9/8/21 US Ties Canada plays huge game tonight vs Honduras 10 pm CBSSN, Indy 11 at home vs Sporting KC 2 Sat
US Ties Canada 1-1
Ok so the concept on World Cup Qualifying is you win your home games and tie a few road games and you are good to advance to the World Cup. The US failed to qualify for the 2018 WC after losing their first home and away games to Mexico and Costa Rica. Now the US faces the prospect of having to steal a win tonight at Honduras as 10 pm on CBS Sports Network. Listen we have 2 points after a tie at home to Canada. Now Canada is good now – but they aren’t better than the US. Of course with the US missing Reyna (injury), McKinney (discipline), and Dest (injured ankle) things we destined to dicey with Canada. They have the best player in North America in Alphonso Davies – the Bayern Munich man ran down our left side like we were standing still and embarrassed both Dest and Yedlin multiple times. I thought Adams did a fine job of keeping him from killing us in the 1st half – but that second half run after we scored 8 minutes earlier was vintage Canada. The issue I had was Brooks who stood and watched Laurin tap in the goal 3 feet in front of him. Just horrific defending – which makes me wonder if he should be replaced by Zimmerman on the left inside with Sands in the middle much like he played in the Gold Cup. I doubt coach Gregg will pull his top rated defender however – so perhaps a 3 center back line-up with Brooks/Sands or Zimmerman with outside high back – would allow us to tuck a little more and counter attack. Leaving lots of room for Pulisic and Aaronson to run at the defense. For this reason I like Sargeant up top – but would love to see the kid Pepi come in around the 65th minute or so – we need goals – why not !!
Of course huge news on Weston McKinney – who broke Covid protocol when he spent the night out of the hotel bubble and then sneaked someone (a girl) into his room on another night. Again – Weston McKinney is a huge leader on this team and it sucks that he not only let down his team – but also the entire damn country. Now I assume he’ll be back in the next group of games in October – but his action probably lost the game to Canada and he needs to own up to that !! Tonight – I just don’t see how the US pulls off this must win game tonight? Yes we have won there 2 times in the past. But I am hoping for a 1-1 tie tonight. I will be so happy with a 2-1 win. Either way – we CAN NOT LOSE TONIGHT. We need at least a tie and 3 points after 3 games with a lot to do in October.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 7/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 23/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 7/0)
DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United; 3/0), John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 43/3), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 11/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 6/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 45/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 12/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 9/3), James Sands (New York City FC; 6/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 64/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 17/2)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 37/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 14/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 29/7), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 25/0)
FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg/AUT; 7/3), Konrad de la Fuente (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 1/0), Jordan Pefok (BSC Young Boys/SUI; 6/1), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 38/16), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 8/4), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 16/5),
Indy 11 Home Sat Night at the Mike vs Sporting KC 2 – 7 pm TV 23
The Indy 11 struggled to a 2-1 loss Sat night vs Atlanta United. They travel to FC Tulsa for a midweek game on ESPN+ at 7 pm tonite. This Sat Indy 11 host Sporting KC 2 at 7 pm on TV 23 for Faith and Family Night.
Carmel Boys Pack the House Night – Fri Night vs Columbus North High
The Carmel Boys are 3-2-1 on the season and ranked 11th in the state and they host pack the house night on Friday night !!
