Commentary

USA-Chile: Men's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-CHILE EXPRESS:
March 26 in Houston
USA 1 Chile 1. Goals: Pulisic 4; Opazo 9.
Att.: 18,033.

For the first time since Gregg Berhalter took over as head coach, the U.S. defense came under intense pressure and the possession-based game he has preached quickly went out the window. The USA was lucky that Chile did not take better advantage of its openings, and it held on for a 1-1 tie, its first blemish after three wins under its new coach. The first half was a wide-open and entertaining game, but the Chileans slowed down in the second half, as they had done in their 3-1 loss to Mexico on Friday, and after the USA switched formations. The game was marred by another injury to one of the USA's young stars. Christian Pulisic, the U.S. goal-scorer, exited the game as a precaution in the 35th minute with a quad injury.



USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
GOALKEEPER

With Zack Steffen sidelined, Berhalter gave Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath each one start in goal in the March friendlies. Horvath only faced three shots against the Chileans, who struggled to put their chances on target. Horvath's distribution wasn't perfect, but he did well to find Gyasi Zardes on the play that led to the U.S. goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL) 4/0 (23)

DEFENDERS

Berhalter's plan was to see as many new players as possible in the two March friendlies, so only Tim Ream at left back remained from the back four that started against Ecuador. DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Miazga and Omar Gonzalez all got their first starts under Berhalter, but they looked uncomfortable on the ball and struggled in the first half. Both Miazga and Gonzalez had chances to stop the Chilean attack that led to Oscar Opazo's tying goal five minutes after Pulisic put the USA ahead.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG) 59/0 (25)
4 Matt Miazga (Reading/ENG) 12/1 (23)
4 Omar Gonzalez (Atlas/MEX) 49/3 (30)
4 Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 28/1 (31)

MIDFIELDERS

Christian Pulisic opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he ran on to a pass from Zardes and chipped the ball over Chilean keeper Gabriel Arias. With a better last touch, he might have had a second goal. His injury was unfortunate as he finally seemed to be enjoying himself for the first time in a long time in a U.S. uniform. Michael Bradley was the best U.S. player, completing 61 of 67 passes, including a long pass that Corey Baird could have put away in the 44th minute. Cristian Roldan started in place of injured Weston McKennie and had a lot of work to do to keep up with the Chileans.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) 145/17 (31)
5 Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders) 9/0 (23)
6 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 25/10 (20)

FORWARDS

Gyasi Zardes had the winner against Ecuador but saw a lot more of the ball against Chile and was a thorn in its side. He assisted on Pulisic's goal and had a good chance himself in the 55th minute that he put over the goal. Corey Baird, who started on the right wing in place of Jordan Morris, should have done better on a great ball Bradley played over the top to him. Once again, Paul Arriola had his moments on the left wing but saw less of the ball than he did against Ecuador.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake) 3/0 (23)
6 Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew) 44/6 (27)
5 Paul Arriola (D.C. United) 21/3 (24)
 

SUBSTITUTES

Sebastian Lletget came on in the first half after Pulisic was injured, but he failed to have an impact in the game.  The moves to bring Daniel Lovitz on for Baird and Wil Trapp for Arriola were intended to shore up the U.S. midfield and they did the trick. Neither of the late attacking subs, Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis, had any chances.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 9/2 (26)
4 Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact) 3/0 (27)
5 Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew) 13/0 (26)
NR Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) 27/5 (24)
NR Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC) 4/0 (21)
 
TRIVIA. At the age of 20, Christian Pulisic became the youngest men's national team player to score 10 goals. Making his 25th appearance, he also became the second fastest to score 10 goals by caps, trailing only Clint Mathis, whose 10th goal came in his 23rd appearance -- the 1-1 tie with host South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.

