Experimental US team draw 0-0 with Colombia
The United States national team may not have a new coach in place yet, but interim boss Anthony Hudson took the chance to look at new faces in a 0-0 friendly draw with Colombia on Saturday.
With limited involvement of Europe-based players, the sides were without many of their regular key starters in what was the second friendly this week for the Americans.
It was a high-energy game, frenetic at times, but there were few clear cut chances and little quality play as Colombia remained unbeaten in four matches since the arrival of their new coach, Argentine Nestor Lorenzo.
The US lost to Serbia 2-1 on Wednesday and over the two games gave debuts to 12 players, mostly from Major League Soccer clubs.
Paxten Aaronson, 19-year-old brother of Leeds United winger Brenden, had the two best chances for the United States early in the game but the attacking midfielder, who recently joined Eintracht Frankfurt, lacked the clinical edge with his finishing.
Colombia responded with a swift break down the right with Diego Valoyes feeding Cucho Hernandez but his low effort from a tight angle was comfortably dealt with by US keeper Sean Johnson.
The Americans felt they should have had a penalty before the break when the ball struck the arm of Juan Hernandez in the box, but the appeals were waved away.
A flurry of substitutions after the break added to the lack of fluidity and momentum in the game, although there were late chances with Brandon Vazquez unable to get on the end of Kellyn Acosta’s free kick.
Colombia forward Frank Fabra then made a dangerous burst into the box but shot wide under challenge from teenage substitute defender Jalen Neal.
Englishman Hudson took charge of the US team for the pair of games after Gregg Berhalter, who led the team to the last-16 at December’s World Cup, did not have his contract renewed.
Hudson is not viewed as a candidate for the job on a permanent basis as the US Soccer Federation take the time to review their situation.
The team’s general manager Brian McBride and the federation’s sporting director Earnie Stewart both quit their posts last week and federation president Cindy Parlow Cone said she was hiring a consulting firm to help assess their situation and help in finding new staff.
Parlow Cone said she did not expect to have a head coach in place until late summer, which would mean that Hudson would remain in charge for the CONCACAF Nations League games in March and the Gold Cup tournament, which starts in June.
Berhalter had been considered likely to return until US Soccer mounted an investigation into a 1991 incident in which he kicked his then-girlfriend, now his wife.