Adams MOTM as most Yanks earn positive marks vs Paraguay
Yes, there should have been earlier substitutions and it would have been more entertaining if there were more opportunitites. But there was still a lot to take away from this tame and ASN's Brian Sciaretta chimes in with his player ratings.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedTHE VERY YOUNG United States national team defeated Paraguay 1-0 and while it wasn’t pretty, there were several important takeaways from the game what will serve team well in its rebuilding process.
March 27, 2018
March 27, 2018
Overall it was a tough match to grade. There weren't a lot of dangerous chances created by the U.S. team but it was a very defensive formation. There was no No. 10 and neither of the outside midfielders (Kenny Saief, Darlington Nabe) were particularly fast. Centrally, there were two No. 8's in Tyler Adams and Marky Delgado and one No. 6 in Wil Trapp. That left Bobby Wood fairly isolated and alone up top.
So goal chances were always going to be few and far between. In the context of the formation and the U.S. game plan, the players did very well. The limited Paraguay's attack, controled Miguel Almiron, had a majority of possession, played great defense, and capitalized on one of its few chances to win.
Here are the player rating.
Zack Steffen: A few iffy moments with the ball at his feet but Steffen looked confident with the saves he had to make – including a nice one at the end. A strong possibility to be the No. 1 keeper for the U.S. moving forward. Rating: 6.0
Jorge Villafana: A very good game from the Santos Laguna left back. He had some decent crosses and got forward better in this game than he did at any point in 2017 and was pretty steady defensively. Rating: 6.5
Cameron Carter-Vickers: On loan from Tottenham to Ipswich Town, Carter-Vickers had a very steady game. While Paraguay had faster defenders that could have given Carter-Vickers trouble, he was always in good position. He committed one dangerous foul at the end but the call was questionable. Rating: 7.0
Matt Miazga: The New Jersey native once again was a rock in the backline. His distribution was solid and he was the leading reason why the U.S. team was able to shut down Almiron. Rating: 7.5
DeAndre Yedlin: The Newcastle right back was steady defensively was helped shut down his flank. He wasn’t particularly dangerous on the dribble but his speedy runs helped open up the game as the U.S. tried to play wide. Rating: 6.5
Wil Trapp: The Columbus captain had his best national team game so far and really fit into the role. Defensively he clogged Paraguay’s lanes and his passing was generally effective moving the ball into the attacking third on the flanks. Rating: 6.5
Kenny Saief: In the first half it was clear that he was new to the USMNT set up. Some of his passes in the first half were off and he wasn’t on the same page as his teammates. But he grew into the game and was very good by the end of the first half and at the start of the second half. Rating: 6.0
Marky Delgado: It was a very nice national team debut from Delgado who was in synch with the free-ranging Adams. He was instrumental to the team’s pressing style at the start of the game and really gave Paraguay a hard time advancing the ball into the final third. His passing was also good and he had the best pass of the night to spring Adams on the play that would lead to the penalty. Rating: 7.0
Tyler Adams: The New York Red Bulls teenager was the man of the match for a complete effort. He completed over 83% of his passing. He took players on with his dribble. He forced turnovers and made life miserable for Paraguay. At times it seemed like there were three of him on the field. On top of that, he won the decisive penalty. Rating: 8.0
Darlington Nagbe: It was an up and down game from the Atlanta United midfielder who at times was really solid connecting in the midfield while struggling in the final third at times. He did help create one of the U.S. team’s best chances from the run of play in the first half when his low cross found both Bobby Wood and Kenny Saief who got in each other’s way on the attempt to finish. Rating: 5.5
Bobby Wood: It is tough to grade Wood who was isolated in a conservative formation. He was not part of any dangerous opportunities from the run of play and his runs failed to open up the game. Still, his penalty was well-taken and hopefully it gives him some much-needed confidence. Rating: 5.5
Rubio Rubin: Was not part of anything dangerous but made few nice dribbles and was open for a tap-in on Novakovich’s dangerous chance – which Novakovich attempted to convert himself. Rating: 5.5
Andrija Novakovich: As one of the best forwards in the Dutch second tier, Novakovich entered the game playing well and he was indeed effective. He had one great scoring chance that was the result of skill and hard-work. He showed good feet in possession. Rating: 6.0
Tim Weah: It is too bad he didn’t come in sooner because it was a nice debut for the teenager from Paris St. Germaine. He sprung Novakovich on his dangerous chance and was also eager to attack the right flank. Like Novakovich, it was a promising debut. Rating: 6.0
Cristian Roldan: Came on as a late sub and didn’t do enough to get a rating: Rating: NR
Dave Sarachan: It was a complete mixed bag for Sarachan. He waited entirely too long to bring on substitutes thereby squandering a rare opportunity to evaluate new players. There was no No. 10 on this roster which Sarachan probably could have done better on the roster selection (there are others who can play the position besides Pulisic – Kelyn Rowe comes to mind).
But among the players in camp, Sarachan was smart not to no force the issue and instead put players in their best positions. It was the best starting lineup he could have created from the roster. While it wasn’t pretty and it didn’t generate a lot of opportunities, most of the players played well on an individual basis and the team got a win. The game plan was to press, control possession, suffocate Paraguay, play out of the back, and capitalize on a small number of opportunities to win a low-scoring game. It wasn’t the attacking soccer people want, but it worked.
Sarachan could have and should have used more players. There was no need such a high number of players to play over 80 minutes. He should have brought more players into the game at earlier moments. On the flip side, the game wasn’t a total lost cause. Tyler Adams looked great with Marky Delgado. Wil Trapp was improved. Central defense looks very strong at the moment. Kenny Saief got his first start and the U.S. team might have found its No. 1 goalkeeper.
Mixed bag for the coach. The game was a positive learning experience but more could have been learned. Rating: 5.5