LOS ANGELES -- Zero wins for the United States men's national team in January.
After falling to Serbia 2-1 on Wednesday, a fully rotated starting XI went to head to head with Colombia on Saturday but ended in an uninspiring 0-0 draw.
The first half was about as open as it could get, with both sides attacking back and forth. Colombia managed nine shots, primarily generated from sloppy U.S. giveaways, but only one hit the target, with the rest provoking little damage.
Paxten Aaronson had two of the USMNT’s three quality chances to grab a lead, but Alvaro Montero reacted brilliantly on the first to log a save and a defender deflected the second before it grazed off the left post and went out of bounds.
Jesus Ferreira also supplied an elegant through ball in the 32nd minute to Matthew Hoppe running in behind the defense on the left flank, but his left-footed shot went directly at Montero.
Most of the second half was played in the Stars and Stripes' defensive third, but Colombia couldn't find that one moment of inspiration for a breakthrough. The United States' best chances late came via free kicks from the left flank, but the crosses into the box couldn't get it done.
Let’s analyze the game with instant match ratings for the USMNT:
GK Sean Johnson – 6: Didn't have to do much with Colombia's harmless attempts, and his distribution was just about average.
RB DeJuan Jones – 6.5: Jones shined on the right-hand side and offered solid defense and offense, then switched to left back in the final 10 minutes and maintained the quality. The 25-year-old should return for more opportunities alongside more versatile attacking threats.
CB Walker Zimmerman – 6: Had a sluggish start playing the ball, which has never really been a strength, but did well in the second half clearing out play before coming off for Jalen Neal.
CB Aaron Long – 5.5: Multiple giveaways in the first half and one nearly proved costly, and still didn’t show any signs of improvement. Subbed off for Sam Rogers.
LB John Tolkin – 7: Made his USMNT debut and looked like one of the better players from either team. His best traits are going forward and providing width, but those opportunities came few and far between. Considering there's no true No. 2 option behind Antonee Robinson, Tolkin deserves more reps.
CDM Kellyn Acosta – 6: Could've controlled the game better mainly playing in a single pivot role, but his passes weren't always crisp and didn't offer much progressive play.
CM Eryk Williamson – 6: He came off at halftime but looked best in a deeper midfield role rather than going forward.
CM Paxten Aaronson – 6.5: Brenden's younger brother, Paxten got more involved in the first half and should've penned his name on the scoresheet. The second half was more quiet for him, but that theme spread across the team. He showed he could hang in a left center-mid role that requires defensive adeptness.
RW Paul Arriola – 5.5: He could’ve had an assist to Ferreira, but he offered little going forward and also didn’t show anything new as one of the veterans on the roster.
LW Matthew Hoppe – 6: He had an empty cameo against Serbia but finished this game as the most direct attacker. Playing him on the left flank was an intriguing move given he's primarily played centrally, but his work rate and ball control in tight spaces stood out. His passes need more polishing, though.
CF Jesus Ferreira – 5.5: His pressing set the tone and he could’ve had an assist to Hoppe, but he also failed to get a shot off in a one-on-one situation, allowing the defender to recover. Not a convincing performance.
45” CM Alan Sonora – 6: He came on for Williamson and is known for his directness with his left foot, but having to do more defensive work hindered his opportunities.
62” ST Brandon Vazquez – 5.5: This isn't necessarily a bad 5.5, but similar to Hoppe against Serbia, Vazquez had just six touches and didn't impose himself when not getting service.
65” RW Emmanuel Sabbi – 5: His first cap wasn't a great one. The 25-year-old is best known for his straight-line speed, but didn't offer a change of pace to Arriola's time on the field. The sharpness just wasn't there and he also got booked for a rough tackle from behind.
69” CB Jalen Neal – 6: He was one of the standouts against Serbia and maintained that same quality in this game when challenged late on. He's composed and stands his ground well, so expect to see him more in the future.
72” CB Sam Rogers – 6: It was a first USMNT cap for Rogers coming on late, and he also looked impressive winning ground duels and not misplacing a single pass. The 23-year-old didn't play against Serbia but hopefully gets a longer look next time.
80” RB Julian Gressel – N/A: Played 10 minutes to close out the game, but not enough to warrant a proper rating.
Anthony Hudson – 5.5: You could see the thought process on rotating his whole 11 with only two games in the month, but the in-game management could've been better. The main reason this grade is low is because a loss means nothing, so push for the win. Instead, with 10 minutes to go, he brings on a right back when the game needed more directness, someone like a Cade Cowell, to gamble for the win.