Commentary

USA-Canada: Men's Concacaf Nations League Player Ratings

USA-CANADA EXPRESS:
Nov. 15 in Orlando, Fla.
USA 4 Canada 1. Goals: Morris 2, Zardes 23, 89, Long 34; Vitoria 72.
Att.: 13,103.

The USA put itself in a position to win its group and advance to the semifinals in the Concacaf Nations League thanks to a 4-1 win over Canada in Orlando.

After the 2-0 loss to Canada in Toronto, one of the USA's worst performances in a competitive Concacaf match, the USA needed to respond and it did with three goals in the first 34 minutes. But the USA was again sloppy for much of the match and benefited from a Canadian showing in Orlando that was even worse than the U.S. performance a month earlier on the road.

The USA will win Group A if it beats Cuba on Tuesday in the Cayman Islands. The loss might have dropped Canada out of the Concacaf top six in the FIFA rankings. The top six teams in the June 2020 rankings will advance to the Hexagonal, Concacaf's main competition for 2022 World Cup qualifying.

USA PLAYER RATINGS
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)

GOALKEEPER

Brad Guzan did not have a lot to do as the USA built a 3-0 cushion, but he had to dive to stop Alphonso Davies' shot in the 84th minute after the Bayern teenager weaved through the U.S. defense with a chance to reduce the U.S. lead to 3-2.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Brad Guzan (Atlanta United) 63/0 (35)

DEFENDERS

In his debut in a competitive match that officially tied him permanently to the USA, Sergino Dest demonstrated why he attracted so much interest from the USA and his native Netherlands. He was involved in the first two U.S. goals, playing on Sebastian Lletget's corner kick that was deflected to Jordan Morris in the 2nd minute, and playing a simple header to Paul Arriola that started the counterattack that led to the second goal in the 23rd minute. Dest consistently attacked and was the best U.S. player at finding his teammates. John Brooks lived dangerously with two early fouls and a no-call for which the Canadians wanted a penalty kick in the 22nd minute, but he also cleaned up a lot of balls played into the U.S. area and started the third goal by playing out of pressure in the back, no small feat on a backline that has struggled with the ball. Tim Ream fed Aaron Long for the third U.S. goal in the 34th minute when his out-swinging free kick was easily headed into the goal, but he was later beaten by Steven Vitoria at the far post on the Canada goal in the 72nd minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED) 3/0 (19)

7 John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER) 38/3 (26)

6 Aaron Long (NY Red Bulls) 15/3 (27)

5 Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 39/1 (32)

MIDFIELDERS

Sebastian Lletget's corner kick set up the first goal, and he was fouled on the play that led to the third goal. He created the most problems for Canada other than Dest, pupping up at different positions in midfield. Jackson Yueill and Weston McKennie struggled to dictate the rhythm of the game, especially after the USA opened up a three-goal lead in the first half, but the three midfielders did a good job of limiting Canada's opportunities.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5
Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) 5/0 (22)

5 Weston McKennie (Schalke 04/GER) 18/6 (21)

7 Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 13/2 (27)

FORWARDS

Five days after winning MLS Cup in Seattle, Jordan Morris had a big game against Canada, scoring the first goal, setting up Gyasi Zardes for the second goal and winning the ball in midfield that started the counterattack on the play that ended with Long's headed goal. Zardes got open to put away Morris' cross for the second goal and added a second goal of his own in the 89th minute with a driven shot on target. Paul Arriola's lofted ball over the Canadian backline found Morris, who was wide open to feed Zardes.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7
Jordan Morris  (Seattle Sounders) 38/8 (25)

7 Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew) 55/12 (28)

6 Paul Arriola (D.C. United) 31/5 (24)

SUBSTITUTES

Alfredo Morales came on for Lletget but couldn't put his stamp on the game. Tyler Boyd and DeAndre Yedlin, who fed Zardes for his second goal, were late subs.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Duesseldorf/GER) 15/0 (29)

NR Tyler Boyd (Besiktas/TUR) 9/2 (24)

NR
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG) 61/0 (26)

TRIVIA. The USA hasn't lost to Canada at home in 62 years. In all, its record against Canada at home is 12-1-9 in a series that began in 1925.

Nov. 15 in Orlando, Fla.
USA 4 Canada 1. Goals: Morris 2, Zardes 23, 89, Long 34; Vitoria 72.
USA -- Guzan; Dest (Boyd 90), Long, Brooks, Ream; Yueill, McKennie, Lletget (Morales 69); Arriola, Zardes, Morris (Yedlin 86).
Canada -- Borjan; Laryea, Vitoria, Henry (Cornelius 49), Davies; Kaye (Eustaquio 63), Piette; Arfield, Osorio, David, Cavallini (Hoillet 62).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; Canada -- Cavallini 8, Borjan 45, Hoillet 67.  Red cards: none.
Referee: Cesar Ramos (Mexico).
Att.: 13,103.

Stats:
USA/Canada
Shots: 12/11
Shots on Goal: 5/3
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 3/6
Fouls: 20/11
Offside: 2/0
Possession: 36%/64%

15 comments about "USA-Canada: Men's Concacaf Nations League Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, November 16, 2019 at 12:07 a.m.

