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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: John Brooks


John Brooks came into U.S. Men’s National Team duty as the No. 1 option at centerback and the veteran showed just why on Thursday.

The Wolfsburg defender’s strong performance earned him SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors in Thursday’s scoreless draw in Wales. It was Brooks’ first appearance for the National Team in 2020 after impressing in the early stages of the Bundesliga season with Wolfsburg.

Brooks made things difficult for Kieffer Moore at the top of the Welsh attack,  while holding his own and directing his teammates in the backline. The 25-year-old provided 10 recoveries and completed the most passes (73) of any player in the match.

Brooks’ excellent passing was one of the highlights of the match, as he completed seven accurate long balls and completed 33 of his passes in Wales side of the field.

Brooks edged out Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah for Man of the Match honors.

What did you think of Brooks’ performance? Who was your Man of the Match? Who surprised you? Who disappointed you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Brooks was worthy along with a few others imo, but that undercut on Moore will get him a yellow in CONCACAF especially on the road

  2. It was McKennie for me, he was everywhere. McKennie’s improvement is a great development for the US. Adams wasn’t as obvious but he was smooth defensively, and we were not threatened much at all when he was on the field. Great signs that with those two we can compete again with Mexico in the center. Dest looked the part, and could have had a couple of assists. Overall it was pretty impressive the way we dominated possession and the skill of the next generation was on display. I’m not too worried we couldn’t break Wales down, they are a really good defensive team and were set up to bunker and counter but couldn’t counter against us really at all. The future is bright, looking forward to seeing some of the other options against Panama.

    • i thought he looked like he could be an effective and productive 8. and he hustled back well on a couple plays which has been missing from the midfield team defense — that and adams. but if we’re treating him like a 10 pffft. what was missing last night was some central direction, some direct running at them, some incisive passing. it was all a little bit too much get it wide. playing a guy wide into space is easy.

  3. I TiVo’d the game and watched late night, while meditating and doing a little Sohn Yu / Zen Yoga / chi-kung, on the couch. Was watching the Hispanic channel feed w/ Luis Omar Tapia and Diego Valado, et al. Tapia was clearly tickled pink, chortling over how sooth and precise a lot of the USMNT’s play was at times, and clearly felt that the team shows the kind of promise for the future that it has not seen in a long while. Valado added his dry, and pragmatic take on the whole affair expertly reading in the biographic information of the new recruits and identifying nuances of the game’s back and forth, fouls committed, referee decisions, etc. Good stuff! Those guys know their onions. Tapia is no pushover – he is a truly demanding, exacting observer and critic of the game. If he sees something good happening, baby! It. Is. Good. For their money, McKennie was MoM, with Dest coming in with second MoM. They didn’t mention Brooks too much, or Miazga for that matter. The US did hold 65%, or so, of the possession so those guys did not have all that much to clean up. But I would agree with Ives and Co., that Brooks looked confident, relaxed, solid in defense, and very smooth on the ball. He did an outstanding job of safely conducting the sphere and sending 50-50 balls back up field with towering headers, muscling Welsh forwards out of position with his strength and size. We lacked ingenuity, creativity, and precision in the final third. That will come, as the team settles into a new roster pool, and the disparate parts of the puzzle come together, gain experience with each other, develop a more intuitive and telepathic ability to anticipate runs and open space, get familiar with each other, and develop trust and teamwork, the spirit of the hive.

  4. Not including cp Cuz he was hurt and Sargent cuz he wasn’t released what other players should be on the roster? I’m not a euro snob or an MLS hater, I just love the game but what MLS player could make the this team?

    • A lot of the youngsters who played today aren’t really ready for a regular role in games that count. I would replace some with Green and take a look at Haji Wright. From MLS, although I’m in the minority, I would add Zardes. Although we have plenty of wingers, I would add Morris who has been outstanding. A couple of possible youngsters would be McKenzie and Aaronson. Jozy is a possibility if he is ever healthy since we really are thin at the out and out striker position.Ebobissee is another possible add at striker. Sam Vines is a possibility at LB. Two CB possibilities are Walker Zimmerman and Miles Robinson.

    • From the starting XI drop Konrad & Lletget and replace w/ Pulisic & Sargent, and we probably have the the starting XI going forward. I guess Miazga is a question for some, but I prefer him over Long.
      To round out the 23 you could potentially add Morris, Jozy/Zardes, Aaronson, Pomykal, Vines/Gloster, M. Robinson/Long, Johnson/Hamid/Turner.
      The game against Panama should help finalize some of the remaining back-ups. I expect to see a Weah, Uli, Richards, & Cardoso use this game to make a claim for spots in the “A-Team” 23. The others currently in this camp are likely going to be reservists limited to the Olympic team unless something drastic changes.
      The final couple of roster spots are up for grabs. ArJo, Green, Moralez, Yedlin, CCV, EPB should get a chance to compete with the MLS guys.
      Gregg’s use of Lletget as a false 9 in this game instead of either Gioacchini or Soto…leaves me to believe that Gregg does not rate them much.

    • yeah i forgot that lletget was a late add for sargent. we now see that was intended as a positional swap. in which case, yeah, AJ, Green, Wood, an actual 9. i liked AJ back when because he’s a sniper. i would’ve been content with that. if this is how he meant to use lletget, c’mon dude, replace a 9 with a 9. that didn’t work at all. most amusing is the people defending it knowing how it looked. and knowing no one thought he meant that personnel swap was going to be “like for like.”

  5. Brooks was excellent, the kind of performance we have expected but not seen often enough. He played like a top flight player in the Bundesliga.

  6. Surprised you did not mention Dest. He was instrumental in getting the ball forward on the right side and made runs up the side that McKennie found with accurate long balls. I did think he and Reyna did not know quite to expect of one another. When they work that out it will look much better.


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