its fall Kickoff Series when it takes on South American power Colombia on Thursday, Oct. 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
Coverage of USA-Colombia, begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, while Univision and UDN will also broadcast the game. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
DEFENDERS (8): 6-John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 34/3), 18-Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 0/0), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 5/0), 21-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), 3-Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 9/1), 17-Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 4/0), 19-Ben Sweat (New York City FC; 0/0), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 54/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 23-Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 19/1), 15-Jonathan Amon (Nordsjælland/DEN; 0/0), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 140/17), 8-Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 3/0), 16-Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 12/4), 14-Fafa Picault (Philadelphia Union; 1/0) 10-Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), 20-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0), 11-Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 5/1)
FORWARDS (3): 9-Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), 13-Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 3/1), 7-Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 41/12)
While the emphasis from the past year has been placed on bringing along the MNT’s next generation, the master plan has always included the return of key veteran players into the mix. As a result, the October matches presented the right time to begin the reintegration process, with MNT head coach Dave Sarachan tapping midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan to return to the squad for this month’s matches against Colombia and Peru.
“When you are building a team, at some point there has to be the proper blend of youth and experience,” Sarachan told ussoccer.com last week. “As we head into these last four friendlies of the year, I felt the timing was right to begin that transition. I think it’s important to do it earlier than a week before the Gold Cup or a World Cup Qualifier. Bringing in players like Michael and Brad, who have a vast amount of experience and can be a great resource for our younger players – both on and off the field – is an important step for us at this point in time.”
COLOMBIA BRINGS STRONG ROSTER FOR USA MATCH
Fresh off a Round of 16 appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Colombia has brought another strong squad to take on the U.S. Thursday night in Tampa.
Highlighting the roster are 12 World Cup players, including midfielders James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich) and Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), forwards Radamel Falcao (Monaco) and Carlos Bacca (Villarreal) as well as Atlético Madrid defender Santiago Arias and Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina.
KICKOFF SERIES PROVIDING LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Along with helping to launch the new World Cup cycle with high-profile matches, the Kickoff Series schedule was laid out in part to hand the MNT’s next generation experiences against top-tier teams. While getting results in the matches are nice, the lessons learned against strong opponents are far more valuable for a young team growing together. One of 15 players to debut for the MNT this year, left back Antonee Robinson took in stride a mistake made in last month’s match against Brazil and rebounded to feed the game-winning assist to Tyler Adams in the 1-0 win against Mexico. The Wigan Athletic defender spoke about bouncing back between the two matches and the opportunity to learn from remaining games against Colombia, Peru, England and Italy.
With the 2022 cycle officially underway, the process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. Since November of last year, a total of 18 players have debuted for the senior MNT. Seventeen of them came in under 24 years old at the time of their first caps, while 10 will be age-eligible to represent the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls at the start of the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicle the route of players on their quest to become a part of the National Team by going behind the scenes with family, youth, coaches, teammates and professional club managers from across the world.
- With 19 matches since the series began in 1961, Colombia is the USA’s most frequent international opponent outside of Concacaf.
- The USA trails Los Cafeteros 3-12-4 in the all-time series.
- The MNT won the highest-stakes match between the two nations, when current General Manager Earnie Stewart scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory during the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
- Notably, the MNT earned its first victory against Colombia on Oct. 11, 1984, a 1-0 win in Los Angeles 34 years to the day of Thursday night’s match.
- The teams most recently met twice during the Copa America Centenario. Colombia defeated the MNT 2-0 in the opening match on June 3, 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif., before achieving a 1-0 result against the USA in the Third-Place Match on June 25, 2016 in Glendale, Ariz.
USA ROSTER NOTES
- As of Oct. 11, 2018, the roster carries an average age of 24 years, 47 days, while 16 players are 23 years and under.
- Six players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (born 1997 or later): Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah
- The October MNT roster averages 17.7 caps, with 16 players holding less than 10 appearances.
- The roster is punctuated by the returns of long-time MNT veterans Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, who make their first camp appearances since October 2017.
- Having made his MNT debut in 2006, Bradley ranks inside the top 10 for all-time appearances (140; fourth), assists (22; second-tied) and goals (17; ninth-tied).
- Another 2006 debutante, Guzan ranks in the top five among MNT goalkeepers with 58 caps (fifth), 30 wins (fourth) and 18 clean sheets (fifth).
- Bradley (140) and Guzan (58) lead the way in caps, followed by DeAndre Yedlin (54), Bobby Wood (41) and John Brooks (34)
- Fifteen players return from the MNT’s September camp, while 11 took part in the USA’s 1-0 win against rivals Mexico on Sept. 11 in Nashville.
- The roster features players that ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (8), Germany (4), Belgium, Canada, England and France (2 each); Denmark, Netherlands and Wales (one each)
- Four players have found the back of the net for the MNT in 2018: Wood (2 goals), Green, Sargent and Weah (1 each)
- One of 15 players to make their senior-team debuts this year, Antonee Robinson leads the MNT with two assists, providing helpers to Tim Weah (May 28 vs. Bolivia) and Tyler Adams (Sept. 11 vs. Mexico).
- Last seen during the MNT’s 1-1 draw with France back in June, 18-year-old Josh Sargent has had a strong start to his competitive tenure at Werder Bremen, leading the club’s reserve side with six goals in 10 matches.
- Andrija Novakovich joins Amon in leading the MNT’s European contingent with four goals scored this season with Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivisie.
