United States vs Colombia
Played in Tampa, Florida
The USMNT played Colombia, a third-rate South American “powerhouse” that has never won the World Cup. Technically it's a second-rate team. But, realistically it's a third-rate team, with a few salient stars that push the argument toward a second-rate or even first-rate team. But it's a third-rate team, make no mistake. It's not winning the World Cup anytime soon, even with its stars.
The US on the other hand, oiy, where do we start? Try page one: Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet. I'm too tired right now to reiterate the whole thing in one paragraph. The USMNT is searching for new players (kind of), a new coach (kind of), a new approach...which is good. It has a chance to completely start over. And start over it will. And there’s so much potential ahead. And we – the collective American landscape of soccer fans – were essentially saying the same thing in 1998, after a failed launch at the French-hosted World Cup. Here's to another 20 years!
A problem with the USMNT is simple as usual. We train our players to be 'creatively timid.' This is the case from the youth levels all the way up. It starts with the back four, who shouldn't, at times, look like frantic animals trying to avoid a car or something higher up on the food chain.
There's hope. That's for sure. A lot of the new offensive players, or somewhat new, include Green, Wood, Weah, and Acosta, to name a few. A balance needs to be struck between the back four and the new emerging talent; a balance that includes offensive contributions from the back four like never before. As I've said for a long time, the placement of a player like Bradley into center defense is exactly what the USMNT needs.
In the near future the US plays friendlies with Peru, England and Italy. I predict nothing will change in regard to the back four, and a possible emergence of Bradley back there. In regard to style, keep an eye on such transitions as 2019 moves along.