GAMES OF THE WEEK (World Cup Qualifying)
Wed, Sept 8
7 pm Costa Rica vs Jamaica Paramount+
7:30 pm Canada vs El Salvador Paramount +
9 pm Panama vs Mexico Paramount+
10 pm Honduras vs USA CBS Sports Network, Paramount+
Thurs, Sept 9
7 pm Colombia vs Chile Fubo
7:30 pm Argentina vs Bolivia Fubo
8:30 pm Brazil vs Peru Fubo
5 pm Equador vs Chile Fubo
Fri, Sept 10
3 pm Lorient vs Lille – France beIN Sport
7:30 pm Atlanta United vs Orlando City FS1
10 pm Tiajuana vs Santos Laguna FS2
Sat, Sept 11
7:30 am Crystal Palace vs Tottenham NBCSN
930am Leverkusen vs Dortmund ESPN+
10 am Leicester City vs Man City Peacock
10 am Blackpool vs Fulham (Ream + Robinson) Champ
12 noon Napoli vs Juventus paramount +
12:30 pm Chelsea (Pulisic) vs Aston Villa NBC
12:30 pm Leipzig vs Bayern Munich ESPN+
3:30 pm Colorado vs LA Galaxy Univision
7 pm Indy 11 vs Sporting KC 2 TV 23
7:30 pm Atlanta United vs Orlando City FS1
10 pm Tiajuana vs Santos Laguna FS2
Sun, Sept 11
9:30 am Frankfort vs Stuttgart
11:30 am Leeds vs Liverpool
12 noon Milanvs Lazio Paramount +
USWNT vs. Paraguay (Cincy) Tix Are On Sale Now
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Location: TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Sale opens: Now
Deadline: First-come, first-served
Pulisic, USMNT eye ‘results’ after McKennie exit
U.S. soccer braces for hostility, gamesmanship during World Cup qualifier in Honduras
What can we learn from the USMNT’s World Cup qualifier in Honduras?
United States men’s national soccer team not panicking after drawing with Canada in World Cup qualifying
Opinion: USMNT off to a disappointing start, but it’s not time to push panic button. Yet. USA Today Jeff Carlisle
Berhalter defends McKennie sanction ahead of Honduras clash
Reports: Weston McKennie disciplined for breaching USMNT’s COVID-19 bubble twice
2022 World Cup Qualifying: USA 1-1 Canada – a disappointing result as the Americans fail to win at home
USMNT’s McKennie sent back to Juventus for rules violation; Reyna out
Player ratings: USMNT held to draw by Canada in World Cup qualifying
FIFA ‘regrets’ chaos at abandoned Brazil v Argentina match
Uproar as Brazil v Argentina clash abandoned following Covid controversy
Uproar as Brazil v Argentina clash suspended following Covid controversy
Here We Go Again?
The USMNT Ties Canada 1-1 At Home, Brings Back the Insecurities of Failing to Qualify for World Cup 2018
SMNT coach Gregg Berhalter needs a win in Honduras Wednesday (Artwork by Dan Leydon for Fútbol with Grant Wahl)
Welcome to Fútbol with Grant Wahl — a newsletter about soccer. You can read what this is about here. If you like what you see, consider forwarding it to some friends. You can also click the button below to subscribe. And if you do like it, consider going to the paid version. This story is free since we just launched, but future stories like it will be behind the paywall due to the resources required producing quality soccer journalism. I also wrote My 3 Thoughts on the USMNT-Canada game at the final whistle. You can subscribe for free to the Fútbol with Grant Wahl Podcast, including our USMNT-Canada breakdown with Landon Donovan and Chris Wittyngham, in partnership with Meadowlark and Le Batard and Friends.NASHVILLE — During the first half of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifier against Canada on Sunday, the enormous video screens at Nissan Stadium showed a red-cheeked home supporter as he poured beer into a quart-sized cup, reared back and proceeded to empty the entire container down his throat. All told, it took about 15 seconds, and if we’re being honest there was some talent involved here. The crowd of 43,028 gave him a rousing ovation in one of the U.S.’s hardest-partying cities—never mind that the game was still going on—and as I watched I couldn’t help but think of Weston McKennie.Weston McKennie?You know him. He’s the USMNT’s mayor of fun times and good vibes, one of the coolest guys on any team he’s on—even when that team is Italian powerhouse Juventus. This is often the case with American soccer players in Europe. Injuries may have cut short Oguchi Onyewu’s time at AC Milan, but he was one of the coolest guys on the team, someone who’d hang out with Ronaldinho. It’s a measure of McKennie’s surpassing coolness that even Onyewu was impressed not long ago when McKennie revealed on the former’s podcast that he has a live-in personal photographer in Turin.The 23-year-old McKennie is a delightful guy. I know this from first-hand experience. His teammates love him. And he’s a good midfielder, enough so that Juventus paid an €18.5 million ($22.3 million) transfer fee for him last season. But there are now multiple examples that McKennie’s love for social interaction can cost his team when he should know better. During a tight Serie A race last spring, McKennie and two Juve teammates (Paulo Dybala and Arthur) were fined and suspended a game by the club after the American hosted a dinner party that broke Italy’s Covid protocols. And on Sunday afternoon, U.S. players were informed at a pregame team meeting that McKennie would be suspended for the Canada match that night. Coach Gregg Berhalter declined to specify the reasons, but McKennie posted on Instagram that he had violated team Covid protocols and apologized for his actions. “It’s not an ideal situation, because he’s such an important player and important character to this team,” said the U.S.’s Tyler Adams on Sunday night. “He brings obviously what he does on the field, but even off the field in how close he brings the team together … it’s obviously very disappointing.”
