U.S. Men’s National Team Draws Colombia 0-0 To Close January CampRecord 12 Players Earn International Debuts During Matches Against Serbia and Colombia; USMNT Returns to Action During March International Window to Finish Concacaf Nations League Group Stage
CARSON, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2023) - The U.S. Men’s National Team wrapped up its year-opening slate with a 0-0 draw against Colombia in front of a loud, sellout crowd of 27,000 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Starting defender John Tolkin and forward Paxten Aaronson, as well as substitute defender Sam Rogers and forward Emmanuel Sabbi, all made their international debuts as a record 12 players earned their first caps during the two matches of this January camp.
The game was end-to-end from the start as Colombia’s speed in transition created danger for the U.S. defense. While the South Americans outshot the U.S. 12-5, the USMNT had better quality scoring opportunities on the night and had two shots on goal to just one for Los Cafeteros.
Aaronson nearly scored the opening goal just six minutes into his first senior USMNT action when a long ball from Walker Zimmerman found forward Matthew Hoppe on the run into the penalty box. The Middlesborough-based forward laid it off for the onrushing Aaronson, but his one-time attempt didn’t have enough power and was handled well by Colombia goalkeeper Alvaro Montero. Minutes later, Colombia jumped on a misplayed pass from defender Aaron Long and forward Diego Valoyes made a speedy run down the right wing, driving around his defender and firing a shot on goal that was swallowed up by U.S. goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Aaronson had another chance to open his international account in the 14th minute. After a throw-in near the corner, a nice passing sequence continued with a Paul Arriola backheel to Aaronson near the penalty spot. The teenager’s shot was deflected by the Colombia defense and glanced off the left post before rolling out of bounds. Again, Colombia answered with a dangerous counter. Zimmerman wasn’t able to clear a long ball over the top and it fell to Yilmar Velásquez who snuck past Tolkin and fired a shot wide right. In the 32nd, the U.S. threatened on the break with forward Jesús Ferreira finding Hoppe cutting through the defense on the left side, but his golden chance from close range went right into the chest of the sliding Montero.
The torrid pace of the first 45 minutes continued into the second half as the U.S. hunted for the game’s opening goal. One of its most dangerous opportunities came near the hour mark as Jesús Ferreira received the ball in a dangerous spot near the top of the box, but two Colombia defenders closed in quickly to prevent him from ripping a shot.
Both teams had a few last-gasp efforts in stoppage time with Kellyn Acosta sending in a free kick just out of reach for substitute forward Brandon Vázquez. Colombia captain Frank Fabra provided Los Cafeteros’ last threat, driving down the left side of the box and hitting his shot wide after some solid defense from teenage center back Jalen Neal.
The USMNT returns to action during the March international window to complete the group stage of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League at Grenada and against El Salvador. The U.S. won the inaugural Concacaf Nations League in 2021 with an epic 3-2 overtime victory against Mexico.
- The USMNT Starting XI had an average age of 25 years, 306 days and averaged 19 caps overall.
- The previous high mark for debuts during USMNT matches prior to the start of the MLS season is eight, earned over the course of three matches in 2006.
- With Paxten Aaronson getting the start, he and Brenden Aaronson became the eighth set of brothers to appear for the USMNT. They follow John and Pedro DeBrito, Otto and Rolf Decker, Angelo and Paul DiBernardo, Charlie and Henry McCully, George and Louie Nanchoff, Steve and Ken Snow and Archie and Tom Stark.
- Coincidentally, both Aaronson brothers made their senior debuts at Dignity Health Sports Park. Brenden Aaronson earned his first USMNT cap in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020.
- The most experienced international player on the roster, midfielder Kellyn Acosta, captained the USMNT for the first time tonight.
- Veteran forward Paul Arriola earned his 50th cap, becoming the 60th player to hit the half century mark for the USMNT.
- All five rostered players from the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad started tonight: goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defenders Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman, midfielder Kellyn Acosta and forward Jesús Ferreira.
- Born in Santa Marta, Colombia, Jesús Ferreira became the 35th different player to play for the USMNT against the country of their birth. He is the third Colombian-American to face Los Cafeteros, following Jorge Acosta (July 31, 1992) and Carlos Llamosa (February 3, 2001).
- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made one save to earn his sixth career clean sheet and extended his current shutout minutes streak to 759 minutes. The veteran goalkeeper has conceded just one goal in his 11 international appearances, coming eight minutes into his debut on Jan. 22, 2011, vs. Chile.
- After making his debut on Wednesday against Serbia, defender DeJuan Jones earned his first start for the USMNT.
- Forward Matthew Hoppe and midfielder Eryk Williamson each made their first starts since the Concacaf Gold Cup Final vs. Mexico on Aug. 1, 2021, in Las Vegas.
- The USMNT is 3-13-5 in 20 all-time meetings with Colombia. In the last meeting, Los Cafeteros earned a 4-2 win against the USMNT on Oct. 11, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The USMNT last defeated Colombia in a 3-0 win on March 9, 2005, in Fullerton, Calif.
-U.S. MEN’s NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: January 28, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park; Carson, Calif.
Attendance: 27,000 (Sellout)
Kickoff: 7:37 p.m. ET (4:37 p.m. local)
Weather: 60 Degrees; Clear, Cool
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
COL 0 0 0
USA: 1-Sean Johnson; 4-DeJuan Jones, 3-Walker Zimmerman (22-Jalen Neal, 70), 15-Aaron Long (16-Sam Rogers, 72), 12-John Tolkin (2-Julian Gressel, 81); 23-Kellyn Acosta (Capt.), 19-Eryk Williamson (14-Alan Soñora, 46), 6-Paxten Aaronson; 7-Paul Arriola (11-Emmanuel Sabbi, 66), 9-Jesús Ferreira (8-Brandon Vazquez, 63), 13-Matthew Hoppe
Substitutes not used: 18-Roman Celentano, 24-Gaga Slonina, 5-Jonathan Gómez, 10-Paxton Pomykal, 20-Cade Cowell, 21-Aidan Morris
Head coach: Anthony Hudson
COL:1-Alvaro Montero (12-Jose Luis Chunga, 46); 6-Juan David Mosquera, 3-Andres Llinas, 5-Alexis Perez, 18-Frank Fabra (Capt.); 21-Jorman Campuzano, 15-Yilmar Velazquez (16-Kevin Castaño, 83), 23-Dylan Borrero (11-Daniel Ruiz, 68); 7-Diego Valoyes, 9-Cristian Arango (19-Diber Cambindo, 46), 14-Juan Camilo Hernandez (20-Santiago Moreno, 68)
Substitutes not used: 2-Nicolas Hernandez, 4-Andres Reyes, 8-Daniel Cataño, 13-Junior Hernandez
Head coach: Néstor Gabriel Lorenzo
Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 5 / 12
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 18
Offside: 0 / 3
COL -- Yilmar Velazquez (Caution) 4th minute
COL -- Diego Valoyes (Caution) 28
COL -- Frank Fabra (Caution) 45
USA -- Emmanuel Sabbi (Caution) 79
Referee: Said Martinez (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Walter Lopez (HON)
4th Official: Filiberto Martinez (HON)