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
MATT TURNER (7)
The goalkeeper made five saves on the day and stayed aggressive to deal with all aerial threats while also being clean with his passing.
SHAQ MOORE (6.5)
Didn’t contribute much to the attack but was solid defensively throughout, winning eight duels to go with five clearances and five recoveries.
JAMES SANDS (7.5)
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.
MILES ROBINSON (8)
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.
SAM VINES (7)
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.
KELLYN ACOSTA (7.5)
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.
GIANLUCA BUSIO (6.5)
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.
SEBASTIAN LLETGET (6)
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.
PAUL ARRIOLA (5)
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.
DARYL DIKE (5)
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.
MATTHEW HOPPE (7.5)
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.
CRISTIAN ROLDAN (6.5)
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.
GYASI ZARDES (6.5)
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.
NICHOLAS GIOACCHINI (NA)
Played six minutes.
REGGIE CANNON (NA)
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?
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