USA-Martinique Men's Gold Cup Player Ratings

July 15 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 6 Martinique 1. Goals: Dike 14, 59, own goal 23, M.Robinson 50, Zardes 70, Gioacchini 90; Riviere pen. 64.
Att.: 7,511.
* * * * * * * * * *

Coach Gregg Berhalter  made seven changes to the starting lineup that mustered a 1-0 win over Haiti and this squad's performance was much easier on the eyes, albeit against an even weaker opponent. The USA's 6-1 win over Martinique was more convincing than its previous clashes with Les Matinino at the Gold Cup -- 2-0 in 2003 and 3-2 in 2017 -- and included some sparkling play. Eagerly awaited is what the USA will look like when it faces a more formidable foe in Canada for Group B's first place on Sunday. The Canadians, who like the USA have already clinched a knockout-stage spot, beat both Martinique and Haiti 4-1.

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


The last of Matt Turner's four saves, in the second minute of stoppage time, had a relatively high degree of difficulty.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Matt Turner (New England Revolution) 3/0 (27)


Central defender Walker Zimmerman led a backline that took advantage of the opponent's fleeting forward movement by aiding the U.S. attack throughout the game. Not just the outside backs attacked, but Zimmerman's precise pass to Daryl Dike started the foray for the USA's second goal. James Sands, who interfered swiftly with Martinque's first counterattack, won a tackle in the 30th minute and brought the ball into its half to create a U.S. chance. Miles Robinson headed home the fourth goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 16/2 (28)

James Sands (New York City FC) 2/0 (21)

Miles Robinson (Atlanta United) 5/2 (24)


Gianluca Busio ensured U.S. dominance from the get-go by always being open to receive passes from the back line, and passing well to the frontline. He also helped set up the first two goals, the first with pass and the second with a shot off the crossbar. He directly assisted on the sixth goal. Eryk Williamson, who also helped make connections between the backs and the strikers, hit the fine cross that Miles Robinson headed home for the third goal. George Bello bungled when he got the ball in scoring position early and late in the first half, but he was also part of the buildup on both first-half goals. Shaq Moore hit a nice cross in the 4th minute and combined well with Cristian Roldan on the right wing.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP) 7/0 (24)

Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City) 2/0 (19)

Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers) 2/0 (24)

George Bello (Atlanta United) 2/0 (19)


Cristian Roldan's consistently good and sometimes clever passes played a major role for the USA. They included directly setting up goals by Dike and Gyasi Zardes, the pass to Matthew Hoppe on the 2-0 sequence, and others that kept Martinique on its heels. Daryl Dike nearly got a hat trick but the USA's second goal, from his header, was relayed into the net by Samuel Camille and adjudged an own goal. Hoppe impressed by shedding markers to receive passes, even if it meant retreating into the midfield. But he was also near the goal when needed. After he misplayed a ball that promised a close-range shot, it bounced back to him after Bello's tackle and Hoppe's slick back-heel pass set up Busio's shot onto crossbar that led to the 2-0. Hoppe also assisted on the opening goal with sharply hit cross to Dike. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders) 21/0 (26)

Daryl Dike (Orlando City) 5/3 (21)

Matthew Hoppe (Schalke 04/GER) 1/0 (20)


Kellyn Acosta's foolish foul gifted Martinique the penalty kick that ruined the shutout and gives Canada the goal difference edge (on goals scored) that will determine the group winner if USA-Canada ends in a tie. Gyasi Zardes scored with a fierce low shot and helped set up the close-range shot that Nicholas Gioacchini banged into the goalkeeper's leg. Gioacchini made no mistake when he had another close-range chance thanks to Busio's pass in the 90th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

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

Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) 33/2 (25)

Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew) 58/13 (29)

Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) 14/0 (24)

Donovan Pines (D.C. United) 1/0 (23)

TRIVIA: As an overseas department of France, Martinique isn't a FIFA country and can't take part in World Cup qualifying, although Concacaf recognizes it as member of its confederation. The Caribbean island, slightly smaller than New York City, has a population of 375,000. Martinque is part of the European Union and its currency is the Euro.

