Commentary

USA-Mexico Men's Concacaf Nations League Final Ratings

USA-MEXICO EXPRESS:
June 6 in Denver
USA 3 Mexico 2. Goals: Reyna 27, McKennie 82, Pulisic 114 (pen.); Corona 2, Lainez 79.
Att: 37,648.
* * * * * * * * * *

The USA-Mexico rivalry delivered a thriller in Denver with the USA coming from behind twice, on goals by Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie, to send the game into overtime at 2-2. Christian Pulisic scored on the penalty kick called after he was fouled and emergency goalkeeper Ethan Horvath preserved the 3-2 win with PK stop on Mexico's final chance to equalize. In a rollercoaster of a game ripe with opportunities for the Mexicans to prevail, Coach Gregg Berhalter's players proved the more composed.    

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

GOALKEEPER

Zack Steffen was smartly positioned near the edge of the penalty area to snuff a big chance for Hirving Lozano. He left the game injured in the 67th minute, replaced by Ethan Horvath.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6 
Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG) 23/0 (26)

DEFENDER

John Brooks burdened himself by getting cautioned for a needless midfield foul from behind on Lozano in the 10th minute but managed to defend safely for another 110-plus minutes. Mark McKenzie's first misplay came on Mexico's opening goal in the second minute. His others included ignoring Lozano's run before Steffen made his big save. McKenzie looked so insecure that it surprised that returned for the second half -- during which he blocked a shot in the 57th minute. And he helped contain the Mexicans during a hectic overtime and the iffy handball call went unpunished thanks to Horvath's save. An overall experience that should benefit the 22-year-old long-term. Tim Ream, given the most challenging chore of the backline players, struggled against Mexico's quick and crafty right winger Uriel Antuna and then had to deal with the dynamic Diego Lainez, whom he gave too much space before the 2-1 goal. Ream was subbed in the 85th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5 
Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL) 5/0 (22)

6 
John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER) 43/3 (28)

4 
Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 44/1 (33)

MIDFIELDERS

Rescued by a toenail VAR offside call on Héctor Moreno while he ball-watched, Weston McKennie responded quickly at the other end with the header off Christian Pulisic's corner kick against the post that Gio Reyna finished for the 1-1 equalizer. McKennie forced a big Jesus Ochoa save on another corner kick before scoring with a perfect header -- low inside the post for the 2-2. McKennie's energy increased as the game went on -- in this case, a marathon. DeAndre Yedlin lasted 105 minutes without making an offensive impact. Sergino Dest in theory had less defensive responsibility than when lining up as true outside back, but failed to trouble the Mexican defense and on a rare foray couldn't deliver the precise cross. Kellyn Acosta had a chance to interfere with Lainez on the 2-1 goal and spent much of the game chasing. But like many of his teammates who struggled at times, Acosta battled confidently against the Mexican momentum that ultimately deteriorated.  

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5 
DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR) 64/0 (27)

8 
Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA) 24/7 (22)

6 
Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 30/2 (25)

5 
Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP) 10/1 (20)

FORWARDS

Christian Pulisic delivered the corner kick that led to the opening U.S. goal but the Mexicans succeeded to stifle all of his first-half attempts to beat them on the dribble. His exceptional skills made more appearances in the second half when he helped the U.S. keep position in midfield, like when he evaded a trio of Mexican challengers in the center circle to continue an attack that gave the backline a much-needed breather. He delivered a fine pass to McKennie in the 62nd minute that forced a good save from Guillermo Ochoa (the rebound of which was hit wide by an off-balance Josh Sargent). And Pulisic announced himself as a big-game closer when he darted through the penalty area, got sandwiched by a pair of Mexican defenders, and struck the net high on the penalty kick past Ochoa, whose spot-kick stopping acumen got El Tri to the final. Gio Reyna was the man who showed the Mexicans glimpses of the USA's ability to attack when they were taking early control of the game. He pounced on a rebound for the 1-1 equalizer and assisted with a corner kick on McKennie's tying goal late in the game.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Gio Reyna (Bor. Dortmund/GER) 7/3 (18)

5
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER) 16/5 (21)

8
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG) 37/16 (22) 

SUBSTITUTES

Called into action when Steffen came up injured, Ethan Horvath batted away Lozano's shot with a diving save in the 90th minute -- one of his four saves that included his PK stop on Andrés Guardado in the 90th minute (but not the close-range block that had a late flag but demonstrated lightening reflexes.)

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5 
Tim Weah (Lille/FRA) 12/1 (21)

9 
Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL) 6/0 (25)

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

5
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) 23/7 (28)

5 
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER) 13/1 (22)

5 
Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR) 17/0 (22) 

June 6 in Denver
USA 3 Mexico 2.  Goals: Reyna 27, McKennie 82, Pulisic 114 (pen.); Corona 2, Lainez 79.
USA -- Steffen (Horvath, 68); McKenzie, Brooks, Ream (Adams, 85); Dest (Weah, 60), Reyna (Lletget, 85), Acosta, McKennie, Yedlin (Cannon 105+); Pulisic; Sargent (Siebatcheu, 69).
Mexico -- Ochoa; Araujo, Alvarez (Pineda 117), Moreno (Salcedo 100); Gallardo, Herrera (Guardado 100), C.Rodriguez (Romo, 66), Lozano; Corona (Martin, 66), L.Rodriguez, U.Antuna (Lainez, 78).
Yellow cards: USA -- Brooks 10, Acosta 49, McKenzie 86, Yedlin 94+, Pulisic 115; Mexico -- Herrera 92+, Guardado 100, Lozano 111. Red cards: USA -- none; Mexico -- Martino (coach) 112.
Referee: John Pitti (Panama).
Att: 37,648.

