Sports Mole previews Sunday’s friendly clash between USA and Colombia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
For the first time in over four years, Colombia and the USA will meet in an international friendly on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The US were beaten 2-1 in a friendly versus Serbia on Wednesday, while the Colombians have not lost in nearly a year, defeating Paraguay 2-0 in their previous encounter last November.
It was not an ideal debut for interim manager Anthony Hudson as his Americans were often caught out in transition against the youthful Serbians earlier this week.
That was the second consecutive match in which they had the majority of the possession but failed to make it count, firing five shots on target.
Like Hudson, many US players experienced their first taste of international football with the senior squad this week, as eight new faces featured in the starting 11 for the first time.
Their loss against Serbia was the first defeat this team had suffered on American soil in over three years, and only the second time they had conceded multiple goals in a single match at home since 2019.
Before Wednesday’s defeat, the Yanks had not lost a match when opening the scoring since falling 2-1 versus Switzerland in a 2021 friendly.
The US will enter this upcoming match without a victory against a side from the CONMEBOL region since defeating Ecuador 1-0 in a 2019 friendly from Orlando.
In its previous four encounters with the Colombians, the United States have lost each time and are winless against them since March 2005.
They may have fallen short of a World Cup berth in 2022, but at the moment, things are looking up for the Colombians.
Under new manager Nestor Lorenzo, Colombia have won three consecutive fixtures, while they have posted four clean sheets in their previous six matches played in all competitions.
The 56-year-old, who won a silver medal with Argentina at Italia 90, has called up a relatively inexperienced team for this friendly, as 11 players are still without an appearance for the senior side.
He may not have been one of the most experienced candidates for this position, but the former defender brings a sense of familiarity with this program, having served as an assistant for this national team under Jose Pekerman from 2012-2019.
Colombia should be used to playing in the US by now, where they won three games between September and November 2022, while los Cafeteros have captured their last six meetings versus CONCACAF opponents, and are unbeaten against that region since falling to Costa Rica at the 2016 Copa America (3-2).
Over 28 years ago, Colombia and the US met at the World Cup on American soil in a match that will go down in infamy because of what was to follow as an own goal by Andres Escobar sent la Tricolor to a 2-1 defeat and Escobar was tragically murdered when he returned home.
Since that match, the Colombians have had many successful performances in the US, unbeaten on American soil against the Yanks for more than 15 years, including a 4-2 triumph in their previous encounter in 2018.
USA friendly form:
USA form (all competitions):
Colombia friendly form:
Colombia form (all competitions):
Brandon Vazquez scored his first goal with the US national team on Wednesday as he, Gabriel Slonina, Julian Gressel, Jalen Neal, Alan Sonora, Aidan Morris, Alejandro Zendejas and DeJuan Jones each collected their first international caps.
Kellyn Acosta came on as a substitute against Serbia in place of Paxton Pomykal, and the Los Angeles FC midfielder scored the last time the Americans faced Colombia in 2018, Cade Cowell played an international game on Wednesday for the first time since December 2021, while Emmanuel Sabbi will be seeking his first cap with the senior side on Saturday.
At 18 years, 255 days, Slonina became the youngest keeper to ever feature for the US team this week, beating the old record set by Tony Meola in 1988 (19 years, 106 days), while Zendejas became the third-Mexican-born player to dawn the red, white and blue for an international fixture in their modern era (1990-present), following in the footsteps of Martin Vasquez and William Yarbrough.
Colombia’s record cap holder, David Ospina, collected a clean sheet in their previous match which they won 2-0 over Paraguay, as Davinson Sanchez scored his first international goal and record goalscorer Radamel Falcao put home his 36th with the national team.
Neither Sanchez, Ospina, nor Falcao were called up for this window, while a few of those chosen should be familiar with many of the American players as Dylan Borrero, Santiago Moreno, Cristian Arango, Cucho Hernandez, Juan Mosquera and Andres Reyes all play their club football in Major League Soccer.
Frank Fabra is the most experienced Colombian joining the team for this friendly, having earned 26 caps, while Daniel Catano and Daniel Ruiz are two of the four players that feature at local club Millonarios, who yet to make an appearance for the national team.
USA possible starting lineup:
Slonina; Tolkin, Rogers, Zimmerman, Jones; Aaronson, Acosta; Vazquez; Ferreira, Hoppe, Arriola
Colombia possible starting lineup:
Montero; Fabra, Llinas, Perez, Mosquera; Campuzano; Ruiz, Catano, Velasquez; Arango, Hernandez
We say: USA 1-1 Colombia
At the moment, it seems like both teams are still in a feeling-out stage and figuring out how to develop their respective young players, so we could be in for more of a training session this weekend.
Given the fact that many of the players on both sides see each other almost every week during the domestic campaign, this could be a cagey affair between two groups of youngsters still learning what it’s like to play at this level.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
ID:505057:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect15670:
Previews by email
Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!