July 15 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 6 Martinique 1. Goals: Dike 14, 59, own goal 23, M.Robinson 50, Zardes 70, Gioacchini 90; Riviere pen. 64.
USA -- Turner; Moore (Acosta 58), Sands, Zimmerman (Pines, 79), M.Robinson; Busio (Williamson, 79), Bello; Roldan, Dike (Zardes, 68), Hoppe (Gioacchini, 58).
Martinique -- Meslien; Dondon, Babin (Jougon, 57), Cretinoir, Burner; Camille, Herelle (Grelet, 76), Marajo (Vitulin, 76), Fortune (Reuperne, 69); Abaul, Riveire (Thimon, 69).
Yellow cards: none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Mario Escobar (Guatemala).
Att.: 7,511.

Shots: 22/13
Shots on target: 12/5
Saves: 4/7
Corner Kicks: 14/0
Fouls: 17/13
Offside: 2/1
Possession: 65%/35%

24 comments about "USA-Martinique Men's Gold Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, July 16, 2021 at 4:25 a.m.

    Deke and Busio again impressed me, although Martinique is most likely the weakest opponent the MNT will ever face. This edition didn't have any 2020 matches due to the pandemic. Calling them rusty would be an understatement. The vast majority of the players play in the top league in Martinique. The few players overseas play for 2nd division clubs. 

  2. Santiago 1314, July 16, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.

    That was a Strange formation to use against a Weaker Opponent... 3 Center Backs means you Give away an Attacking Position...There was a HUGE Hole in Attacking Mid... No #8...I would have Preferred 4-2-1-2-1 ... US Lost about 25 minutes in the 1st half,  where they Started playing LONG Unnecessary(Turnover) passes down the Middle of the Field... Even a more Conventional 4-4-2 would have been Better... Clearly, Hoppe and Roldan are NOT Wingers...
    **Would like to see Busio as #8, I don't think he has enough "Bite" as a #6(But Man, is he Smooth or What.!!!)
    Never Seen a 19yr Old that plays Like a "Schemer",,, and to see the Team, LOOK for Him, Play To Him, and Thru Him and Shift Positioning around his Floating(Left, Right, Low, High was Pretty incredible and Encouraging)
    **Bello could be the Solution at Left Back
    **We also saw the "GegenPressing" Difference When Zardes comes on the Field... If Dike doesn't "Learn" to Join-In, He won't Play much. Except as a Late Sub, When we are Behind. (I still think Sargent will end up being the "Starter", Dike the Sub and Zardes as Squad Player)
    (Now you know why Zardes ended up playing Outside Mid,  the Other Night)
    **This was a Situation of a Coach Trying to Squeeze Players into HIS Formation, and Not Taking the Players you have and Playing to THEIR Strengths.
    **Also disappointed that Ggg Pepberhalterklopp didn't Play TO WIN(by 6 Goals)... Hope that Doesn't come back to Haunt us in "Advancement" Rounds

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, July 16, 2021 at 11:48 a.m.

    I wasn't surprised at using a 343 against a minnow. A classic 433 is a 343 shape while in possession. As far as I could tell Martinique only played 1 forward up top. Unfortuneately, I am also not surprised that a GB coached team played long ball.

    As an aside, I thought that the Martinique keeper had an outstanding game. 

    Martinique was so poor an opponent that I don't think we have learned anything about the US team from this match.

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, July 16, 2021 at 2:43 p.m.

     Bob, Maybe I'm missing something... "classic 433 is a 343 shape while in possession." ... " 'Splain that one to me Lucy"

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, July 16, 2021 at 5:37 p.m.

    While in possession the classic Ajax approach was to move the left FB into the midfield to form a diamond with the 3 CMs. The remaining 3 backs and the 3 forwards formed an interlocked triple diamond shape. Every 433 I have ever played on at any level pushed 1 back immediately into the midfield during possession. Ditto with 442 with good players (usually a CB). I hated playing 442 with amatuers who never played competitively because they had no idea how to play. At least with a 433 they would naturally be in supporting triangles. With 442 they would stay flat with zero triangles and zero movement except for marching upfield with dressed lines like in a parade.

