US vs Colombia preview: looking for recovery
The return of USMNT games would be a welcome distraction from the drama currently circulating the American Football Federation. It was the starting point of the 2026 World Cup cycle. There were fresh, enthusiastic players on the roster against an inexperienced Serbian team.
Unfortunately it was another loss. Now the US must try to bounce back and avoid a winless January camp as they look ahead to a game with Colombia.
American loss to Serbia
Wednesday night’s loss to Serbia was disheartening. Even then, it provided a few reasons for optimism. Perhaps most depressing was a sparse audience, billed at just over 11,000. This comes after the USMNT had its worst average attendance since 2006. Also disheartening was the fact that the US lost the game (the seventh time in the last eight games that the US has not won).
The US took a 1-0 lead after good build-up play through a header from Brandon Vazquez. It wouldn’t last long though, as the Serbs equalized from a free kick just before half-time and took the lead immediately after the break. Serbia did not relinquish that lead for the remainder of the game.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. In goal, Gaga Slonina made several scoreless saves and was pretty good overall despite giving up the two goals. Cade Cowell also created a number of quality opportunities. The two most important dual nationalities in particular played well. Vazquez’ goal was very well taken and interim boss Anthony Hudson was effusive in his praise for Alejandro Zenedejas’ 90th-minute performance. However, Zendejas will return to Club America for the Colombia game.
While the Serbian team was decidedly young and inexperienced, so was the US. In fact, a total of eight players made their international debut on Wednesday evening. How many more will get their first international match against Colombia?
A taste of what the US gets against Colombia
Unlike the US, Colombia did not qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. It was the first time since 2010 that they had missed the tournament. They finished sixth in the CONMEBOL Qualifier, one point behind Peru, who advanced to the intercontinental play-off from fifth place.
Since missing the World Cup, the Cafeteros have not played many games. However, they won them all. First there was a 1-0 against Saudi Arabia. They followed that up with three consecutive wins in the US: 4-1 against Guatemala in New York, 3-2 against Mexico in San Francisco and 2-0 against Paraguay in Miami.
Like his American counterpart, manager Nester Lorenzo has called up a team with very little international experience. Only defender Frank Fabra has more than 3 caps, with 26. The roster includes six MLS players: Santiago Moreno and Juan Mosquera of the Portland Timbers, Andres Reyes of the New York Red Bulls, Cucho Hernandez of the Columbus Crew, Cristian Arango of LAFC and Dylan Borrero of the New England Revolution.
Saturday’s game will be the first for the USMNT to air on TNT as part of its new deal with Warner Bros. Discovery. The previous game was on HBO Max, also new to the deal. Coverage is also available on Telemundo and Peacock Premium.
Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. This is the 19 of the USMNTe all-time appearance at Dignity Health Sports Park, and eleventh since 2010.
According to a Thursday, more than 24,000 tickets have been sold, making Saturday’s game the largest crowd for the USMNT at Dignity Health Sports Park since February 2014 against South Korea.
The US vs. Colombia preview is a bit grim looking at the all-time series. The USMNT has three wins and four draws to go along with 13 losses. The two have played against each other six times in the past 15 years. Colombia won five, the other was a draw.
Most recently, Colombia defeated the USMNT 4-2 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on October 11, 2018.
This game against Colombia doesn’t hold much promise for the US in the games ahead. The USMNT will meet again at the end of March. It has CONCACAF Nations League matches in Grenada and home to El Salvador.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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