U.S. displays little in unexciting 0-0 draw with Colombia before small crowd.
By Robert Wagman
(Wednesday, October 13, 2010) -- The United States men and Colombia played to a dull 0-0 draw before a small crowd of 8,823 at the new PPL Park, home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union's yesterday in Chester, Pa.
Neither team exhibited much offense with both goalkeepers experiencing quiet nights as neither faced many challenges of any kind. The crowd was the smallest to see the U.S. play on home soil in more than 14 years.
The game was mainly played in the midfield with both teams tending to easily give up possession once they ventured into the final third. Except for the early going, the first 10 minutes of the second half and a few minutes near the end, the Colombians had the better of possession, but they were rarely able to take advantage and mount a serious threat.
By and large, the Americans showed almost no offense in the attacking end. Jozy Altidore, playing as a lone striker for the first hour, received almost no service. When he did , he accomplished little.
The U.S. effectively went with five midfielders into the middle of the second half, but with a seeming numerical advantage, did not translate it into much of an offensive threat.
With Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo heading back to their European teams and Oguchi Onyewu playing for only a half, the U.S. defense played surprisingly well, remained organized, made few mistakes and gave up few chances.
Again, as in a 2-2 draw Saturday with Poland, the Americans showed that without Landon Donovan the offense is hit and miss, and mostly miss. Then too, with attacker Clint Dempsey also on the bench, the team lacked much aggression and punch, producing as poor a performance as the U.S. has exhibited in a long while.
U.S. Player Ratings
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan - 6 Made a good early save, then essentially had the rest of the night off. But, he helped keep the defense well organized and was solid on set pieces. He is not a big drop-off from Tim Howard.
Defender Jonathan Spector - 5: Far from his best showing. Was too tentative at times and had trouble with the pace. He too is showing the effects of not playing regularly with his club.
Defender Oguchi Onyewu - 5.5: Looked somewhat better than he did against Poland Saturday, probably because he was not put under much pressure. Overall, a decent outing, but could have done better on a corner kick and his subsequent misdirected header.
Defender Clarence Goodson - 6: The best U.S. defender. Was rarely out of position and was able to help out his defensive partners on more than one occasion. Showed well in the attack on some corner kicks.
Defender Heath Pearce - 5.5: The journeyman, trying to play his way back onto the side, was generally fine. Defensively controlled his side of the field well and was able to get forward occasionally to help in the attack.
Midfielder Stuart Holden - 5.5: After a poor outing against Poland Saturday, he pushed forward well, but did not link effectively.
Midfielder Michael Bradley - 5: An OK performance. Too often, he did not seem to have his heart into it and seemed to tire in the second half. Contributed more defensively than offensively.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones - 6.5: Second straight 90-minute appearance. Showed high quality both offensively and defensively. Had a few errant passes and poor touches, but often was all but working alone. Likely will become a fixture for the U.S. from this point forward.
Midfielder Maurice Edu - 5: Played very defensively which was a help to the backline, but he was not much help in the attack. Had some mis-touches and overall contributed little.
Midfielder Brek Shea - 4: A not-ready-for-primetime appearance. Seemed overwhelmed while earning his first cap.
Forward Jozy Altidore - 5.5: Continues as coach Bob Bradley's big puzzle. As a lone striker in the first half, he received little service but did little with two good chances after that. He was better in the second half, running next to Eddie Johnson, but still no breakthrough moment.
Defender Eric Lichaj (46th minute for Spector) - 5.5: A solid showing for his first international appearance. Showed quickness and was able to both push forward, and then get back quickly to prevent counters.
Defender Michael Parkhurst (46th minute for Onyewu) - 5.5: Took a few moments to settle in, but once he did, he was solid for the remainder of the half.
Midfielder Clint Dempsey (46th minute for Shay) - 5: Did not make much of an impression beyond taking corners. No glaring errors, but some rather indifferent play.
Forward Eddie Johnson (46th minute for Edu) - 5: Did not partner well with Altidore. Showed little aggressiveness and was easily handled by Colombian defense.
Midfielder Benny Feilhaber (59th minute for Holden) - 5: Made no impact on the match.
SoccerTimes U.S. Player of the Match: Jermaine Jones.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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