The U.S. ended up tying Canada 1-1, a result that left the Yanks with just two points after their first two World Cup qualifiers and brought back painful memories of the U.S.’s failure to make it to World Cup 2018. McKennie was hardly the only figure at fault for the two dropped points at home, but his case strikes me as similar to that of the fan being cheered by the entire stadium for chugging a quart of beer on the Jumbotron for 15 seconds in the middle of the game. Yeah, beer’s great. So is being social. But there’s a time and a place, and there are priorities.
Like, you know, the game.
Christian Pulisic looked exhausted. He had just played his first match in 23 days, after testing positive for Covid-19 three weeks ago, and he had gone the full 90 minutes after it wasn’t even certain he would play at all ahead of Sunday. But it was still hard to tell how much of his weariness was mental as he thought back to the World Cup qualifying campaign four years ago.
“We wanted to win both of these games, absolutely,” he said on Sunday night. “But this is the position we’re in now. I remember the last qualifying [campaign] losing both our first two games. So this is what it is now. We have plenty of games left to play in this qualifying, you know. It’s almost like a season. We still have a long way to go. So our heads are going to stay up.”Brenden Aaronson had put the U.S. ahead 1-0 in the 56th minute after a terrific passing sequence capped by Antonee Robinson’s assist. The lead held for just six minutes, until Alphonso Davies broke free down the left side, whooshed past the U.S. defense and laid off to Cyle Larin for the equalizer. The crowd went silent.
Pulisic’s postgame comments indicated he thought the U.S. would have been better off trying to shut up shop after the opening goal, but he didn’t see it happening. “After we score our first goal we need to be able to win a game like that 1-0 at times,” Pulisic said. “I think whether that’s making adjustments or sometimes even having to defend a bit more, it’s tough to say. I don’t think we changed a whole lot, but we got beat, and they score and that was tough. Then in the end we just didn’t have enough to get a winner.”
I asked Berhalter after the game about his thought process for waiting until the 83rd minute to bring on his first second-half subs. He said he felt among his attacking players, forward Jordan Pefok was still being somewhat effective with his physicality, while Aaronson had been solid with his counterpressing. “I can understand how it looks like we should have acted quicker, 100 percent,” Berhalter said. “In this situation, we’re looking at the performance of the guys and trying to figure out who we’re going to take off the field.”
“I remember the last qualifying [campaign] losing both our first two games. So this is what it is now. We have plenty of games left to play in this qualifying, you know. It’s almost like a season. We still have a long way to go. So our heads are going to stay up.” — Christian Pulisic
Ultimately, the U.S. had 72 percent of possession but just two shots on goal, the same as Canada. Pulisic talked about needing to find new ideas to break down Canada’s compact 5-4-1 formation. Berhalter said he wanted faster ball movement. And Adams, who just a few days ago said he wanted this to be a nine-point week, contemplated his leadership challenge over the next two days to get a crucial three points in Honduras—which would bring the U.S. to five points for the week.
“We’ve got to have a long look in the mirror and really establish what our goals are here,” Adams said. “Obviously, three points in Honduras is what we’re looking to do. But what do we need to do in the game to get the best out of the team and every single player? Because it’s not going to be just the starting 11 and 11 good performances. We need 16 good performances. And the subs that are coming in, how can they change the game? How can we get the best out of every single player? So we need to challenge ourselves.”
The U.S. won’t have Gio Reyna, who’s out with a hamstring injury. Sergiño Dest (ankle sprain) may be out as well, and Berhalter said it remained to be seen if McKennie would be reinstated by Wednesday. Anything less than a win will leave Berhalter on the hot seat.