Stats:
USA/Mexico
Shots: 14/21
Shots on target: 7/7
Saves: 6/4
Corner Kicks: 6/4
Fouls: 18/13
Offside: 2/5
Possession: 43%/57%
65 comments about "USA-Mexico Men's Concacaf Nations League Final Ratings".
  1. R2 Dad, June 7, 2021 at 3:37 a.m.

    What was the nature of the ZS injury? Was it field-related, or was he hit by a projectile from the stands?

  2. R2 Dad replied, June 7, 2021 at 8:02 a.m.

    Sounds like it was field-related. 

  3. Michael In Bruges replied, June 7, 2021 at 10:50 a.m.

    It was a non-contact knee injury that happened during play - he went down after routinely scooping up a loose ball. It didn't look good

  4. Santiago 1314, June 7, 2021 at 6:11 a.m.

    How Appropriate that on the Anniversary of D-Day; A Rag Tag Bunch of Scrawny,  Pimply Faced "Boys" would "Storm The bLeacheRs" of Mile High Stadium and Rekindle the "Spirit of '76"('88 Olympic Team)... 10s for Everyone.!!!... Just Win Baby, WIN.!!!

  5. humble 1 replied, June 7, 2021 at 8:40 a.m.

    Agreed.  If you have never been to a game in person in the USA where Mexico plays you have no clue or idea of what these young men overcame.  You saw a lot on TV, that does not compare to the actual front lines.  A big win.  Take it and go forward!

  6. Charles Davenport, June 7, 2021 at 8:34 a.m.

    Santiago 13:14, not appropriate at all... It's a freaking game

  7. Charles Davenport replied, June 7, 2021 at 8:55 a.m.

    I like everyone's enthusiasm, but no comparisions with D-Day, Bastogne, or the American Revolution please. Please reflect upon the differences beyween a game and real war.

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 11:18 a.m.

    Sorry Charles; Santi can get a Little "Over the Top" and No Disrespect to the Fallen at D-Day was intended(I have a Son currently in the Army, so I get your Point)...But You call that "A Game" Last Night.!?!?!? Read New Book; "What happened to the USMNT" by Mandis ... "The Spirit of '76"(What I call the Spirit of '88 Olympic Team) is the Most important "Weapon" our Team has...When our Men's National Team plays, it's as Close to going to War, as it gets...Maybe You don't get what it Means to Defend The Flag, except in a Military Sense...I can Tell you 1st Hand Stories..Like; When the CIA Officer from the US Embassey Shows you Videos of US Marines being Killed and tells you; "Don't Leave the Hotel, Because there are People out there that want to KILL You" ... Been There, Done That.!!!... IS That Close enough for you to Cut Santi some Slack.??? .... This New Group of Youngsters, Grew Soooooo Much over this Week.!!! I am  Very Proud of them.!!!

  9. R2 Dad, June 7, 2021 at 8:55 a.m.

    What I did see from the highlights were El Tri fans throwning garbage at US players who had gathered at the corner of the pitch after they scored. It wasn't a cup or two--it was a huge wave of crap of every sort. I hope CONCACAF was watching, as the garbage-throwing and garbage chants from Mexico fans might be rationalized at Azteca as "colorful behavior" but should not be allowed to be imported to US stadia. From what I could tell, at least a couple dozen El Tri supporters should have been evicted.

  10. Kent James replied, June 7, 2021 at 9:09 a.m.

    Unfortunately, the cascade of cups and drinks is typical of how Mexican fans treat US players, but not surprising given that Pulisic went over to that corner filled with Mexican fans and told them to be quiet.  I don't condone either type of behavior, but given Pulisic's absolutely world-class PK under such intense pressure, I'll certainly give him a pass on this one.  But I do think he will now be the Mexican's number 1 enemy (for better or for worse).  

  11. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 11:27 a.m.

    Kent; Highly Unlikely In the 114 minute those Cups where full of "Drink", By that time it was usually Piss they were throwing on us.... Yeah Charles; Been there, Done that Too.!!!

  12. Seth Vieux replied, June 7, 2021 at 1:24 p.m.

    Anyone else notice the Mexican player take one in the face in the final minutes while we were trying to (or at least considering how to :-)) throw the ball in? LOL, poor guy got a friendly fire cup of piss right in the mug that overshot the US players.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 1:46 p.m.

    "PISS POOR" Planning on Stadium/CONCAcaCrApF only 40% Capacity and they Couldn't figure out to "NO Sale" Corner Seats.!?!?!?

  14. R2 Dad replied, June 7, 2021 at 8:26 p.m.

    Santi, I gotta say I had hoped to talk up my Mexican friends and work customers about El Tri, the rivalry--make it a friendly thing. The Mexican people I know change the subject and the people I'm only acquainted with get aggitated or even hostile. Is there any way to move beyond this? I like watching Chicharito and Vela, though they have put daggers in the Nats at various times. Why can't Mexicans get over themselves?

