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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Cade Cowell


The U.S. men’s national team featured a few bright spots in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Serbia with Cade Cowell shining brightest at Banc of California Stadium.

Cowell delivered a strong 72 minutes in the USMNT’s 2-1 loss to Serbia, creating several offensive opportunities in the match. The 19-year-old’s lively showing on the left wing helped him earn SBI USMNT Man of the Match honors for the first time this year.

Luck wasn’t on Cowell’s side in the match as the San Jose Earthquakes forward struck the post twice in the second half. Still, Cowell ran rampant against the Serbian defenders for his performance, creating two opportunities, winning two duels, and having four total shots.

Cowell came close to registering his first USMNT assist in the first half after his low cross found Brandon Vazquez in the box. However, Vazquez’s low drive veered wide of Djordje Petrovic’s net, keeping the score level at 0-0.

With the USMNT down 2-1 early in the second half, Cowell called his own number in the 58th minute after a Serbian defensive breakdown. His low shot hit the right post before his later follow-up struck the left post and went wide.

Cowell edged out Alex Zendejas, Brandon Vazquez, and Gabriel Slonina for Man of the Match honors.

What did you think of Cowell’s performance? Do you expect him to build off his positive start for Saturday’s match vs. Colombia?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Cowell had more good moments than anyone else, but the final ball was lacking. He’s been inconsistent for SJ a couple great games then long periods of nothing. He had just 3g 3a last year. Roldan 4g 4a, Arriola 10g 5a, Picault 7g 2a, Bedoya 6g 6a just a few Americans people don’t want anywhere near the national team that were far more successful in same league. How many times did he get through the defense by banging the ball off the defender then off himself to get passed. Some of those times he got through the defense rather than because of himself. I hope this upward trajectory continues and he has his breakout season this year but I need to see a lot more consistency before I’m saying he needs to be on the field with current wingers, Reyna, Pulisic, Weah, and Aaronson.

  2. Interesting that Aaronson who won the Golden Boot over Cowell in the U-20 CONCACAF did not see the field. Was Aaroinson sacrificed so Zendajas could play the full 90?
    I expect to see a lot of Paxton Aaronson in the next game. With both him and Cowell on the field, the Colombian defense will have to be sharp to avoid surrendering chances.

    • Zendejas was only here for last night’s game so, yes, the plan was most likely to give him 90 minutes no matter what.
      I thought Cowell was better last night than he was for the U20s.

      • i was not a fan of the programmatic nature of what happened. i am sure they wanted to stake claim to dual national zendejas, having gotten FIFA to squelch his mexico dalliance. i am sure they agreed to have him one game, thank you america — who could have nationalistically or selfishly said no, you can kick the tires in march (from what i get he misses a couple practices and they didn’t have a midweek game, so he’s back for their next).

        however, he gets 90? that’s a bit silly. i may encourage experiments but i’m like run the games like a soccer team. we’re chasing the game. he’s the 3rd best of the starting forwards yesterday. he’s the one who comes off. and i didn’t see whatever everyone else thinks they did second half where they are raving about him (or morris, for that matter).

        i mean one of my criticisms of GB is his subbing often feels rote and pushbutton like this — “at 70′ push button A and insert roldan” — and less like him adjusting to game flow trying to win. to me the idea end of contested games is have your fresh legs out there with the best performers with a chance to score. you don’t pull your best guy to put a sub on, that cancels out the sub or worse.

      • Zendajas has had a league match last weekend and several friendlies in the lead up to the Liga Mx season. He’s just likely in better game shape than MLS guys like Cowell and Vazquez. I believe Morris and Neal were the only to go 90 from the MLS group. Some speculation Rodgers wasn’t ready (available) but I never saw that anywhere so maybe Neal had to go 90. Morris not sure if there was really another CM on the roster once Acosta and Williamson came on. Maybe they’ll use Paxton as an 8?
        Bottom line US wanted to win but winning wasn’t the top priority. Like it or not that’s the way it is. (I don’t think Serbia was super concerned with winning either.)

    • the odd thing is in the short term foreign clubs seem to trust our YNT evaluations more than the MNT itself does. i thought weah and richards were the 2 best U20s last worlds. at the time, weah at PSG, richards at bayern. but then the MNT instead promotes first aaronson — a U20 cut — and dest — who i saw as problematic. i know dest might have been a dual nationality race, but he was still starting despite being problematic, at the world cup itself. so they don’t seem to trust their YNT coaches’ opinions. it’s no surprise they reverse this as well.

      if i had to hazard a guess, this cult adores club form, and by that analysis, cowell was a semi-productive first team starter (albeit at awful SJ) while aaronson bounced between first and reserve teams with most of his production at the latter (for finalist philly). while i am not a fan of club snobbery on its own, they seem to disregard that status or production might interact with talent and ambition. in plain english, that the best players might be snapped up by the best teams and those best teams might have nasty competition for minutes and more talent where one will break in and manifest numbers at a later trajectory. if all you do is look at numbers, you don’t notice context.

      • Weah and Richards were seldom used squad players at PSG and Bayern. Used just enough to provide a transfer valuation. Dest and Aaronson were first choice starters for Champions League teams, Dest at Ajax and later Barca and Aaronson at Salzburg. Weah and Richards (as I pointed out earlier this week) were hampered not by poor evaluations but series of injuries.

  3. Definitely man of the match but I would have added Aiden Morris to the list.

    I hope this camp pushes Cowell on to a great season for San Jose. I do think he will be next in line for a European move. Also a big summer for the U20’s that’s if he isn’t a full USMNT player this summer. I know Luchi will get the best out of him. Kid has a lot of talent and potential just needs a bit more refining to his game. But his directness, speed, ability to beat multiple defenders on the dribble, and physicality will have European teams sending scouts to San Jose this MLS season. He can also play as a 9.

    • I see him as a LB for a Euro club. His speed, physicality, and ability to cross are assets. I don’t see him combine really well and loose with the ball. After seeing him play a number of times his presence really pops on the field against kids and not adults.


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