Commentary

USA-Uruguay: Men's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-URUGUAY EXPRESS
Sept. 10 in St. Louis
USA 1 Uruguay 1. Goals: Morris 79; B.Rodriguez 50.
Att.: 20,625.

Not a victory, but a 1-1 comeback tie with Uruguay following Friday's stinging 3-0 loss to Mexico ends the latest Gregg Berhalter camp on a relatively positive note. Although Uruguay is never an easy foe, its counterattack approach -- it beat Costa Rica 2-1 on Friday with only 42% percent of the possession -- made Tuesday's task for the USA much less harrowing than against an El Tri team that challenged each buildup on Friday.


USA PLAYER RATINGS

(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)

GOALKEEPER

Brad Guzan badly bobbled a cross to gift Matias Vecino Uruguay's best chance of the first half but was saved by Tim Ream, who blocked the close-range shot.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4  Brad Guzan (Atlanta United) 61/0 (35)

DEFENDERS

In addition to blocking Vecino's goal-bound close-range shot, central defender Tim Ream intervened with several Uruguayan through balls, stopped Brian Rodriguez from scoring a second with tackle near the goal, and passed dependably, as in the buildup to the USA's tying goal. His central partner Aaron Long got spun around by Rodriguez's moves on Uruguay's goal -- but full-speed Rodriguez looked unstoppable. Right back Reggie Cannon was in the opposing penalty area when Uruguay's counterattack started there and he ran out of gas during his long retreat. Left back Sergino Dest held up defensively besides getting roasted once by the brilliant Rodriguez, and took the USA's best shot of the day, a 23-yard effort well saved by Fernando Muslera. Unlike on Friday against Mexico, Uruguay gave U.S. defenders plenty of cushion to leisurely bring the ball upfield. Uruguay only had 41% of the possession, but outshot the USA 15-11.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5  Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas) 8/0 (21)
5  Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) 13/2 (26)
8  Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 36/1 (31)
6  Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED) 2/0 (18)

MIDFIELDERS

Sebastian Lletget's passing was inconsistent but his cross, after a feed from Jordan Morris, in the 11th minute set up Cristian Roldan for a point-blank header, which was saved by Muslera. Roldan helped set up the U.S. goal. Jackson Yueill hit nice cross-field passes to Jordan Morris but also hit two horrendous corner kicks. The U.S. looked determined to attack down the wings with its outside backs while the midfielders seemed uninterested in going down the middle.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5  Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 11/2 (27)
5  Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) 3/0 (22)
6  Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders) 16/0 (24)

FORWARDS

Tyler Boyd managed to send the ball over the crossbar from three yards after Jordan Morris served in the perfect low pass from the wing. Boyd also mis-hit a pass so badly when he tried to feed a midfielder from the wing that it set up a Uruguay counterattack. He left after 65 minutes with two missed shots, two offside and one foul committed. Morris' attacks, from the left wing, caused Uruguay the most problems. He met the ball well but didn't get enough force on a 48th-minute diving header. He was rewarded for his persistence when a deflected ball looped for him to score the equalizer off his chest. Had Muslera mot stopped Dest's shot, Josh Sargent  would be celebrating a fine assist. He kept possession well under pressure and should have been sought out far more by his teammates. Morris' cross to Boyd should have taught the Americans that driven low balls from the wing are more lethal than high ones, but instead they kept lofting the kind of crosses that Uruguayan defenders are expert at dealing with.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4  Tyler Boyd (Besiktas/TUR) 6/2 (24)
5  Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER) 8/2 (19)
Jordan Morris  (Seattle Sounders) 33/6 (24)

SUBSTITUTES

Young defender Miles Robinson held up well during the final 10 minutes when the Uruguayans added urgency to their attack. The biggest impact off the bench came from Nick Lima. His foray down the right resulted in a fortuitous deflection off his arm (no VAR for this game) to Morris' chest for tying goal. The 19-year-old Paxton Pomykal came on for his USA debut in the 85th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6  Miles Robinson (Atlanta United) 2/0 (22)
Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake) 4/0 (23)
5  Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact) 10/0 (28)
5  Gyasi Zardes  (Columbus Crew) 53/10 (28)
6
  Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes) 8/0 (24)
nr  Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas) 1/0 (19)

