USA-Colombia Olympic Qualifying Playoff Player Ratings

March 25 in Barranquilla
Colombia 1 USA 1. Goals: Quintero pen. 68; Gil 5.
The U.S. needed to use two goalies and battle to the very end to secure a 1-1 tie with Colombia in Barranquilla on Friday. The teams meet again Tuesday in Frisco, Texas to determine which of them fill the final 2016 Olympic Games slot.

Luis Gil scored from a Mario Rodriguez pass in the fifth minute and the U.S. held out for more than an hour before Colombia equalized with a penalty kick.

USA U-23 Player Ratings:

6 Bryan Horvath (Molde/NOR)
Stoned Colombia with two excellent saves before suffering a head injury and departing just before halftime.

4 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
Gave away a penalty kick by pulling on Rafael Santos Borre’s arm and labored to quell the numerous forays into his area. Won a few battles but failed to close down service much too often.

6 Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG)
Very strong in the air and repelled numerous crosses. Blocked several shots. Pushed into midfield a few times to serve accurate passes. Tried a difficult clearance that failed in lead-up to penalty-kick foul.

7 Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Solid tackling and relentless marking defused many Colombian attacks. He rarely was beaten on the dribble and forced Colombia to play the ball back or take low-percentage shots.

6 Eric Miller (Colorado Rapids)
Won a lot of one-v-one duels in dangerous spots and stopped Andres Roa inside the penalty area as he wound up to shoot.

5 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
Passed well at times but very often lost the ball as the USA tried to get forward with combination play.

6 Emerson Hyndman (Fulham/ENG)
Inconsistent on both sides of the ball while playing wide, looked more secure in the middle as he played several threatening passes between the Colombian centerbacks.

6 Matt Polster (Chicago Fire)
Dug into a lot of tackles and played a fairly solid game. Though he won back a few of the balls he gave away, his passing impaired U.S. efforts to keep possession.

6 Luis Gil (Queretaro/MEX)
Giveaways in the middle third forced the USA to scramble several times. Played a few effective balls going forward and scored with a crisp first-time shot after

6 Mario Rodriguez (Borussia M'Gladbach II/GER)
Worked hard as the second forward and shouldered a lot of the defensive load in the second half. Cut back a great ball that Gil finished.

5 Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
Labored more and more alone up top as the U.S. retreated. Killed some time by running the ball deep into the Colombian half of the field. Hit the crossbar with a spectacular, outside-of-the-foot attempt from distance.

5 Cody Cropper (MK Dons/ENG)

Came off his line to block a ball hit by Harold Preciado from near the byline. Nearly burned when he came too late for a cross but Borre’s header went over the crossbar.

5 Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart II/GER)
Charged upfield with the ball to relieve pressure a few times, took hits as the U.S. rode out the final minutes.

4 Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes)
Committed a foul and lost a ball in the middle third as he tried to catch up to the pace of the game.

TRIVIA. Parker made his first appearance for the USA since playing for the U-18 national team in 2011.

March 25 in Barranquilla
Colombia 1 USA 1. Goals: Quintero pen. 68; Gil 5.
Colombia -- Bonilla,  Palacios, Mina, Sanchez, Borja, Barrios, Leudo (Barrera 32), Renteria (Santos Borre 60), Roa (Nieto 70), Quintero, Preciado.
USA -- Horvath (Cropper 45); Acosta, Miazga, Parker, Miller; Trapp Polster, Hyndman, Gil (Alashe 66); Rodriguez (Kiesewetter 72), Morris.

13 comments about "USA-Colombia Olympic Qualifying Playoff Player Ratings".
  1. Kevin Sims, March 25, 2016 at 10:15 p.m.

    Sure, USA chased the game ... but I hate the PK gift by grabbing the attacker. That is the product of poor coaching along the developmental path ... yet so common among so many defenders. Make the attacker, under duress & moving at a tough angle & dealing with a ball requiring skill to master, beat the GK with a quality effort. Make the attack earn the goal.

  2. Wooden Ships, March 26, 2016 at 12:25 a.m.

    I agree Kevin, make the guy shoot. Miazga really didn't handle the clearance well just prior and I thought he looked ackward much of the time. If Parker hadn't had an amazing game they would have scored several more. We did go to our old ways, familiar ways, in the second half with too many giveaway's on hopeful long balls. We must learn how to possess the ball in the middle third. Again, we lacked the tight controlled dribbling and vision necessary to give the defensive third a break. Our guys gutted it out in hot, humid weather at an away qualifier. All in all it is a good and surprising, to me, outcome.

  3. Kim Littleton, March 26, 2016 at 3:17 a.m.

    As soon as I saw who Andi called in for this match, I knew we were in trouble. A bunch of guys (especially in mid-we were trounced!) who have NOT been playing for their respective club teams and we are still going to call them into National team duty because of what??????? You were very generous giving them 5/6 ratings....if they were 3's in mid--that was high! All American--you are so right --very sad.......

  4. Eric Dibella, March 26, 2016 at 12:13 p.m.

    It drives me insane to see how much more comfortable on the ball our opponents are in pretty much every game. It almost felt as though they were playing a man up given the passing opportunities all over the field. I am surprised that we got a draw out of that game, and I fear for the next one. It really made me mad to see Acosta pull the arm, and that guy just played right into it by falling down so easy. Ugh!

