CARSON, Calif. — The USA men’s national team is held to a 0-0 draw with Colombia in the second of January’s two friendlies at home, with both teams playing relatively inexperienced teams.
Colombia had the best shots at 12-5, but the shots on goal were 2-1 in favor of the hosts. And it was the United States that had better chances Paxton Aronsonmaking his USMNT debut, coming close in the first half. Sean Johnson He was busier among the goalkeepers, but overall he didn’t have much to do on the night.
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1. The United States earns a draw in a very friendly match in January
Friendlies kicking off January camp is often a frosty affair. US players are in pre-season mode, and the lack of sharpness outweighs most of the positives. There is also a relative lack of experience in the show. While the United States participated in the World Cup Walker ZimmermanAnd Clin AcostaJesus Ferreira W Aaron Longas well as a veteran Paul AreolaSome other players were making their initial forays into the international level.
This applies to Colombia as well. And away from the left back Frank FabraNo Colombian player has won more than three caps. But this encounter had some spice, helped in large part by the staunchly pro-Columbian crowd. There was plenty of end-to-end play and some clear looks on goal in the first half, including a deflected effort from Paxten Aronson in the 14th minute that hit the post.
LAFC Christian Arango He had some clear chances too, but failed to get a shot on goal. Such was the chaotic nature of the game that the actors on the show seemed to trade good plays with the poor one, often in the same sequence. Matthew Hope It was an example. The Middlesbrough winger was indefatigable in terms of his defensive pressure, constantly putting himself in good positions with his shots of the ball. But his decision on the ball seemed rusty as a result of his lack of playing time with his club.
There was some physical play too, as three yellow cards were shown off in the first half by referee Said Martinez, all to Colombia. Two were the result of an attack by Arriola that forced cafeteria In fouls near the penalty area. The frantic pace calmed down a bit in the second half, as caretaker manager Anthony Hudson felt confident enough to finish off the game with two young centre-backs. Galen Neal Rogers Medal. Substitute Brandon Vazquez almost took a Kylian Acosta free kick late on, but was unable to connect, leaving the two teams to tie the game.
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2. Another Aronson who makes a positive impression
Interim coach Anthony Hudson said he would move his team significantly from the team that fell 2-1 to Serbia, and he was true to his word, making 10 changes to the squad that started against Serbia, with Zimmermann remaining the only one. It meant another international double, this time for Bucksten Aronson – brother of Leeds United and the US international midfielder. Brendan Aronson New York Red Bulls defender John Tolkien.
Aronson – who signed with Eintracht Frankfurt from the Philadelphia Union in November – was up for the challenge and showed many of the same qualities as his older brother. He was absolutely reckless on defence, was brisk on the ball hunt and showed some lightning quick feet. He almost scored in the 14th minute when his deflected attempt hit the post.
His performance was not entirely without struggle. One area where Aronson needs to improve is simply sensing danger with his opponent’s back. He was sent off four times in the first half, a problem that could be solved simply by playing faster.
Fellow rookie Tolkien struggled with some physical battles as well, but he adapted as the game went on. The quality of his left foot is not in question. But such games are about the future. Those players just beginning their international careers need not produce for the United States next week or even in March, when the selected players meet for the first time since the World Cup. However, players have to start somewhere, and this was a required first step.
3. Has anyone got a place in the March window?
Over the two games, 12 players made their debuts (more than ever before in these January camps), with Vazquez doing his best to help himself. The USA’s leading scorer against Serbia came on as a substitute in this match, and while he didn’t score, the FC Cincinnati man provides a physical presence that few other players in the pool can match. Combine that with the finishing touch, and he’s a player who can get his way.
Alejandro Zendegas, who returned to Club America after the Serbia game, should also get an extended look due to his dynamism on the wing and his accuracy in terms of the end product. Of course, with Zendejas, the question is if he gets called up for an official competition, will he commit or make that one-off move to Mexico? That remained to be seen.
Thanks to Kid Quill also. He was an unused substitute on the night, but showed a lot of potential against Serbia. The key now is can he replicate that performance at club level with the San Jose Earthquakes?
Other than that, it seems as if the rest of the young artists in this camp are still far from being threatened with a breakout. However, for many of them, time is on their side.
The best and worst (and mixed bag) performers
Best: Paul Areola from the United States
Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the more experienced players on the field did so well (he got his 50th cap), but the FC Dallas man was a threat on the flank and forced various Colombian players into yellow card fouls.
Best: Diego Valois, Colombia
Colombian forward gave Tolkien everything he could handle, especially in the first half. He also created three team high chances.
Best: Paxton Aronson, USA
Aronson had more positives than negatives on his international debut, and he adjusted his game in the second half.
Worst: Frank Fabra, Columbia
The United States had a lot of success on his team, with Areola fouling a yellow card. Fabra struggled with the ball as well, completing just 67.5% of his passes.
Mixed bag: Matthew Hope, US
The “worst” label would have been pretty harsh considering the situations he’s put himself in, but his decision making and touching let him down at times. He desperately needs matches at club level.
Highlights and notable moments
Paxten Aaronson was one of the players that stood out in the USMNT, as evidenced by this early scoring opportunity against Colombia.
Pax gets involved early 👀
📺 TNT pic.twitter.com/Jx73aGnJ6V
– United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) January 29, 2023
With more playing time and experience, he could be expected to put it into the net.
After the match: what the managers and players said
Interim USA head coach Anthony Hudson, on Bucksten Aronson’s debut: “Pakstin is a really exciting player, very confident. He came in a day or two late, but you can see his quality. We don’t know what his level is, but we believe in his talent and we’ll see what he can do.”
USMNT guard Shawn Johnson at camp: “It’s a great group of players, and that speaks to the depth of our group of players… There are good times ahead of us. We would have loved to win, we had our chances, but it was strong all around. As a group, I feel like this camp has been a step forward.”
Hudson, on whether he will continue as interim coach: “Until I’m told otherwise, I’ll do everything I can for the team and the players.”
we: With no matches to play until the March matches against Grenada and El Salvador as part of the Nations League title defence, expect all the action off the field as speculation mounts as the search for a coaching and general manager looms.
Colombia: There are no matches planned in the calendar yet.
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