USMNT Player Ratings
Adams, Brooks, Long, & Trapp earn high marks in win over Ecuador
March 21, 2019
THE UNITED STATES national team defeated Ecuador 1-0 on Thursday night in Orlando and while the goal was lucky, the result was not as the U.S. team was better in possession and in chances created. After a successful January camp, the U.S. team continued to progress under Gregg Berhalter who had a full slate of players available for the first time.
To be fair, Ecuador was content to defend, absorb the U.S. attack, and look for counterattacks. For awhile the U.S. team struggled against an effective bunker but still created chances. Paul Arriola should have made it 1-0 in the first half and more dynamic movement would have yielded more opportunities.
The goal from Gyasi Zardes in the second half was very lucky (although we’ll never know where the original shot was headed) but very deserved.
Overall, the U.S. team still has a lot of work to do in order to play to its potential under Berhalter’s system but there is no question it was a positive first step. For the first time in years, the players looked happy and excited to be playing with each other and under a set vision. For the first time, it felt like a clean slate. Most importantly, the team will hope for good news for starting midfielder Weston McKennie who was forced out with an ankle injury.
Here are the player ratings for the game.
THE STARTING LINEUP
Sean Johnson: The New York City goalkeeper didn’t face any difficult shots and his distribution out of the back was decent although not great. Nice night to have a good defense in front of him and an opponent which couldn’t raise its game to press for an equalizer Rating: 5.5
Tim Ream: The St. Louis native was normally dependable in the game although he made a terrible mistake in the 88th minute and was bailed out by Brooks. The interception and assist to Zardes was a very nice play. Rating: 6.0
John Brooks: The Wolfsburg defender bailed out Ream late in the game after the Fulham defender made a dreadful error. But Brooks, along with Long, were great both in their passing out of the back and in their defensive ability to handle whatever Ecuador threw at them. Mistake free night for both central defenders and a positive sign for them together as a unit. Rating: 7.0
Aaron Long: The New York Red Bull mainstay had a very good game. If Adams is going to play right back, Long (a former club teammate of Adams) needs to play in the backline. Long’s mobility to cover for Adams as he was learning the position was key so many times. But Long’s distribution out of the back was also on the mark. Like Brooks, Long enjoyed a mistake free night Rating: 7.0
Tyler Adams: Playing at right back in a role where he would cut into the middle of the field with the ball, Adams looked like a veteran in that role. His soccer IQ is off the charts. Sometimes he left to much space on his flank but it was a great step forward. Adams was lively in the attack and his passing helped the U.S. team with long stretches of possession. Rating: 7.5
Wil Trapp: The Columbus captain had a very good outing in his 59 minutes of action. He showed a great range of passing and was part of the build-up to several good scoring chances. He was particularly effective in getting the ball into dangerous wide positions with long passes. Defensively, he held his own -which has been his concern in the past. He left with an injury to his left thigh. Rating: 7.0
Jordan Morris: The Seattle attacker was the weaker spot of the front three. He wasn’t bad but wasn’t part of any opportunity that was too dangerous. Defensively he had a an off moment in the first half that allowed Ecuador to have its most dangerous opportunity. Rating: 5.0
Christian Pulisic: Pulisic has not played for the United States much since the World Cup qualifying debacle but he was effective in his first game under Berhalter. His movement was part of several dangerous chances. His set piece delivery was slightly off but he played well against the defensive Ecuador. Rating: 6.5
Weston McKennie: After a slower start, McKennie grew into the game and combined well with Pulisic for the team’s best chance in the opening field. Defensively, he was strong when he drifted further back. He left the game with an ugly ankle injury. Rating: 6.0
Paul Arriola: The DC United winger was active in the first half and worked hard to get himself in dangerous positions. He should have had a goal with the U.S. team’s best chance of first half. His defensive instincts also helped the U.S. team win the ball back and cut down the space Ecuador had to work. Rating: 6.0
Gyasi Zardes: Leaving the goal aside, Zardes had a good game. He didn’t get that many touches but his hold-up play was important for when Pulisic and McKennie were making runs into the box. While his first touch has been maligned in the past, it was not a liability. He needs to be more mobile in the box but he was part of some important moments. On the goal, yes it took a very fortunate deflection (to be fair, maybe it would have been a dangerous shot anyway) but good for Zardes to step up and take the shot as opposed to try to play it out wide. Rating: 6.5
Michael Bradley: The former captain replaced Trapp in the in 59th minute and played well. His passing didn’t seem to have the range of Trapp but it was accurate. Bradley was also frequently in good positions to force turnovers. Rating: 6.0
Sebastian Lletget: The LA Galaxy playmaker replaced Pulisic in the 62nd minute and wasn’t part of anything dangerous but wasn’t a liability either. Rating: 5.5
DeAndre Yedlin: The Seattle native replaced Morris in the 68th minute and was active playing in a different role as a winger. His speed bothered Ecuador and was effective at times Rating: 6.0
Cristian Roldan: The Sounders attacking midfielder replaced the injured McKennie in the 69th minute but was quite overall. Rating: 5.0
Jonathan Lewis: The NYCFC winger replaced Arriola in the 77th minute but didn’t have all that much to do. Rating: NR