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USMNT Player Ratings: Robinson, Hoppe and Acosta shined, Dike and Arriola struggled


The knockout rounds at the Concacaf Gold Cup were always going to be when Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. men’s national team would face their most challenging tests, and on Sunday the Americans passed the first of those tests even though the predictable struggles took place.

Sunday’s 1-0 win against Jamaica was a grind, and at times the USMNT was unable to find solutions, but what was clear to see was that this American team showed some heart and resilience to shake off a poor start and eventually take control of the game.

The USMNT defense was once again at the forefront, stifling Jamaica’s attack even as Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake made life difficult for the American attack. All four starting U.S. defenders stepped up with good showings, especially the centerbacks, who were excellent once again.

The American attack endured a frustrating evening, but it did provide a showcase for Matthew Hoppe, who won over even more fans with his relentlessness and creativity.

Who were the top performers for the USMNT on Sunday? Here are the SBI USMNT Player Ratings for Sunday’s win vs. Jamaica:

USMNT Player Ratings vs. Jamaica


The goalkeeper made five saves on the day and stayed aggressive to deal with all aerial threats while also being clean with his passing.


Didn’t contribute much to the attack but was solid defensively throughout, winning eight duels to go with five clearances and five recoveries.


Another strong showing for Sands, this time as one of two centerbacks in a four-man defense. The shift in formation didn’t limit Sands’ effectiveness, as he still finished with 100 touches and a game-high 78 passes completed. Defensively he won seven of his nine duels and contributed eight recoveries.


A second straight standout performance for Robinson, who made several crucial defensive plays to thwart Jamaican attacks. He won a whopping 11 of 13 duels and added eight recoveries defensively, while contributing 64 completed passes and 93 touches.


A solid defensive shift for Vines, who also spent a ton of time getting forward, and while he didn’t deliver any completed crosses, he maintained a consistent attacking presence. Vines completed 51 of 55 passes and added six recoveries on defense.


Acosta was everywhere on Sunday, contributing to the attack while also racing back to break up a plethora of Jamaican possessions. He finished with a game-high 13 recoveries and three interceptions while completing 61 passes, including 8 of 10 long passes.


Endured a sloppy and slow start, but eventually found the game in the second half and really blossomed as he played a big part in the USMNT taking control of the match. Busio showed a willingness to fight against a physical Jamaican side, and finished with 10 duels won while also completing 55 of 61 passes.


It wasn’t a great night for Lletget offensively, as he did little to create chances and struggled to do anything with corner kicks and set pieces, but where Lletget was productive on Sunday was in his defensive contributions, as the normally attack-minded player delivered eight recoveries while winning eight of 11 duels.


It was a rough night all around for Arriola, who showed rust after missing most of the group stage through injury. He didn’t win a single duel, and completed just 11 passes, though he did register six recoveries.


A painfully quiet night for Dike, who finished with just 19 touches and one shot. His hold-up play was once again lacking, and his defensive work left something to be desired. In his defense, Dike didn’t have much service to work with, but he still needed to do more.


The USMNT’s most promising attacking player all night, Hoppe forced Andre Blake into a pair of difficult saves and while he also committed far too many turnovers, Hoppe deserves credit for pressuring Jamaica’s defense when the rest of the American attack was largely quiet. His effort on his game-winning goal was impressive to see, particularly given it came just as he was about to be subbed off.


Helped give the USMNT attack a boost, providing some sorely-needed service from the right wing. His cross for the assist to Hoppe was perfect and he wound up contributing two key passes on a night when the rest of the attack produced none.


His effort on Hoppe’s winner can’t be ignored, as his work to crash into the penalty area drew the attention of Andre Blake and allowed Hoppe to get in position to score. Zardes’ defensive work also deserves praise, and is a big reason why he should be expected to start against Qatar.


Played six minutes.


Played six minutes.

What do you think of the ratings? Who do you feel deserved a higher rating? Who do you feel disappointed the most?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives you rated Lletget way too high. He was awful last night. Lletget wasted all of our set kicks. He offers nothing on offense. Btw Props to Roldan, dude had a good game

    • Yeah I know some people were disappointed with Busio’s free kicks and corners but they were better than Lleget’s the last two games.
      I was disappointed we used short corners out first two corners. Maybe they had seen something on film but felt to me we were trying to be too cute when we had Dike, Hoppe, and Robinson in the box.

  2. the keeper and the centerbacks are the class of this unit and what keep it going forward with clean sheets in spite of having little midfield help and a sputtering attack. they should look good relative to the defenders who played NL who save horvath looked like crap.

    i think some of the attackers intermittently show something but they are all either inconsistent or flat bad and in reality fighting the people not there for roster slots. i don’t think being a mixed bag in GC gets you far relative to NL. you really think this bunch is making inroads on musah, aaronson, weah, etc.?? only one playing his way off the team is yeuill, really. but that’s what i think, we’ll see who he runs out for qatar and if we make the final.