    Morris dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. This was the best I have seen him play.

    He and Lletget were impressive on the left flank.

  2. Kent James replied, November 16, 2019 at 1:11 a.m.

    Jordan's use of the outside of his right foot on the cross finished by Zardes (who had two very nice goals) was brilliant.  Usually I get annoyed with players who use the outside of their foot to cross the ball because it's often (not always, but often) a way to avoid using their weaker foot (which I think is a surprising weakness at the professional level), but sometimes there is a good reason to use it, with Morris's cross being the perfect example.  The defender was ready to block the left-footed cross but by striking it with the outside of his right, the defender was not ready (I'm sure he expected his right foot to be his plant foot).  

  3. Seth Vieux replied, November 16, 2019 at 7:17 a.m.

    Kent late in the game Morris absolutely scuffed a very simple left footed cross that almost surely wild have scored another. While I agree his assist was nice, contrasting these two plays tells a not great story about his technical ability.

  4. John Munnell replied, November 16, 2019 at 7:29 a.m.

    Seth ---- I took that to be fatigue, so I give Morris a break on that one. He did a ton of work in the MLS championship and was just as energetic in the first half of this match. I think his play has improved a lot in the last year, but it is the end of a long season for the MLS guys.

  5. Seth Vieux replied, November 16, 2019 at 7:49 a.m.

    Just watched this again and the cross that Zardes headed in was with the left foot, a close range clip/chip backwards as the keeper made the ill-advised break off his line. Definitely no outside of the right boot there.

    John I also give some leeway for fatigue on the scuffed left footer at the end, expected Beehalter to have a sub on for him immediately after.

  6. frank schoon replied, November 16, 2019 at 1:31 p.m.

    Kent , you're right about so few players able to use their left or weak foot, which can be worked on but it is not done. This is one thing if a youth once leaves the DA program he should be able to do what was able to do at 14. Cruyff stated by the age of 14 he was able to pass and kick and dribble 6 different ways: outside of either foot as well inside and instep. He stated that today's pros are unable to come even close to what he can do as a youth...Cruyff always employed over 90% of the time his outside of his foot to pass the ball. He stated that it is much faster. Notice how hard and FAST Lleget hit that ball...it was unexpected for if he employed his left foot , he would have needed an extra step; and this is why Cruyff uses the outside of dribble foot to pass with the outside of the foot for it throws off the defender's timing as well...

  7. Kent James replied, November 16, 2019 at 2:39 p.m.

    Seth, you're right.  Morris's outside of the foot cross was not on Zardes goal.  It was a different play (one where a field player was covering him, and looked to have him covered).  But it does exist! (I don't think I imagined it...).

  8. Seth Vieux replied, November 16, 2019 at 4:03 p.m.

    Kent I know you didn't imagine it! That's why I replied and compared it to his woeful left foot try at the end of the game. Happy for Morris that he's playing well for club and country lately, but just like when he 'burst' on the scene years ago I still see him as a pretty limited player. Think he deserves a starting spot at RW, just hope Weah or someone younger with a far better level of play one day (sooner than later) forces him into a solid sub on the USMNT.

  9. Philip Carragher replied, November 16, 2019 at 4:15 p.m.

    Using the outside of the foot is also useful for fast-break dribbling. The player can keep his/her body moving forward at a higher pace since the player's hips don't need to open up while dribbling. If the player instead uses the inside of the foot the hip needs to open and energy that can be devoted to moving forward goes flying off to the side. Loss of speed. And in some instances, loss of control as well because, by using the outside of the foot (or laces), the player is able to employ a touch of backspin that can help keep the ball closer if needed.

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2019 at 4:25 p.m.

    Morris is way out of Position...Berhalter needs to look at video of Karl Heinz Rumminnege... Another Only RIGHT Footed Player... Not a Flank Player... A Poacher Finisher... Go back and watch 86 WC Final in Azteca.

  11. John Munnell, November 16, 2019 at 7:33 a.m.

    Paul, I think you are very generous with McKennie. That may be the worst I've ever seen him play anywhere. He didn't seem nearly as effective defensively as usual, gave the ball away time after time, and had no presence going forward.

  12. E Velazquez, November 16, 2019 at 7:49 a.m.

    POOR SOCCER from our team in the second half. Some players appeared to be  phjysically tired. The coach made changes TOO late.  Mr GB  has shown thus far to be the coach we need to replace but, appears to be protected  by somebody,  may be by  Mr. E. Steward ?. 

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2019 at 3:45 p.m.

    Try his Brother. Jay. Chief Operating Officer for USSF... Leading candidate to be Replace outgoing CEO Dan Flynn.

  14. Kevin Leahy, November 16, 2019 at 8:41 a.m.

    When Canada has possession for almost 2/3 of the match it, isn't as good as the score line looks. The US put away most of their chances but, the signals are still not good. Not a fan of 3 midfielders or zonal defending on corners. Zonal defending on corners takes away the responsibility. This team needs Tyler Adams healthy not, too mention Pulisic!

  15. Santiago 1314, November 17, 2019 at 4:31 p.m.

    Oh, and shall I Repeat... when Arriola plays, USA is Much Better.... And, HoHumm, it's Canada,,, this is what we Expect.!!!

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