There have been a few bright spots for the U.S. this week, none more so than goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Why has the 27-year-old Turner, who plays for MLS’s New England Revolution, become a kind of American soccer folk hero? A lot of it has to do with his remarkable story. As a teenager in northern New Jersey whose main sport was baseball, Turner didn’t start playing club soccer seriously until he was 16, ancient for a youth player. The only college in any division to offer him a scholarship was Fairfield in Connecticut, where he had a solid performance his last two years but was most famous for the play that cost him his starting job as a sophomore, a terrible own-goal that was named the No. 1 play in ESPN SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 in 2013:
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/ec4TNK2laeg?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0 Turner wasn’t selected in the 2016 MLS draft, but an agent got him a tryout with New England, and he earned a contract offer. After two seasons playing on loan with the Richmond Kickers in the lower-league USL, Turner won the Revolution starting job in 2018 under then-coach Brad Friedel, one of the greatest keepers in U.S. history. And after some fits and starts that season, Turner has over the past three years become a shot-stopping phenomenon unseen in the history of MLS.
In the modern game, the goalkeeper position is about much more than just shot-stopping, personified by Germany’s Manuel Neuer and his innovation of the “sweeper keeper” role, in which he starts the attack with his passing skills and ventures far from goal to snuff out danger in the space behind his defenders’ high back line.
“I’ve been the fan who was tweeting about the games. I’ve been that guy. I joke around saying I’m the People’s Keeper. I’ve been in the Blind Pig in New York City before it closed down, watching EPL in the mornings and national team games at night. So I’ve seen and heard all of it.” — Matt Turner
But guess what? Shot-stopping is still a really big deal, even in the modern game. And the data shows that Turner is a savant. As John Muller of 538 noted recently using data from American Soccer Analysis, Turner has saved over 25 goals more than expected going back to the start of 2018 (including the postseason), while the second-best MLS keeper over that time (Seattle’s Stefan Frei) is far behind with less than 13.
Berhalter is an unapologetic data wonk, so much so that he even knocked me out of my old role hosting soccer panels at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference earlier this year. (Let’s be honest: They made an upgrade.) You had better believe that Berhalter knows Turner’s analytics profile. “In terms of data, when goalies outperform expected goals, it’s always something you like,” Berhalter said the day before the Canada game. “And Matt has been doing that all season long with New England Revolution, and that means he can make the big save, and that’s what you want in goalkeepers.”Turner, for his part, says he doesn’t try to overthink his shot-stopping ability. “It’s hard for me to even describe because it always came very naturally to me,” he told me in a recent interview. “Technically speaking, I think the biggest piece would be just to make sure you’re set. Make sure your feet are on the ground when the ball’s being struck. Be brave. Make sure your head is forward. If you’re diving and you’re landing on your back, or you’re just flinging your legs out, you’re going to make fewer saves in my opinion than you would if you were [leaning] forward with your hands forward.”
His baseball history, Turner argues, played a role in his rise as a soccer shot-stopper. “From a timing perspective, and an ability to react right and left, I think baseball was huge for me,” he says. “I always say that I think some baseball outfielders would be very good goalkeepers, because you see the catches they make. They’re not afraid to throw their body around, not afraid to dive and slide. Their timing, their jump on the ball, their read is all really good.”
From a national-team perspective, though, Turner started the summer as no better than the No. 3 goalkeeper behind Zack Steffen of Manchester City and Ethan Horvath, now of Nottingham Forest. But Turner seized his opportunity during the Gold Cup. With Berhalter not calling up the U.S.’s top European-based players, Turner was magnificent, conceding only one goal across six games and being chosen the tournament’s top keeper as the U.S. won the trophy.
When Steffen developed back spasms last week, Berhalter chose Turner to start the first World Cup qualifier in El Salvador over Horvath (who hasn’t been the first-choice keeper at Forest). Turner kept a clean sheet and made a good save on Eriq Zavaleta’s set-piece header in the second half. “Matt performed really well in the game,” Berhalter said on Saturday. “I was most impressed, I think, with his calmness. It wasn’t an easy environment, but he really made everything look easy. There was one play in the first half where the ball got away from him and went out for a corner kick. Other than that, I think he was flawless. He caught the balls, came out on crosses, his distribution was good. So for me, it was a good performance.”