    • like i said below. you might see some changes at the tail end of the roster for 9, 6, back, 3rd keeper. acosta may have gained at yeuill’s expense. zardes may have played his way back in at dike’s expense. some of the backs from this bunch may replace slackers in the A team. turner and horvath will back up steffen. other than that a lot of the people getting excited at certain folks are either ignoring their mixed bag play or not considering who they have to beat to make a 23.

    • There usually are injuries so probably unlikely that full A team is available for all qualifiers so I think you will see more of these players than you probably hope. I agree pretty hard to tell if a player is playing well or playing against weak competition, but I do like Robinson’s speed. Brooks is pretty dicey on 1 v 1 so having speed next to him is probably pretty important. I probably rate Aaronson higher than Weah and Musah and I do think Hoppe is exciting and was pretty good at pressing all by himself which usually is just a waste of energy so he may challenge for a spot.

  3. Overall the young US players grew into the physicality of the match as the ref let a lot go. It takes some grit and a will to fight for your team. However, only Hoppe showed some ambition to take players on and be daring. Major props to him for putting his imprint on the match and a roster spot. I am not asking players to pull a rabbit out of a hat but stick their neck out there and make an unlocking pass and chance creation. Lletget continues to play in a shell? He slows the overall play down when he touches the ball. When he should be constantly looking and prodding for space to run and pass. Really thought Williamson would sub for him? Dike biggest flaw is he does not go to the ball when the ball does not come to him. Tough when he gets no service and playing against big physical strong defenders. The onus is on both the midfield and fullbacks to create chance for him by getting him the ball.
    Robinson is showing a lot and seems like he can get better with his combo of size, speed, and quickness. It’s just a matter of reps for him against better competition because he is an excellent competitor.
    Busio fought hard all night and pretty much was over matched all night in midfield. He was not very clean on the ball but the speed of the game was a lesson.
    Nothing very dynamic offensively with this group and tough to put a finger on anything they are good at. Lesser teams have been able to squash game plans. I suspect more teams will press and play the midfielders physical. Thus, eliminating chance creation and clumsy ball control and distribution
    Oh and the Jerry dome turf sucks! It’s and insult to the players to play on static cling grass

    • i agree about the atrocious field. i saw wes welker blow out a knee on a similar pallet grass field in houston, untouched, stepping on a seam.

      in terms of the players, IMO people gotta remember these guys are starting out by definition B team and you have to impress your way out of that. i think there might be some changes at 9, 6, back, and keeper based on some people playing either really really well or just plain bad. i think if GB has a brain it’s only a few players. i like the fighting spirit but it actually kind of says this particular bunch has to work too hard to separate from regional opposition, which hurts your WCQ case. or at least should. i’ve learned not to assume player evaluations by berhalter go the way i expect. he’s kind of the sort to fall in love with the last shiny object he watched.

  4. I think a bit harsh on Arriola — he never really had time or space or could get his foot on the ball and take folks on down the right, but I lost count of how many times he came back and bailed us out with a challenge and a clearance; I’m biased, as I like Arriola and the type of player he is generally — so factor that in — but I feel like he’s a glue or connective tissue-type of player, who doesn’t show up on the scoresheet a lot, but works his socks off for the team and generally sets a tone for the entire unit. He didn’t have a lot of great touches going-forward, to be sure, and did look a bit rusty to me, but I still appreciated the old-fashioned hustle.

    Overall, best players on the field in this game for me were Robinson, Hoppe, Sands, and Turner — not a great performance by the U.S., but I liked the way they worked and patiently/gradually took control of the match as it wore on…something we did not do against Haiti or Canada, frankly.

    • i thought arriola did fine but the question will be whether he did enough to restore his old first choice status, which has been usurped by aaronson and reyna. after those two and pulisic that leaves basically one wide spot for hoppe, weah, konrad, etc. to fight for. and he starts off fighting uphill since the GC selection basically suggests he was assessed coming in as B team behind weah. (ditto hoppe)

      so it’s like he hustled around and got involved but was the second most influential winger with nagging injury problems when he’s already been relegated.

      • There’s no chance he has first choice status if everyone is available. The emergence of Aaronson, Weah, and Reyna have seen to that. Truly Morris had pushed him to the bench. I don’t see both Reyna and Pulisic being moved inside although perhaps one will. He’ll probably still make some rosters and play some in squad rotation but not first choice that ship sailed.

