USA vs. Bolivia: Score, Reaction from 2016 International Friendly

Brian MarronFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2016

Jul 22, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; United States midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (11) takes a shot on goal against Jamaica int he first half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The United States men's national soccer team put forth a tremendous effort as it took down Bolivia 4-0 on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri.

The friendly was the Americans' final tune-up before the Copa America begins June 3.

Here's a look at the starting lineup for the U.S., courtesy of the team's Twitter account:

Bolivia started the game with more energy, as it created a few opportunities around U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan early. Yet the Bolivians were unable to cash in, and the U.S. gradually started to control the match.

Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring after taking a nifty Alejandro Bedoya lob pass behind the defense and slotting it past the approaching keeper. Here is a look at the play, courtesy of Fox Soccer:

ESPN's Jeff Carlisle noted Zardes did well to corral the ball and put it into the net, which is not something he's done well lately:

The Americans were not done in the first half. Roughly 11 minutes later, John Brooks finished off another phenomenal passing display off a free kick to put his team up 2-0.

Fox Soccer provided a look at the goal:

Bedoya again provided the assist.

After a slow start, the U.S. looked sharp in the first half. It could have been more sound defensively, as it gave up a few rushes because of over-aggression, but its passing was brilliant. 

The Americans kept up the pressure in the second half as they further asserted their dominance. 

Zardes again found the net after a beautiful feed from Bobby Wood, courtesy of U.S. Soccer:

Sporting a comfortable lead, manager Jurgen Klinsmann decided to bring on young stars Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic. ESPN's Ian Darke speculated that the two should have seen the field earlier:

Pulisic did not disappoint as he proceeded to make history, per Fox Soccer:

The U.S. finished the game with no blemishes to cap off a sparkling performance. The only negative appeared to be the fan support.

With many empty seats visible, attendance was spotty. The Washington Post's Steven Goff provided the official number:

Regardless, this was an encouraging sign for the team heading into its next major international event. The Americans underwhelmed at the Gold Cup last summer, so they will want to reassert their place among CONCACAF's elite squads next week.

Expect plenty of energy and a redemptive attitude at the Copa America. Pulisic should also see increased playing time, as the 17-year-old looks to be the real deal for a team that needs an offensive game-breaker.

Post Game Reaction

U.S. Soccer's youth movement was the primary focus following the team's thrashing of Bolivia. 

All three of the Americans' goal-scorers were 24 years of age or younger.

Fox Sports' Rob Stone was excited about the potential of America's youngsters, particularly after Pulisic's tally:

Pulisic's club team also gave a shout-out to the blossoming American star:

Klinsmann was definitely pleased with his team's play, per Carlisle:

Carlisle also praised Zardes.

"Zardes was also active and looked more composed in all facets of the game, linking up well with teammates," Carlisle wrote. "His second goal owed plenty to the industry of Bobby Wood, but Zardes did well to redirect his teammate's low delivery into the net as he fell to the ground."

SportsCenter also noted that the U.S. set a minor defensive milestone:

Again, Bolivia is not a strong team, but the U.S. still looked confident and well-balanced. Whether or not the club folds under increased pressure in the Copa America remains to be seen, but the Americans look like a contender for now.