The U.S. Men’s National Team will host the Colombian national team Tuesday evening in Philadelphia at the new PPL Park, home of MLS’ Philadelphia Union.. The game will be televised at 7:00 pm CT on ESPN 2. The US squad is coming off a 2-2 draw with Poland Saturday evening in Chicago. Colombia defeated Ecuador, 1-0, in its last match at Red Bull Arena. Porto forward Falcao was the goal-scorer for the Colombians. The international friendly will be the last on US soil for the American team in 2010. They will play South Africa on November 17 at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.
There are two roster changes for the US team going into Tuesday’s match. Defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo are returning to their European club. Bocanegra’s St. Etienne club ranks second in the Ligue 1 table, only a point behind his former French club, Stade Rennes. Cherundolo’s Hannover 96 club is experiencing a successful campaign as well, as they rank third in the Bundesliga table behind Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund. Both players have been big contributors to their clubs’ success in the 2010-2011 season so far.
Two FC Dallas players, national team veteran Heath Pearce and newcomer Brek Shea, will replace Bocanegra and Cherundolo on the US roster for the Colombia match. Both have been a part of FC Dallas’ MLS record run of 19 unbeaten games, which ties the Columbus Crew as the longest undefeated streak in MLS history. Pearce, 26, has 32 caps for the senior national team and played in Denmark for FC Nordsjaelland and in Germany for Hansa Rostock before signing with FC Dallas in September, 2009. Shea, 20, is a tall striker/winger/midfielder who has scored five goals in 43 games with FC Dallas. He will be making his first appearance on the USMNT senior squad.
Colombia Coach Hernan Dario Gomez will bring a squad whose players are mostly based in Colombia. The team’s most-widely known players are probably goalkeepers Farid Mondragon of FC Koln and David Ospina of Nice, Porto’s Falcao, Mario Yepes of AC Milan, Camilo Zuniga of Napoli, and Mexican Primera Division standouts Aquivaldo Mosquera of Club America and Darwin Quintero of Santos Laguna. Other key players for Colombia will be Giovanni Moreno, currently playing in Argentina for Racing Club and Juan Javier Restrepo of Club Independiente Medellin in Colombia. The last meeting between the two clubs occured in the 2007 Copa America tournament, where Colombia defeated a very young American team 1-0. For Americans, the most memorable match against Colombia occurred during the 1994 World Cup, when an underdog American team defeated Colombia 2-1.
The American squad for Tuesday’s friendly will average 25.8 years of age. Fulham’s Clint Dempsey with 67 caps leads the squad in international experience, while Aston Villa’s Eric Lichaj and Shea have never been capped. Coach Bob Bradley’s team is 0-1-1 since the conclusion of this summer’s World Cup. Although there are many differing opinions of the team’s performance in their match against Poland, positives included young forward Jozy Altidore’s tenth international goal, defender Oguchi Onyewu’s first action since the World Cup for either AC Milan or the USMNT and, most importantly, the debut of German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones wearing a US uniform. Jones played very well, although his second half hesitation on a clearamce attempt led to Poland’s game-tying goal.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (8): Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)
Colombia Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Breiner Castillo (Independiente Medellin), Farid Mondragon (Cologne), David Ospina (Nice)
DEFENDERS (6): Pablo Armero (Udinese), Aquivaldo Mosquera (America), Luis Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid), Juan David Valencia (Independiente Medellin), Mario Yepes (AC Milan), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Juan Cuadrado (Udinese), Victor Ibarbo (Atletico Nacional), John Javier Restrepo (Independiente Medellin), John Valencia (Once Caldas), John Viafara (La Equidad)
FORWARDS (5): Falcao (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (Trabzonspor), Giovani Moreno (Racing Club), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Darwin Quintero (Santos Laguna)