The U.S. men’s national team’s Concacaf World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Wednesday might have gotten off to the worst start possible after the Ticos scored in the very first minute, but that stunning beginning didn’t keep the Americans from delivering their most complete performance to date in the Octagonal.
The Americans thoroughly outplayed Costa Rica for the better part of the next 89 minutes, led by a dominant display from their midfield along with the dynamic exploits of Sergiño Dest.
The Ticos had a clear experience edge, but the USMNT still took control of the proceedings at Lower.com Field, showing impressive poise despite being such a young group.
Dest was the start of the showing, scoring a stunning equalizer before helping set up the eventual game-winning goal, but there were several other standout performances. Yunus Musah showed off all the qualities that have him being considered one of the best young prospects in the program, while Weston McKennie enjoyed his best showing since the Concacaf Nations League final.
With all that in mind, here are the player ratings for the USMNT’s 2-1 win vs. Costa Rica:
Zack Steffen (6)
Didn’t look great on the Costa Rica goal, though it appears he may have been shielded from seeing the shot until it was too late to react. Did make one top-level save, and was relatively steady the rest of the night.
Sergino Dest (8)
His wonder goal was the moment of the night, but Dest was active throughout, and while he did share some blame on the Costa Rica goal, he rebounded well and handled his defensive responsibilities while also being a consistent threat in the atack.
Miles Robinson (7)
Looked more like the dominant Gold Cup version of Miles Robinson on Wednesday, winning seven of nine duels and putting out plenty of threats. He did have one bat turnover that led to a Costa Rica attack, but cleaned up the miss himself on a night when he finished with 11 recoveries, 4 clearances and 4 aerials won.
Chris Richards (6)
Relatively quiet, but steady performance in his World Cup qualifying debut. He was clean on the ball, completing 90 percent of his passes, and defensively he contributed 6 recoveries. Overall, an encouraging first taste of qualifying for the young centerback.
Antonee Robinson (6.5)
Active and energetic performance, though not overly effective in the attack. Robinson attempted 13 crosses, with only two of them being successful ones. Defensively, he didn’t win a single duel but did finish with seven recoveries.
Tyler Adams (7.5)
Very effective in midfield, with his 102 touches among the team leaders, and his seven duels won and five recoveries showcasing how active he was. Adams completed 80 of 90 passes, with 52 of those 80 completed passes going into the attacking half of the field.
Yunus Musah (7.5)
Enjoyed his best performance to date as a USMNT player, looking smooth on the ball and making things look effortless as he dribbled out of pressure with ease and helped connect things in the middle. Completed 90 percent of his 52 passes, showing off his range by not only connecting on some long passes, but also driving the attack with 41 completed passes in the attacking half.
Weston McKennie (7.5)
A key driving force behind the USMNT’s response to the early Costa Rica goal and its slow start, McKennie was everywhere. He finished the match with a game-high 119 touches and a whopping 16 recoveries, while completing an impressive 11 of 12 long balls to help keep Costa Rica on its heels for much of the match.
Tim Weah (7)
Was having a quiet night before the sequence that led to the game-winning goal, which came just as Weah was about to be subbed off The Lille winger deserved a goal on the play, showing off his speed and quality, but even if the game-winner was ruled an own goal, it was very much Weah’s goal.
Ricardo Pepi (6.5)
Though he managed just one shot, Pepi was effective with his hold-up play and his pressing, doing a good job of dropping deep to combine and even delivering a pair of key passes.
Brenden Aaronson (6)
A somewhat subdued performance for the Red Bull Salzburg standout, and while he wasn’t as effective as usual in the attack, Aaronson still contributed the defensive workrate to the front three, producing 5 recoveries and 3 duels won.
Matthew Hoppe (6.5)
Played just 17 minutes, but still managed to produce a pair of key passes.
DeAndre Yedlin (6)
Came on to close out the final 17 minutes, contributing a tackle while winning one duel and completing all 11 of his passes.
Gianluca Busio (6.5)
A sharp 12-minute cameo for the Venezia midfielder, as he contributed 28 touches and completed 90 percent of his 20 passes. Also won a pair of duels as he dominated a tired Costa Rica midfield with ease.
Walker Zimmerman (NR)
Played just four minutes.
Gyasi Zardes (NR)
Played just three minutes, drawing a loud applause from the Columbus crowd.
What did you think of the USMNT individual performances? Who impressed you? Who disappointed you the most?
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