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USMNT Man of the Match: Nick Lima


Nick Lima certainly stood out in his U.S. Men’s National Team debut. He was an important wide attacker and defender in their 3-0 win over Panama.

The San Jose Earthquakes defender played a large role in the opening goal by Djordje Mihailovic. Lima covered in the midfield and made a wonderful pass to spring Corey Baird along the flank. Baird wound up picking out Mihailovic for the finish, but it would have been nothing had Lima not found his wide run to begin with.

Lima’s real moment of glory came on the second goal. His tackle stopped a Panama breakout and he did well to get back up, collect the ball, afloat a wonderful cross onto the head of Walker Zimmerman.

Overall, he was a force on overlapping runs from the right back position all night.

Other players had strong games in the win. Mihailovic scored in his USMNT debut and Baird got the assist on his finish in addition to some excellent wide play.

Who do you think stood out for Gregg Berhalter’s team in their 2019 opener? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Assessing how our players last night played with a eye to how they could potentially do against a better opponent is nearly impossible. That said those who performed well enough to possible be called up for the next camp in March IMO would be….
    Lima – played well, was able to defend and get forwards at times. Can he challenge Yedlin, Moore, etc….we won’t know until he faces higher level of competition.
    Zimmerman & Long – Weren’t really challenged but showed enough to compete with the European guys.
    Roldan, Lletget – played well enough to be in discussion, but will need to prove it against better competition.
    Baird, Arriola, Lewis – Advance due to the lack of wing options right now. Will have to beat out some EU guys (Saief, Holmes, Weah, Gooch, etc….) to keep getting called, but their still in the discussion.
    Bradley – Showed enough to remain with the team (for now), but I don’t think he’s a starter or even an every game sub. Right now he’s a security blanket in the event Adams or McKennie are injured/suspended. Still think there are younger options who will overtake him by the end of 2019.
    Steffen – A given to continue as our # 1 keeper, but Johnson, Hamid, Horvath, & Guzan will keep the pressure on him.
    Mihailovic – Was the surprise of the game for me. Kid showed well, but needs more seasoning. I’d be OK with him getting more call-ups, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dropped down to the U-23 squads to get more experience/game minutes once that team forms. I just don’t think he’s ready for the “A” Team at the Sr. level just yet.

    The rest of the players are “B” stringers. They’re worth keeping an eye on, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them up when the European players are available.

  2. I really like the jogging comments that people throw out it’s soccer everyone is jogging most of the time with brief periods of a sprinting. I do really hope Bradley announces his retirement after the GC though.

  3. Can you just imagine if some unknown 18 year old played the exact same game as Michael Bradley? The internet would break. And no, i’m not talking about in the same way how the internet broke when it saw he was a starter.

    • The Bradley hate is really out of control. I understand the anger directed at him to an extent. I do not think he should wear the armband on a permanent basis, and we are obviously looking for his replacement. Here’s the “but”…expecting him to be banished from the national team is just stupid. He is still one of our top midfielders and has plenty to offer the team in the immediate future.
      I am as disappointed with his career trajectory as anyone. In 2010-2011 I told people I thought he would finish his career as perhaps our best ever player. He has regressed in a huge way since his move back to MLS. Unfortunately, we do not have a closet full of capable CMs. Adams and Mckennie are very exciting young pros, but we do not know how good they will be yet. Can they do it consistently? Behind them I don’t see anyone who is really of any great quality. That is why we will rightfully continue to see Bradley as part f the squad. Someone needs to step up and supplant him.

    • “Can you just imagine if some unknown 18 year old played the exact same game as Michael Bradley”….What he should be an automatic starter hahahahahaha, ???. Malkin, Bradley did absolutely nothing worth mentioning on the field or worth being on a highlight reel but I’m surprised they didn’t give him “Man of the Match” ? ? ?…It’s called the BRADLEY EFFECT (it’s a new phenomenon). If any young player played like Bradley it wouldn’t even be a topic for conversation… and point Christian Roldan Walker Zimmerman, Mihailovic, Nick Lima, Corey Baird and Jeremy Ebobisse…all the players that ACTUALLY got the result (and created chances) for the team with their hard work and persistence.

      Michael Bradley by ESPN – “Played a vintage game, misplacing just three passes all night from a deep-lying role in midfield. Showed a tactical understanding and work rate”….a vintage game??? what does that even mean hahahahaha ???? Work rate……Jogging?? Misplaced just 3 passes….when he attempted to play the ball forward instead of back?? That’s a standard now???? lol ???

      How do you have that kind of stats in MLS at 31 years of age, do absolutely nothing outstanding in an average league and STILL be a regular starter for the USMNT…..ahead of players with better physical attributes, better experience playing in better leagues no less. How????? How do you jog around the field, play it safe all game long, do NOTHING OUTSTANDING and get rated higher than players that actually put in the hard work, took chances or put points on the board?


      • Well there is one constant in the universe, Bizzy is still a Bradley hater and remains unable to see the value Bradley brings to the squad that no other players has shown the ability to do.

    • not sure why Bradley should be judged by comparing him to unknown 18 year olds. Besides, MB’s strong suit was supposed to be his leadership abilities, but he presided over a divided locker room through the tenure of two coaches. I don’t see how he can ever climb out of the hole he dug for himself last cycle, but that’s just my opinion.

  4. wow was a good game for usa.
    steffen 9
    Lima 9
    Zimmermann 8
    long 7
    lovitz 7
    bradley 8
    roldan 7
    mihailovic 8
    baird 8
    ebobisse 4
    zardes 5
    johnson 5
    arriola 5
    leetget 6
    trapp 4
    lewis 7
    ramirez 7

  5. I thought Mihailovic did a good job of making runs and moving to get open. Also Roldan positioned himself well in ways that forced the Panamanians to make tough choices in defending. ZArdes seemed to do better at being avialable for passes than I’ve seen in the past.

    Still, I thought the US outside backs and outside midfielders made too many vertical passes to teammatew who were coverd by 2 defenders, with predictable results, when better choices were available. Better opponents would have made more of the resulting giveaways.

    Ebobissie showed some flair, the ability to cross well and a fearlessness that is great trait in a forward.


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