In a one-on-one interview on Saturday in Nashville, Turner was still struggling to put his rise to World Cup-qualifying starter in perspective. “It’s crazy, absolutely,” he said. “I want to be the guy in the goal. I’ve felt like I’ve grown into it, and I’ve done well in MLS over the past four seasons. I haven’t given much of what’s happened to me this whole summer too much thought yet. I kind of leave that for the offseason. Being present and grounded right now is something I’ve found so much power in, and it’s helped me to find consistency in my game as well.”During his whirlwind qualifying week with the USMNT, Turner took comfort from talking on the phone with his girlfriend, Ashley Herron, a consultant, nonprofit founder and former New England Patriots cheerleader; his longtime friend Vinny Macaluso (“Yeah, Vinny from Jersey,” Turner cracked); and his New England teammate and former roommate, centerback Andrew Farrell. “He’s been like my rock,” Turner explained. “If I can’t sleep and it’s the middle of the night, I can call Andrew, and he’s there for me. He keeps me going if I’m wavering in nerves and knows exactly what to say to me.”“If I can’t sleep and it’s the middle of the night, I can call Andrew, and he’s there for me.” Matt Turner relies on his New England teammate and former roommate Andrew Farrell for one club teammate Turner didn’t talk to heading into Sunday’s game was Tajon Buchanan, a rising-star winger for Canada. As Turner and the U.S. prepared to try to shut down Buchanan and fellow attackers Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Junior Hoilett and Cyle Larin, Turner and Buchanan (whose New England team is running roughshod over the rest of MLS) went radio-silent with each other.“It’s funny, Tajon and I pretty much talk almost every single day, and we sit next to each other in the locker room back with the Revs, but as soon as we leave for our national teams we pretty much don’t talk,” Turner said with a laugh. “We have a great relationship, but I think neither one of us would want to put the other one in a tough spot where you’re like, ‘Oh, so how are you guys playing?’ So I think we just sort of respect the boundary and the space, and it’s all good.”
The world works in mysterious ways, Turner thought to himself last week, but it has a way of rewarding you for your efforts over a long period of time. Turner couldn’t help but reflect on all the tryouts and trials he went on earlier in his soccer career. Some of them worked out, some didn’t, whether they were for high school, or college, or even the pros. But they helped last week when he was suddenly finding himself playing in the USMNT’s most important games with different centerbacks for the very first time: Tim Ream in El Salvador and John Brooks against Canada.
“I think the most important thing is just communication on and off the field,” Turner said. “It’s nice to get to know people. I went to so many different tryouts—you know my story. The biggest thing was I was always trying to make a team and put forth good performances with people I’ve never played with before. Learning their names quickly and how to communicate with them and how to adapt to the circumstances as quickly as possible—I think that’s definitely been a strength of mine.”
“Andrew Farrell has been like my rock. If I can’t sleep and it’s the middle of the night, I can call Andrew, and he’s there for me. He keeps me going if I’m wavering in nerves and knows exactly what to say to me.” — Matt Turner
On Sunday, Turner was one of four MLS players among the 11 starters on the U.S. team. He knows there’s a section of the USMNT fanbase that thinks no MLS players should be on the field for the Yanks in World Cup qualifiers. But he doesn’t see the point of dividing the team, nor does he feel like he’s carrying the banner for MLS.
“Whoever goes out there and gets the job done, you just have to say they got the job done,” he said on Saturday. “It shouldn’t be hate or love. I’ve been the fan who was tweeting about the games. I’ve been that guy. I joke around saying I’m the People’s Keeper. I’ve been in the Blind Pig in New York City before it closed down, watching EPL in the mornings and national team games at night. So I’ve seen and heard all of it. I think you just have to respect everyone and their story and how it came about. Until you get as close to it as I am right now, you realize that all that Euro versus domestic stuff doesn’t even matter.”
Soon enough, Turner himself might be playing in Europe. Two years ago, he secured a European Union passport from Lithuania after finding papers owned by his paternal grandfather that showed his great-grandmother had immigrated from the Baltic country. “We didn’t even know we were Lithuanian,” he says, adding that he discovered his family had changed its name from Turnovski upon arrival at Ellis Island.