March 26 in Houston
USA 1 Chile 1.
Goals: Pulisic 4; Opazo 9.
USA -- 
Horvath; Yedlin; Miazga, O.Gonzalez, Ream; Bradley, Roldan (Lewis, 84), Pulisic (Lletget, 35); Baird (Lovitz, 56), Zardes (Morris, 79), Arriola (Trapp, 66).
Chile --
Arias; Isla, Maripan (Vegas, 70), Opazo, Medel, Jara, Vidal, Pavez, Aranguiz (Martinez, 90), Castillo (Rubio, 86), Valdes (Pulgar, 70).
Yellow cards: USA -- Lovitz 75; Chile -- Pavez 27, Vegas 85, Vidal 90+2. Red cards: none.
Referee:
Daneon Parchment (Jamaica).
Att.:
18,033.

Stats:
USA/Chile
Shots:
5/11
Shots on Goal:
1/3
Saves:
2/0
Corner Kicks:
2/3
Fouls:
12/10
Offside:
1/2
Possession:
34%/66%

25 comments about "USA-Chile: Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. John Soares, March 27, 2019 at 8:14 a.m.

    Berhalter, 8 did an excellent job in making the needed adjustment/changes when Chile started to take control of the game.
    Bradley, still the most consistent, reliable player on the team. Gotta love the pace, especially in the first few minutes.
    OK, cup is empty guys, jump in:)

  2. John Soares, March 27, 2019 at 8:19 a.m.

    Berhalter, 8, did a great job making the necessary changes/adjustments when Chile started taking control of the game.
    Bradley still the most consistent/reliable player on the team.
    Gotta love the pace, especially early on.
    OK, the cup is empty guys jump in:)

  3. Bob Ashpole, March 27, 2019 at 8:36 a.m.

    I am looking forward to seeing what others thought of the match.

    Style wise, I don't know what to make of it. It looked too much like US play in the past for me to be comfortable.

    The only thing I would have liked less would have been if Berhalter had switched to a typical US 442 (with two DMs) and counterattacked instead of the 352 he used.




  4. Kent James, March 27, 2019 at 8:43 a.m.

    Solid game against a good opponent.  While I think Miazga, Gonzalez and Ream are fine players, they are similar; tall, not particularly fast, not great with the ball, so I'm not sure having three of them out there at once was a good idea (and Yedlin seemed to be always up the field), especially when we're playing the ball out of the back so much.  I would have liked to have seen one more quicker, better ball handler helping out in the back.  They had some dodgy moments (Ream's back pass which the Chilean forward smartly anticipated), but survived.  


    Zardes' touch is much better than it used to be (great ball to Pulisic), though I'm not convinced he's our best central striker (but he needs playing time against good opponents).  


    Generally, everyone was pretty solid against a VERY aggressive (and talented) opponent.


     

  5. beautiful game replied, March 27, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.

    I've been convinced since year one of Zardes' pro-soccer career that he is mediocre at best; and if that's enough to satisfy any blogger, welcome to the excuses club.

  6. beautiful game replied, March 27, 2019 at 4:43 p.m.

    I haven't been convinced about Z for years. This Chilean squad is good, but far less as of 4/5 years ago when it was dynimic, physical, technical from font to back. It would behoove the NT kahunas to schedule friendlies against the best teams possible in order to assess its talent and course of player adjustment. Playing friendlies against minnows serves no purpose.Playing not to lose is a losing proposition.

  7. stan kull, March 27, 2019 at 9:26 a.m.

    Chile have more players that can work with their teamates in tight space and under pressure.  Some players for USA showed that they cannot play with pressure and small space.  If the USA coach wants to keep the ball from defence to offence, he will need to bring some better skilled players into his system.

  8. Dan Flood, March 27, 2019 at 10:23 a.m.

    Zardes should not see the filed. A 6?  The pass to set Pulisic up for his goal is one any professional player makes with ease.  Zardes touch is awful and he cannot make the most simple of passes under pressure.  He is the only payer that has started every game under Berhalter, very dissapointing.  Would rather see Ramirez or Morris out there if we are giving players a look.  Zardes will should never start a significant game for the USMNT so what is the point in trotting him out there?

