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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Gyasi Zardes


The U.S. Men’s National Team gutted out a 1-1 draw against Chile in Houston on Tuesday night, and a lot of the credit for that goes to forward Gyasi Zardes.

Zardes started his contribution early on by setting up Christian Pulisic’s goal in the fourth minute of the match. He was able to pick out a rushing Pulisic with a perfectly weighted through pass for the only USMNT goal of the night.

He was effective defending from the front as well. His determination and work effort made life difficult for Chile’s midfield and defense when they tried to play the ball out of the back on several occasions.

Zardes didn’t score a goal of his own, but he did have an eye for creating chances. In addition to the assist, the play that best represented his night was when he beat a pair of Chilean defenders for a loose ball at the top of the penalty area. He wasn’t able get a shot on target thanks to the defense recovering, but the move displayed the hustle and awareness that made him SBI’s Man of the Match,

Other strong performances came from Pulisic, who scored the goal in his brief cameo before coming off injured, Christian Roldan, who was an efficient passer and overall workhorse out on the wing, and Michael Bradley, who served as the midfield shield, thus allowing the central defense to have a strong game, while also doing well on the ball as the USMNT broke out of their own half.

Who do you think stood out for the USMNT in their draw against Chile? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Bradley played some wonderful passes last night. But his lack of speed was also quite evident throughout the game. He would hustle and gamble, trying to anticipate where chili was going come. But ultimately he could not keep up. I agree with an article I read this morning that said this game showed that Bradley can be a contributor but not carry the load like in the past.

    • My favorite passage of the night was his one touch through ball to Baird down the right wing. Baird then did nothing with it, which was the story of the night for him .

  2. No other domestic player has improved over the last year or so than Zardes. We can recall his first games with the Nats as a fast winger with virtually no foot skills and no tactical awareness. He has obvious physical skills, and just needed good coaching to refine his game. What he needs next is a stronger aerial game. In my eyes, he has passed Bobby Wood on the depth chart.

  3. Hate to admit it, but Zardes played very well. Almost unrecognizable from 2 years ago in his skill and tactical awareness. And his work dropping into the midfield to help on and restart the offense was strong. And Bradley did nothing to hurt his chances of playing in the future. I’ve been wanting him to retire from international duty for several years, but it’s clear he can still contribute against good teams.

  4. Rob, you and Bizzy must have really hated this game. It showed your hate of Bradley has nothing to do with the quality of his play.

    To say that Bradley was bad in this game is not only incorrect, it makes its way to near the top of the lies told on-line.

    • While I can’t say Bradley was bad, I can’t honestly say he was good either. At the end of the day the overall play during this game was sub-par and showed how badly we need Adams, McKennie, & Pulisic on the field.
      We were overrun through the middle and were unable to maintain much of any possession. Defensively we we absorbed pressure in a bunker with the hopes of getting a point (draw). Once we shifted to a 3 CB formation we were marginally better, but still lacked in the midfield.
      Would like to see us try a 3 CB formation from the start when Adams, McKennie, Pulisic and the rest of this cycle’s core are on the field.

      • Chile is still a top 15 team (for what it is worth they are currently ranked above Germany and Italy) and this was pretty much their A team. Once CP went out we had little firepower and Chile took advantage. Despite having 67% possession they only outshot us 7 to 4. It was very much a traditional US workmanlike performance against a superior team. Without Adams we didn’t get to see how the Berhalter System works against a better team which was disappointing.

      • Aw c’mon you did not love that 50 yard pass Bradley put onto Baird’s foot? If Baird had been able to put it on goal it would have made highlight reels all over the world.
        Also, it was Bradley who won a tackle early on that setup Pulisic’s run (the one where he didn’t score).
        Both cases were the defensive CM setting up the attack with skill, how is that not good?

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