Commentary

USA-Jamaica Men's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-JAMAICA EXPRESS:
March 25 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria
USA 4 Jamaica 1. Goals: Dest 34, Aaronson 52, Lletget 83, 90; Lowe 70.
* * * * * * * * * *

Sergino Dest came up with brilliant goal during a first half in which the U.S. frontline struggled against Jamaica's packed defense. Halftime sub Brenden Aaronson made it 2-0 and Sebastian Lletget struck twice late in the game for a 4-1 U.S. win that gave 14 European-based players their first national team action of the year.

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

GOALKEEPER

Zach Steffen gifted Jamaica an early corner kick with some atrocious footwork. He went down too early on the Jamal Lowe shot that made it 2-1. Steffen made a fine reflex save on Curtis Tilt's close-range effort in the 89th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG) 20/0 (25)

DEFENDERS

Sergino Dest, a delight to watch whenever on the ball so smooth are his skills, took the ball from just inside Jamaican half and unleashed a wonderful shot from 27 yards that curved and dipped into the far corner of the net. Central defenders Aaron Long and John Brooks overmatched the Jamaican attackers and Brooks' passing impressed. Reggie Cannon committed two fouls within seconds in the middle of the first half, the second of which gave Jamaica a free kick at the edge of the penalty area. He was cautioned for vigorous shirt-puling in the Jamaica half and got nutmegged by Andre Gray's assist pass when he was well-placed to thwart play.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

3
Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR) 14/0 (22)

7
John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER) 40/3 (28)

6
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) 20/3 (28)

8
Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP) 6/1 (20)

MIDFIELDERS

The slew of ineffectual corner kicks from Sebastian Lletget were almost painful to watch, but he played a key role in midfield attacks and struck crisply twice for the late goals that gave the game a scoreline expected by the USA against a ragtag Reggae Boyz lineup. Kellyn Acosta had a solid day at defensive midfielder while hitting several good passes, including cross-field strikes to the wingers. Yunus Musah did well to move forward quickly with the ball and hit the right pass, such as on Dest's goal, late in the first half when he calmly juked a Jamaican foe, carried the ball upfield and found an open Pulisic -- and during the buildup on the USA's second goal

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP) 3/0 (18)

6
Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 26/2 (25)

7
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 19/5 (28)

FORWARDS

Christian Pulisic's shots banged into defenders or went wide. His 45th-minute free kick went high. He left at halftime as a planned substitution. Gio Reyna got 23 more minutes of action than Pulisic but used them to squander several changes in a performance the teenager will want to move on from quickly. Center forward Josh Sargent couldn't score from the below optimal service he got, but his assist after he roasted Ethan Pinnock showed how effective he can be when he has the ball at his feet in the penalty area. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

3
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 3/1 (18)

6
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER) 13/5 (21)

4
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG) 35/14 (22)

SUBSTITUTES

Six minutes after coming on at halftime, Brenden Aaronson sent a juicy pass to Reyna, whose poor first touch prevented a better shot. A minute later, Aaronson headed Musah's pass to Sargent and followed up to be at the right place to stroke Sargent's pass into the net from close-range. Nicholas Gioacchini missed horribly high from a good Antonee Robinson service and over-hit a pass that should have given Sargent a clear shot on goal -- but Gioacchini passed accurately to Lletget on the third U.S. goal. Gioacchini got the ball for that setup from Luca de la Torre, who assisted Lletget's second strike.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT) 3/2 (20)

5
Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER) 2/0 (20)

6
Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG) 9/0 (23)

5
Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA) 3/2 (20)

6
Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED) 2/0 (22)

5
Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI) 1/0 (24)

TRIVIA: The U.S. starting lineup had players from clubs in five different countries: Germany (3), USA (3), England (2), Spain (2), Portugal (1).

NEXT UP: The USA faces Northern Ireland in Belfast on Sunday in another friendly.  

March 25 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria
USA 4 Jamaica 1. Goals: Dest 34, Aaronson 52, Lletget 83, 90; Lowe 70.
USA -- Steffen; Cannon, Long (Richards, 46), Brooks, Dest (Robinson, 67); Musah (de la Torre, 73), Acosta, Lletget; Reyna (Gioacchini, 68), Sargent (Siebatcheu, 82), Pulisic (Aaronson, 46).
Jamaica -- Gray (Hylton, 86); Morris (Willis, 55), Palmer (Wellington, 86), J.Lowe (Levee, 72); Isaacs (Holness, 55), Hector; Bell, Moore, Pinnock (Tilt, 64), Mariappa; White.
Yellow cards: USA --- Cannon 48.; Jamaica --- none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Christian-Petru Ciochirca (Austria).

Stats:
USA/Jamaica
Shots: 28/9
Shots on target:8/3
Saves: 3/4
Corner Kicks: 10/5
Fouls: 18/15
Offside: 1/1
Possession: 69%/31%

14 comments about "USA-Jamaica Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Frans Vischer, March 25, 2021 at 6:37 p.m.

