Commentary

USA-El Salvador Men's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-EL SALVADOR EXPRESS:
Month 9 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
USA 6 El Salvador 0. Goals: Goals: Arriola 17, Mueller 20, 25, Lletget 23, Akinola 27, Aaronson 50.
Att.: 2,500 (limited capacity)
* * * * * * * * * *

The USA scored five goals within 10 minutes in the first half on the way to a 6-0 friendly win over El Salvador. Using only two players -- Sebastian Lletget and Sebastian Soto -- who took part in the 6-2 mid-November win over Panama, Coach Gregg Berhalter started three debutants. Of the trio, Chris Mueller provided the most impressive performance, scoring twice and setting up two others.

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

GOALKEEPER

Bill Hamid was able to handle all three saves without leaving the center of his goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Bill Hamid (D.C. United) 8/0 (30)

DEFENDERS

Julian Araujo ended a Salvadoran attack deep in the U.S. half within a minute of floating the perfect ball to Chris Mueller on the fourth goal. Araujo got lucky after a horrible second-half back pass when Dustin Corea shot straight to Hamid. The central tandem of Aaron Long and Mark McKenzie faced a non-existent attack but used the ball wisely when it did come their way. Left back Sam Vines provided a well-timed pass to Mueller on the first goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy) 1/0 (19)

6
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) 18/3 (28)

5
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union) 2/0 (21)

6
Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids) 2/0 (21)

MIDFIELDERS

Sebastian Lletget's left wing foray helped set up the second goal, on which Jackson Yueill's first-touch pass assisted the Mueller strike. Lletget, helped by a deflection, scored the third goal after running on to a Brenden Aaronson pass down the middle. Aaronson's goal, the sixth goal and only goal in the second half, came from Lletget's pass after he roasted El Salvador's right back.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union) 2/1 (20)

7
Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) 8/0 (23)

8
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 17/4 (28)

FORWARDS

Paul Arriola sparked U.S. attacks shortly after the opening whistle and opened the scoring with a crisp shot after the perfect first touch. He did crucial prep work on the fifth goal, winning the ball in the center circle and flying upfield.  Chris Mueller set up Arriola's goal after adroitly leaping over Roberto Domínguez's slide tackle and passing between other defenders. Mueller scored with a sharp 15-yard shot -- after being involved in the buildup -- and with a pretty diving header. Ayo Akinola skied his first shot, but his second created the rebound that led to Mueller's first goal and he hit the net with his third to make it 5-0 -- set up by Mueller.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Paul Arriola (D.C. United) 34/6 (25)

6
Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC) 1/1 (20)

9
Chris Mueller (Orlando City) 1/2 (24)

SUBSTITUTES

Marco Farfan, making his U.S. debut, came on for Vines to handle the unthreatened left side of the U.S. defense. There were no more goals after all the other subs came on as the game took on a lackluster quality. Kellyn Acosta, the most experienced player in the squad besides Arriola, hit the wall with a free kick and followed up with a corner kick that didn't get past the first defender. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers) 1/0 (22)

5
Sebastian Soto (Telstar/NED) 2/2 (20)

4
Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 24/2 (25) 

5 
Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire) 6/1 (22)

nr
Kyle Duncan (NY Red Bulls) (1/0) 23

nr
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 13/2 (27)

TRIVIA: In 24 for meetings, El Salvador has beaten the USA only once, a 2-0 home friendly win in San Salvador in 1992.

NOTABLE: El Salvador’s squad averaged 27 caps; the USA’s averaged 6 caps. 

Dec. 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
USA 6 El Salvador 0. Goals: Arriola 17, Mueller 20, 25, Lletget 23, Akinola 27, Aaronson 50.
USA -- Hamid, Araujo (Duncan, 74), Long (Zimmerman, 83), McKenzie, Vines (Farfan, 46), Aaronson, Yueill, Lletget (Acosta, 68), Arriola (Soto, 58), Akinola (Mihailovic, 74), Mueller.
El Salvador -- Hernandez, Jimenez (Larin, 57), Dominguez, Orellana, Mancia, Marroquin (Tamacas, 38), Ceren, Pineda (Corea, 70), Rivas (Flores, 52), Monterrosa (Punyed, 52),  Diaz (Mendoza 38).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; El Salvador -- Dominguez 61. Red cards: none
Referee: Jose Raul Torres (Puerto Rico)
Att.: 2,500 (limited capacity)


Stats:
USA/El Salvador
Shots: 22/3
Shots on target: 9/3
Saves: 3/3
Corner Kicks:6/0
Fouls: 11/16
Offside: 5/1
Possession: 60%/40%

3 comments about "USA-El Salvador Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Seth Vieux, December 9, 2020 at 11:37 p.m.

    Rating Long ahead of McKenzie is a real head scratcher, take away Araujo's one mistake and he was clearly more impressive than Long on the night too. Yuiell and Aaronson also performed better than Lletget in the midfield. Lletget did well but also gave the ball away more than any other US player.

    Overall, I must admit that for an all MLS squad, and most of them young pups, I was pretty damn impressed with the technical levels and decision making of just about everyone. El Salvador may not be particularly intimidating opponent, but they said the average caps for the team was 27 so a complete dismantling of them by second and third choice players is pretty encouraging for qualification even when the Euro-based first choice players aren't available.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, December 10, 2020 at 4:17 a.m.

    I think it kinder and more accurate to refer to this US squad as mostly candidates for our U23 team. The lower number of senior caps reflects their youth, not their ability.

  3. Wooden Ships, December 10, 2020 at 10:12 a.m.

    Again, many (including me) probably didn't get to watch the match. Our Senior National Team, playing in Florida, and our viewing options were few. A sign of the times, technology-modernity, understandable. Also a sign of the times is the youth centered culture and the dismissal of older folks that paved the way. Along with other events, my expat considerations are solidifying. 

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