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Guzan beaten twice as United States fall in Copa América opener

Brad Guzan got the start as the United States kicked off Copa América last night, and it was a pretty pedestrian performance from the Villa keeper.

James Rodríguez beats Brad Guzan from the penalty spot during the 42nd minute of Colombia’s win Friday night in Santa Clara, Calif.
James Rodríguez beats Brad Guzan from the penalty spot during the 42nd minute of Colombia’s win Friday night in Santa Clara, Calif.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It was the same old story for Aston Villa’s No. 2, and the United States’ No. 1, goalkeeper, as Brad Guzan was beaten twice by Colombia in a 2-0 victory for Los Cafeteros to open the Copa América Centenario held in the U.S.

In something that shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, especially those of us who are Stateside Villa fans, Guzan was beaten inside of 10 minutes, with the Colombia goal coming off a poorly-defended corner kick routine. Geoff Cameron, he of Stoke City, lost his man, Cristian Zapata, and Zapata made no mistake, firing to Guzan’s left to put the Colombians 1-0 ahead before the hosts got as much as a chance near the Colombia goal.

To be honest, watching that, you might be a little surprised to learn where the American back line plays their trade. (Hint: It’s Sunderland, Stoke City, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach.)

Guzan got himself into the game a little more on a quarter of an hour, saving a solid long-range effort from Daniel Torres, before making another, fairly easy save in the 22nd minute on Edwin Cardona’s chance, and for the next 20 minutes or so, the Villa man had nothing to do.

And then he had a lot to do, with Colombia winning a penalty. DeAndre Yedlin handled the ball in the penalty area after a turnover from ex-Villa man Michael Bradley (remember that?), and up stepped James Rodríguez to convert from 12 yards out, putting the Americans 2-0 behind right before halftime.

Cardona opened the second half with another long-range chance, which Guzan didn’t handle particularly well, the ball bouncing off his chest and back into the path of the Colombian attack, where Cameron perhaps got away with a foul in the box to clear the danger. And if American supporters didn’t think they could draw more comparisons between the Yanks and the Villa, a U.S. corner kick in the 60th minute went straight back to Guzan, without a Colombian player touching the ball. Sigh.

After a couple of blocked shots resulted in corners for Colombia, Guzan’s next action came in the 77th minute, when Carlos Bacca was sprung free 1-on-1 with the keeper on a counterattack. Bacca beat Guzan, who rushed a little late off his line, but not the crossbar, with his chance to make it 3-0 going by the wayside thanks to the woodwork.

Guzan was called into action for another save from distance a few minutes from time, but since his outfield players couldn’t muster much on the other end, the defeat was confirmed for the hosts. All in all, it wasn’t a bad performance from Guzan, but it also wasn’t a good one — pretty average in all aspects, though we may be viewing it in a worse light with a better finish from Bacca or a converted rebound from Colombia.

Guzan and the United States are back in action Tuesday night, when they face off with Costa Rica.