Sunday’s Concacaf Gold Cup final was one for the ages, and one of the most significant victories by the U.S. men’s national team in the history of its rivalry with Mexico.
That victory came on the strength of a plethora of inspired individual performances, and as much as the collective effort of the group is what helped the Americans overcome a more talented Mexico side, there were clearly players who were at the forefront and others who endured challenging nights.
Miles Robinson and Matt Turner were excellent yet again, as they have been all tournament, while Kelly Acosta put in another dominant shift in the defensive midfield role
We also saw the team’s youngest players shine, as both George Bello and James Sands were excellent and Gianluca Busio played with confidence and purpose off the bench.
Bello was one of Berhalter’s lineup surprises and he rewarded his coach’s faith with a strong shift, as did Eryk Williamson, who earned the start and did his part to help neutralize Mexico’s vaunted midfield.
Who were the top performers for the USMNT on Sunday, and who was left struggling? Here are the SBI USMNT Player Ratings for the 1-0 win vs. Mexico:
Matt Turner (8)
Made multiple saves on Rogelio Funes Mori and was once again supremely steady, and his long balls to Gyasi Zardes helped alleviate pressure from Mexico.
Reggie Cannon (6.5)
Didn’t have the best night passing the ball, and he had his hands full trying to deal with Jesus Corona, who produced five key passes on the night.
James Sands (7.5)
Another strong shift for the young defender, who produced a whopping 12 clearances along with seven recoveries. His passing was sharp as usual, as he completed 60 passes.
Miles Robinson (8.5)
You name it, Robinson did it. The Atlanta United defender delivered 11 recoveries and won seven duels, making things difficult for Rogelio Funes Mori before capping the night with the winning goal.
George Bello (7.5)
The surprise starter at left back, Bello was a revelation, helping contain Mexico’s right flank with his speed and aggressiveness. The 19-year-old won seven duels and was a persistent pest for the Mexico attack.
Kellyn Acosta (8)
Saved his best match for the final, where he was everywhere. Acosta finished with a jaw-dropping seven interceptions, seven duels won, eight recoveries and three clearances. Offensively, he delivered the game-winning assist.
Eryk Williamson (7)
Berhalter brought in Williamson to give the midfield some bite and the Timbers standout delivered it, winning eight duels and adding nine recoveries. Didn’t have as much of the ball as you would expect, but still a strong overall shift.
Sebastian Lletget (7)
Deserved an assist with the beautiful setup that Paul Arriola missed, but Lletget had much more to offer, both offensively and defensively.
Paul Arriola (6)
The missed chances are what people are going to remember, but that does a disservice to his overall contributions and ability to keep putting himself into dangerous spots to unsettle Mexico’s defense. Arriola also did a ton of defensive work, pressing all over the field.
Gyasi Zardes (6.5)
He wasn’t able to score a goal, but Zardes put in a ton of work, but in terms of pressing and winning long balls up the field as Turner and the USMNT defense tried releasing pressure by finding Zardes.
Matthew Hoppe (6)
Another active showing for Hoppe, who finished with six shots, including one miss he’d like to have back, and played all but one of the 120 minutes.
Sam Vines (5.5)
Came on in the 65th minute and turned in a solid stint, although he wasn’t as effective getting forward.
Cristian Roldan (6)
A tidy shift, though it was fairly quiet compared to some of his other performances off the bench.
Shaq Moore (6)
Came on in the 65th minute and helped bring some fresh legs and defensive intensity. He finished with five recoveries and was involved in 10 duels.
Gianluca Busio (6.5)
Came on in the 87th minute and gave the USMNT some precious possession and even delivered some promising passes to unlock the Mexico defense. To see someone just 19 come into a tight game like that and look so comfortable was impressive to see.
Nicholas Gioacchini (6)
Came on and delivered the same kind of energy and effort that has made him such a useful option off the bench.
Henry Kessler (NR)
Came on for the last minute.