  15. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.

    R2... Funny How the Mexican Supporters don't even want to have a "Give and Take" about the Game.... My FedEx Guy and I where Talking so Animated last week about Cruz Azul/ Santos Finale.. Yesterday, Started to Chat about USA-Mexico... He Brushed me Off... They Really are Sore Losers... Especially this Time, Because the Future Looks Bright for USA... A Return to Dominance in CONCAcaCrApF... Futbol was the One thing they had over the USA... Now the Gringos ARE BACK,(Even though we only Started 3 "White Boys"(Does a "Ginger" count as a White Boy, They a whole Different "Race" in the UK.!!!...jajaja)

  16. Kent James, June 7, 2021 at 9:25 a.m.

    This was a very intense, hectic game without a lot of consistent play.  Every player deserves credit for rising to the occasion with an absolute will to win, and errors are going to be more common under such circumstances.  McKenzie made two serious errors (not counting the handling, which he could not avoid), but to his credit, did not collapse under that pressure.  Ream was under the most pressure defensively (isolated out on the wing), but that was putting him in a position to fail, so I think some of the blame for his diffculties was the lack of defensive support (but again, to his credit he made do in a tough situation).  Yedlin and Dest both struggled to contribute (though I think credit should be given to Mexico's swarming defense; Dest had no time or space every time he got the ball).  Pulisic I thought looked tired late in the game (which is understandable) and generally didn't have as strong a game as he's capable of (but still a strong performance) but burying the PK was about as clutch a shot as you'll ever see.  McKinnie was the man, and I thought Sargent deserved a higher rating (he makes some very good runs, though in this game some of the connecting passes weren't quite there).  Weah impressed me when he came on.  And of course, Horath rose to the occasion and saved the day.  All in all, just the sort of game these talented players needed to test themselves under intense conditions, and they came through.  Well done!

  17. Seth Vieux replied, June 7, 2021 at 1:28 p.m.

    I thought Weah stood out amongst the subs too - he brought immediate energy, speed, and fight to the game both attacking and defending. He sent an awfully good cross in there that Pulisic (IIRC) very nearly got on the end of. Other than Horvath, he was the sub that clearly made the biggest impact and thought he didn't deserve the apparent 'standard 5' the rest got.

  18. Sean Guillory, June 7, 2021 at 10:11 a.m.

    How does McKenzie not get a 2?  He was absolutely horrible in this game.  Not ready for this level and should have been possibly subbed at half time.

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 11:50 a.m.

    Yes Sean; Mexico had Really Scouted how the US liked to Start their Tiki-Taka out of the Back via McKenZie... as I Posted after Swiss Game
    "Santiago 1314, May 31, 2021 at 1:30 a.m.

     


    McKenSIE (5) did OK on Playing out of the Rt Ct Back… Marked OK… Just OK… Doesn’t Help, Doesn’t Hurt… If we are going to play with only One Offensive Minded Ct Back, should be Brooks on the Right and Anyone Else (BUT REAM) on the Left- I can’t believe Vickers, Palmer or Miazga aren’t able to hold down Left Ct Back"


  20. Seth Vieux replied, June 7, 2021 at 1:33 p.m.

    I think McKenzie is best suited as a left CB. My belief is that once Chris Richards is healthy again he'll be the primary RCB in a back line of 3 or 4. If/when we go 3 at the back in the future I think McKenzie ends up on the left with Richards on the right side of Brooks. 

    Anyone notice how often Brooks has been pushing WAY up ahead of the back line to try to make tackles / fouls during this window?!?!? It's been consistent in all three matches so I'm assuming it's coached and I HATE it. Exposes him to far more risk of cards, and if he's turned or connected around (which has happened a lot) he's completely out of the play and doesn't have nearly enough speed to recover.

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, June 8, 2021 at 6:16 a.m.

    I am Not really into 3 in the Back; unless the Opposing Team plays a 2 Front and you want to go Man-to-Man with Brooks Sweeping.... What is the Difference between 2 Turds in a Punch Bowl or 3.???... Sacrifices either a Forward or Attacking Mid

  22. Kevin Leahy, June 7, 2021 at 10:37 a.m.

    These ratings miss the mark on several players. Dest was nonexistant except for one run. CP did not have a good match, PK aside. McKenzie had a nightmare but, had to tough it out. Would prefer to see this group in a 4-2-3-1 with Robinson left & Dest right. It was troubling to see Mexoco continually drop balls in between the backs with such ease. The rest of the region will take notice.

  23. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 12:14 p.m.

    Kevin I like your thinking... This was my Team Selection Pre-Game:
    By Starting 3(Ream) in the Back.... We gave away that needed AM and Dest Suffered because he had no one inside Ahead of him to Tiki-Taka Off of... And Dest is Not Comfortable on the Left... Yedlin could have Played on the Left and it wouldn't have mattered... He stayed Home most of the Game anyway.



    • "Santiago 1314 replied, June 5, 2021 at 9:20 a.m.

      Bob; For game vs Mexico on Sunday
      For Midfield, I would like to see McKenNie and Adams Dual Pivots with Reyna ahead of them


      ---------------------Petok
      Pulisic---------------------------Aaronson
      ----------------------Reyna
      -------------Adams---McKenNie
      Yedlin-----------------------------------Dest
      -------------McKenZie--Brooks -----------------
      -------------------*Horvath*



  24. frank schoon, June 7, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.