TRIVIA. Jordan Morris scored his sixth career goal for the USA and his first since he hit the gamewinner against Jamaica in the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Sept. 10 in St. Louis
USA 1 Uruguay 1. Goals: Morris 79; B.Rodriguez 50.
USA -- Guzan; Cannon (Lima, 75), Long (Robinson, 65), Ream, Dest (Lovitz, 70); Llegett, Yueill, Roldan; Boyd (Baird, 65), Sargent (Zardes, 75), Morris (Pomykal, 85).
Uruguay -- Muslera; Caceres, Coates, Gimenez, Vina; Valverde; B.Rodriguez (Lozano, 62), Vecino, Bentancur (Nandez, 83), de Arrascaeta; J.Rodriguez (Gomez, 87).
Yellow cards: none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Ricardo Montero (Costa Rica).
Att.: 20,625

Stats:
USA/Uruguay
Shots: 11/15
Shots on Goal: 4/3
Saves: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 3/4
Fouls: 3/8
Offside:4/3
Possession: 59%/41%

16 comments about "USA-Uruguay: Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. James Madison, September 11, 2019 at 12:35 a.m.

    The inferior tecnique of the US players is not so noticeable when they are given time/space.  When, of when, will GB choose the better player Lima over the quicker, but less skilled Cannon?

  2. Kent James, September 11, 2019 at 12:38 a.m.

    I generally agree with the ratings; Ream and Morris were the two best players for the US. Lima did very well in the short time he had (Baird also helped liven up the last few minutes). Boyd gets my sympathy; he put the shot over the bar on Morris' cross by driving it down and bouncing it over the bar (not easy to do from that close to goal), but he deserves credit for getthing there (with the defender draped all over him).  Long was burned by Rodriguez, but that match-up is a defender's nightmare, and Rodriguez played it to perfection (the shot was even better than the dribbling move).  

  3. frank schoon, September 11, 2019 at 7:26 a.m.

    As I'm watching this game, I ask myself what does Cannon bring to the game that perhaps Tyler Boyd playing that position can add to the game. The back position played by Tyler Cannon would have much more of a punch especially, offensively for Cannon really doesn't do much out there. Tyler is a tough kid, he's fighter, a scrapper, defensively, and he has more offensive capabilities than Cannon....Just a thought :) 
    Dest doesn't look happy playing leftback and I can understand why. If he decides to play for the US which I don't think will happen he should play right half, for we need someone with a little more intelligence,savvyness and more high level game experience (playing for Ajax), and  have Pulisic play ahead of him. Having a hot head like Morales playing behind Pulisic does no good. You can't have 2 explosive players Pulisic and Morales playing together...there is no balance.

    Again as we watch Uruguay play there is such a distinct difference between how our boys handle a ball and the Uruaguayans/Mexicans when it comes to operating in small spaces. I pose the question how are we going to build up an attack from the back when the opponents play very high pressure defense in our backfield. Our players have difficulty individually handling a ball in a small space under tight pressure that the typical Uruguayan or Mexican has no problem with. Note also we are not developed to play quick give and go's combinational passing in small spaces. In sum dribbling and combinational passing in small spaces under pressure is a major weakness.
    But don't worry help is on the way for SA has just reported in an article > MLS will send 20 coaches to France for a Youth Development course< Another licensed course, another dollar , wil definitely help us develop our youth....NEXT POST.

  4. frank schoon, September 11, 2019 at 7:54 a.m.

    Did you see how the Uruguayan scored that goal. So simple ,so direct and perfectly executed, it was the only thing that was worth watching. It was so simple, for it required little of any running or movement. It was a typical wing move so often seen 50 years ago by great wingers. You take the defender into a certain direction, in this case to the defender's left, wait for the defenders right leg going towards the left direction and then cut 90degree . It's over! the defender is off balance and to able to face the attacker again the defender would have to turn showing his back. 
    But instead the Uruguan shot with his left foot. Beating a player has nothing to do with running around like a jack-rabbit Pulisic style. No, it is very simple, it's all about balance.  Teach a player if you come at an opponent directly face to face downfield, for example, then take 2 dribbles, not 1, with the  right foot to the right, in a diagonal direction. In other words you force the defender to make him go where you want him to go, in this case to his left direction. You wait for his right leg to take a step towards his left direction and then cut back sharp, boom, you got him. Remember you only need one step of space to make a pass or shot . I mentioned 2dribbles not 1 because by dribbling twice or three times you're allowing the defender to get into a rhythm a momentum of moving to the left thereby making it more difficult for him to react to your cut back.
    I felt bad for Sargent ,he didn't get service ,even after asking for it when he was open. I like to know how Sargent is suppose to be used out there. Do the players know what kind of passes he likes to receive, from which direction, etc...Just to place him out there, a la Zlatan, is doing him a disservice....

