USMNT player ratings: McKennie, Acosta, Weah superb in WCQ
Not only did the USMNT beat Honduras 3-0 in 2022 World Cup qualifying on Wednesday, but they were truly dominant in all phases of the game in doing so.
[ MORE: USA 3-0 Honduras recap & highlights ]
Here’s a look at who stood out (for better or for worse) for Gregg Berhalter’s side…
GK - Matt Turner: 6 - Turner, who’s heading to Arsenal in the summer, didn’t have to make a single save against a Honduran side that only took two shots over the course of 90 minutes.
RB - Reggie Cannon: 6.5 - This will be a recurring theme among the defenders, but there simply wasn’t much to be done in the defensive third, so much of Cannon’s contributions came in possession (33 of his 46 successful passes were in the attacking half), where he was much more sure-footed on the ball than Sergiño Dest, who he replaced in the lineup after a pair of subpar showings against El Salvador and Canada.
CB - Walker Zimmerman: 8 - Beyond scoring his goal, it was encouraging to see Zimmerman (and Miles Robinson) try to hit some longer, more aggressive passes over two lines.
CB - Miles Robinson: 7 - Too often, the center backs only play the ball square to one another or the full back on their side of the field. Robinson was especially effective carrying the ball forward (with ample time and space) and playing it into midfield or the other Robinson in a far more advanced position.
LB - Antonee Robinson: 7 - It’s tempting to dream of what the Robinson-Christian Pulisic combination could be down the USMNT’s left side, if only the latter were in better form these days (he scored against Honduras). Alas, Robinson was a top performer in all three games this window.
DM - Kellyn Acosta: 8 - Acosta confirmed his seat on the plane to Qatar with a strong performance against Honduras, offering more forward ball progression and a willingness to at least attempt the long diagonal ball out to either wing. 3-for-5 on long passes, plus 4 key passe. For all of Tyler Adams’ defensive strengths, this is one area where the USMNT struggles against deeper-defending sides. It was also Acosta’s set-piece service which resulted in all three goals.
CM - Luca de la Torre: 7 - It’s always nice, when the game script allows for it, to have a pure possession player like de la Torre on the field. His understanding of space and movement meant the USMNT defense always had an easy escape should they come under pressure.
CM - Weston McKennie: 9 - The January/February international window might not have gone totally according to plan for the USMNT as a whole, but McKennie comes out of these three games looking brilliant. For two games, he was easily the most effective midfielder in a side that sorely lacked cohesion, and on Wednesday we was (again) the best of a patchwork unit which, it must be said, kept things ticking over nicely.
[ MORE: USMNT World Cup qualifying schedule ]
RW - Jordan Morris: 7 - Wednesday was Morris’s first meaningful start since returning from a torn ACL last winter, and he was hugely active and involved for all 64 minutes he was on the field. Morris’s speed and dribbling make him a menace on the counter-attack, which is how the USMNT will ultimately play against superior competition at the World Cup.
LW - Timothy Weah: 8 - Like McKennie, this was an excellent window for Weah, who was a constant threat operating in the channels and half-spaces on Wednesday. He would have scored a fantastic curler from 20 yards out, if not for an incredible save (below video), as well as the above sequence linking up with McKennie.
CF - Ricardo Pepi: 6.5 - This was a more assured performance from Pepi, who found himself on the end of a couple decent chances. It’ll take some time for the 19-year-old to get up to speed with the first team, but the best part of being 19 is that you have plenty of time left.