The soccer news starts with the USMNT's loss to Colombia. The bright side for the USMNT was responding to going a goal down by taking the lead early in the second-half. Colombia winning 4-2 continued to expose the spacing problems for the USMNT throughout the game. Leave an opportunity on one side of the field, and a team like Colombia is probably going to take advantage.
Colombia didn't learn much if anything about themselves under interim coach Arturo Reyes. Teams with that much quality tend to know how to maximize a situation. Colombia didn't necessarily need a James Rodriguez wonder goal to take the lead in the first place, but they got one. Their comeback relied on the same understanding in real time of what wasn't working for the USMNT.
For the USMNT, this was another transitional lineup where parts weren't working as well as others. The backline highlighted the inexperience on one side of the field. The passing wasn't quite there. Still, both goals were quality attacking moves that showed what the USMNT can do now. It's that promise that could end up making the difference moving forward, especially in Concacaf.
Add in the USMNT players missing through injury, and there's another dimension to the attack. It's balancing that with the defense that's once again an issue. The USMNT program has spent years trying to find first choice right and left backs that can be on the field for 90 minutes at the same time. When Steve Cherundolo was the right back, there was an issue at left back. When Cherundolo wasn't available, one problem turned into two.
Over the years, that's turned the USMNT into a program over reliant on defensive midfielders. Using two in front of a back four especially in Concacaf became an unnecessarily conservative approach under more than one USMNT coach. Figuring that out may end up being the biggest challenge for the next coach.
In The Players Tribune, former France and Manchester United star Eric Cantona goes decidedly big picture. AP's Samuel Petrequin reports on a lawsuit filed by former UEFA president Michel Platini alleging a FIFA conspiracy to push him out of soccer.
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