- Four players will hope to make their first MNT appearances: defenders Reggie Cannon Aaron Long and Ben Sweat and midfielder Jonathan Amon.
- A right back in the midst of his second MLS season, Reggie Cannon has appeared in each of FC Dallas’ 30 matches, adding a goal and three assists for the Western Conference leaders.
- Similarly, left back Ben Sweat has been a stalwart for New York City FC in 2018, appearing in 27 of 32 matches to help the club clinch a third-consecutive postseason berth.
- Also in his second season with Nordsjælland, 19-year-old winger Jonathan Amon has recorded four goals in eight matches across all competitions for the Danish side this campaign.
- Six players have previously appeared against Colombia: Brad Guzan (4 games); Michael Bradley (3), Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin (3 each); John Brooks (2) and Julian Green (1)
- Four players took part in the MNT’s last meeting with Colombia, coming in the Third-Place Match of Copa America Centenario on June 25, 2016: Bradley, Pulisic, Wood and Yedlin.
- Eleven players have been part of a final U.S. roster at a youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Michael Bradley, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marky Delgado Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Josh Sargent, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Tim Weah and DeAndre Yedlin.
Colombia midfielder James Rodríguez
COLOMBIA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Álvaro Montero (Tolima), David Ospina (Napoli/ITA)
DEFENDERS (8): Felipe Aguilar (Atlético Nacional), Santiago Arias (Atlético Madrid/ESP), Cristian Borja (Toluca/MEX), Deiver Machado (Atlético Nacional) Jeison Murillo (Valencia/ESP), Óscar Murillo (Pachuca/MEX), Helibelton Palacios (Atlético Nacional), Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Wílmar Barrios (Boca Juniors/ARG), Edwin Cardona (Boca Juniors/ARG), Juan Cuadrado (Juventus/ITA), Didier Moreno (Deportivo La Coruña/ESP), Juan Fernando Quintero (River Plate/ARG), Juan Daniel Roa (Indendiente Santa Fe), James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich/GER), Mateus Uribe (Club América/MEX), Sebastián Villa (Boca Juniors/ARG),
FORWARDS (5): Carlos Bacca (Villarreal/ESP), Miguel Borja (Palmeiras/BRA), Yimmi Chará (Atlético Mineiro/BRA), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/FRA), Cucho Hernández (Huesca/ESP)
- Colombia began the new World Cup cycle last month with a 2-1 win against Venezuela (Sept. 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.) and a 0-0 draw with Argentina (Sept. 11 in East Rutherford, N.J.)
- Twelve players on the roster were part of Colombia’s run to the Round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
- Colombia is currently being managed on an interim basis by Arturo Reyes
The USA made it hard on Brazil in the early going of their Kickoff Series clash last month at MetLife Stadium, but it took just one slip-up for the five-time World Cup champions to get on the scoreboard.
When speedy Brazil winger Douglas Costa got the ball on the outside in the 11th minute, left back Antonee Robinson set his feet too slow. The crafty Juventus attacker made Robinson pay as he blazed past and teed-up Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino for a close-range goal to open the scoring.
- READ MORE: Five Things to Know About MNT October Camp
In just his third MNT appearance, Robinson didn’t get rattled by the run. Instead, he responded. The promising left back prospect put in a strong performance down the stretch, and Brazil’s only other goal came on a controversial penalty call.
“His acceleration was something I’ve never seen before,” Robinson said. “After the goal went in, I was just like ‘you can’t let that affect your game. It’s a long way to go’. I just tried to give it my all, not let them do that again, try and have a good performance to end on and learn from the very first mistake made in the game.”
The Kickoff Series schedule features six opponents sitting in the top 25 of the FIFA World Rankings. The gauntlet is designed specifically for young players like Robinson who are taking their first steps with the senior team. There will be lessons learned the hard way, but there’s also the opportunity for the MNT’s next generation to rise to the occasion against some of the world’s top teams.
“Experiences like that you can’t take away from someone,” Robinson said. “It really sets a marker for you. You know what you need to improve on, how tough the competition is going to be at the level that all of us want to be playing at regularly one day.”
Following the Brazil game, Robinson broke down video alongside the coaching staff. They were pleased by his performance after the early hiccup.
“To be able to bounce back from a mistake is something you need,” Robinson said. “We both agreed that if I’ve learned that in the game, that it’s something I don’t let happen in any other game.”
Just four days later, Robinson had another chance to test himself. Not just against any formidable foe, but archrival Mexico. He didn’t start the match, but stood ready for whenever his number was called.
That moment came in the 56th minute, as a substitute for Eric Lichaj. In a tense, back-and-forth contest, Robinson locked down the left side. When Mexico went down a man in the 67th, it ignited the USA attack and Robinson didn’t waste much time to make his presence known. Kellyn Acosta played the 21-year-old as he sped up the left wing and Robinson threaded the ball through the El Trí defense to Tyler Adams. He met the ball near the penalty spot and one-timed it past goalkeeper Hugo González for the game-winning goal.
As the USA prepares for two more tough tests this month against Colombia and Peru, Robinson is ready. Formulated as a trial by fire, the Kickoff Series will have moments that knock the young MNT down, but also plenty of chances to get back up again.
“I’m really looking forward to the chance to stand up to the challenge of playing against good teams,” Robinson said. “Hopefully I show that I can hold my own against them as well.”Read more