The United States men’s national team took the pitch in Tampa without Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Tyler Adams.
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They still found ways to entertain.
Weah and Wood for the Win (or at least the lead)
Cheers to Bobby Wood, the sometimes maligned but often productive Hawaii-born forward of Hannover 96.
Wood broke up the play that started the USMNT’s second goal, carrying the ball before being fouled.
The play continued onward until PSG young buck Timothy Weah dribbled up the left of the pitch and played a perfectly-weighted ball into the path of Wood, who hauled his body almost 100 yards over the course of the goal.
The aforementioned James principle also applies to Weah, 18, who stuck around PSG instead of accepting a loan offer. He gets his chance to shine with the USMNT, and the dividends were very much there.
Better from Robinson
Less than inspiring — and that’s being nice — in last month’s friendlies, Antonee Robinson was a different man against Colombia.
There were still plenty of errors in defense, but the Everton youngster, currently on loan to Wigan Athletic, was a lively part of both possession and attack from his left wingback spot for the USMNT on Thursday.
At 21 years old, that’s fairly forgivable.
Composed and electric, the 21-year-old’s cross provided an equalizer for Kellyn Acosta that honestly could’ve come from Bobby Wood. It was good enough service to provide a chance for two players to bury a match-tying goal.
As an aside, goal scorer Kellyn Acosta has been reborn for Colorado, and even the fondest of Jurgen Klinsmann supporters knew that the former manager’s shoe-horning of the midfielder at left back was A) wrong and B) just an acknowledgment that he should have a spot on the field.
International soccer: Where depth club players get their shine
- WATCH: James’ terrific curling goal
International friendlies have the tendency to uncage beasts. The combination of world class talent and less organized teams, a symptom of the international game sickness, is enough to provide show-stoppers.
Enter James Rodriguez.
The 27-year-old has started less than half of Bayern Munich’s league games this season, but is the undoubted star for Los Cafeteros. His cutback on Kenny Saief — wyd after that, Kenny? — and beautiful curler around the reach of Zack Steffen were the things of dreams.
It probably should’ve been 2-0 thanks to James magic, but Matt Miazga slid to clear the ball off the goal line in the 41st minute.
James helped cue up Colombia’s third goal, too, sending a hopeful outside of the boot clearance 60 yards up field en route to the 3-2 advantage.
And his patient dribble in a phone booth was the direct assist for Miguel Borja’s terrific acrobatic goal. I mean, the composure…