  5. Someone like Dike has no future with the current US team. Dike has demonstrated that he is an effective striker, capable of scoring goals in a highly competitive league. Still, like most out and out strikers, he needs his teammates to get him the ball in the right places. The current crop of US players playing in the current system cannot create that kind of service. The best the US can do is field three wingers, one of whom happens to play in the middle, players like Sargeant, Morris, or Hoppe. It should not be a knock on Dike that the U S team, right now, is not good enough to take advantage of his talents.

    • He didn’t have trouble against Costa Rica. What you mean is he’s not good enough with the wings and CMs at this tournament. He would have fit very nicely as Jamaica’s CF last night just playing long balls to him hoping he can make something happen 1 on 2. At Orlando he has Nani to feed him with the 1st team he has CP, Reyna, Weah, and Aaronson. He will look better with those players but he still has a lot of improvement to do with the runs he makes and his hold up player.

      • deal is zardes looks more precise, efficient, and active right now. and i am not a zardes fan, it’s just reality. he was in a precarious 3rd striker slot and may be in the process of losing it. he had a chance to show well and solidify. he’s playing more like jozy last time. people need to figure out the test of do you stick is contributing in games like this and not finally pitching in, in some group round blowout. this is what separates dempsey from wondolowski, is the ability to score as the rounds progress and not just on cuba.

      • I usually agree with your posts, but I dont think Dike has ever shown very well for Nats. I have never seen him play in MLS but even his multi goal games he wasn’t able to hold the ball, compete for 50/50 balls, create something out nothing, and didnt defend well. The Costa Rica friendly and Martinique werent competetive due to competition so there were so many opportunities that those aspects of his game didn’t matter much but I still think they were there.

    • i don’t think he has “no future,” i think he’s the second best burly center striker behind pefok but if healthy that’s the only one of the type we will take to quali. i also think having slipped up he’s now neck deep in soto, nico, hoppe, ferreira, and everyone else trying to make the 9 slot, where he had a little jump out of the blocks at first.

      bluntly i am not sure why a coach who shows up with four 9s isn’t using the others more considering his performance. you had a theory which one was best, it’s not working, give the others a shot. he’s basically run out of time for a no-risk opportunity to show up as a 9. i bet he just hands the semi and final to zardes.

  6. In my opinion you overrated Acosta. I don’t have the stats but his passing completion had to be less than 50%. He seemed to do a great job defensively but repeatedly gave away the ball he had just won numerous times. At the WC level that’s not gonna work.

    • busio was meh and you are underestimating the effect some of those crunching attack-killers should have on a coach paying attention to the 6 slot.

    • You cant argue that Acostas and Busio both had good games. They do overrate Acostas, he struggles on offense against Canada and Mexico but in this game he was good. Score might be way too high but he was good

  7. I’d be curious about who IG thinks has done enough to get continued looks with the A-Team in the upcoming qualifiers. Beyond Matt Turner, I think GB will continue to call in Robinson, Sands, Acosta, Zardes, and Hoppe with Moore and Vines being fall back call ins if there are injuries. Lletget and Roldan will probably also continue to get call-ups even though they haven’t done much to deserve them. All bets off if this team gets into the final and beats Mexico or gets beat like a drum

    • M. Robinson, Sands, & Turner have shown they are equal to the task as depth for the “A-Team” for WCQ. Will they make the game-day 18 often….probably not. But they’ll be part of the camp.
      Moore has shown well…but has he played well enough to overtake Cannon? That’s yet o be determined. I see him getting called into camps, but if Reynolds gets going @ Roma than Moore becomes 3rd or 4th string.
      Hoppe is kind of in the same boat as Moore. He’d done well with his minutes, but has it been enough to overtake those in front of him?
      Acosta & Lletget will be part of the team going forwards…but not because of their quality, but because Berhaulter seems to favor them. Or maybe USSF is still pushing for there to be MLS guys on the team. Whatever the reasoning, neither are difference makers when the level of competition gets elevated.
      Zardes & Vines are 4th stringers going forwards. Against low end CONCACAF opponents they may be able to contribute, but anything else & their exposed.
      Roldan should only be called into a camp if it’s not a FIFA window. He’s shown time & again he isn’t international quality. 1 substitute appearance against Jamaica is not enough to earn him a place at the table.

  8. I wouldn’t have rated Busio quite as high because it took him until almost the second half to really get into the game. I’d rate Turner higher because I don’t think he did one thing wrong and he directed a defense that has had nothing but shutouts all tournament. Right now I would rate Turner equal to our two European keepers.

    • Busio got into the game in the 2nd half because he dropped deeper and wide and Shaq pushed forward. In possession then he was acting more as the RB giving Busio more time and space on the ball.

