U.S., Colombia play to 0-0 draw

Updated: October 12, 2010, 11:09 PM ET
Associated Press

CHESTER, Pa. -- With the United States experimenting again with a new formation, the Americans finished the home portion of their 2010 schedule with a dull 0-0 draw against Colombia on Tuesday night that extended their three-year winless streak against South American opponents to nine matches.

Eric Lichaj and Brek Shea made their national team debuts, among the only highlights on a night U.S. coach Bob Bradley changed five starters from Saturday's 2-2 tie against Poland in Chicago.

The U.S. is 4-5-4 this year, in danger of its first losing record in a year since going 5-6-7 in 1997. The Americans complete 2010 play on Nov. 17, when they return to South Africa for an exhibition against Bafana Bafana in Cape Town.

Since a 3-1 exhibition win over Ecuador in March 2007, the Americans are 0-7-2 against South American nations.

With second-half subs, both sides showed more life in the second half, with Lichaj and midfielder Jermaine Jones having notably strong games.

Michael Bradley put the ball in the net in the 73rd minute after Benny Feilhaber, who entered in the 59th minute, passed to Jozy Altidore on a free kick. The goal was disallowed because Bradley and Altidore both were offside.

Altidore's header off a cross from Lichaj was saved in the 86th minute by 39-year-old goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.

After trying out a 4-2-3-1 formation during Saturday's 2-2 draw against Poland, Bob Bradley experimented with a 4-3-3 formation in the first half that turned into more of a 4-5-1, with son Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu and Jones all in defensive roles. The Americans wound up playing deep and narrow, with Shea failing to get forward in a pairing with Stuart Holden on the outside.

Jones, a Schalke regular, played three exhibition games for Germany before switching nationalities and making his U.S. debut Saturday.

Without Landon Donovan, who stayed with the Los Angeles Galaxy this week, and Clint Dempsey, who began the night on the bench, the U.S. had no attack in the first half.

Dempsey and Eddie Johnson were among four changes at the start of the second half, entering with Lichaj and fellow defender Michael Parkhurst.

Lichaj, a 21-year-old with Aston Villa, and Shea, a 20-year-old midfielder with FC Dallas, made their national team debuts. Parkhurst, a defender for Nordsjaelland in Denmark, made his first appearance since July 2009 against Haiti in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Oguchi Onyewu was the U.S. captain for the first time until Parkhurst replaced him at the start of the second half and Dempsey took over the arm band. Still recovering from knee surgery last October, Onyewu went 90 minutes Saturday in his first game action since being benched after the first-round match against Slovenia at the World Cup.

Onyewu hasn't even dressed for AC Milan this season. Another little-used Rossoneri defender, 34-year-old Mario Yepes, was Colombia's captain.

Aston Villa's Brad Guzan started in goal, while Everton's Tim Howard, the regular No. 1, was on the bench.

Colombia coach Hernan Dario Gomez gave 39-year-old goalkeeper Mondragon his first appearance for the national team since the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Panama.

NOTES

The U.S. was without regular captain Carlos Bocanegra and right back Steve Cherundolo. Both returned to Europe after the Poland match. ... It was the first 0-0 tie for the U.S. since an exhibition against Argentina in June 2008.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press