A European Union passport makes it far easier to move to a club in Europe. “I’m highly motivated to make that happen,” Turner says. “That being said, I’m in a great situation with my club right now. I’m playing well and I’m getting called into the national team. So it’s a balance of a lot of things. You can’t force these things to happen, but I would love to go play in the Premier League or a high level in the [English] Championship.”
By Sunday night, it was becoming clear that the No. 1 U.S. goalkeeper job is now Turner’s to lose. He was solid for the second straight game and made a terrific save on Larin’s shot in the first half after Dest had blundered in defense. (There was nothing Turner could have done on Larin’s goal later.) There’s a sense of calm when you have Turner in goal; even when Canada threatened, you felt like he would be able to make the save.
Even if Steffen can get some games for Man City in cup competition over the next month, it’s hard to imagine him taking the No. 1 spot back from Turner next month.
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USA vs. Canada, 2022 World Cup qualifying: Man of the Match
CanadaBy jcksnftsn Sep 7, 2021, 8:36am Returning home from a disappointing draw, the USMNT settled for a second straight draw that felt more like a loss to start World Cup qualifying. With quite a bit on the line and facing a Canada team coming off a home draw with Honduras, the team came out and looked active but ultimately punch-less as they dominated possession but lacked incisiveness. The player rankings were not as dire as they were following the draw-loss to El Salvador, but they weren’t exactly a ringing endorsement either.Goalscorer Brenden Aaronson was officially your SSFC Man of the Match with the highest community ranking coming in at 7.02, edging out Matt Turner (6.72), who was Thursday’s MOTM. Interestingly, three of the four substitutes received the only ratings below a 5.0. In the case of DeAndre Yedlin, the lowest rated player, this seems to be due to the community placing primary blame for the lone Canadian goal at his feet. For Konrad de la Fuente and Cristian Roldan, the ratings seem a bit harsh as they only had a handful of minutes to impact the game due to the late substitution utilization by Gregg Berhalter.We’ve made a couple of small tweaks to the ratings this week. First, we calculated the average rankings with the highest and lowest ratings removed and have included those in parentheses behind the original rating. We’re sticking with the original rating as the primary to stay consistent, but thought there might be some interest in seeing how the ratings adjust if you remove the most biased votes. Not surprisingly, the manager’s rating is the most impacted by this adjustment, as Gregg Berhalter gains over a point in benefit. The other changes in rating are not nearly as significant and the most impacted is DeAndre Yedlin, who moves from a 4.4 to a 4.7. Second, we’ve also moved the manager and referee results to the bottom.Here are all the ratings from the match, as judged by the SSFC community:
Brenden Aaronson – 7.02 (adjusted 7.01)
Matt Turner – 6.72 (6.70)
Tyler Adams – 6.65 (6.66)
Antonee Robinson – 6.59 (6.63)
Miles Robinson – 6.43 (6.44)
Christian Pulisic – 6.37 (6.30)
Jordan Pefok – 5.40 (5.50)
Sergino Dest – 5.35 (5.51)
Josh Sargent – 5.34 (5.52)
John Brooks – 5.32 (5.48)
Kellyn Acosta – 5.25 (5.37)
Sebastian Lletget – 5.15 (5.35)
Cristian Roldan – 4.81 (5.04)
Konrad de la Fuente – 4.81 (4.99)
DeAndre Yedlin – 4.40 (4.70)
Gregg Berhalter – 2.76 (3.99)
Referee Oshane Nation – 5.43 (5.77)
Player ratings: USMNT held to draw by Canada in World Cup qualifying
The USMNT is winless after its first two games of 2022 World Cup qualifying after drawing Canada 1-1 in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday.Brenden Aaronson gave the USMNT a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute, but Alphonso Davies sliced and diced the Yanks’ right side of defense to set up the equalizer seven minutes later.On the whole, a few individual performances were improved from the draw in El Salvador, but the team performance and the result were still well short of the necessary standard.Here’s a look at who stood out (for better or for worse) for Gregg Berhalter’s side, with some special bonus commentary (of the dissenting variety) from PST’s Nicholas Mendola (italicized)…
GK – Matt Turner: 6 – Once again, hardly tested (just two shots on target) but typically steady when called upon. Hasn’t had to do enough to fully supplant Zack Steffen as the no. 1, but hasn’t done anything to hand him the job either.
