[USA-FRANCE REPORT CARD] A much-improved backline performance and a late goal from sub Daniel Cuevas earned the USA a 1-1 tie with France on Monday. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players in their tie against France.
Shane O’Neill, who missed the 4-1 opening loss to Spain because of a red card in qualifying, replaced Caleb Stanko in central defense. Coach Tab Ramos’ only other change was starting attacker Mario Rodriguez in place of Danny Garcia, who suffered a concussion against Spain.
Rodriguez drew fouls for a penalty kick -- an unsuccessful effort by Luis Gil -- and the free kick that led to Cuevas’ strike in the 85th minute, seven minutes after he entered the game.
Central defender Javan Torre’s foul on Dimitri Foulquier resulted in the penalty kick that gave France a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. But goalkeeper Cody Cropper thwarted a breakaway by Yaya Sanogo that could have given the Bleuets a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute.
Many of the USA’s most promising forays were sparked on the right flank by back DeAndre Yedlin.
Deep-lying midfielders Benji Joya and Wil Trap helped keep in check Paul Pogba -- the Juventus midfielder who has already played for France’s full national team in World Cup qualifying.
USA PLAYER RATINGS
6 Cody Cropper (Southampton/ENG)
7 DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)
6 Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids)
4 Javan Torre (UCLA)
6 Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara/MEX)
5 Benji Joya (Santos/MEX)
6 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
5 Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy)
5 Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake)
6 Mario Rodriguez (Kaiserslautern/GER)
4 Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey/MEX)
5 Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
7 Daniel Cuevas (Santos/MEX)
nr Mikey Lopez (Sporting KC)
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)