  9. I think Busio read the criticism that he was invisible against Canada, and made up his mind to go full bulldog in this game. I have no issue with safe passes given our team history of kick-and-run. You see a lot of safe passes in elite soccer. I thought he was crisp and thoughtful, and he manned up against some rough opponents. Everyone botches a few passes, just lucky if not in a bad spot, and Busio plays in the danger zone the whole game. To have a 19 year old like him who wasn’t even on the radar last year is awesome. I was encouraged with this game – Finally our guys started owning and controlling a game that could have been a typical ugly concacaf brawl.

  10. I’ve never been so happy to say that my take on a player was wrong. Miles Robinson’s 1v1 and zone marking in this entire tournament has been exceptional. I’ve seen one or two nervy moments with the ball at his feet, but the work he’s done defensively, especially in the box, has been elite. I’m actually a bit surprised we don’t see his name in speculation concerning a move abroad that much. Anyone have any ideas about this?

    I think people are being a little bit harsh concerning Dike’s performances. While the US is holding possession quite a bit, they’re not picking out passes when he makes his runs, and (as has been the case with this team under Berhalter) the actual chances generated from forwars play have been very limited, and the replacing strikers (in this case Zardes) who come on for him are often the beneficiaries of much more open play as the players tire and teams press forward more recklessly for a goal. I’m still a bit flabbergasted by Berhalter’s choice to select so few wingers, but Hoppe has played reasonably well there. It’s crazy how young the kid actually is – physically he looks about 5-6 years older and has a bright future for sure. If this team is going to contend against Mexico and potentially win this thing, we need to be way better at set pieces, far more efficient at generating quality chances, and continue to cover well in midfield. Overall, I was generally pleased with the group…although there was a stretch where Acosta and Lletget did nothing BUT give away the ball needlessly. I’d like to see them not do that lol

    • Same, I wasn’t really high on Miles Robinson but he made me a fan. I have never seen any of our centerbacks outside of Brooks have that type of game for the USMNT. He can read passes and covers really good. He def should get a call up on the A team.

  11. I did not think Vines was any better than Moore (though Vines was better tactically than he was against Canada).

    Also, I think Busio should be rated higher, sure he misplayed a couple passes early on when Jamaica was pressuring hard, but name a player who didn’t outside of Turner and Robinson or Dike who didn’t even touch the ball early on. When things became more settled, Busio actually did very well defensively, but like all of the midfielders he failed to push the attack, preferring to play safe passes more often than not. I would have been happy seeing him take more chances to dribble and make forward passes.

    I think you over-rated Acosta defensively while he mostly did not surrender an easy path up the middle for Jamaica and won defensive battles, he was also guilty of some give-aways in bad spots for which a better team would have punished the USA, in other words, he was lucky, or maybe Sands and Robinson were just that good!

    • deal is LB is a wasteland and vines is playing decent, robinson doesn’t impress me and doesn’t tangibly produce as much as vines, people may be in for a surprise. i am also curious if with how well moore has played he is putting cannon on a hot seat behind dest. any of the top 3 CBs this tournament have looked better, to me, than anyone at NL, and i think the coach might agree with everyone but brooks there. this coach is conservative so i don’t see a dramatic overhaul. but on performance there should be one. i will be curious what the quali roster looks like in the back and at keeper. i think a lot of the rest of the field will be rampant continuity.

      • In the past there has never been a roster limit for qualifying camps just a limit of 23 for each match. I anticipate we’ll see more than 23 each round. This could be a way to work in guys like Pepi, Cowell, Paredes, Pomykal etc into the roster. Of course there will undoubtedly be injuries that will open spots too.

      • i personally suggested taking 30 players to cuba and canada the second NL window. i think the smart response to 3 games in 10 days is 30 player pool and pick a 23 each game with some rotation. i think we have historically not done that because our coaches are conservative and see rotation as loss and job risk. i think the moment calls for innovation. i think wales and italy in recent years literally fielded a second unit for our friendlies during their UEFA contests. i am not sure GB will be as innovative here as you suggest.

    • IV: you are misremembering what Italy and Wales did. Wales had the US friendly followed by two Euro qualifiers. They started players 12-22 for the US friendly with the starters as the bench, Bale didn’t dress but everyone else did. They had to rotate a couple guys that played against US do to yellow cards for the second qualifier. Italy did mostly the same however they had their NL game first then the US friendly so they sent a few vets home and brought in some youngsters but Bonnuci started both as did Verratti and Chiesa. Neither of those situations are the same as the US in qualifying will be, but I do think and Gregg has said it there will be rotation in three matches but not a drastic complete overhaul. In the Euros both Italy and England used basically the same starters for all four knockout rounds even with extra time matches.


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