After a disappointing and rare home defeat on Wednesday, the United States men’s national team will attempt to get their first win of the calendar year as they close out camp with a friendly against Colombia.
Interim manager Anthony Hudson’s second match in charge will likely see him rotate a bit after fielding a very young squad, but it will still be a very inexperienced group that likely takes the pitch.
After two straight trips to international soccer’s biggest tournament, Colombia’s failure to qualify saw a managerial change with Nestor Lorenzo taking over. He, too, will have plenty of new faces to pick from.
How will the inexperience on both sides play out on the pitch? We discuss in our USMNT vs. Colombia picks and predictions for Saturday, January 28.
USA vs Colombia odds
|Over 2.5 (-110)||Total||Under 2.5 (-110)|
Odds courtesy of bet365 on January 28, 2023.
USA vs Colombia picks and predictions
The USMNT switched off for about 45 seconds after halftime against Serbia, and that was all it took. The visitors scored either side of halftime to take a 2-1 victory, the first loss the Yanks suffered on American soil since 2019.
They were a bit unfortunate to not get a result from the night. Despite fielding a very young and inexperienced side, the U.S. managed to produce quite a few opportunities. Cade Cowell hit the woodwork twice, and likely should have joined Branden Vazquez on the scoresheet.
In fact, for a side that has struggled to find goals over the past six months, the front line of the USMNT was one of the brightest spots. They weren’t afraid to shoot from anywhere and relied more on well-timed runs and strong passing moves more than blindly whipping in crosses.
While they managed 20 shots on the night, just five reached the target, with four others being blocked. Eleven of those shots came from inside the area, which was promising.
Defensively, they played well for large stretches of the match against a Serbian side with very few caps. The same can be said for their opponent on Saturday. Colombia’s main side was not called up, much like that of the Americans, as their European-based players remain with their clubs. Instead, quite a few MLS players are in the camp. This will give them a bit of familiarity with their opposing numbers.
Only one Colombian player has more than three caps to his name, and as we saw on Wednesday night that often means spaces open up in the defense. That’s the case on both sides, as a miscommunication between three of America’s defenders just after halftime led to Serbia’s winning goal.
In matches such as these, where players want to make a good impression on a manager on each side, I find that it’s difficult for teams to keep clean sheets. There just isn’t the communication, the ability to maintain a strong and level backline, or the awareness of passing off threats from one player to another.
Both teams have plenty of pace and creativity in attack, and both teams have young keepers trying to deny them with unfamiliar players in front of them. Take both countries to score in this friendly.
My best bet: Both teams to score (-120 at DraftKings)
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USA vs Colombia side analysis
The United States likely should’ve had a result on Wednesday. While they lost 2-1, it was due to a pair of defensive mistakes. They created plenty of opportunities, hitting the frame multiple times and being denied by Gaga Slonina on a few other occasions.
Alejandro Zenedejas impressed on the right wing, but he will be unavailable as he’s returned to his club side. He could be replaced by a few different forwards, each of whom has decent international experience. We could also see the introduction of Paxten Aaronson.
Colombia’s won each of their last six matches, including a 3-2 win over Mexico last September. However, they failed to qualify for the World Cup and are missing many of their stars. It’s difficult to break down their moneyline chances given we have no idea who will start. Cucho Hernandez is a dangerous player, currently a forward for the Columbus Crew in MLS, and will be a player the USMNT needs to mark closely.
For me, this match is more suited for live-betting a result than playing before the match. I’d wait to see how teams set up and are playing early on and try to find the best value on that spot.
USA vs Colombia Over/Under analysis
As we saw on Wednesday night, these types of friendlies can often lead to the Over hitting. That’s good for those who want to play it, as the total for this match is closer to 2.0 than the typical 2.5 at most books. If you want to play the Under, prepare to pony up as the line is juiced.
Both teams will have inexperienced goalkeepers at the back, but unlike Wednesday, the USMNT won’t be facing one of the top keepers in MLS. They were unfortunate to only have scored just one goal, and the total still went Over.
Colombia have kept clean sheets in four of their six wins. That said, many of those came with veteran David Ospina in goal, and a backline that featured Premier League talent. That won’t be the case on Saturday, and as such I’m not sure the trend should be considered.
I feel the Over offers some strong value. That said, I would once again wait and see how the start of the match plays out. If you like the Over, you could wait a few minutes and get it live at an even better price, provided nobody scores in the opening minutes.
USA vs Colombia game info
|Location:||Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA|
|Date:||Saturday, January 28, 2023|
|Time:||7:30 p.m. ET|
USA vs Colombia key injuries
USA vs Colombia weather
Saturday’s forecast is calling for a pleasant day in southern California. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with no chance of rain, while winds will be minimal at most.