  9. humble 1 replied, March 27, 2019 at 12:19 p.m.

    For me, Zardes is on the field in part because of his attitude.  Look at his work rate.  Look at his physical play.  Listen to an interview with the kid, he exhumes hard work and humility and works hard to improve his game.  He is not a prima dona.  The pass you describe as ordinary, was described by Ray Hudson as sublime.  Pulisic scores off the pass not off his dribble, so the pass was perfect.  I like what Zardes brings compared to the other '9's.  Not saying he's better, but he's only 26, so he's part of the program until someone comes along that can do better on both sides of the ball.    

  10. Carl Neff replied, March 27, 2019 at 8:43 p.m.

    I agree with Humble 1 that his workrate is a strong asset.  I get the feeling that Berhalter is a big "workrate" guy.  The stats seem to say that Bradley still has a strong work rate, despite comments that fans make in post, like calling him "Sir Jogs-a-lot".  I'm not saying whether or not Bradley deserves a starting role, or even any role on the team, but I'm just saying it might be another indication that Berhalter wants "work-rate" guys.  Ok, i'm putting on some armor right now to protect myself from anti-bradley comments that will follow!

  11. frank schoon, March 27, 2019 at 11:23 a.m.

    Well, the bottom line to sum it up, the US in this game  had NO MIDFIELD. Ofcourse there are other aspects, for example, the US broke  2  GOLDEN RULES in soccer. One, you can't mix together two "linies" (dutch for lines) and Two, the less "linies" the less chance for ball movements, especially going forwards.
    In other words, the mixing of lines, for example, Pulisic was playing up front near Zardes created often a formation 4 or sometimes 5 (with Roldan) up front trying to contain the Chilean defensive backline. This meant we had a formation 4-2-4 or sometimes 4-1-5. Looking at this formations tells you,WE HAD NO MIDFIELD. This team sometimes looked like two separate units.
    The Chileans played it smart, the placed 2 players behind our frontline for the Chilean defense to pass to. Roldan, would quickly move up to try and pick one of these two players thus leaving MB as the sole midfielder who surrounded by 2 other Chileans. As a result, it left the US right side backfield , Yedlin and Maizga outnumbered 2v3. The Chileans outnumbered the US at midfield many time 3v2 or 3v1 with poor MB having to run around trying to cover midfield. Sometimes the lines were like 1-4-1(MB)-4
    The other Golden rule, the fewer lines the less options. Cruyff stated that you  need 5lines as standard but US played with 3 . Actually Cruyff played with 7 lines, although you need at least 5 but that's for another discussion.
    On defense in our own third we would have all our 10 players there,  meaning,if we get  ball possession there is no one to pass to get out of there, forwards ,because we lacked lines. This allowed the Chileans to contain our whole team in our own third. Or look at our defense on corner kicks, we had everyone back but no one to pass forwards to further up. This makes it more difficult for our own goalie to see what's happening and possibly could result in a goal via a ricochet.  NEXT POST


  12. Bob Ashpole replied, March 27, 2019 at 5:37 p.m.

    Frank, I wasn't looking for this, but as I watched the first half it appeared to me that Bradley was isolated in the center, which should have been impossible. The impression I got was that the fullbacks were intentionally hiding in the shadows of opponents or running away without looking at  Bradley so that they won't be passed the ball. For whatever reason the midfielders were not showing either. At CM Bradley should have had 4-5 passing options all the time, but that wasn't happening. Chile did a good job of isolating him, but still the US team let it happen.

    The coaches solution was to switch to a 352 with 2 DMs so Bradley would have more support. That seems to me to be a surrender on the style of play. 

    Timid me. I didn't want to say that first. 

  13. frank schoon replied, March 27, 2019 at 5:51 p.m.

