Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
U.S. exercise at the Copa America ends pointless
by Ridge Mahoney, July 6th, 2007 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  copa america, men's national team, mls

MOST COMMENTED

gomezA tough, rugged game against Colombia in which four U.S. players made their first Copa America appearance produced promising moments but nothing more than a 1-0 defeat and an 0-3 record in the competition.

Finishing pointless in the standings is also how the entire exercise of taking a young, largely inexperienced team to so prestigious a competition will be deemed: pointless. Still, in this match Charlie Davies and Lee Nguyen displayed verve and skill, Sacha Kljestan, Drew Moor and Bobby Boswell weren't overwhelmed, and Braz Guzan saved a penalty kick after committing the foul that yielded it. All came into the game with fewer than three caps.

But a sputtering, wheezing U.S. attack - with forwards Eddie Johnson and Herculez Gomez wandering aimlessly -- blighted the first hour of the match. Davies and Nguyen arrived and clicked with Kljestan, Ricardo Clark and Kyle Beckerman, but attempts to establish tempo often died in a morass of midfield collisions. Eddie Gaven replaced Gomez at halftime and did virtually nothing of consequence.

The teams combined for 32 fouls and seven cautions, though two were for time-wasting by keeper Robinson Zapata (how's that for a name). His dismissal in the 87th minute forced striker Hugo Rodellega to don the keeper's jersey and gloves, as Colombia has used its three subs.

Jaime Castrillon overpowered Moor to head Camillo Zuniga's cross for the only goal, but Moor blunted other dangerous situations with bad-ass tackles in the penalty area despite having been cautioned in the second minute. He and left back Heath Pearce tried to get forward but not until Davies and Nguyen cranked up the energy and opened up some space were they able to contribute offensively.

Nguyen also supplied the best defensive play of the night, save for Guzan's penalty save. After taking a free kick in the attacking third, Nguyen raced back as Colombia counterattacked and repelled a Andres Chitiva centering pass over the crossbar with a sliding clearance at the edge of the six-yard box. A world-class play, all the way.

Kljestan conjured up the best U.S. scoring chance by clipping a clever ball first-time over the Colombian back line for Davies to race onto. The bounce escaped Davies yet he tracked the ball down as Zapata scrambled out and fed it to Johnson on the left flank. With the keeper out, Johnson dawdled before looping a cross or shot a yard or two past the far post. Same old, same old.

Guzan dove to his right to block Rodellega's penalty kick that the Colombian had earned after racing onto a through ball and being tripped by Guzan's lunge.

Several U.S. set plays presented opportunities but yielded only a Kljestan header over the crossbar, and nothing of real danger.
Beckerman put the ball in the net with a few minutes remaining after a loose ball had been poked to him past three defenders by Davies, but properly, up went the flag for offside.

Rodellega had no trouble preserving the shutout despite the whirlwind work of Davies and Nguyen. In stoppage time, Moor heroically fended off a determined effort by Mario Yepez as the powerful left back tried to muscle in a second Colombian goal.

GROUP C SUMMARIES:
July 5 in Barquisimeto
Colombia 1 USA 0. Goal: Castrillon 15.
Colombia -- Zapata, Yepes, L.Perea, Arizala, Zuniga, Banguero, Castrillon, Viafara (Marin, 55), Torres (Ferreira, 85), Rodallega, Valoyes (Chitiva, 78)
USA -- Guzan, Moor, Boswell, Pearce, Califf, Clark, Mapp (Davies, 64), Beckerman, Kljestan, Johnson (Nguyen, 71), Gomez (Gaven, 46).
Yellow cards: USA -- Moor 2, Kljestan 32, Mapp 55; Colombia -- L.Perea 42, Zapata 71, Valoyes 78, Zapata 87.
Red card: Colombia -- Zapata 86.
Referee: Manuel Andarcia (Venezuela).
Att.: 38,000.

July 5 in Barquisimeto
Argentina 1 Paraguay 0. Goal: Mascherano 79.
Argentina -- Abbondanzieri, Ibarra, Burdisso, Diaz, Zanetti, L.Gonzalez (Mascherano, 67), Gago, Cambiasso (Messi, 67), Aimar (Ayala, 85), Palacio, Tevez.
Paraguay -- Bobadilla, Veron, Caceres, Manzur, Vera, Torres, Santana (Santa Cruz, 81), E.Gonzalez, Dos Santos (Barreto, 69), Cuevas (Lopez, 58), Cabanas
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)
Att.: 38,000.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Sounders beef up attack with Austrian international Ivanschitz    
Seattle has taken steps to kick-start its sputtering attack, which hasn't scored in the last four ...
McInerney traded again, this time to Crew SC    
Just a day before his 23rd birthday, the young man known as JackMac has been traded ...
Report | Brad Evans on CBA: 'We handcuffed ourselves'    
Five months after the MLS Players Union and MLS reached an agreement on a new Collective ...
CCL: Brutal road trip takes RSL to Guatemala City    
The good news is Real Salt Lake is battling on three fronts. The bad news is ...
Milestone victory is well-timed for busy Whitecaps    
Vancouver climbed back on top of the Western Conference by thumping archrival Seattle, 3-0, in its ...
Crowd Count: Sounders suffer rare loss before big crowd    
The crowd of 53,125 for the Seattle-Vancouver match was the Sounders' largest home crowd of the ...
Timbers say adios to 'La Gata' Fernandez    
The Portland Timbers and 31-year-old Argentine Gaston Fernandez have mutually agreed to parted ways, allowing the ...
What They're Saying: Abby Wambach    
"Look, we're not talking about wanting to be paid just like the men. We understand their ...
What They're Saying: Cristiano Ronaldo    
"Do you want me to be honest? It doesn't worry me at all. I do my ...
What They're Saying: Pep Guardiola    
"When he does not have injury problems, I am completely convinced he will do very well ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives