Commentary

USA-Costa Rica Men's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-COSTA RICA EXPRESS:
June 9 in Sandy, Utah
USA 4 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Aaronson 8, Dike 42, Cannon 52, Reyna pen. 77.
Att.19,007.
* * * * * * * * * *


The USA closed out the June window with its third win in seven days over Concacaf opposition. The 4-0 victory over Costa Rica was, by a wide margin, the easiest of the three games. The Ticos never showed any interest in playing, falling behind early and never threatening the USA, which started just two players from the team that started three days earlier in the Concacaf Nations League final against Mexico.

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

GOALKEEPER

Ethan Horvath, the hero of Sunday's overtime win, had little to do on his 26th birthday. He saved a couple of harmless shots and dealt confidently with one dangerous free-kick situation.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL) 7/0 (26)

DEFENDERS

Mark McKenzie returned to the starting lineup for the fourth straight game and had his best match in a U.S. uniform in his 45-minute shift. He won every one-on-one duel except one with Joel Campbell in the 37th minute when he slipped and took a yellow card instead of letting Campbell advance into the penalty area. McKenzie's long through ball split the Costa Rica defense to put Daryl Dike through for his first international goal shortly before halftime. Reggie Cannon also scored his first U.S. goal, displaying all the skills of a seasoned striker, racing at the Costa Rica backline before pausing and cutting to his left, where he fired a left-footed shot inside the near post in the 52nd minute. Tim Ream, who also started against Mexico, and Antonee Robinson faced little danger on the left side. Robinson was involved in the buildup for the first goal but otherwise had a quiet game in attack.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR) 18/1 (22)

7
Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL) 6/0 (22)

6
Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 45/1 (33)

6
Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG) 12/0 (23)

MIDFIELDERS

Tyler Adams' insertion in the lineup for his first U.S. start since November was a key factor in the team's midfield dominance. He didn't make any big plays but he didn't have to. His calm demeanor gave the USA time to get organized and attack through a variety of channels. After he missed the Concacaf Champions League, the spotlight was on Yunus Musah, and he showed off his versatility and range. Sebastian Lletget started the attack that led to Aaronson's opening goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER) 14/1 (22)

6
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 24/7 (28)

7
Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP) 6/0 (18)

FORWARDS

Brenden Aaronson and Daryl Dike both have made enormous strides since moving to Europe in January, and they were both rewarded with goals against Costa Rica. Aaronson was quick to pounce on a loose ball to open the scoring in the 8th minute. He had the move of the game late in the first half when he danced past several Tico defenders before laying the ball off to Musah, who shot wide. Dike raced on to McKenzie's through ball and gave Costa Rica keeper Leonel Moreira no chance on his breakaway in the 42nd minute. Moreira robbed Tim Weah in the 14th minute. Otherwise, Weah covered an enormous amount of ground on the right side, which he had to himself.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT) 7/3 (20)

7
Daryl Dike (Orlando City) 2/1 (21)

6
Tim Weah (Lille/FRA) 13/1 (21)

SUBSTITUTES

On his first touch of the ball, Gio Reyna was chopped down by Keysher Fuller in the penalty area for a spot kick he converted. The only down note of the evening came late in the game when Jordan Siebatcheu suffered an apparent knee injury. He tried to shake it off but had to leave the game minutes later.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 14/2 (28)

5
Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) 12/0 (24)

6
Gio Reyna (Bor. Dortmund/GER) 8/4 (18)

5
Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 31/2 (25)

5
Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI) 6/1 (25)

NR
Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP) 11/1 (20)

TRIVIAThe four goals the USA scored against Costa Rica marked only the second time in 40 meetings it scored as many as four goals against the Ticos. It also won 4-0 in their group-stage match at the 2016 Copa Centenario.

June 9 in Sandy, Utah
USA 4 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Aaronson 8, Dike 42, Cannon 52, Reyna pen. 77.
USA -- Horvath; Cannon, McKenzie (Zimmerman, 46), Ream, Robinson (Dest, 82); Musah (Acosta, 75), Adams (Yueil, 62), Lletget; Weah (Reyna, 74), Dike (Siebatcheu, 75), Aaronson.
Costa Rica -- Moreira; Fuller, Salazar (Leal, 46), Gonzalez, Calvo, Mora; Torres (Lassiter, 46), Tejeda (Oviedo, 75), Alfaro (Borges, 45); Campbell (Cruz, 64), Venegas (Montenegro, 64)
Yellow cards: USA -- McKenzie 37; Costa Rica -- Fuller 76. Red cards: None.
Referee: Tristley Bassue (St. Kitts & Nevis).
Att.19,007.

Stats:
USA/Costa Rica
Shots: 11/8
Shots on target: 5/2
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 5/0
Fouls: 13/18
Offside: 1/2
Possession: 65%/35%

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

12 comments about "USA-Costa Rica Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. David Crowther, June 10, 2021 at 12:08 a.m.

    It was nice watching the US second string have fun, but I'm not sure how much you can take from this match against a Costa Rica side that was not only demoralized from losing two consecutive penalty shoot-outs but was also severly understrength.  Though the Ticos are only a shadow of what they were a few years ago, I imagine they will still offer a bit more of a challenge in qualifying once they recover all the players that had to drop out of this squad due to injuries and an outbreak of COVID.  If nothing else, their defense should be a lot more soid.

  2. Kent James, June 10, 2021 at 12:09 a.m.

    Describing Costa Rica as "uninspired" is inspired commentary! (Sorry).  GB's complete alteration of the line-up was certainly a great idea, given that I could easily have seen a let-down after the Mexico match if he had kept the same line-up. The US looked very strong against a team that we've struggled against recently, but CR was truly uninspired; they were really not in it.  


    Cannon's goal was inspired, from the timing on the intercept to the fake that rid him of his defender to the shot just inside the post.  Aaronson continues to impress, his quickness and work rate causing the defense troubles, and his runs to get behind the defense are exceptional.  I thought Zimmerman seemed to be everywhere on defense when he came on (though he was so busy because we were starting to let CR play a bit), so I thought he did enough to warrant more than a 5.  So sure, it was our "B" team against CONCACAF opposition, but it was still a nice display of attacking talent.  


    I am surprised there was no mention of Dike's somewhat unfathonamble decision to let Aaronson's pass to him when he was open at the top of the 18 go by him; not sure why he let that go (did Robinson call for it?).  You don't see many chances like that not taken...(but Dike did score a nice goal later, though he was so casual I wasn't sure he saw the defender chasing him from behind).  

  3. Peter Bechtold, June 10, 2021 at 12:10 a.m.

    Couldn't help but notice that Ethan Horvath got the lowest score among the 11 starters...hmm.
    I know that he did not have many saves, but his distribution was much better(also quicker) than Zach Steffen's.
    Also, you seem to appreciate Lletget more than I do. He does not play fast enough against good opposition.

  4. Kent James replied, June 11, 2021 at 1:59 a.m.

    It seems they use the "5" rating as neutral; didn't do anything great but didn't do anything bad either (seems like GK with not much to do get this rating pretty regularly).  Seems harsh (because 5 out of 10 seems pretty bad), so I agree with you, but on the other hand, what do you give a GK who makes one solid save and doesn't really do anything else (because nothing else came their way)?  They should come up with something else...

  5. Santiago 1314, June 10, 2021 at 6:41 a.m.

    Way to Go; Team USA... Very important to send a Message to Con-caca-crapf Teams... Well Done.!!! "A" Team, "B" Team, TEAM USA... Just Win Baby, WIN.!!!

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, June 11, 2021 at 10:17 p.m.

    #6.???...see Redondo (Real Madrid)... The Merengue have Never been the Same,  since he Left... Not sure we got anyone like him in the U.S.; of course, Nobody does.

  7. frank schoon, June 10, 2021 at 10:10 a.m.

    I would have preferred to watch the A vs B team, intra-squad game. I have no idea why we played Costa Rica which was useless and uninspiring.  

    Santiago, I know you're happy with this win,but this game, in no way, is a reflection of preparation of Concacrap...Like we say in Holland our guys played out there with 2fingers up their nose, meaning this wasn't even a game.....

    I was hoping to read more about the 'technical' criticisms of the players like we do in Holland for then the fan will know more about the players, their abilities, negative and positive and can formulate a better opinion about the players of how well they did. 

    Just look at Tyler Adams, he got rated a "7"....you've got to be kidding!!....What did he do to get a 7?...Nothing!.. Playing a #6 role  requires ,a brain, along with a high technical quality passing capabilities, like a Wesley Sneyder, a Van der Vaart. I'm afaid we have dumbed down the #6 role down.

    Tyler was never pressured by Costa Rica, often having 5-6 meters open space surrounding him to receive the ball unaccosted , then  passing square or backwards to the centerbacks when he wasn't  even pressured, thus giving Costa Rica more space in front of our goal. These are useless passes for it doesn't accomplish anything...He passes sometimes forwards to an attacker coming back to receive the ball with an opponent or two in his back when he could have passed to a wing wide open on the flank.

    Tyler doesn't have the finesse, technically or mentally, of playing the #6 role. He doesn't understand that in the build up the main object is his pass should beat an opponent; next his pass should speed up the tempo of the game for in the build up you don't make passes, square or backwards, that either slow the game down, giving the opponent time to adjust defensively.  Everything out there is passed to the feet like in women's soccer employing no third man off the ball...way too simplistic. 

    It is very noticeable watching the MLS how the #6 position is just dumbed down when in fact it is a very crucial position, ball-wise, offensively...

    I think Costa Rica has to go back to the drawingboard for their display was awful....

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, June 11, 2021 at 10:31 p.m.

    Yes Frank, Happy with The Win... Not so much the Way... I could go on for Hours about the Deficiencies... But, I haven't got the Time... I could also go on for Hours about the Positives... The most important thing for the Group right now is NOT the Technical or Tactical or Fitness... It's a "Mind Game" now... We got to Re-impose our "American Exceptionalism" on these CONCACACRAPF Teams... Sure will make things Easier in the Future.

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, June 12, 2021 at 10:46 p.m.

    Frank, what you ran into is conventional US soccer wisdom "stagnant play" as contrasted to positional play. "Stagnant" is a quite appropriate description of US conventional wisdom.

  10. John Soares, June 10, 2021 at 12:40 p.m.

    "The kids are alright"

    Yes it's Costa Rica not Germany
    (It was not our A team)
    But they sure looked like it 

    It was an Inspired,  fast pace, energetic, fun to watch game 
    Some mistakes...ofcourse... Earlier Isaw Ronaldo miss a couple of opportunities he would score on most days...it happens 
    These are mostly VERY young players with limited experience 
    I don't think I have ever felt this positive for the future of this team 

  11. Santiago 1314 replied, June 12, 2021 at 12:15 a.m.

    Yes, John... Looks like the Kids are going to be alright... I actually think we will Look better against Better Teams, On Better Fields, With Better Refs... But 1st Thing First... Win in Concacacrapf. You'll never get to the "Better" Stuff, if you Don't Qualify 

  12. Bob Ashpole, June 12, 2021 at 10:56 p.m.

    Absolutely right Santiago. I think of playing away in CONCACAF as entering the Twilight Zone with Rod Serling. I am glad I only visit via TV and news articles. All the Nat Team Players, past and present, deserve much respect.

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