Much like they have in all of their other post-World Cup friendlies, the United States put together a solid performance that was undone by a late collapse. They took the lead on Colombia in the first half, but conceded twice in the final half-hour of a 2-1 loss.
The United States got on the board early from the penalty spot, and it was the first of many controversial calls on the day. Pablo Armero was called for a handball and clearly handled the ball on the play, but thought he was fouled by Rubio Rubin before his infraction occurred. The referee consulted with his assistant, kept the original decision, and Jozy Altidore converted from the spot.
Colombia had the better of the play from then on in the second half, though they failed to score before halftime. James Rodriguez shot just wide on a free kick in the 21st minute and Carlos Bacca struck the post 13 minutes after that. Los Cafeteros should have had a penalty of their own just before the break for a handball by Jermaine Jones on a Bacca shot, but the referee didn't spot it.
Alejandro Bedoya got the Americans off to a good start in the second half with a great run and cross into the box for Rubin, but he couldn't direct a free header on target. Rubin, just 18, looked dangerous throughout his debut, but failed to put some very good chances on target.
Despite some improved play from the USMNT in the second half, Colombia were able to get on the board in the 60th minute. And just like they did on the U.S. goal and the penalty Colombia didn't get, the referees missed a huge call. Carlos Bacca scored off a pass from James Rodriguez when Teofilo Gutierrez was judged to be passively offside, but he clearly interfered with play, both by stepping towards the pass and getting in the way of Kyle Beckerman from an offside position.
After that point, this match broke down in the way all friendlies do. Once the substitutions started rolling in, there were more turnovers and less impressive attacking moves for the United States. Ultimately, that affected the game negatively, as it has in every friendly the USMNT has played since the World Cup.
Shortly after DeAndre Yedlin was taken off, Gutierrez fired Colombia ahead. Fabian Johnson and Julian Green, newly responsible for his right flank, lost Gutierrez at the back post on a cross by Edwin Cardona, and he was free to head the winner into the back of the net.
United States: Guzan, Garza (Beasley 70'), Brooks, Jones, Yedlin (Green 86'), Beckerman, Johnson, Bedoya (Morales 67'), Diskerud (Nguyen 78', Rubin (Wood 67'), Altidore
Goals: Altidore (penalty 10')
Colombia: Vargas, Arias, Franco, Murillo, Armero, Sánchez, Abel (Cardona 74'), Cuadrado (Quintero 88'), James, Bacca (Ramos 79'), Teo (Martinez 89')
Goals: Bacca (60'), Gutierrez (87')
1. Jump on the Rubio Rubin bandwagon - While his finishing left something to be desired, Rubio Rubin's off the ball movement was impeccable on Friday. His performance was better than could be reasonably expected from an 18-year-old on an international debut. He'll get more chances with the national team on the back of this outing.
2. Jermaine Jones, center back, is still a thing - And despite the handball, he had another pretty good game at the heart of the Americans' defense. While it might make fans queasy to see a 33-year-old midfielder at central defense four years away from the World Cup, it seems pretty clear that Jurgen Klinsmann is not done with this experiment.
3. Colombia are still too dependent on James Rodriguez - Even though the Colombians matched the Americans and had plenty of shots, they struggled to create good chances unless James Rodriguez was the one creating them. Juan Cuadrado wasn't great and the strikers seemed like a pair of poachers playing independent of each other, not a partnership. They need to fix this before Copa America.