When the halftime whistle blew on the U.S. men’s national team’s Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal against Qatar, there weren’t very many players you could point to as having good games at the time.
Luckily for the Americans, there was another 45 minutes to play, and thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Matt Turner, the USMNT were still tied up rather than trailing by multiple goals. The tide did eventually turn, with Gregg Berhalter’s second-half substitutes providing the perfect impact as Qatar began to tire.
Who were the top performers for the USMNT on Thursday, and who was left struggling? Here are the SBI USMNT Player Ratings for the 1-0 win vs. Qatar:
Matt Turner (8)
Made three saves on the night, including two stunning stops, one of which kept an own-goal out of his net.
Shaq Moore (5.5)
The fifth straight start for Moore may have been the one where he starts to look like he’s wearing down. He contributed little to the attack, and found himself chasing the game far too often rather than being in smart positions to neutralize the Qatar attack.
Berhalter saw the fatigue and subbed him out in the 63rd minute, which will raise the big question of whether Berhalter will stick with him in the final or turn to Reggie Cannon to start in his second straight Gold Cup final?
James Sands (5)
Made more mistakes against Qatar than he had in the entire tournament, and can thank Matt Turner from keeping him from recording an own-goal, as well as for standing his grown to help Qatar miss the penalty kick drawn by a Sands foul.
The good news is that Sands was still very active, finishing with a game-high 100 touches, but his defensive contributions weren’t up to the usual high standard he set earlier in the Gold Cup.
Miles Robinson (7.5)
Yet another match when Miles Robinson was the best and most consistent defender on the USMNT backline. The Atlanta United defender won six of nine duels to go with seven recoveries, five aerials won and three clearances.
Perhaps even more impressive was Robinson’s passing on the night. He finished completing 59 of 62 passes, with 25 of them in the attacking half of the field.
Sam Vines (7)
Another solid shift for Vines, who did his part to help neutralize Qatar’s dangerous right-sided options. The Colorado Rapids fullback completed 91 percent of his passes and contributed four recoveries.
If there is a knock to make, it’s that Vines’ service continues to miss the mark. He put in four crosses, but none found their target. That aside, Vines was a tireless presence on the left flank, and helped limit the threats on that side of the field.
Kellyn Acosta (7)
Though he didn’t quite play up to the level of his standout showing vs. Jamaica, Acosta was still effective, particularly in the second half as Qatar began to tire.
Acosta had his trouble keeping up with Qatar’s playmakers, but when the Americans began to take control in the second half with fresh legs, Acosta was able to settle into a more consistent role.
Gianluca Busio (6)
A largely quiet performance from Busio, who was unable to help provide the needed defensive pressure in midfield to disrupt Qatar’s counterattacks. A total of 39 touches and 21 completed passes in 63 minutes wasn’t exactly the most productive outing, which might explain why he was one of the first players replaced.
The good news for Busio is that he clearly showed an increased willingness to get in on hard challenges, but his positioning wasn’t always the best and he could find it difficult to stay in the starting lineup for the final.
Sebastian Lletget (7)
A solid performance from the LA Galaxy midfielder, who appeared to benefit from a second wind in the second half as he was a key figure in the USMNT’s eventual takeover of the match in the second half.
The insertion of some fresh legs in the second half helped bring Lletget more into the match and he finished with 53 completed passes, six recoveries and five duels won.
Paul Arriola (6)
Though he wasn’t overly involved on the offensive end during his 81 minutes, Arriola did put in some valuable defensive work to cover ground on the right flank.
Arriola did deliver one key pass, but overall it was a second straight quiet match, but an improvement on his showing against Jamaica.
Daryl Dike (4)
A forgettable night for the Orlando City striker, who struggled to get involved in the match and at times he appeared as though he was still feeling the effects of the shoulder injury he suffered against Canada.
The worst knock against Dike in his third straight lackluster performance is the fact that he actually did receive some good service, including a goal-worthy setup from Matthew Hoppe and a promising through-pass from Shaq Moore.
Matthew Hoppe (6.5)
When the USMNT attack was struggling to generate much in the first half it was Hoppe who was most effective at generating anything promising. He delivered a killer pass to Daryl Dike that should have been converted into an assist.
Hoppe’s defensive work continues to be a weak spot, as he won just one of his seven duels and notched two recoveries, but his consistent ability to put pressure on opposing defenses makes him a safe bet to start in the final.
Gyasi Zardes (7)
As much as Zardes’ goal was the deserving headliner moment, Zardes put in some important defensive work throughout his 27-minute appearance, including applying the pressure that led to the turnover the USMNT eventually converted into his game-winning goal.
Cristian Roldan (6)
Though not as effective as he was against Jamaica, Roldan still made an impact off the bench with his energy and defensive work.
Reggie Cannon (6)
Provided some defensive stability upon replacing Shaq Moore in the 63rd minute. Cannon completed 22 of 24 passes and added two recoveries.
Eryk Williamson (6.5)
Made the most of his nine minutes, completing all 10 of his passes and contributing six recoveries, an interception and he played a key role in the build-up on the game-winning goal.
Nicholas Gioacchini (6.5)
Came on late and made an immediate impact, helping set up Gyasi Zardes’ winner.