Paxton Aaronson was a bright spot in the USMNT-Colombia draw

CARSON, Calif. — The U.S. Men’s National Team was held to a 0-0 draw by Colombia in the second of two January friendlies for the home team as both teams fielded relatively inexperienced squads.

Colombia had the edge in shots 12-5, but shots on goal favored the home side 2-1. And America had the most opportunities Paxton AaronsonGoing close in the first half, on his USMNT debut. Sean Johnson A bit busy with the two keepers, but overall nothing to do at night.

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Quick reaction

1. USA gets draw in non-January friendly

Friendships that end from January camp are often heated affairs. U.S. The players are in offseason mode and the lack of sharpness outweighs most of the positives. There is also a relative lack of experience on the show. USA had World Cup participants Walker Zimmerman, Kelly’s AcostaJesus Ferreira and Aaron LongAs well as senior Paul AreolaA few other players made their initial forays at the international level.

It also went to Colombia. Except for the left rear Frank Fabra, no Colombian starter has more than three caps. But the encounter had some spice, helped in no small part by the pro-Colombia crowd. End-to-end play was plentiful and there were few clear looks at goal in the opening half, with Paxton Aaronson’s deflected effort grazing the post in the 14th minute.

of LAFC Christian Arango Had some clear cut chances too, but couldn’t find the target. The confusing nature of the game was that the show’s performers seemed to alternate good plays with poor ones, often in the same order. Matthew Happ There was a case. The Middlesbrough winger was relentless in terms of his defensive pressure and was consistently in good form with his runs on the ball. But his decision-making on the ball looked rusty, a result of his lack of playing time with the club.

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There was also some physical play, with a trio of yellow cards being issued in the first half by referee Sait Martinez, all for Colombia. Two were the result of Arriola’s offensive runs Coffee farmers Errors near the box. The frenzied pace eased slightly in the second half, with interim manager Anthony Hudson confident enough to finish the match with two young centre-backs. Jalen Neal and Sam Rogers. Substitute Brandon Vazquez got a Kelin Acosta free kick late in the end, but couldn’t connect, leaving both teams level.

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2. Another Aaronson makes a positive impression

Interim manager Anthony Hudson said he would rotate his squad heavily from the side that fell 2-1 to Serbia, and he was true to his word, making 10 changes to the starting line-up against Serbia, with Zimmerman the only holdover. That means another pair of international debuts, this time for Leeds United’s brother and US international midfielder Paxton Aaronson. Brendan Aaronson — and a New York Red Bulls defender John Tolkien.

Aronson — who signed with Eintracht Frankfurt from the Philadelphia Union in November — was ready for the challenge and showed many of his older brother’s qualities. He was an absolute pest in defence, active in finding the ball and showed some lightning-quick feet. He almost got on the scoresheet in the 14th minute when his deflected effort grazed the post.

His acting is not entirely free of struggle. One area that Aaronson needs to improve on is sensing danger from his back to the opponent. He was sacked four times in the first half and could solve this problem by playing faster.

Fellow debutant Tolkien also struggled in some physical battles, but adapted as the game went on. The quality of his left foot is not in question. But such games are about the future. These players begin their international careers and don’t need to prepare for the U.S. next week or even March, when the first-choice players gather for the first time since the World Cup. Still players had to start somewhere, and this was a necessary first step.

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3. Anyone got a place in the March window?

In both games, 12 players made their debuts (the most ever in this January camp), and Vazquez helped himself. The American goalscorer against Serbia came on as a substitute in this match, and while he didn’t score, the FC Cincinnati man provides a physical presence that few across the pool can match. Combine that with his finishing touch and he’s a player who can force his way through.

Alexander Zendejas, who returned to Club America after the Serbia match, should also get an extended look given his agility on the wing and his accuracy in terms of end production. Of course, the question with Zendejas is, if he is invited to an official tournament, will he commit or file for a one-time move to Mexico? That should be seen.

Due to debt Kate Cowell As well as. He was an underused sub on this night but showed plenty of potential against Serbia. The key now is, can he replicate that performance at the club level with the San Jose Earthquakes?

Otherwise, I feel like other young artists in this camp are still under threat. For many of them, time is on their side, he said.


Best, worst (and mixed) performers

Best: Paul Arreola, US

It’s no surprise that one of the more experienced players on the field was playing well (he earned his 50th cap), but the FC Dallas man was a menace on the flanks and forced two different Colombian players into yellow card fouls.

Best: Diego Valois, Colombia

The Colombia attacker gave Tolkien all he could handle, especially in the first half. He created a team-high three chances.

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Best: Paxton Aaronson, US

Aaronson had more positives than negatives in his international debut and adjusted his game in the second half.

Worst: Frank Fabra, Columbia

With Areola forcing a yellow card foul, the US saw plenty of success. Fabra also struggled on the ball, completing just 67.5% of his passes.

Mixed Bag: Matthew Hopp, US

A “bad” label would have been too harsh given the way he positioned himself, but his decision-making and touch let him down at times. He desperately needs games at club level.


Highlights and notable moments

Paxton Aaronson was one of the standout players for the USMNT, as evidenced by this early scoring chance against Colombia.

With more time and experience, expect him to put these on the net.


After the match: What the managers and players had to say

American middleweight coach Anthony Hudson, in his introduction to Paxton Aaronson: “Paxten is a very exciting player, very confident. He was a couple of days late, but you can see his quality. We don’t know what his level will be, but we believe in his ability and we will see what he can do. .”

USMNT keeper Sean Johnson, in camp: “It’s a great group of players, and that speaks to the depth of our player group. … We had good times. We wanted to win, we had chances, but it was tight everywhere. As a group, I feel like this camp has taken a step forward.

On whether Hudson will continue as interim coach: “Until I’m told otherwise, I’ll do my best for the team and the players.”


next

For us: With no games until March as part of their Nations League title defense against Grenada and El Salvador, expect all the action to be off the field as speculation mounts during training and a general manager search.

Colombia: There are no scheduled games on the calendar yet.

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