USMNT caretaker manager Dave Sarachan said his side learned some hard lessons after they were overwhelmed by Colombia on Thursday night, losing 4-2 in their international friendly in front of 38,631 fans at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa Florida.
The inexperienced squad played against a star-studded Colombia lineup whose attacking lineup proved too much for the United States, even though they put together an impressive stretch of team play, winning tackles, connecting passes and finishing chances.
By halftime the USMNT were trailing 1-0 after a sensational curling effort from James Rodriguez in the 36th, but shortly after the hour mark, US were leading thanks to a quickfire double courtesy of Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood.
Carlos Bacca restored parity just three minutes later by converting Santiago Arias’ low cross, before Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s all-time top scorer, found the winner with about a quarter-hour to play. Miguel Borja would add a fourth five minutes later to put the game beyond the hosts’ reach.
“You can scout teams, you can watch teams, you can talk about moments that might come in the game, but now you’re stepping on the field [against Colombia] and having to make decisions, and to do things quickly,” said Sarachan.
“And so speed of play, technical speed, the moments they play a ball and take off, all of these moments for young players I hope add up in terms of their experience, and that’s so important for these guys. That’s why you play these games.”
The USMNT will now prepare to face another South American World Cup contestant when they host Peru in East Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday 16th October, in their last friendly before U.S. Soccer names a permanent coach.
Meanwhile Columbia will prepare to face Costa Rica on the same day at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.