    Brooks' passing impressed?!!! Are you serious? I lost count of the atrocious passes he made, many of them quite simple ones, straight to a Jamaican player! A 4 would be charitable. His defensive play was good, but he needs to be a more well-rounded player. 
    All around an okay effort- chalked up to learning to play together, but again, not a great test against an opponent just working off the rust. 
     

  2. Kent James replied, March 26, 2021 at 10:40 a.m.

    Brooks did have a couple of shockingly bad passes (under no pressure, so bad that you couldn't even figure out where he was trying to pass), but he was clearly the ball-handler on the back line, and most of the time passed reasonably well (though nothing special).  

  3. Santiago 1314, March 25, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

    Good, Good, Good,... Beat these Weak CON CAca CrApF teams into the Turf.!!! If we are to Re-Build the MYSTIC of "American Exceptionalism" we must Dominate all these kind of Games... Eventually we will get back that One Goal margin that BEING the USA was Worth against All but Mexico... But at Least Mexico Respected us... Berhalter seems to have figured out... "We need to be like the Women's Team"

  4. frank schoon replied, March 26, 2021 at 3:03 p.m.

    Santiago, Bob, Frans, Ships ,check this out. Look how Frenkie de jong beats his opponent without Turbo.

    .Frenkie de Jong's Signature Move - The de Jong Turn - YouTube

  5. Wooden Ships replied, March 26, 2021 at 4:05 p.m.

    Turned this way as a pre-teen. Get the defender on your back, he goes to your left or right and you go the other with balance and soft touches, not with the sole but with the inside or outside of the foot. Simple in its technique. Don't see it that often for some reason.

  6. frank schoon replied, March 26, 2021 at 5:07 p.m.

    Ships , he does it so simple. He waits untill his opponent is fully commits to one of his sides and turns the opposite way and what so important about is he invites the opponent to commit to one side. When I taught it ,I called it the 'Turn away' move and the important thing I stressed was you have to outrun the opponent. It such a simple move to create time for yourself but it's rarely done.

  7. james Fitzsimons, March 25, 2021 at 11:04 p.m.

    LLetget was really good, Brooks is intimidatingly tough and great passing, one looks at this team with the addition of McKinney and Adams and they have such depth.  I think Brooks is, however, the only player as tough and McKinney.....tonight was against a lesser team (tough they did well) but all things taken together bode for a bright future.

  8. frank schoon, March 26, 2021 at 10:23 a.m.

    OK we won. Here are some tidbits that I noticed about the game. First of all Dest played with 2 fingers up his nose; a dutch term in describing he had an easy time of it. Keep in mind, Jamaica played with a low defensive block.... ( I'm using some standard soccer jargon, which I just learned and apparently is used by licensed coaches today including by the announcer Taylor Twittwell or whatever his name is). In other words Jamaica played defensive since their team has basically not played together.

    With a low defensive bloc( oh, brother) it allowed our defense more space to move up and give Dest more time with the ball, which allowed him to shine. Dest stood out even among those who play in Europe themselves. The only difference between Dest and the rest, is that Dest learned and grew up and developed in Holland and you can see the difference. He is not a TURBO player, and he knows where to pick his spots to look good which is totally unlike the other American players who are trying to force the situation, especially up front.

    Sargent has got to improve his game 1v1, thereby he'll increase his options of attack. He hangs too much around the center lane looking for someone to give him the perfect to him to score. He's got to realize we dont a Pirlo or players in the 2nd line who are passers....Passing accuracy on the US team is one stage of development that needs to be seriously worked on and ofcourse that is a glaring weakness of US development. Even the Jamaican passes better together as a team then we do.
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  9. frank schoon, March 26, 2021 at 10:33 a.m.

    It would be nice to study for the coaches the effect of having 3 rightfooted players on the left flank. They all tend to want to go inside towards the middle and you saw noone make runs down the left flank for crosses or penetration on attacks. There weren't any attacking options for us on that part. Then likewise you have our right flank Reyna going inside, as a result there was lots of 'bottling up in the middle, which forces us having to play quick give and go's which is not a strength of ours style of play...Now look at this total picture and then ask where does Sargent come in for basically he has no space to manuever.

    Furthermore , I don't see enough shooting power coming from our 2nd line our mids outside of the penalty area. Fortunately, we played against an inexperience Jamaican team, but they are not a bad team. I only wished their coach could still play, I enjoyed watching him in the 90's for Jamaica...great player...

