LONDON — Following the USA’s late 2-1 defeat to Colombia at Craven Cottage on Friday, the U.S. withstood plenty of heavy pressure from Los Cafeteros after an early goal but Jurgen Klinsmann’s men couldn’t hold on for a point.
[ RELATED: USA 1-2 Colombia ]
Just as Klinsmann hoped, we learned plenty about the U.S. in this test against the No.3-ranked team in the world as his defense almost held the South Americans at a packed Craven Cottage.
Here’s three things we learned about the USA down on the banks of the River Thames.
Late goals continue to hurt the USMNT’s progress
In their last nine games the U.S. national team have given up nine goals in the final 10 minutes of matches. That says it all. In their last three internationals they have gone ahead and have not won a game and as we saw at the World Cup, the USA are eager to protect a lead whenever they get one rather than kick on and put the opposition to bed. This ominous Tweet from Matt Doyle set the scene for Bacca’s late winner at Craven Cottage…
How many more times are we going to see the USA drop deeper and deeper to give up leads? They dropped way too deep against a talented Colombian outfit and invited pressure time and time again. There was only going to be one outcome. Despite the best efforts of John Brooks, Jermaine Jones and Brad Guzan, Colombia finally found a way to net two goals in the final 30 minutes. The way the U.S. have been playing lately, what else did we expect?
Altidore at it for the USA, once again
All week in practice Jozy Altidore looked like a man on a mission. On Friday he captained Jurgen Klinsmann’s team at Craven Cottage and put them ahead after 10 minutes from the penalty spot. Altidore almost doubled his teams lead soon after with a header and was a willing runner in the channels all evening. With 18-year-old Rubio Rubin up alongside him, Altidore led the charge and infuriated the partisan Colombian fans who made up over 90 percent of the crowd at the Cottage. He bullied Colombia’s defense with powerful running and clever hold up play and gave a reminder to Sunderland manager Gus Poyet what he is capable of. One question was running through my mind during this back-to-the-walls performance from the USA: what if Altidore had been fit at the World Cup?
After the game I asked Klinsmann about Altidore’s performance and he said “he would have been good for 4 or 5 goals” at the World Cup this summer had he been fit.
Young full backs Garza, Yedlin prove they are ready
In a hostile environment on foreign soil against a team ranked No.3 in the world, DeAndre Yedlin and Greg Garza did not look out of place on Friday. Yedlin got to use his blistering pace to support Alejandro Bedoya down the right, while Club Tijuana’s Garza put in a solid shift on the left as he helped lock down one of the stars of the World Cup, Juan Cuadrado. Yedlin’s pace created problems for Pablo Armero and Colombia but his crossing needs to improve. On three occasions in the first half Yedlin clipped balls too long when a quick look up should have resulted in a pull back. He will learn that with time and was pushed forward to the right wing by Klinsmann for the second half. The USA’s two young full backs put in a promising display and proved they could be the go-to guys moving forward.