    I only watched the  first half which told me enough. The US won and I know Santiago is going nuts about this win, as so many other fans. But I tend to look at the bigger picture, which in this case relies upon our style and soccer development in the long term.

     Some of our players weren't told that you need to pass to a player who wears a similar color jersey.  Our defense looks horrible my worry is that the backline is not good with a ball on their feet as well as when pressured by the Mexicans. We are lucky that Mexico does not produce great scorers,like a Hugo Sanchez. Although the first half finished with 1-1 tie, we were lucky it wasn't 1-4 for that score really show how bad we played and how well Mexico played.

    Personally ,I would rather have seen us lose to Mexico 2-4 but played like 40% of Mexico's capability, for that tells me we're developing and improving. All we got out this is our basic 'counter-attacking' low level type of soccer, scoring 2 goals on a couple of corner kicks, dead ball plays....It is the same old play book,again. The Mexicans just weren't smart enough to realize that you don't give away corner kicks to a lesser team that, outweighs, outsize, out muscle you and playing away.  And the third was a result of a penalty, another dead ball play....

    This is how I look at the US game, it hasn't changed, for we can't dominate an opponent for we play Turbo, counter-attacking soccer and hope for the best on 'dead ball' plays. Just compare how Mexico played, what a joy to watch. The US players are so slow, and I don't mean Turbo-wise for we can outrun and outfight the best of them. But our players play like they are driving 18wheelers semis, so slow on the turn, in thinking and in changing directions whereas the Mexicans  are so quick in changing directions, turns, feints, that it looks they riding little BMX bikes , doing 'wheelies, spinning 360's, sharp cuts, all while under pressure and in crowds.  We just can't do that and that is frustrating to watch, especially when we are bordered next to Mexico and have tons and tons Mexicans in our culture.
                                                    NEXT POST

  25. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 12:05 p.m.

    Frank; I hope you Enjoyed Pulisic "Turbo PK"... He just Decided to "Man-Up" put his Head-Down and try to make something Happen... Thanks to Dubious VAR it Worked Out... No Guts, No Glory... He has FINALLY Proven that, even when he plays Bad, He can still Lead the USA to Victory.... I have been Harsh on him, because I didn't think he "Had it In Him"... Well, He Showed us all what he can accomplish when The Big Moment arrives... Congrats to Him, he's got my Respect Now.

  26. frank schoon replied, June 7, 2021 at 12:25 p.m.

    Santiago, CP is not a little boy anymore, winning the Cup the other and all the competion he's been having didn't suprise me that he could take the penalty....
    Hey, you got to be tough with CP that's the only he'll learn...Like they say in Holland, 'too many pats on the back doesn't help, you've got to earn it....

    Those cups really had Piss in it when they were thrown at you...damn....that's something else....

  27. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 4:27 p.m.

    One Time in Guatemala,  we are Sitting in the "Dugout" (It was more Like a Baseball One, Half Dug into the Ground)  and a "Sprinkler"  comes down in Front of us.... We jump out to "Pummel" somebody and it Turns out to be a little Chico, about 4 years old... And the People Behind him, in the Stands are Hooting and Hollering and Rolling on the Floor... We just had to Smile and Laugh it Off... Yes Charles, Been there, Lived that.... It's Really NOT a Game to them.!!!... Why is it to Us.??? ... Nice Guys Finish; OUT of the Olympics and OUT of the WC.!!!

  28. frank schoon, June 7, 2021 at 11:43 a.m.

    I couldn't believe we started out 5-4-1 system....sorry,but ,GB lost me already...I would have fired him coming up with that garbage system. And I'm afraid that  college coaches, those who obviously don't know any better will copy this system....So much soccer is lost when you play a system like that and it is not good for our player development. I was not impressed with  Pulisic, McKennie, Dest, as a matter of fact I was surprised they were even out there......

    I don't know if anyone noticed but the second goal Mexico scored which was ruled offsides was a major blow for Mexico for you noticed how quick the US equalized after that...There are unexpected moments in games that you look for that can change the flow of things, like a throw in.
    For example , I tell my players on throw-ins create a counterattack situation because the opponents tend to be off-guard because they don't view a throw-in as threatening and thereby they  lower their guard for moment..And in that moment the opponent becomes discombobulated, just like the Mexican did after the nullification of the goal..Cruyff would start to argue with the ref in order to change the flow of the game ..If Mexico didn't score that second goal but continued playing, psychologically nothing would have happened and would have continued pressuring our defense....

    Whenever I look at these stupid pre-game warmup exercises employing ,blocks or cones for quick footwork, I find it so rediculous. There is a total difference in footwork when you have the ball, while under pressure and think what you got to do next. I can see those fast foot haven't done much for boys...I would like to know why the Mexican players are so much faster in footwork with the ball, than our 18wheeler semis....

    I would like SA or other American soccer journalist to interview TATA and ask the simple question about the difference of development he finds between the Mexican and American players, how the Americans can improve their development, especially in quickness of ball handling and thinking.  HINT, HINT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 11:58 a.m.

    Frank did you Miss; Tata got his "Smart A$$" Kicked OUT of the Game Last Night.!!!... He ain't the Brightest Bulb in the Closet... It's real Simple Frank... Thousands of More Touches on the Ball in "Pick-Up" Games... All Day, Every Day..!!!!  Our kids Play FIFA half the time they should be Out Kicking/Dribbling the Ball

  30. frank schoon replied, June 7, 2021 at 12:21 p.m.

    Santiago, you're so right....

  31. Sean Guillory replied, June 8, 2021 at 8:12 a.m.

    Frank, I agree that Mexico has mor naturally talented players than the US and make nice fancy moves that can at times be productive but other times frustrating.  I keep reminding people this.  Mexico has over 130M people and this is their number one sport by far.   Mexico is the most overrated soccer nation in the world.  They should be consistently performing better on the world stage and dominating us easily but even now we are starting to catch up to them in player development.  I'm sorry but I don't rate the Mexican soccer player, I want us to produce players that can play at the highest levels of Europe because that's where the best players are and where they get better.  The top Nations in Europe (France, Germany, Belgium etc.) produce skilled, athletic and powerful players that consistently play at the top levels.  I would rather produce a Gio Reyna than a "shifty" little player.  This is a young team and I believe the best is yet to come but I am all about winning like Germany does and Holland does not.

  32. frank schoon replied, June 9, 2021 at 11:02 a.m.

    Sean, after reading your post, I notice how far off point, you are. First of all, where did I state Mexican player have more natural talented players. If that was so, why did I want Tata to be interviewed to ask the difference between how Mexican and American players are developed, especially in light of we have such a large Mexican community here....Get it!!! It is not about Natural talented players. 

    That Mexico is the most overrated country in the world, seems to be your opinion or rather your problem, who cares. I don't rate Mexico ,I only watch Mexico play and see the difference in how their players operate on the field as compared to Americans, where we look so slow like clodhoppers....

    You want to produce American players that can compete at the highest level in Europe, where the best players are, like Messi and Neymar, I guess, who are skillfull, tricky and fast...
    There are plenty of Mexican players in Europe, there is one currently on Ajax ,Alvarez, there were some on PSV and in Italy and I think there are some in Spain. I really don't keep up where they all are or have played...which is not important to me which is not the issue here. Furthermore, Mexico can give any team in Europe a game, regardless of how you rate them. 

    The problem is that we send American players  to Turbo type of countries not skillful, technical countries in Europe. Your statement that you rather produce a Gio Reyna, than a shifty little player... like those Mexican types??.... I only WISH we had those Mexican types, who are shifty, quick,fast, good ballhandlers on the US team... Can you imagine how much better if our NT had a few of those types in our mix...It would definitely speed up our ball movement and speed of play. 

    What you don't understand is that a soccer team should be a mix of different talents ,speedy, tall, smart ,fast ,slow to make a team play a high level game. Your asssertion that we don't need  'shifty' little players sounds so stupid, that I can't even believe you would come up with something like this.... 

  33. William Allen, June 7, 2021 at 1 p.m.

    Don't understand how McKenzie gets any better than a 3, three horrible giveaways, one basically an assist on Mexico's first goal, he also had the handball on the Mexico PK, Ream also 3 worthy

  34. James Madison, June 7, 2021 at 2:24 p.m.


    Steffen landed awkwardly; my guess is ACL or MCL tear.  The US was fortunate that Mexico's apparent second goal was denied for OS.  Although the attack never got untracked, the defense calmed.  It largely denied Mexico's second half attack even thought the Mexico players were quicker and more clever.  Pulisic and Reyna are world class.  McKennie wanders, but the lettle guy certanly had his head in the right places. Overlooked amidst the triumphant comeback was the officiating, whch was superb.  

  35. James Madison, June 7, 2021 at 2:31 p.m.

    Steffen's injury reslted from landing awkwardly.  My guess is an ACL or MCL tear.  Horvath was a more than worthy sustitute.  The US was fortunate
    that Mexico's apparent second goal was recdalled for OS. The defense calmed after that, particularly in the second half when it largely stifled Mexico's attack, even though the Mexico players were quicker and more adept. Although the attack never got untracked, Pulisic and Reyna are world class.  McKennie was in and out, but put his head in the right places at the right times. Largely unappreciated, the oficating was superb!!

  36. Shane Saulus, June 7, 2021 at 2:59 p.m.

    Again, why is Tim Ream on the field or roster?

  37. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 6:01 p.m.

    Again....IDK.???

  38. John Sabala, June 7, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.

    Player ratings are always subjective based on who is doing the rating, so take those with a grain of saltthought I would add my two cents as someone who has followed US soccer for quite some time now.Player development is heading in the right direction, but has a ways to go. One thing most people don't realize are the limits on age in the US and player contracts ( tied to NCAA regulations and eligibility). Why did Pulisic rise so fast, was because of his dual Croatian citizenship and began training with Dortmund at 15 to 16 and got a contract.Most of the US players now with talent and potentialto play on the pitches outside of Concacaf are getting to Europe. The level of play and competition is just superior to MLS or NCAA level soccer. I am not a Berhalter fan, after watching the team play over two years, I agree with the assessment of being much of the new style being the same. You don't plug players into your system as a coach you build the system around the players and the talents they possess. The games in May and June lacked a flow or connectivity of the players. You clearly see that the MLS players mixed with the current European based players can't play at the same level. The frustration of missed opportunities abound in matches and you can see the frustration of the European based players in the matches if you watch closely. Skill, vision, touch, anticipation and execution just lack, hence you see the lack of fluid movement. Pulisic, Dest, McKinnie, Adams all think they have to do more on the ball. In their European clubs they are connecting play and moving. Many of these came up together in the youth systems. They know each other, if you follow our U-17, U-19 they have success in the last World Cups. There is a breakdown from here to the full national team. We have players in the highest caliber clubs around the globe who perform in high stress and are making significant contribution to their teams. So how is it this group does not put this together on the pitch with each other..it comes down to coaching or lack thereof. Again, it is about getting players to beleive in a system.....again build the system around the players. They have the skillsets already. We should be able to play a few formations at this level based on the opponent the team is facing. One I think that would be best for us is the 3-4-2-1.  This is based on the player talent we have now. The back 3 is Brooks, McKenzie or Carter-Vickers, Richards (you also have Miazga, Long, Palmer-Arnold and Zimmerman). 4 Mids are Dest, Adams, McKinnie and Green or Musah (You have Llegett, Acosta, Holmes, Yedlin and Ledezma if he can heal), the 2-1 spots are interchangeable - Pulisic, Reyna and Sergeant (Weah, Arriola, Dike, DeLaFuente, and possibly Morris). With this group you can also do a 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2.  You look at what Thomas Tuchel did at Chelsea, he did not instill his "system" from PSG, but built the system around his current player pool. Some food for thought.

  39. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 12:41 p.m.

    Could we get Musah to play Left Back.??? He is "Locked Out" Everywhere else...

  40. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 12:59 p.m.

    What do you all think of this.????

  41. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 1:06 p.m.

    ----------------- Lletget
    Pulisic-----------------------Arriola
    -----------------Reyna
    ---------McKenNie--Adams
    Musah----------------------------Dest
    ------------Brooks---Cameron
    ----------------*Horvath*

  42. Carlos Rocha, June 7, 2021 at 3:40 p.m.

    Horrible game! It has been close to 25 years since I follow the USMNT. And in terms of style, ideas and performance it was a bad bad game by the USMNT. Same crap different decade. Although I congratulate  the win.

  43. Santiago 1314 replied, June 7, 2021 at 6:04 p.m.

    And your analysis of Mexico???

  44. Inter 76, June 7, 2021 at 5:36 p.m.

    I turned the game on in the 22 minute. Immediately I saw Mexico playing soccer and the US chasing around, passing to the other team and absolutely being left behind with the ball handling of the Mexican team. 


    USMNT won because of good goalie play and a couple of good set piece goals and an excellent PK. 


    I lived in Brazil for seven years and came to love soccer. It is a beautiful game when played well. My friends referred to us as Disneylândia. Not meaning an entertainment extravaganza but as having to many choices. Take any item and there are many brands, etc. And this same thing applies to sports. Every sport imaginable are played here. Internationally soccer  is number one by a wide margin.


    So out problem as I see it is how to get kids to play 1on 1 or whatever as we see pickup basketball or other games?  

    I have grandsons, who got a small Brazil soccer ball right after birth. Soccer shirts. Discussions with my son-in-law to get him interested in allowing my grandsons to
    play soccer. Well, I did get one interested. He's a goalie and a pretty good one. 


    But the best players on all his teams through the years, have always been the International players, mostly Mexico and Central America. And that is because these kids play all the time at home or on other teams. Soccer is #1 to them. 


    I get frustrated with US soccer but I've learned to except it as it is what it is. And until it becomes a really Major sport, I'll have to enjoy watching WC and other countries on TV. 

  45. Kevin Leahy, June 7, 2021 at 5:46 p.m.

    JM, I have to disagree on the officiating. It is what you always get in our federation. Should have had @ least 1 red card and it is always called too loose. It is why you have all these scrums all over the field. 

  46. Philip Carragher, June 7, 2021 at 5:56 p.m.

    My opinion of Coach GB rose significantly when McKenzie played in the second half. I'm guessing that "player development" was a significant factor in the calculation as to whether he should be replaced, but, to GB's credit, McKenzie kept playing. Taking him out at halftime might have seriously undermined his future in soccer. Sometimes players need time to learn while playing in games that may be a bit faster than they've been exposed to so I bet McKenzie learned a bunch. Good job Coach!

  47. John Sabala replied, June 8, 2021 at 2:38 a.m.

      Phil, you do realize McKinnie is playing at Juventis for a reason.  Greg Berhalter is behind the level of his players that are competing in Europe.  They are being trained by better coaches day in and day out.  If you read some of my comments from earlier, GB has no idea how to best use his player pool.  Juilan Green should be on the pitch. He is only 25 and has played at Bayern, Stuttgart and now helped get FC Fuerth back to Bundesliga 1 promotion.  He scored in the 2014 World Cup.  A player with skill and experience.  But he was brought into camp and sat the bench for all the games.  Our current players have the chance to raise US soccer to being one of the best in the world. We need a world class coach, not another MLS product.  The USWNT has no issue going outside the country to get coaches.

  48. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 1:22 p.m.

    John, Where would you play Green.???... I haven't seen him in Years....

  49. Santiago 1314 replied, June 11, 2021 at 11:49 a.m.

    John, I think you were Conflating McKenNIE and McKenZIE... That's why i Capitalize the last part of their Names ... Soon I am just going to Abbreviate... McNIE and McZIE... and then ZIE and NIE... Because; "We are the Knights who say NIE."... Hope you all get the Humor.!?!?!?

  50. Philip Carragher, June 8, 2021 at 7:55 a.m.

    John, keeping McKenzie in the game and trying to have the team bring the ball out of the back are two GB decisions that I applaud for player development purposes; these have long term implications and are risky.  But I want to see us play in the next WC, so, alternatively, I love Santiago's enthusiastic cheerleading since 'shock and awe' might be precisely what we need to qualify for the WC so I'm all in on that. Your approach assumes that a foreign coach has enough talent to weave into a cohesive, fluid style of play. I'm not so confident about that. Timing is another issue altogether.

  51. frank schoon replied, June 8, 2021 at 8:59 a.m.

    Philip , I understand where you're coming from and it is admirable which ,I think, is more applicable  on a college level and/or lower or even MLS for learning purposes. But let's say if this game was the key game to get us into the WC but we lose the game on the last one of the 3 major mistakes McKenzie made..... would you still be of the same opinion, or if our goalie made 3mistakes like that.....

    At this level of soccer is a game of mistakes, the more mistakes the bigger chance of losing...As Cruyff states, 'soccer is 'asocial',which means in dutch 'anti-social'. In other words if a player is hurt and limping on the field, the opponents going take advantage of this...

    Those mistakes can have consequences beyond the player himself like the coaches job, the morale of the team....there are more things happening that are effected..... As a coach ,I would have been very leary after his first mistake, and pulled him out after the second.. I'm not going to worry about the after effects of what could happen to McKenzie, for if he's going to be  chosen for the national team, he better perform.....

  52. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 12:39 p.m.

    Yes Phillip; "Shock and Awe" are what we need to Qualify out of CONCAcaCrApF... I think(I Hope)(I WANT to see it)...when we Play more "Stable" Teams, on "Nice" Fields with "Good" Refs, that USA will be able to adapt and play the Tiki-Taka/Gegen Press that Ggg is trying to implement...(That's why I call him PepHalterKlopp)... It's going to be a Difficult thing to Pull Off, "Wedding" the 3 approaches together...FarćaLona and España are the Only Places where it has Succeeded(minus Shock and Awe... Maybe Liverpool, and Man City, can do it...though their Tiki-Taka will Never be as Good as the Catalans... Without a Xavi, Nobody will be able to Replicate the True Version of TT...And None of them have the "Shock and Awe" Mentality that comes from Playing for the Greatest Country, Militarily, the World has ever known...  Something that is to be Nurtured and Developed in this Newest Crop of Youngsters... Not be Ashamed of... Embrace "American Exceptionalism" ... it is Worth ONE Goal a Game in any game with a Latin American Opponent... I think they got their 1st Round of the "USA" Vaccine vs Honduras and the 2nd one versus Mexico the other Night... Let's Hope it Last... Might Need occasional "Boosters"... Did you Notice that they Stopped Wearing the "Be The Change" gear, and some of the Players have even Learned how to put their Hand Over their Heart during The National Anthem,  even with Arms Linked Together.!!!... It's Getting There,... Can Social Justice Warriors can be PROUD/Gingoistic  Americans also.???... Another 2 things that this Group will need to "Marry" together if it is to Succeed with the Fans.!!!

  53. humble 1, June 8, 2021 at 11:56 a.m.

    McKenzie had some errors.  Patience.  This was his first game, probably in such a hostile environment.  Young man.  If you watch him defend in sequences, you see what he brings.  He can lock down and frustrate attackers.  Good call to leave him in.  He is one to build on.  The Phili setup is becoming a nice complement to FC Dallas and RSL.  Turning out some players.  Carry on!   

  54. Kent James replied, June 9, 2021 at 12:53 a.m.

    Humble and Phillip, I agree that GB leaving McKenzie in was good for his development.  He showed confidence in his player (which was a gutsy call given the environment).  The PK should not be blamed on him (stupid new interpretation of the rule); it was good that McKenzie stuck it out after that horrendous giveaway that led to the first goal and didn't collapse. The second one was a bit troubling, but we survived.  Other than those 2 plays, he was pretty solid.  Of course, "other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"  But he's young, so I hope he'll learn from the experience.  

  55. Santiago 1314 replied, June 11, 2021 at 11:52 a.m.

    Sad yeah Humble... "Hostile Environment" IN Denver USA.!!!

  56. Bob Ashpole, June 8, 2021 at 8:17 p.m.

    If people want to criticize the coach for his selections, fine, but the players on the field did their best. Tim Ream and Mark McKenzie were placed in difficult situations by the coach. They are not to blame for the Mexican coach focusing his team on exploiting the situtation that the US coach put them in.

  57. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 6:19 a.m.

    Reams BEST is just NOT Good enough...Proven, Time-After-Time... Its one thing to let a Youngster continue to play; to "See what he's Made Of"... it's another thing to go with a VET, that needs to be put out to Pasture... Ggg PephalterKlopp has to Grow with the Team... I liked that he Changed formations to adapt to the Qualities of his Players on the Field... So, he did grow in my eyes... But, Hopefully, He won't Turn into a Steve Sampson and think HE is Better than his Players... If this Group of Players continues to Grow, Ggg only needs to "Wind Them Up" and let them play.!!!

  58. Bob Ashpole replied, June 9, 2021 at 8:06 a.m.

    I believe that the MNT deserves a better coach. I fear that GB is not good enough to get the best out of our players. He doesn't understand positional play well enough and his player selections fail to put together players who combine well with each other.

    A national team coach cannot coach like a club coach. You don't have a season for players to grow into their positions. Player selection and letting the players play is more important than formations and game plans. Its a fine line between enabling the players to play their best and overcoaching. 

    Santiago, I think I am saying the same thing as you, just in different words. My book order finally arrived last night. I hope to get it read over the week end.

  59. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 11:51 a.m.

    Yes Bob, we are in agreement that PepHalterKlopp is Lacking... I think he is more Lacking in the "Wind'em Up" Category, Than anything else... You are so Right about the Lack of putting the Correct Combination of Players together... Maybe after he sees Arriola (I Hope) at Rt Front in the Gold Cup, He will "Pair" him with Dest on the Rt Wing Back... Reyna should be AM with McKenNie and Adam's Behind him... CP Left Front... Hi-Forward.???... I got NO Clue... Maybe Dike(I Hope) will Shine in the Gold Cup... I  wish Ggg would give Cameron a Shot in the Gold Cup... Brooks-Cameron makes me Feel Better than any other Current Configuration I can think of at Ct Backs... Left Def is WIDE Open... We need a "Stay at Home" kinda Guy, Because Running Upfield into CPs Territory only Brings More Bodies around CP, and we Dont want that... Stay Home and Cover for CP, cause he ain't coming back to Defend(Nor should he)

  60. Santiago 1314 replied, June 9, 2021 at 2:41 p.m.

    I am now thinking "Out of the Box"(or as Beautiful Game would say; "Out of my Fantasy Mind")... Lletget at Hi-Forward.... He is only one that Scores Goals Consistently... Has the Gegen Press attributes, Like Sargent...

  61. Bob Ashpole replied, June 11, 2021 at 5:13 a.m.

    Dike's one play where he scored impressed me greatly. To me he is already the forward that Altidore's coaches had hoped for. I want to see more of him. Especially against CONCACAF opponents. I don't know where I would put him on the depth chart, but he looks like at least 3rd if not 2nd. 

    To my mind Sargent is 1st which makes Dike's inclusion in the mix more attractive.

    I am not so concerned about who plays CF as I am about the midfield. I think you see it too as you always address the midfield although not saying much about it. The biggest flaw with the attack generally is players killing the mobility by holding the ball for no gain. The opposite of the highly desireable tactical speed. It is fine to slow down the game while leading, but it is not the way goals are scored.

  62. Bob Ashpole replied, June 11, 2021 at 5:21 a.m.

    PS: There is a very noticeable "speed gap" [tactical speed] between players like Dest at top clubs in Europe and the MLS players. I believe it is most telling that the speed of play in MLS is slower. International play is faster than MLS and players need to step up or be left behind.

  63. Santiago 1314 replied, June 11, 2021 at 12:20 p.m.

    Yes Bob, Dest is on another "Plane", Not only Technically,  But Tactically...than the Rest of our Squad... Even He and CP can't seem to "Get it Together"... That is why I advocate putting Arriola "Ahead" of Dest on the RT "Forward" Spot... Arriola also has problems due to "Other Planeness"... I think with Reyna at AM, and Adam's at Rt Def Mid, We would have a Right Side Tiki-Taka to Balance out the CP "Torpedo  Turbo"(a little dig at our Dutch Buddy Frank; wink, wink) on the Left... Dike shows Promise... All we would need , with Balls being played in from Both Wings, is a Brian Ching/Wondolowski/HuGoL Sanchez type Near Post Runner/Finisher/Poacher... That might be Lleget... Ggg even Noted in his Post Game critique of Dike, that he Needs to work on that aspect of his Game... But Dike would be Quite Formidable if he "Has" that Knack/Timing in the Box... Its Coachable, But would be better if it was Instinctive,  Like Lletget seems to have

  64. Bob Ashpole replied, June 11, 2021 at 3:42 p.m.

    Actually Frank would find that fine. Ajax in the 70s played with a fancy side and a more direct side. Frank likes to play with more than one club in his golf bag. What he doesn't like is over coaching taking the street soccer out of the game.

    What impressed me most about Dike's goal was his calmness on the ball under pressure. I don't think you can teach that. I think it is a by product of confidence in your ball skills.

    As for your particular comments about the players, I have to defer completely to you. If I could do that, I would probably have had a different day job. Knowing something is wrong is a lot easier than knowing exactly what is wrong and how to fix it.

  65. Santiago 1314, June 11, 2021 at 9:05 p.m.

    Aaronson does Remind me of Jonny Rep; Lanky, Flakey, Twitchy, Tricky... Hope someone is showing him Rep Hi-Lites... I had the "Different" Day Job for 29 years... It cost me 2 Marriages... Its a Gypsy Life, with Gypsy People...But, Ahhhh... The Memories.!!!... The Stories.!!! Hard to say it was "Worth It", but I wouldn't change anything.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications