If you watched the U.S. men’s national team match against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday not knowing it was the team’s final match before the World Cup, you wouldn’t have been able to tell this was the last chance for American players to state their case for a World Cup roster spot.
There were some promising stretches in the first half, but for the most part the USMNT produced another forgettable display, particularly on the attacking side of things. Defensively, the Americans kept Saudi Arabia in check, but there were still enough mistakes made with the ball by USMNT defenders to limit just how positively we could rate the performance.
Tuesday’s 0-0 draw was still an improvement over the woeful display in last week’s 2-0 loss to Japan, but that low bar can’t hide the fact the Saudi Arabia match was a wasted opportunity for several American players still fighting to secure the final spots on the World Cup roster.
Who performed well, and who struggled against Saudi Arabia? Here is a look at how the USMNT players performed on Tuesday, with SBI’s USMNT Player Ratings:
Matt Turner – 7
Made two tough saves and commanded his penalty area well.
DeAndre Yedlin – 5.5
Yedlin was passable defensively, but ineffective in the attack, failing to connect on any crosses or creating chances.
Walker Zimmerman – 5.5
Had some poor passes that put the team in trouble, but put in a solid shift defensively to balance it out.
Aaron Long – 4.5
His passing left plenty to be desired yet again, and it was troubling that he won just one duel during his 45-minute shift.
Sergiño Dest – 6.5
Put in a strong shift at left back, both offensively and with his threats getting forward. His defensive work on the left hasn’t always been reliable, but he showed enough on Tuesday to restore some faith in his ability to slide into the left back spot if Antonee Robinson isn’t available.
Tyler Adams – 6.5
Put in a ton of defensive work, notching 11 recoveries and winning all six of his ground duels. He turned the ball over more than usual, though the turnovers didn’t lead to many direct threats.
Weston McKennie – 5.5
Tightened up his passing after his slopping showing against Japan, but he didn’t deliver his usual two-way effort and his attacking contributions were minimal.
Kellyn Acosta – 4
Contributed little defensively and didn’t generate any good attacking threats. Given all the options available in central midfield to step in for Yunus Musah, Acosta didn’t help his case for being one of the first options.
Gio Reyna – NR
Played just 30 minutes before being subbed out as a precaution, but during that time Reyna showed some promising flashes and completed all nine of his passes, generating more attack in his cameo than some others did in a full match.
Ricardo Pepi – 4
Starved for service throughout his 59 minutes of action, Pepi did try to contribute with his pressing and movement but remained largely invisible.
Christian Pulisic – 5.5
Was active during the USMNT’s promising first half, but ultimately failed to deliver the final pass or play to generate any dangerous chances. The good news is he stayed healthy and put in a 76-minute shift to return to Chelsea ready to fight for more playing time.
Paul Arriola – 5
Contributed little to the attack in his 60 minutes of action, creating one chance while putting in some decent defensive work.
Joe Scally – 6.5
A lively and promising 31-minute shift for Scally, who provided five recoveries and while he lost more duels than he won, was still extremely active and boosted his stock during a window when other right backs were not really impressive.
Jesus Ferreira – 5
Put a shot on goal and created a scoring chance during his 31 minutes of action, which is more than Pepi contributed as a starter.
Mark McKenzie – 5
Didn’t win a duel or register a tackle during his 31 minutes, but had some good moments with some promising forward passes. Where he continues to have issues is committing turnovers in bad spots. He isn’t alone among the centerbacks in that regard, but if he wanted to move up the depth chart he needed to be cleaner on the ball than he was this window.
Malik Tillman – NR
Fourteen minutes wasn’t much time to get involved.
Brenden Aaronson – NR
Didn’t do much during his 14-minute cameo, but Aaronson’s appearance was still good to see given how badly he was beaten up by Japan.
What do you think of these ratings? Who do you feel deserved a higher grade? Who were we too generous with?
Share your thoughts below.