The USA neglected the attack part of its counterattack approach against Italy and was fortunate to escape with a 1-0 loss on Tuesday. Dismal Italian finishing and some big saves from goalkeeper Ethan Horvath kept the game scoreless until stoppage time. Not until the 64th minute did the USA get its first and only shot on target. The Italians, who had 73.5% of the possession, took 17 shots, five of which required Horvath saves and one of which finally hit the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time. In the USA's last game of 2018, Coach Dave Sarachan started only one player, Christian Pulisic, who started against England in the USA's 3-0 friendly loss last Thursday.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) GP/G
7 Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL) 3/0
Positioned himself well to stop one-v-ones and made an acrobatic diving save on Domenico Berardi's 39th-minute long-range shot.
3 Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas) 2/0
The wide defender, cautioned in the 43rd minute, was lucky not to get ejected for his 66th-minute foul on Emerson. Although the USA had three central defenders, wide backs Cannon and Moore failed to attack.
3 Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL) 7/0
Stayed rooted when Berardi headed high in the 15th minute. Committed a clumsy foul on one of the three U.S. corner kicks. Part of the central gang that got beaten down the middle on the gamewinner.
3 Walker Zimmerman (LAFC) 4/1
The central defender managed the USA's first shot, a header to keeper Salvatore Sirigu in the 63rd minute from a tight angle. When the ball came back to him during the USA's longest sequence of passes, in the 51st minute, he ended it by booting the ball to Italian backline. Lucky like Carter-Vickers that Italian headers were never struck well.
2 Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) 2/0
Part of a three-man central defense with Zimmerman and Carter-Vickers, often lucky his miscues weren't punished, like when he whiffed on a low pass through the penalty area.
3 Shaq Moore (Reus/ESP) 5/0
Committed five fouls while struggling with Italian attacks down the wing. Coughed up the ball on the rare occasions when he won it.
4 Marky Delgado (Toronto FC) 6/0
Orchestrated a 55th-minute attack in a sequence on which he was eventually fouled for a free kick. It marked the only time he connected with the forwards, having found Sargent with a pass. Unlike his midfield mates, at least acted like he wanted the ball.
3 Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls) 8/1
Part of a midfield that spent most it's time chasing Italians and unable to keep the possession.
3 Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 22/2
The most experienced of the midfielders, failed to bring cohesion to the U.S. game. His free kick set up the Zimmerman header, then 13 minutes later he launched another free kick straight to an Italian.
3 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 23/9
Unable to evade Italian defenders. Disappeared in second half until being subbed in 83rd minute.
3 Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER) 6/2
Like Pulisic, played forward without getting a shot on goal.
4 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC) 11/0
Arrived in the 62nd minute for Delgado and didn't improve midfield.
3 Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER) 45/13
Shot wide from nine yards out in 78th minute after replacing Moore in the 62nd minute.
4 Jorge Villafana
(Portland Timbers) 21/0
His 15-minute appearance include a good tackle and a horrible pass.
NR Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 5/1
Replaced Pulisic in the 83rd minute.
NR Romain Gall (Malmo/SWE) 1/0
Replaced Pulisic in the 83rd minute. Hit a long-range shot that was going wide but earned USA a corner kick because Sirigu got a hand to it.
TRIVIA: Romain Gall became the 23rd player to make his USA debut in the 12 games under interim coach Dave Sarachan.
Nov. 20 in Genk, Belgium
USA 0 Italy 1. Goal: Politano 94+.
USA -- Horvath; Cannon, Carter-Vickers, Zimmerman, Long (Villafaña, 75), Moore (Wood, 62); Delgado (Trapp, 62), Adams, Acosta (Lletget, 83); Pulisic (Gall, 83), Sargent.
Italy -- Sirigu; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson; Barella (Gagliardini, 76), Sensi, Verratti; Chiesa (Grifo, 46), Lasagna (Politano, 87), Berardi (Kean, 62).
Yellow cards: USA -- Cannon 43, Moore 43, Acosta 46+; Italy -- De Sciglio 19, Sensi 58.
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)
Shots on target: 1/6
Corner Kicks: 3/5