  10. Wooden Ships replied, March 26, 2021 at 11:59 a.m.

    Trying to recall details of the match, as I don't record, gets tougher each passing year. Frank your recall is uncanny and you have a few years on me as well. Some observations. I'm a homer for Sargent (St. Louis kid) and a liken him to (don't laugh) a US version of a young Lowendoski. Other than, the in small space creating (he's not short, with a Romantic language dribbling comfort) he possesses similar skills and instinct. He rarely is beat in hold up and aerial flick ons. I do wish in hindsight he would have maintained a balance to either meg or cut it back in the shot that was blocked just outside the 6. Again, he is taller than the shorter, low center, striker. I was 5'8" and used it to great advantage. I do find him becoming increasingly effective in tight small ball combinations. If memory serves he was pretty well marked and when creating space (timing) he again was effective. The play coming from central, passing, is an understanding between players. Yes, we have no Pirlo, but very few do, and we continue to have different selections in the mid which makes it less certain of what to expect with service. Which brings to mind Lletget. It's not nice that I grimaced when he scored again (2) as it reminded me of Altidore getting goals or Zardes, mostly against weak defenders. Can't argue with his finish, what I can argue is that, he's not at the level we need in attacking. Twice that I remember, in this game and a few others, he appeared and brought with him a defender into a space he shouldn't have. You mentioned Reyna doing the same thing (he's not an outside player) plugging up space. Reyna's naturally gravitates inside, Lletget ball watches inside. There's a difference. The scoring area around and in the 18 requires an awareness of your teammate(s) there already and entering. I don't see SL having that understanding. Happy for him, and Berhalter has an affinity for him (is one early that worshipped the System?), but he's not my choice and probably wouldn't make my 23. Most of his crosses and corners are floaters, not driven. How is that accepted at a National team level. 


    You want smooth, Brandon Aarinson is head and shoulders in skill level above Sebastian. Anyway, I wish Sargent would find another club and I wish he didn't have to fight so hard to win Berhalter over with play that interferes with his movement, either taking up as a withdrawn striker and/or when called for making the bending/slashing run. Ultimately, for him and our other creative-attacking players the former defender-manager will get out of the way. 

  11. frank schoon replied, March 26, 2021 at 12:48 p.m.

    Good Points Ships. Sargent needs to get away from the team he's playing on now, for he's just spinning his wheels there, he's not learning anything there...Another problem I see and it is not in his favor is that GB is no help to him. GB was a simple minded centerfullback who lacks the intelligence to understand in improving Sargent's game, offensively. There are details that can be laid out. For example, at Ajax, everyone knows how the striker likes to receive the ball, and that entails movements off the ball from his teammates and knowing the weakness that can be ameliorated.

    I get the idea that GB is at a level of saying we got Pulisic on the left wing and Reyna on the right and we have strong midfield for support. The deeper details are missing. To me Sargent is not getting any help ,either from his teammates or from his coaching staff. Over time the US has played so much Turbo soccer that a player like Sargent who is not turbo tends to have problem with the style and manner of how we play. This is why he is spinning his wheels by his team for it's Turbo soccer. For example, at Ajax if Sargent played there the system would be set up so he is given the environment to operate in the most efficiently and he would be aided by his coaches who have in his position to give more info to make play better as an individual.

    The passes are not as accurately placed in Germany as they are done by Ajax and therefore the German don't mind fighting for a ball that is not that accurate, but dutch don't like passes that are 50/50 fight balls for that goes against their style of play and body build. The passes have to be more effective so that it create continuity of play, in the following motion.


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  12. frank schoon replied, March 26, 2021 at 12:55 p.m.

    My comment about Pirlo is meant in the light of better passing. We as a whole don't have good passers and that reflects part of our soccer culture. So many passes are bad. We talk about a pass being good if it reaches a player who has the same color jersey on. There is no talk about the speed of the pass, the accuracy the timing, which foot is should have gone to, or that pass is meant to create another situation off the ball. That is what I meant. I realize we don't have Pirlos and that is because as long as we are influenced by a Turbo style soccer we don't create as a result less thinkers and strategists of the game.


  13. Wooden Ships replied, March 26, 2021 at 5:05 p.m.

    Yes, I knew you were referring to passing with Pirlo and there are others we could list with that level of acumen. We've had a few over the years that were talented passers from the mid, most recently was Feilhaber, but he wasn't handled/managed properly. He was good for a few sitters a game. Players trust others when they know the ball will be where they need it and when. They also expect to be rewarded for that run-effort, especially goal scorers. I think we have a couple, or more, to make good delivery. 

  14. Kent James, March 26, 2021 at 10:46 a.m.

    I thought the score fairly reflected the US dominance of the game.  I like the Dest-Pulisic tandem on the left side.  Llegett is never spectacular, but he did seem to be everywhere and his two goals were excellent finishes, so kudos to him.  I think the ratings are pretty accurate, but a little harsh on Reyna.  He did mess up some good chances, but he was creating a lot more, and always seemed dangerous with the ball at his feet.  Pretty solid performance by the team overall.

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