    Bob, MB has little connection with the leftside, especially with Reams the leftback. Note, when MB does pass to Reams or go to Reams, the attack as far as contiuity of play  goes is stalled.
    MB postion out there was hurt when Pulisic decided to move up a linie leaving the midfield with one less player. Not only that Reams is no help as I said before. But defensively MB was often by himself or perhaps another teammate that had cover the width of the field.
    I think the backline as well as the midline were placed under pressure very quickly by Chilean attackers and midfielders. 

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, March 27, 2019 at 10:59 p.m.

    That is what I saw too. I just didn't want to name names. 

    My concern is with the coaching. I am not so concerned with the player's deficiencies. They can be coached or replaced. It is the coach's vision of the game and how the team should play that is crucial to implementing positive changes.

    This is why I was not happy with the coach's change to a 2-DM 352. I would have rather seen him correct the problems in the 433, but realistically that would have increased the risk of a loss (of a friendly match). Life is full of choices and consequences.

  15. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2019 at 9:54 a.m.

    Bob ,you're so right, we both share the same concern which is on the coaching level. To make he lacks detail analysis of the game. His backround as a former defender, whose job it is to stop, destruct and run after the heels of attackers ,as so aptly said Ernst Happel one of the greatest coaches, leaves me questioning his abilities that are needed to improve the NT.
    You need a coach, as I stated who has a backround like a Tata. We need a high level coach who can raise the level of play of our NT. THe way I see, our NT is our flagship of our soccer development. For example, I mentioned the incorrect way of how we build up from the back, for instance, then a good coach would make it a point not to make this mistake and emphasize the faulty nature of it. You know what's going to happen next, is that Coaching Academy will follow his way of building up, take the lead and teach it to other coaches. 
    Did you listen to the GB interview at halftime with reporter. GB didn't say anything of any substance that I would be impressed with about what is going on. All he said ,basically, this is a great game, blah, blah, nothing of any substance.
       

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, March 28, 2019 at 6:01 p.m.

    Frank, yes I saw the halftime interview. If a coach actually says something meaningful at halftime, I am surprised. 

  17. frank schoon, March 27, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.

    Pulisic is not a #10, not by a long shot, he lacks vision, and technical ability for that, especially at his age. He needs to be send,like open field runs, in crowds he doesn't function, neither does Zardes. 
    Reams is too slow in ball handling and movement. He really has problems at  midfield in one on one situations. 
    I don't know how often I have to say this but we fall short in our build up or rather we simply don't know how to build up from the back. How often do you see the ball passed to the outside back ,standing still for he unable to run forward with the ball because his flank is blocked with himself being locked in therefore has to pass the ball back. As soon as a stationary back ,who can't forwards receives, the team loses the options on the weak side and therefore outnumbered 7v10.
    I don't understand this for I see it women's soccer too, I guess this is not taught at the Coaching Academy when getting a license...It looks like GB is not aware of this.
    Roldan,like Zardes has problems with receiving the ball with his back facing downfield.

    I'm disappointed with the style of soccer being played. GB has chosen speed again as the main element where upon counterattacking is a main thrust and therefore he has runners on wings, no technicians. It's "fast-break city". As I was watching the game, I was thinking what we would have looked like if Tata was coaching the US.  We have to realize or at least I do, that in order to improve the level of play we need a better coaching. With all due respect to GB, but having played for Pizza Hut United type teams, a second division teams like in Holland and played a position ,defense centerback, even though, GB  speaks English...that's just not good enough. We need a coach who has the playing and coaching experience of a Tata, at least tha's the minimum. 
    You can't expect from GB's backround creative soccer, he too limited as he was as a player.
    We need to break that mold,run and gun , speed , counterattacking soccer we calls for a coach that wasn't brought in that style....We will not see a different or new American style of play until then. Thank You, Earney , I don't really care that a coach can recite or read Shakespeare, instead I would like a coach who understands the game of soccer ,for that is an international language, and who is creative as a player and coach, the rest will  fall into place.


  18. frank schoon, March 27, 2019 at 12:40 p.m.

