Jermaine Jones started at center back while Lee Nguyen came on as a second-half substitute in the United States’ 2-1 loss to Colombia in Friday’s international friendly at Craven Cottage in London.
Here are some quick hits from a match that featured both of the Revolution’s representatives:
The Jermaine Jones Experiment continues: For the second straight U.S. match, Jones, a midfielder by trade, found himself penciled in at center back. The idea, of course, is to extend the 33-year-old’s national team career. To his credit, Jones showed flashes of potential in the spot, but was in the picture on both of Colombia’s goals. On Carlos Bacca’s 60th-minute goal, Jones was burned by James Rodriguez, who set up the Colombian striker’s equalizer. In the sequence leading up to Teo Gutierrez’s game winner, Jones thwarted Edwin Cardona on the cross, but Cardona quickly reclaimed it and sent it far post for Gutierrez, who buried it in the 87th minute. It wasn’t a superlative performance for Jones, but he did appear more comfortable in his new role. Expect Jones to continue his hand at center back next year given the fondness coach Jurgen Klinsmann has for his trusted veteran.
Controversy follows Jones: The spotlight certainly didn’t stay far from Jones during the first half. Inside of eight minutes, Jones nodded a pass to Rubio Rubin inside the area that deflected off the arm of Colombia defender Pablo Armero. Referee Szymon Marciniak consulted with one of his assistant referees and a penalty was awarded to the U.S. Jozy Altidore sent it through from the spot in the 10th minute to put the U.S. ahead early. Then, in the 45th minute, Bacca fired a shot that smacked off of Jones’ left forearm inside the area, but a penalty was not given to Colombia, despite their pleas for a handball.
Nguyen shines off the bench: Wearing the 8 shirt for the U.S., Nguyen made his long-awaited return to the pitch for the U.S. in the 78th minute when he came on for Mix Diskerud. The Revolution midfielder, who last appeared for the U.S. in a Copa America clash against Colombia (of course) on July 5, 2007, showed sensational passing and positioning on a dangerous buildup in the 81st minute. Starting deep in the midfield, he helped create an opportunity that put Bobby Wood through on a shot that keeper Camilo Vargas had to come off his line to stop. Nguyen’s strong performance should warrant another call-up for the January camp.
Heading back home: With the Revolution in the midst of their postseason run, which continues on Nov. 23 in the first leg of the conference finals against New York, Jones and Nguyen will likely head back to Foxborough, Massachusetts, once training resumes on Monday.
Other local ties: Boston College alum Alejandro Bedoya started on the right side of the midfield for the U.S., and went 67 minutes before he was replaced by Alfredo Morales. Attleboro, Massachusetts, native Geoff Cameron, who entered the game with 30 caps on his résumé, was listed on the game-day roster, but did not see action.