Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen had his toughest night to date wearing a U.S. Men’s National Team uniform as the Americans were downed 4-2 by Colombia at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday night.
It was the sixth start for the Crew SC goalkeeper with the USMNT in 2018, which made him tie the modern era record jointly held by Kasey Keller (1990) and Troy Perkins (2009) for most appearances by a goalkeeper during their debut year with the National Team.
Black & Gold midfielder Wil Trapp, who had worn the team’s armband in seven matches, was left as a substitute by interim head coach Dave Sarachan, who chose to start veteran Michael Bradley. Bradley played for the Star & Stripes for the first time since the U.S. failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, one year ago.
Despite the four goals conceded, Steffen was one of the best players for the American team, especially in the first half, when he made at least four important saves. The only ball he couldn’t stop was a perfectly placed shot from Colombian star James Rodriguez that was perfectly placed in the upper corner from a tight angle in the 35th minute.
The U.S. started the second half of fire, though, and turned the game around with Kellyn Acosta finishing off a cross from Antonee Robinson in the 49th minute and Bobby Wood placing a gorgeous assist from Tim Weah in the back of the net three minutes later.
The American lead didn’t last long, though, as Carlos Bacca beat Matt Miazga inside the penalty box to tap a low cross from Santiago Arias in to the goal at 56th minute.
The South Americans kept punishing the U.S.’s left side and got the lead at the 73rd minute, when Crew SC’s eternal, reported, transfer target Radamel Falcao finished off a counter attack, and scored another one five minutes later, with Miguel Borja hitting a volley that had Steffen inches away from saving.
Colombia had a couple of other opportunities to score but both were stopped by the post, a long-distance shot from Juan Quintero and a clumsy clearance attempt of Matt Miazga.
The American team returns to the field on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to face Peru at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, Connecticut, in what many expect to be the team’s final game under Sarachan.