USMNT: Looking Back at Colombia, Forward on to Peru

In a 4-2 match that ended with the USMNT hanging on by fingertips, Sarachan’s men get ready to take on their next South American World Cup participants, Peru. 

James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez www.si.com

It was none other than the face of the Colombian National Team himself, James Rodriguez, who opened up the score in Thursday night’s match for Los Cafeteros with a world class curled ball in the 36th minute.

After Colombia’s first goal, they were beginning to find their rhythm and started attacking constantly, missing a few golden opportunities that should have left the score to their favor by at least 2-0 before halftime.

Straying away from their usual 4-3-3 formation, Dave Sarachan of the U.S. decided to work a 4-2-3-1 formation for the match against Colombia. This formation, while focusing more on the midfield play, left the U.S. very vulnerable at times and Colombia exposed every bit of it.

The Upside

It seemed like the U.S. were able to reroute their strategies in order to work a better functioning 4-2-3-1 formation. 

During the halftime break, the Stars and Stripes were able to score a goal and get some momentum on their side (Kellyn Acosta, 50th minute). After that, Hannover 96 striker Bobby Wood found the back of the net and suddenly the U.S. had the lead over Colombia.

Bobby Wood, Deiver Machado, Jelson Murillo
Bobby Wood, Deiver Machado, Jelson Murillo www.prosoccerusa.com

A few mistakes from Robinson’s marking and hesitation in following runs led to a determining 3rd goal from Colombia. Unfortunately, Colombia’s class was too much for the U.S. as they sank 3 more goals to topple the U.S. 4 goals to 2.

Though the score wasn’t favorable for the U.S., they showed that they don’t have trouble putting the ball in past the keeper against higher competition. To stay in the game, back line players need more cohesion on the pitch. The greater the communication, the more the defense stays intact.

Breaking Through Peru

Edison Flores
Edison Flores www.pinterest.com

After losing to both the Netherlands and Germany by the minimum margin, the Peruvian National Team has continued to improve their style of play. A process that they started a few years before the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Highly recognized by their “Long Ball” style of play, Peru is in a process of remodeling their play since they no longer have an integral player in their lineup, Paolo Guerrero.

This World Class striker made it possible for Peru to pull off the “Long Ball” style successfully due to his stature and finesse in front of the box. With Guerrero’s FIFA suspension active until next year, Peru has become more of an explosive on-the-ground passing team, something that the USMNT need to take into account.

Bringing it Home

After savoring bitter defeat, Peru’s squad will be looking to give their fans the sweet memory of victory in their second FIFA Friendlies date and, while the USMNT will be doing the same, the experience the players receive is what matters for their growth.

 

Arturo Principe | @ArturoPrincipe1

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