USMNT player ratings: Yanks miss chance to go top in WCQ
The USMNT turned in yet another disappointing performance on Sunday, as they went into Hamilton, Ontario, and were beaten 2-0 by CONCACAF World Cup qualifying leaders Canada.
[ MORE: Canada 2-0 USA recap & highlights ]
From goalkeeper to center forward, no one on the USMNT covered themselves in glory, nor did they show the requisite fight against a hugely motivated side from Canada. Disappointment all the way around.
Here’s a look at who stood out (for better or for worse) for Gregg Berhalter’s side…
GK - Matt Turner: 5 - Turner’s goal kick, which ultimately led to Canada’s goal in the 7th minute, didn’t come down within 15 yards of a single USMNT player. Gyasi Zardes sprinted toward his own goal to make a halfhearted effort, but he never had a chance. The backline was set up to receive the short restart and play out of the back, but Turner opted to go long without waving his defenders forward. That seems like a mistake which set off an unfortunate string of events (more on that in a moment) and directly led to a goal conceded.
👀🔥🇨🇦 GOALLLL! Canada leads early on against the USA in a key World Cup qualifier.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) January 30, 2022
Cyle Larin with a lovely finish across goal. Tim Hortons Field has gone absolutely bonkers in Hamilton, Ontario.
Wow. #CANMNT 1-0 #USMNT #CANvUSA
🎥 @onesoccer pic.twitter.com/ZB6thXxhyZ
RB - Sergiño Dest: 5 - Aside from scoring a goal against Costa Rica back in October, what had Dest does in a USMNT shirt to warrant his continued inclusion in the squad, let alone the starting lineup, during World Cup qualifying? Left side, right side, pushed further forward, sitting deeper — none of it has mattered since games grew more important in the fall. Without Alphonso Davies to contend with on one end of the field, Dest should have been a focal point of USMNT possession.
CB - Miles Robinson: 5 - Robinson was slow to react on Canada’s opener, in a situation he must be quicker to read and snuff out. Cyle Larin had three yards of space when the ball came to him. That’s about two yards too many for any halfway decent striker getting games in Europe. Perhaps a player who’s not currently in preseason with his club team would properly diagnose the situation and react more appropriately.
CB - Chris Richards: 5.5 - Richards also gave too much space to his man, Jonathan David, who should have either 1) never been allowed to receive the ball to play the one-two with Larin, or 2) been fouled as soon as it was clear the ball would, in fact, reach him. Against a European-caliber forward line, the USMNT’s defense was exposed as young and inexperienced.
LB - Antonee Robinson: 6.5 - Left back isn’t currently a problem for the USMNT, at all. It is one of only a few positions about which that can be said.
DM - Tyler Adams: 6 - It must be frustrating for Adams (and the rest of the USMNT midfield, the squad’s strongest and most cohesive unit) to watch on helplessly as opponents play around the center of the field going one way and filter everything to the wide areas going back the other direction. As talented as each individual in the midfield is, the group’s collective influence on games pales in comparison. Leaving the game in the 69th minute while touching his hamstring only adds injury to insult.
CM - Weston McKennie: 6.5 - McKennie managed to at least threaten inside Canada’s penalty area, as he posed a constant threat on set pieces and by making late runs to get on crosses (only to be denied fantastically be Milan Borjan).
CM - Yunus Musah: 6 - Much of what was said about Adams, can be said for Musah. Midfielders can’t influence the game if they don’t find ways to get on the ball in, and create, dangerous spaces. The USMNT needs more of that from their midfield, because they’re getting very little of it.
[ MORE: USMNT World Cup qualifying schedule ]
RW - Brenden Aaronson: 5.5 - Pushing Aaronson to the right wing (Timothy Weah was denied entry to Canada and Christian Pulisic returned to the squad after missing a window and a half due to injury) was the only option for Berhalter if he was set on putting arguably the USMNT’s most technically gifted player on the field. Clearly, a less than ideal situation.
LW - Christian Pulisic: 5 - It was another disastrous first half from Pulisic, who mishit set piece after set piece and was marked tightly and fouled early and often (whether or not it was called is another story). Whether he’s simply out of form due to his situation at Chelsea or marked man the second he crosses the Atlantic Ocean and returns to CONCACAF, it doesn’t really matter. The USMNT needs more from its star man, because they’ve gotten very little from him this international window.
CF - Gyasi Zardes: 5 - In theory, Zardes’s tendency to make vertical runs and stretch the opposing defense would have helped the USMNT create more than a few scoring chances on the counter-attack, but the early goal allowed Canada’s defense the luxury to sit much deeper and keep USMNT possession in front of them. Zardes could have been subbed off after eight minutes (through no fault of his own), and it would have been the right call.