    A major problem that I see and it is glaring is the INABILITY of US to handle a ball under pressure. Look at how comfortable the Chilean players handle the ball regardless in their third or in US defensive third. It doesn't matter,  all  the players felt very comfortable on the ball and were able to handle themselves well in small space, dribbling, moving, passing. They were passing circles around us. Without the lack technical prowess and able to handle oneself in small spaces,the American player will be very limited tactically, because one of the main aspects of playing tactically is the ability to hold on the ball, and possess. This is an important facet in able to play more sophisticated, because so far we rely upon the other team's mistakes to counterattack. Chile didn't make many mistakes and were able to keep possession of the ball and thus nullifying our playing capabilty.
    You have to ask yourself what is missing in the way our Coaching Academy teaches our coaches to train our kids; for let's face it in the past 50 years we haven't changed our style of play and neither do we create tricky, technical players.
    If we place both teams Chile and the US players all on one of the end lines and them let them run to the other end line, I'm willing to bet we will win the speed contest. But as soon as you place  a ball in the mix, skills and brains become the overriding factor ,not speed.. And after 50 years we're still stuck on speed..... 

  19. Peter Bechtold replied, March 27, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.

    Frank: Always interested in your views; we seem to come from same generation(?).
    Why do you think that many public figures opposed J.Klinsmann ? Because he had radically different ideas ? Because they saw him as a "furrner", eventhough he lived in SoCal for two decades and has been married to a native American ?(and his son plays GK for U-17,U-20).
    JK played for Stuttgart,FC Bayern, AS Monaco(under Wenger, methinks), Inter Milan and won national championships with all 4 while being leading scorer.(He also led all scorers in EPL playing for Tott. Spurs without winning the silverware.) Of course, he won WC '90 in Italy. I am afraid that all this was too much for many local critics who grew up with the "US American identity" as Alex Lalas and others put it.

  20. frank schoon replied, March 27, 2019 at 4:51 p.m.

    Peter, I think you're on the right track. JK gave the US a dose of reality of how to play and look at soccer, which didn't go over very well with many here.... I consider his influence of bringing Low to help coach as a positive for German soccer, although I do think , German has lost some of its polish, meaning overtime the Guardiola, Van Gaal, influence waning. JK lives and is pretty Americanized why hasn't he been interviewed....he does speak English. JK also played for Arie Haan(Stuttgart) who was Cruyff's teammate with the Great Ajax team of '70's and Dutch team of WC'74.
    I'm of the '40's generation.  

  21. Bob Ashpole replied, March 27, 2019 at 5:48 p.m.

    Peter, I was not in favor of JK hiring, but not for the reasons you gave. I didn't then and still don't think JK was the coach to transform the US style of play. Primarily because I consider the US style of play to be essentially a bargain basement version of Germany. I don't think JK has the coaching ability or desire to play a more Cruyffian-Hispanic style.

    The US has a far greater Hispanic influence than Germany, so I see no reason to doubt that our game can evolve like Barca did under Cruyff's influence.

    Always the optimist I am no matter how negative I sound.

  22. beautiful game, March 27, 2019 at 4:36 p.m.

    Thos who like zardes's attitude are entitled to their opinion...as for efficacy, positioning, thought/reaction process, Z is at the bottom of the ladder. 

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, March 27, 2019 at 5:52 p.m.

    I don't like criticizing players who do the best they know how. The shortcoming is not theirs, but rather our system's fault for not identifying and developing better alternatives.

  24. James Madison, March 27, 2019 at 7:51 p.m.

    A very talented opponent?  One that lost to Mexico, 3-1, when it arguably was fresher. At times the US defense looked completely discombobulated, and we still don't have ball control in the oppositie direction.

  25. Carl Neff replied, March 27, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.

    I would've been more dissappointed if our A team on the field.  For our B team, I think it was kind of what i expected.  Not an a team if no  Adams, Brooks, McKennie, Weah, Sargent, Pulisic (only 30 minutes!).

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