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Dismal match ends scoreless
by Paul Kennedy, October 13th, 2010 12:30AM

TAGS:  men's national team


[USA-COLOMBIA] If Bob Bradley is to go four more years at the helm of the U.S. national team, its display in its 0-0 tie with Colombia Tuesday night at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., is not going to cut. The game was the least entertaining game the Americans have played in recent memory.

The game was everything Saturday's 2-2 tie between the USA and Poland wasn't. It was so bad that the teams combined for only eight shots and neither had a corner kick until the 62nd minute.

Before the game, Bradley said his goal was for the USA to move the ball around, find a rhythm in its attack and be dangerous, but it was anything but in a dismal first half.

Bradley's move to start three holding midfielders -- Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones in only his second U.S. appearance and son Michael -- was a complete bust as the USA showed little attacking initiative and got nothing out of left winger Brek Shea, playing in his first full international.

The only chance of the first half came to the Colombians in the fourth minute when Michael Bradley's pass to Edu was stolen by Victor Ibarbo, who broke in on goal. Falcao's first attempt was blocked, but Brad Guzan needed to come up with a good save to stop Giovanni Moreno on the rebound.

The second half saw Bob Bradley abandon the 4-3-3 formation in favor of a 4-4-2 formation the Americans used at the 2010 World Cup, and he made five changes.

Eric Lichaj came on at right back and became the first player without any top-level league experience to represent the USA since Landon Donovan debuted a decade ago.

Lichaj showed some promise, sending in a cross for Jozy Altidore's header late in the game for only the second shot Farid Mondragon needed to save.

On the other save, Mondragon stopped Stuart Holden's shot from outside the area.

Like in the 2-2 tie with Poland, Jones was the most enterprising U.S. player, but he was a rare bright spot in a very disappointing game.

The tie extended the USA's winless streak since the World Cup to three games. It has not beaten a South American in its last nine games, dating back to a 3-1 win over Ecuador in Tampa in 2007.

The last 0-0 tie the USA played came against Argentina in June 2008.

The game drew only 8,823 fans, the smallest U.S. crowd at a FIFA-recognized full international in the Northeast in more than 14 years.

Oct. 12 in Chester, Pa.
USA 0 Colombia 0.
USA -- Guzan, Spector (Lichaj, 46), Onyewu (Parkhurst,  46), Goodson, Pearce, Edu (Johnson, 46), Jones, Bradley,  Holden (Feilhaber, 59), Altidore, Shea (Dempsey, 46).
Colombia -- Mondragon, Zuniga, Mosquera, Yepes, Valencia, Ibarbo (Cuadrado, 63), Viarfara (Valencia, 63), Restrepo, Ramos (Gutierrez, 73), Moreno (Armero, 81), Garcia (Quintero, 56).
Referee: Roberto Garcia (Mexico).
Att.: 8,823.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.
    Finally Paul Kennedy had the courage to call the spade a spade. In other words Bradley is a bust along with his son. It finally sinks in that Bradley is a moron to the game but utmost he is blinded by nepotism and his game plan set is to justify "Junior's" playing time and position. He then hopes that it works out without a proven possibility.Thus a team result is sacrificed or left to chances.....On a footnote after five subs the subbing was wrong Junior should have been subbed and not Holden or not even Edu.

  1. Patrick Izzo
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 10:29 a.m.
    That was the worst game I have ever seen. The Bradley twins need to go. The team will never truly compete until we have a change at the top.

  1. Stan Nixon
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 10:29 a.m.
    Again, why are we not bringing in guys like Kenny Cooper as a creative goal scorer. He has scored in 40% of the games he has played for the national team. The worst he could do is play as inspired as Altidore. It appears as though the commentary by ESPN Magazine earlier this week might be true. That the most recent coaching regimes would rather have athletes than players. Unless we get some creative forwards, the creative midfielders that we are bring in won't have anyone to link to. I thought Peace played a good game. Guch needs somecompetetive playing time or he needs to left off the call up roster.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.
    Poor quality, poor performance against an opponent who showed some speed and terrible first touches for a S.A. team...BB's game plan had no imagination, as if it ever does, and the newcomers with the exception of Jones, played so not to make mistakes...terrible performance, not worth the price of admission. Anyone wonder why Jozy has so few minutes on the pitch at Villareal, he showed why.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.
    This is all experimenting. New players and occasional players won't make for a good game. The trial of "German" Jones as attacking midfielder failed miserably. But what surprised me the most is how Colombia played. They played defensive game as if they were happy with a draw. And we know that the USA with their best players always struggle when they play against a good defensive team.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.
    It looks like the fanbase and even the players are beginning to show their lack of confidence in "Team Beadley" by just not showing up. The expose of USSF/MLS's poor judgement and that of its handlers in Mssrs. Flynn/Gulati/Kraft is becoming manifest but will the "band still play on"? Time will tell as the trainwreck formerly known as the USMNT continues on.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 11:21 a.m.
    I have never been a Michael Bradley basher. I truly believe that he is a very good holding or defensive midfielder. Unfortunately his father does him a disservice by allowing him to act as if he is a creative midfielder. It almost appears that he (Michael) has been given license to play anywhere he wants. This license is made even more problematic by BB's aversion to playing anyone but his son -- it's time that Michael spend some time on the bench while totally new looks in midfield are tried. Constantly playing Feilhaber and Torres out of position and then throwing them back into the trash heap is awful coaching , at best. At worst, it lays BB open to justifiable charges of nepotism. To put these charges to rest, he needs to open up the midfield for a real evaluation.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.
    It is somewhat ironic that the "other game" I saw had nothing to do with futbol-soccer, yet it was more exciting than watching the US/Col game, which was like watching paint dry or the grass grow. That other game was the California debate for governor, mind you though there were some "shots on goal," corner kicks and direct FK's, it was by far more exicitng than the first half of the "real?!" futbol/soccer game I managed to see! And all I can say is THANK YOU PAUL KENNEDY for your complete honest reporting, and THANK YOU all for your insightful comments. Lastly, it will be interesting indeed, if Banality Bradley somehow manages to continue on as HCIC ("head coach in chief") while the other Neros continue to fiddle while the team self destructs - with a little bit of help from its friends, of course!

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 11:46 a.m.
    James you are so right and I have been crying about nepotism thus players are forced to play at wrong positions and tactics. Should I say no Tactics! Although I have fast forwarded most of the game as seeing the line up already closed the book then the inane substitutions just made it unbearable. On a footnote Bradley is not a bad player, but certainly not great, however with a different coach and w/o license he would do better. I saw most of Junior's passes were futile or backward.

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: October 16, 2010 at 3:10 p.m.
    First of all the game was played in Chester, PA not VA. I attended the game. I believe Bradley needs to rethink how he wants to structure the attack. Altidore is not a prototypical center forward. He plays more like a midfielder. That would be okay, but it doesn't help Dempsey's game because at Fulham, he used to playing with "true" forwards. Bob Bradley should have pared Bret Shea and Dempsey. Shea looked inept because he was playing out of position. Michael Bradley quite simply is not a creative player. There were so many instances where he did not move the ball forward because he elected to drop it back. I was also surprised by the poor touches of Jermaine Jones. Defensively, the USMNT look more organized than they did against Poland.

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: October 16, 2010 at 3:12 p.m.
    Stan, I agree with you. K. Cooper and Clint Dempsey would make a good holding forward-attacking mid combo.

  1. Dan Phillips
    commented on: October 18, 2010 at 6:58 p.m.
    we'll never improve until they get rid of Bob Bradley.

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