Thursday’s Concacaf World Cup qualifying opener against El Salvador wasn’t the breakout debut fans were hoping for from the young and talent-laden U.S. men’s national team squad, and the level of mediocrity on display is clear to see when taking stock of the USMNT’s individual performances.
Thursday’s 0-0 draw did earn the Americans a road point, the bare minimum to be expected against one of the weaker opponents in the Octagonal, but while there are some positives to take away from the defensive side of things, it was the U.S. attack that left plenty to be desired.
Tyler Adams was the clear choice of Man of the Match, but the list of USMNT players who could be considered to have had strong performances wasn’t long.
With that in mind, here are the player ratings for the USMNT’s 0-0 draw vs. El Salvador:
Matt Turner (6)
Had one save to make, and had a few poor touches that got away from him, but overall he was solid starting in place of Zack Steffen.
DeAndre Yedlin (6)
Put in a good defensive shift, even if he was beaten a few times, most memorably by Alex Roldan. His grade suffers a bit though due to his lack of contribution in the attack, which consisted of one key pass, but no accurate crosses or long balls.
Miles Robinson (7)
Another steady shift from the Atlanta United defender, who did well to help contain Joaquin Rivas, limiting the El Salvador striker to zero shots.
Tim Ream (7)
There was plenty of concern about Ream’s inclusion in the starting lineup, but the veteran Fulham defender rewarded Gregg Berhalter’s faith with a steady and composed performance.
Sergiño Dest (5.5)
It was probably easy to overlook just how much defensive work Dest put in because of his frustrating habit of trying to do tricks and pull off one-on-one moves, which failed to generate any real threats, and instead killed off more than a few attacking sequences.
Tyler Adams (7)
Played like a captain, and was one of the few who played with the type of urgency the match required. Won a team-high 12 duels, and tried to help spark attack with some accurate long passes.
Weston McKennie (5.5)
There was both good and bad in McKennie’s performance, and the bad is built on the sense that he sort of coasted through stretches of the match. He registered nine recoveries, but also managed to win just three of the 14 duels he was involved in.
Brenden Aaronson (4.5)
Whether it was fatigue, or just inexperience, Aaronson didn’t look like the same player we saw tear apart Costa Rica in June, and star for Red Bull Salzburg in recent Champions League qualifiers. Managed just nine accurate passes and lost more duels than he won.
Konrad De La Fuente (5)
Aside from one promising surging run through the midfield to help set up a chance, we saw little of the dangerous De La Fuente that has been starring for Marseille. His lack of familiarity with the group, and some timidity likely influenced by his World Cup qualifying inexperience, led to a far too tame performance.
Josh Sargent (5)
He wasn’t helped out by the attack when it came to service, but he also didn’t do enough with the chances that did come his way. For a player trying to keep his starting job, Sargent may have to watch the next match from the bench after Thursday’s showing.
Gio Reyna (6)
We saw a much different Reyna in the second half, as he showed far more urgency and eagerness to get into the attack after halftime. Unfortunately for Reyna, his teammates in the attack didn’t show the same improvement, and it left Reyna struggling to generate much on his own.
Kellyn Acosta (6)
Promising shift at right back from Acosta, who managed to produce a dangerous shot on goal and delivered a key pass during his cameo.
Antonee Robinson (5)
Wasn’t very involved during his 26 minutes on the field.
Jordan Pefok (6)
Very active during his 26 minutes on the field, contributing defensively while also pulling off some nifty moves as he tried to make the most of the fact his midfield wasn’t offering much support.
Sebastian Lletget (NR)
Came on for 11 minutes and completed all four of his passes, including a successful cross.
Cristian Roldan (NR)
Roldan’s 12 minutes were highlighted by some good tussles with his brother Alex, but not much else.
What did you think of the USMNT individual performances? Who impressed you? Who disappointed you the most?
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