  5. Nick Gabris, September 11, 2019 at 10:53 a.m.

    Good points Frank! Game seemed too slow on USA part. I still don't kow why Zardes is on this team? If the Netherlands can have faith in an 18 yr old player (Dest), why can't we bring in some better players to nurture from the U- 17,18, 19. Games I have watched have some excellent players. Reyna for one! I would be shocked if Dest decided to play for the US. Decision would be "playing in WC or not ?"

  6. Bob Ashpole, September 11, 2019 at 11:20 a.m.

    I think the way to go about building a national team program is not by focusing on the national team. The national team is the end result, not the beginning. 

    I suspect that have to build a men's national team program one club at a time. In the past you could say that the WNT program was build one college at a time. Now we have professional clubs so we need our Barca and Real Madrid, or our Ajax and Eindhoven. We need a club to start to build a tradition of excellence. 

    That is difficult to do with a business plan of parity, i.e., mediocrity. It takes great coaches and owners to build a great team rather than buy a great team.

    From what I can tell we have ownership groups in the US who want to build that tradition, but Europe has shown that few clubs manage to build something special and keep it.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, September 11, 2019 at 11:21 a.m.

    I hate auto-correct.

  8. beautiful game, September 11, 2019 at 11:34 a.m.

    How does Ream get an 8-rating? His overall play was way too slow, too many touches with plenty of space instead of passing the ball. Why Lima was given only about 15 minutes on the pitch is highly questionable. His technical and decision-making skills are far better than the player he replaced. Same for Pomykal, he saw only 8-minutes of action? On defense,Uruguay provided a lot of space in the U.S. half and the ball movement was too slow due to questionable positioning of players. This game, as the first against El-tri, shows poor player selection and little cohesion. Why was Zardes brought into the game? 

  9. Ric Fonseca replied, September 11, 2019 at 2:11 p.m.

    BG, my exact sentiment and question, as well as the 7-rating for Morris.  Interestingly, I see a patter of rating certain players fairly high?  As for Dest, let him go, 'cause to me it looks as if he's waiting which side of his sandwich will have more mustard.  And, what? No Latino/Hispanic players (although I understand that Lleget speaks Spanish?)  And so, a question to Mike Woitalla and Paul Gardner, did you guys take notice given your recent article vis-a-vis Latino/Hispanic players?  

  10. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.

    Ric, good question...
    I got a feeling Dest is doing it to please his father but looking at him , he doesn't look exciting and besides Dest is not the answer to a better functional US team....

  11. Nick Gabris, September 11, 2019 at 3:13 p.m.

    Have you guy's watched Ajax play in the Champios League with Dest on the field? You need players around you that make you better, not worse. Dest was totally frustrated during the game because he had no help, think back to the Mexico game with Pulisic in the same situation, he tried to do it on his own, no one around to help or play his give and go's. For an 18 yr. old, Dest is  good enough to play for Ajax, because they see the posibility in his future play, he is already showing some good decisions in his play. The MNT does not have the players that can play at that level, other than a hand full of US  European players. MLS homegrown players dont even come close with the current programs. Paul Gardners article was right on. The status quo needs to wake up if we even have a chance at making the next WC.   

  12. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2019 at 3:34 p.m.

    Agree

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, September 11, 2019 at 5:09 p.m.

    Hate to say it, but the team right now is weaker than the team that failed to qualify last cycle. That isn't a comment about individual players or coaches. It is a comment about the team.

    Sometimes the sum of the parts is less the value of the individual parts.

    Another point. I can't follow what GB is trying to do. I assume he has a plan, but I don't see any sign of what his objective is.

  14. frank schoon replied, September 11, 2019 at 5:34 p.m.

    Bob, I can't agree with you more..

  15. R2 Dad, September 12, 2019 at 11:57 p.m.

    I...I...just can't be bothered. 

  16. frank schoon replied, September 13, 2019 at 9:12 a.m.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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