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USMNT Player Ratings: Pulisic and Aaronson impress, Brooks, Yedlin struggle against Canada

A frustrating 90 minutes that featured one moment of thrilling promise along with far more forgettable stretches of empty possession and defensive breakdowns is what U.S. men’s national team fans will remember about Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Canada.

That the Americans had trouble with their northern neighbors shouldn’t have come as a surprise given the talent the Canadians possess, especially with Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie missing for far different reasons. What was tougher to digest was the lack of ideas in the U.S. attack and the surprisingly frequent miscues from the defense.

Christian Pulisic’s return, and performance, was one of the few bright spots, and Brenden Aaronson did well to bounce back from a poor showing against El Salvador, but their efforts could only do so much as American attack failed to convert its considerable edge in possession into truly dangerous chances.

Just as troubling was the multiple times Canada was able to break down the U.S. defense with speed, and the underwhelming showing by the normally reliable John Brooks.

With all that in mind, here are the player ratings for the USMNT’s 1-1 draw vs. Canada:


Matt Turner  (6)


Didn’t have a lot to do, making one save, though that save helped keep the Canadians from taking a first-half lead.


Sergiño Dest (4.5)


Struggled with Alphonso Davies, and was lucky not to be torched for an early goal. showed a few flashes, but overall it wasn’t a great 44 minutes.


Miles Robinson (6)


Won all six of his duels, and added five recoveries, but should have done better on Canada’s goal to cut off the Davies cross.


John Brooks (5)


It had been a while since Brooks had a lackluster showing for the USMNT, but Sunday certainly qualified.


Antonee Robinson (6.5)


Set up Brenden Aaronson’s goal with an excellent assist, and put in a solid defensive shift to make a strong case to remain in the starting lineup.


Tyler Adams (6.5)


Nine recoveries and five successful tackles highlight just how much work Adams put into the middle of the field, but his ill-advised shoulder barge on Mark Anthony Kaye killed off a promising attack and earned him a yellow card that could come back to haunt the USMNT.


Kellyn Acosta (6)


Not the strongest outing for a player hoping to start against Honduras, Acosta won just one of his duels, a number that isn’t in line with his normal level of productivity.


Sebastian Lletget (6.5)


Solid all-around match saw him contribute defensively, as well as offensively, with a sharp pass that led to a Christian Pulisic shot off the post.


Brenden Aaronson (7)


Whatever led him to a forgettable outing against El Salvador wasn’t a factor on Sunday, as Aaronson showed much more energy and determination. Whether it was the space provided by operating out wide, or the home crowd, Aaronson made a case for Man of the Match honors for the USMNT.


Jordan Pefok (6)


It was a quiet night for the Young Boys striker, and only his role in the build-up to the Aaronson goal kept him from a lower grade.


Christian Pulisic (7)


Active, determined, and dangerous, Pulisic played a part in the build-up of Aaronson’s goal, and put in an inspired defensive shift, winning 10 duels to go with five recoveries.


DeAndre Yedlin (4)


Torched by Alphonso Davies for the equalizing goal, and struggled to offer much in the attack.


Josh Sargent (NR)


Not enough time to get involved.


Konrad De La Fuente (NR)


Not enough time to get involved.


Cristian Roldan (NR)


Not enough time to get involved.


What did you think of the USMNT individual performances? Who impressed you? Who disappointed you the most?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Something I didn’t think about until relatively recently that I haven’t seen mentioned is an addendum to Yedlin’s failure when Davies beat him to set up the goal. Yedlin is a veteran who didn’t have any cards. As soon as Davies got past him, Yedlin should have just grabbed him and taken the yellow card. He was far enough away from goal that he was in no danger of getting a red. He should have been smarter. Looking forward to Ives’ next article. Not who should start for the US vs. Honduras, but who is left to start against Honduras.

    Reply
    • The only thing that struck me during that game-changing breakaway was the way Davies made Yedlin, one of our fastest-ever sprinters, look like Michael Bradley.

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      • Davies must have sprinter speed. I hope when we play them next the “RB then will always have at least a 5 yard lead on him.