RB – Sergiño Dest: 4 (4.5) – Dest’s poor performance against El Salvador was perhaps explainable by the fact he’s naturally a right-sided player shifted to the left to do a very specific job. Fast-forward to Sunday, Dest was on the right and he had another nightmare outing. He’s not a reliable enough to defender to play right back and he’s not dynamic or creative enough to play as a winger. Is there a place for him going forward? After starting the first two games during this window, Dest was unlikely to start Wednesday’s game in Honduras, making the injury less of a worry for the USMNT (for now).
Looking like a more-hyped version of last decade’s DeAndre Yedlin, where his defensive naivete is glaring when his attacking game is foiled. Still just 20 until November, but that promise doesn’t do anything right now vis a vis 2022 in Qatar.
CB – Miles Robinson: 6.5 – The vibes are extremely good with Robinson deployed as the right-sided center back, whether alongside Tim Ream (game 1) or John Brooks (game 2). He’s a classically tough American defender with a nose for the ball and good emergency defending instincts. As of this moment, the starting job is his to lose.
CB – John Brooks: 6 (5.5) – The defensive veteran looked like a fish out of water against the speed of Canada’s counter-attacks, but his distribution and long-range passing proved key in setting up the opening goal. Tyler Adams roaming midfield in front helps to protect Brooks’ lack of mobility, but free attacking full backs like Dest and Antonee Robinson do him no favors to his left.
A mixed bag from the undisputed best center back in the pool. Had some dicey moments and at times looked a step slow, not usually something you’ll note from the long-striding Wolfsburg back. Hit some wonderful passes, though, and is a force of intimidation for the U.S.
LB – Antonee Robinson: 7 (8) – This is the best left back in the USMNT player pool, Gregg. Play him there, every game if you have to. Defensively responsible and dangerous going forward (as evidenced on the goal).
There were 1-2 hiccups in his own end but also a lot of good tackles and that’s before we mention his terrific night going forward. Had an assist and might’ve had a goal. Has earned left back status for now.
https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1434690158847221761&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fsoccer.nbcsports.com%2F2021%2F09%2F05%2Fusmnt-canada-2022-world-cup-qualifying-analysis-player-ratings%2F&sessionId=e3ddd02cc34984287d9bebb554c530fb58a0de82&theme=light&widgetsVersion=1890d59c%3A1627936082797&width=500px DM – Tyler Adams: 6.5 (6.5) – Defensively excellent and in the right spot at the right time to snuff out a number of Canadian counter-attacks. As the USMNT attempts to work out the chance-creation issues at the other end of the field, Adams’ presence in consecutive games was like a warm blanket tucked under the chin on a crisp autumn night.
This could be as high as an 8 or even 8.5 if not for his silly and selfish foul on Mark-Anthony Kaye that deprived us from knowing whether Brenden Aaronson’s pinpoint pass might’ve set up an Antonee Robinson winner.
CM – Kellyn Acosta: 6.5 – Another request for Gregg: Please only play Acosta as an 8 in the future. His range of passing is far better than most people seem to realize. Given the lack of dynamism and chance creation from the other central midfielders this week, Acosta should start again in Honduras.
CM – Sebastian Lletget: 6 – Strong early as he teed Christian Pulisic up to hit the post midway through the first half, but faded as the game became more and more open.
RW – Brenden Aaronson: 7 – Scored the USMNT’s first goal of 2022 World Cup qualifying — a simple tap-in from Robinson’s cross — and tracked back to do a lot of defensive work, but couldn’t connect the midfield to the forward line quite like the USMNT needed.
LW – Christian Pulisic: 6 (7) – A mostly anonymous night for Pulisic in his first game back after testing positive for COVID-19. He played all 90 minutes, which could cast a bit of doubt over his availability for Wednesday’s game (no chance he plays the full-90 again). Nothing clicked for the attack as a whole on Sunday, and that fact was even more true for Pulisic specifically.
Did everything you want to see but score, demanding attention from Canada and delivering a number of won free kicks. Corner kick service was decent, too. Imagine him with better striker play.
CF – Jordan Pefok: 6 – Struggled to be more involved as he constantly battled three center backs for Canada, but his hold-up play was crucial in the build-up to Aaronson’s goal. Pefok brings a size and nastiness to the center forward position that no one else in the player pool possesses.