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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Matt Miazga


Although the 2-0 scoreline suggests the U.S. Men’s National Team was outclassed by Brazil, it played well for stretches.

Center back Matt Miazga was one of the standout performers for the USMNT, as he did his best to limit the chances created by the dangerous Brazilian attack.

Miazga’s highlight moment of the match came in the 51st minute, when he cleared a ball off the line to prevent Brazil from going ahead by three goals.

Although the USMNT defense lost Roberto Firmino on the opening goal, it still held firm in front of its own net.

Miazga’s center back partner John Brooks and right back DeAndre Yedlin deserve honorable mention for their performances, as well as Weston McKennie, who created a pair of chances in the second half.

Share your thoughts below as to who you think played the best for the USMNT on Friday night.


  1. This game was always going to be a reality check for these young players. They all got a taste of how far they still have to go as individuals and as a team. There were some bright spots, and there were some ugly moments.

    Overall I thought that the 4 defenders tonight proved that they are our starters…even with Robinson’s mistake. Still need to find/groom our 2nd & 3rd string defenders, but these 4 are a good starting point.

    The midfield was OK, but still looked a bit too disjointed for me. I don’t think the coach put them in a great position by going with a 4-1-4-1 formation, as I don’t believe McKennie & Adams are suited for being that far up the field. I think a 4-2-3-1 would have provided more defensive coverage & played to our player pool better. Especially if Pulisic had been available.

    One thing to remember is that the squad we witnessed tonight is not the the best we can field. There were still a handful of guys missing that will add more possession & attack when healthy and integrated back into the team. We’ve yet to have Pulisic, Saief, Adams, McKennie & Weah all together in a camp. Will be interesting to see how these 5 look together. Throw in Green, Acosta, Arriola, Gall, Gooch, Parks, Scott, etc… and the midfield looks to be in shape for starters & backups.

    Striker is still a concern. Wood & Jozy are serviceable, but don’t really scare anyone. We don’t have anyone who’s clinical in front of goal. Hopefully Sargent develops into this type of striker….but he’s not there yet.

    Overall the game wasn’t bad, just not a good as most of us would have liked. The next game against Mexico will hopefully be a better showing, and give us a better indication as to where this team & these players are against an opponent who is closer to our own skill level.

    • If you play Pulisic as the 10 he often stays too high and can’t connect with the CMs if not Pulisic then who? Green is the same issue he’s really a forward and isn’t going to drop deep enough. We don’t have any 10s in the system and really other than Pulisic don’t have any true wingers (sorry FJ you don’t count) that are very good. We’ve got a lot of decent CFs and a hope that Amon and Gall and translate Scandinavian success into something.

  2. Brooks also did well. Not only composed on defense, but stepped into the midfield with the ball a few times with solid distribution. Yedlin did well against Neymar. I actually thought Trapp played better than McKinnie. Solid team effort overall.

    • Solid take. Trapp had a better game than he will get credit for. His delivery from corners was really excellent. Somebody needs to teach him how to look more outraged when a player dives, though. Seemed like the ref took advantage of his politeness.

    • I mean that’s one of the hardest plays for a defender to make. Robinson got beat down the line and Miazga tried to cut out the cross at the front post. The ball was perfect and he got beat. The inherent advantage always goes to the forward in those situations, though.

      So I guess it’s fair enough to say that he was somewhat at fault on that but for the rest of the game he was dominant. He won 3-4 one-on-ones against Neymar and Coutinho and cut out a few difficult passes as well.

      I was very happy overall with Miazga and Brooks. They both looked formidable in defense, comfortable in possession, and dangerous in the air.

      • Lemme put it this way, other dude is in the box dribbling at the net, you probably have to switch over despite risking the pass going back past you to the man you left. But that’s a proximity thing. Robinson’s guy is outside the box committed to crossing. Cheating over towards the possible path of the ball there is an unwarranted risk and basically putting yourself in no man’s land. As happened, all the crosser then has to do is be accurate, since you left him open behind you.

        To me it’s like a keeper jumping for a high cross he should see he can’t get, with an attacker standing behind him. Once you do that you better not whiff.

        100 times out of 100 the right decision here is stay with your man. The crosser isn’t close enough to pose a risk and let’s be real, the chances of being positioned just so in no man’s land for intercept are low. There’s a reason it’s called that.

    • I agree. There was no one on the near post which he, inextricably, chose to cover. A bad decision to ignore the immediate threat. If he hadn’t cut over to the near post, he would have been in position to intercept the cross. Brooks was a good 2 or 3 yards behind the play and Miazga should have been aware that he wasn’t available to cover the far post. As soon as the play began I smelled trouble because it was clear that Robinson took the wrong angle, giving Costa a clear path to the end line. Even though Robinson is young, he has undoubtedly played hundreds of games and shouldn’t make that kind of basic mistake.

      • Yeah, it wasn’t just Miazga’s fault, Robinson had a nightmare first 20 minutes and that’s his man crossing the ball in. But if Miazga is marked up the play is over.

      • Firmino steps hard to the near post and gets Miazga to commit when Matt looks up to find the ball Firmino has drifted off, if you watch it again. By the time Miazga realizes where the ball is headed he discovers Firmino is no longer on his shoulder.

      • Aww, yeah. That first goal was brutal to watch (but so freaking well executed). Switching to the 2nd goal…Neymar dialed in on Steffen’s metronome and caught him way wrong footed. Learning experiences abound.

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