      • “the way Davies made Yedlin, one of our fastest-ever sprinters, look like Michael Bradley.”

        Davies always has a head start on Yedlin,(or anyone defending him) since he knows where he is going and DeAndre doesn’t.

        You can try to give him a 5 yard cushion but that is a concession in itself and any decent player can use that cushion to their advantage.

        This isn’t Sam Vines or Lovitz you’re dealing with here. This is arguably the best attacking left back in the world right about now.

      • (1) you’re exaggerating how big of a speed burst it was. that was not track speed, and yedlin caught up enough to bump from behind. what it really was is he ran off his inside shoulder and thus had a step before the pass was played. he then maintained that step to the end. if yedlin is goal side it doesn’t happen. yedlin was ball watching per usual when adams probably had his man handled.

        (2) “ageing process.” when is the last time you actually saw yedlin look as fast as you think he used to be? he’s 28 and been playing professionally since what would have been college junior year. the joint and muscle injuries catch up. in my late 20s i started turning from mr. sprinter into mr. positioning and dark arts.

    • I think Davies was by him before he even had the thought to foul him. Yedlin gets beat like lot a fair amount but usually is able to make it up, but not against Alphonso.

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    • “When do you call out US Soccer for hiring a guy who is OBVIOUSLY out of his debt.”

      December 3, the day after he was hired.

      or

      July 7, 2019, the day they lost they Gold Cup final

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  2. Antonee Robinson has really improved, he was really good both offensively and defensively, and seemed faster than I remember. Who would’ve guessed the left side of our defense is stronger than the right. I thought Pefok was invisible, and struggled to hold up the ball. The couple of minutes from Sargent at the end was so much better at that position. Sargent has to start in Honduras.

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    • I agree, except that Robinson always seemed like a speed merchant to me. Sort of strikes me as a poor man’s version of Trent Alexander Arnold.

      Not sure why some on this site continue to denigrate Josh Sargent’s ability. In my opinion, though I like Dike and Pefok for different reasons, Sargent should be our main striker from the start. Even if there’s an argument for both, it’s sort of like the goalkeeper argument. You don’t change goalkeepers every game; instead, you make one keeper your starter and then give him a run of games to develop continuity and hopefully camaraderie. To me, if we keep rotating different strikers every game, we’ll never get any consistency of play between the forward line. Part of the disjointedness we’ve witnessed in recent games must come from the constant flux of personnel. Berhalter should say to Sargent, “You’re our guy; we trust you, even if you make a few mistakes; so go out and give your best for seventy minutes.” Then, if he plays poorly during a run of games, give him a rest and start someone else.

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    • I know people love the 433 and the 343 or whatever the heck 3G is trotting out, but given our seeming lack of midfield right now (no Reyna and McKinnie)… why not drop back into the tried and tested 442. Put Pulisic at the top of a diamond and let him roam. Tyler at the bottom and have 2 other MF wide… pick between Aaronson and lleget and whomever else is available.

      And I say that as someone who wanted to see some sort of 3 in the back system for a long, long time with the USMNT.

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  3. How does Dest earn a lower grade than he did against ES? I thought he was fine defensively, and was one of the few players who actually showed anything offensively.

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  4. I thought Brooks deserved a slightly better grade. He put out a lot of fires and dominated in the air.
    Anyone facing Davies would have a hard time, though the Dest grade is harsh. Aside from one miscue early on he rebounded well and started dominating and bringing real offensive danger on his side. His injury cost us dearly.
    Also think the grades for the offense are too high generally. How many real chances did we actually create? Barely any. The offensive animation was null.
    Adams was the best player by a mile I thought.

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    • Totally agree on Dest. He got beat once but outside of that he closed out Davis for the rest of the first half. I disagree with you on Brooks. I blame him more then anybody for that goal and he was beat bad 1v1 against Buchanan

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    • I think he actually hurt himself in the 16th or 17th minute. On rewatch he pulls up at that time and starts limping. He gutted it out for another 30 minutes. Not his best performance but if he was on wheel that long it’s impressive.

      Reply

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