  5. BJ Genovese, March 26, 2016 at 1:46 p.m.

    How in the HELL does Miazga get a 6 when he failed to clear an easy ball that led to (the midfielder Acosta playing defense because for some reason after four years Klinsman could not find a right back) the penalty. It was crap defending. He was caught flat several times. I dont get it. Well i do actually. He was picked up by Chealsea so just like all players in this country... he rides a wave of steam for the next five years. Wow. That was his fault alone. Acosta was played out of postion and stopped him just like any midifeld would do in the yellow light distric of midfield.

  6. BJ Genovese, March 26, 2016 at 1:48 p.m.

    We should be expecting US soccer to find our own number 10 (Fernando Quintero). They are out there.

  7. beautiful game, March 26, 2016 at 9:44 p.m.

    Saw second half...USA was bunkered most of the time and gave the ball away too easily.

  8. Ginger Peeler, March 27, 2016 at 11:13 a.m.

    Oh, c'mon! We played in horrific conditions in an unfriendly stadium. We surprised everyone (except the team) by scoring a lovely goal first. My daughter's traveling team coach had played 2nd level soccer in England...he said almost every goal is the result of a mistake by the other team. Somebody failed to pick up Gil and he scored. Acosta grabbed the guy's arm and the guy made a meal of it. But we had an honest-to-goodness good ref. Did you see how many spectacular tumbles some of the Columbians took and the ref completely ignored. We are truly not a good team at embellishing, and I am so happy for that...cheating just isn't the American way. Lots of folks will say that "they" all do it, so we should too. 2 wrongs don't make a right. So our boys hung on in heat and humidity by the skin of their teeth, and they managed a tie. Despite Klinsmann's promises of developing an American style, we're still playing the American style we did when he was hired. It's usually not pretty...its gutsy and scrappy and give-it-all-you've-got until the very end. I've never even heard of Parker before, but he was awesome. Most people I know are not really into soccer, but they do watch the occasional game of our men's national teams. They have no idea of what the beautiful game can be...after all, they're more into smash mouth football. But they're pleased when we win, as am I. We should do better in our home game in a friendly stadium and decent weather. I hope we get another good ref. I can't say I cared for the one reffing our USA/Guatemala game. It's so easy to find fault with our young guys and older players. I saw one article refuting the "lack of good player" in the USA. It listed many quality players who have been and still are available. It's not that there is a shortage of quality players, it's the players that are being chosen are not being played in a way to best capitalize on their individual and group skills.

  9. Kent James, March 27, 2016 at 9:25 p.m.

    Yes, Colombia had most of the play, for most of the game, but when we scored (on a relatively good play, combined with weak defending and a bit of luck), that did change somewhat the tactics (especially in triple digit tropical heat). I thought our defending was generally quite good (lots of good 1 v 1 defending). The PK was created by one of the routine attempts at harassing the guy with the ball; completely unnecessary (and totally against the spirit of the game), and the ref was absolutely right to call the PK. After they scored, we took a more offensive approach, did a pretty good job. So sure, the Colombians demonstrated their superior ball skills (Quintero was especially impressive) for much of the match, but I'd argue that game conditions encouraged that. Given the difficulty of the task, our boys did well. We now at least have a chance to make it through the next round (though why is the return leg being played in Texas??).

  10. Kent James replied, March 28, 2016 at 9:42 a.m.

    When you give up an early goal at home, you're kind of forced to be hyper-aggressive, which explains Colombia's dominant ball possession (which never led to much in terms of chances on goal). When Colombia tied it up, the US resumed a more aggressive response, and had much more of the ball than previously. I'm not saying we're as good offensively as the Colombians, but I think using the Colombian dominance while they were down at home to gauge how much better they are than we are with the ball is a skewed measure. The game tomorrow will be a better measure (though given we have an away goal, and would go through (I think?) on a 0-0 tie, we might be tempted to play very defensively (but that is dangerous for 90 mins).

    What we did not do well while Colombia dominated the ball was either counter-attack with speed over the top (we tended to play it to our lone strikers feet, forcing him to beat someone before going in on goal, when he was clearly faster than the defender, so we should have played it in to space behind the defense) or hold the ball better once we gained possession (too many balls to no one). So it was not a great performance, but given the pregame outlook, a 1-1 tie in Colombia (after conceding a stupid PK) is not a bad result. And Morris' shot of the crossbar was closer than any other Colombian effort, so we came close to a 2-1 victory. This team still has a chance.

  11. Kent James replied, March 28, 2016 at 11:34 a.m.

    I'm not in favor of bunkering, I'm just saying it's understandable given the heat and the lead we held to have a defensively oriented strategy (and we truly bunkered for about 10 mins prior to their goal, which was never going to end well). While I favor an attacking mentality, holding a lead, away, in 110 degree tropical heat against an ostensibly superior opponent would suggest such a strategy is not smart in a game in which the result is all-important. I think our failure was failing to exploit the counter against a team that was pressing, rather than not trying to dominate possession. At home, I hope we do try to dominate possession and employ a more aggressive attacking style.

  12. beautiful game, March 28, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

    Lots of physicality and intensity; but we couldn't match the Colombian squad in possession, technical skills, and team connectivity.

  13. Will G, March 29, 2016 at 2:15 p.m.

    So let me get this straight. We have a 2 legged tie with the first one being away to a South American team...and you expected (wanted) the away team to come out guns blazing? The game plan was good, the execution was decent and we are going back home even with a valuable away goal. I am not going to argue about player identification, positions, etc., but it amazes me that some of you thought for a moment we would go to Columbia and try to play this wide open expansive game that would make us vulnerable to giving up multiple goals. We weren't playing St. Kitts or Guam, it was freaking Columbia. Get a grip.

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