Colombia dominates U.S. Men’s National Team

In preparation for the upcoming Copa America tournament, the U.S. men’s national team hosted Colombia at Commanders Field.

Roughly two weeks before the 16-team, South American tournament kicks off, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter and friends visited our nation’s capital for a friendly match. It did not go as planned for the gentlemen in red, white and blue. Colombia scored early and often, soundly drubbing the hosts 5-1 in the pre-tournament tune-up. Prior to this “friendly” thrashing, the last time the USMNT conceded five goals in a match was 2009.

At times during the beatdown, the enthusiastic crowd of more than 55,000 was heard chanting: “USA, Colombia es tu papá.” Yes. That translates to: “Colombia is your daddy.”

“We’re actually framing it as a wake-up call,” Berhalter said, when asked for his thought after the team’s worst defeat since 2016. “Really poor performance against a top team, and if you give a team like that the opportunities we gave them, you’re going to have no chance to win. It’s never going to happen.”

Colombia wasted no time taking the lead, as midfielder Jhon Arias scored in the sixth minute and forward Rafael Santos Borré converted an acrobatic overhead attempt in the 19th minute. Even after U.S. forward Tim Weah scored 12 minutes into the second half, it never really felt like Colombia’s lead was in doubt. Goals by Richard Ríos, Jorge Carrascal and Luis Sinisterra in the final 15 minutes turned the game into a rout.

For the first time in USMNT history, all 11 starters play for clubs in the top five — England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France — European leagues. Unfortunately that did not translate against Colombia.

“Unacceptable, disappointing,” said goalie Matt Turner. “It’s frustrating because we knew what we were getting into and then we didn’t take care of our business. There’s a way to lose, and that is definitely not the way.”

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Team USA, who next face a powerhouse Brazil squad in a final exhibition match to conclude preparation for Copa America.

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