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, July 17, 2021 at 11:08 a.m.

    OK.???... I don't Remember Ajax or "Clockwork Orange" that way... (Frank, you out there.???)...Maybe that was where Ggg Pephalterklopp got that idea of Positioning Adams there in the Early Formations he used ... Clearly, "Total Voetbal" was about Defenders Joining In from the Back and Interchanging with the Next Player... But, it could have been ANY Defender... My Favorite example was Beckenbauer( yeah, I know, He Ain't Dutch)... I agree that having a Defender Join in, should Give you Numerical Superiority. Because, if you are 4 in the Back,  Most The Opponent will have is 3(usually Lazy Forwards) against you... There is ALWAYS someone that is 1v0 ... Finding that Player and getting them the Ball at the Next Level,  creates 2v1 in the Midfield... From there it is Just a Series of 2v1,(Like Dominoes Falling)  until you come up Against THEIR Open Player(Theoretically on their 18)and the Numbers Equalize again...Unfortunately,  We Never see CBs that Bring the Ball Out of the Back,  or Join In anymore,  it's always some little Dinky Wing Back... I Loved when Cameron was Back there,  he would do it... or The Younger version of Brooks,  when he first Joined USA, he acted like Beckenbauer... Stripping the Ball and Running up with it... So, I agree to go 3-4-3 on Attack... But if you have the Same 3 Large, Klunky, Turds-in-a-PunchBowl Sitting on their A$$s, It really becomes very Predictable Side Ways and "One Channeled" Tiki-Taka... Ah, for the Days of The Libero.!!!

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, July 17, 2021 at 10:03 p.m.

    Defining total football by the interchange of players between lines is very common and very superficial. The player movement was characteristic of how a team breaks down a man-to-man defense. That definition completely misses the important principles underlying total football that distinguish it from other styles. For instance all 11 players attack and all 11 players defend. No dividing the team into defenders and attackers. A sweeper keeper. Superior ball skills at all positions. High press. Compact shape maintained during play. Shrinking the field when out of possession and expanding the field while in possession. And most important, they don't view the game as divided into separate phases including "attacking" and "defending". At all times the team is positioned to maximize their ability to both attack and defend at the same time. This basically eliminates what we call the transistion phases. Specifically how they position themselves is the key. Here is an example. When attacking on the wing, a supporting player will be positioned to also be between the opponent and the teams goal if the winger is dispossessed. So there is no transistion to defense movement necessary if the ball is lost. A player is already in place.

  8. Wallace Wade, July 16, 2021 at 7:35 a.m.

    Just wait until Berhalter actually faces real competition 

  9. R2 Dad, July 16, 2021 at 11:37 a.m.

    The opponent goalkeeper was so, so bad with decision-making and positioning. He deserves a mention for his futility.

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, July 16, 2021 at 6:16 p.m.

    He had 7 saves.

  11. R2 Dad replied, July 17, 2021 at 2:16 p.m.

    Watch the goals on the ones he didn't save.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, July 17, 2021 at 10:20 p.m.

    Already did. My impression was that the back line was poor and not much help to the keeper. He basically had to cover the whole goal mouth. Especially in the second half, I saw a lot of ball watching.

  13. John Soares, July 16, 2021 at 1:35 p.m.

    The game was what you might expect.... the kids were having fun 
    The embarrassing part was in the stands 
    7,000 people!???
    No it's NOT  Martinique  it's U S A.
    Have these games in Portland.. Seattle... Nashville or anywhere where they will be appreciated AND attended 

  14. Santiago 1314, July 16, 2021 at 3:32 p.m.

    How does the "A" Team Look Now.???






    ----------------* Horvath *

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, July 16, 2021 at 5:52 p.m.

    I like a more techncial team. This is a bit speculative, but I would like to see Weah at right winger, Renya at the 10, Dest FB playing behind Pulisic, Adams playing FB behind Weah. Busio at pivot.

    Pulisic Sargent Weah
    Dest ? ? Adams

    Deke is an option against big CBs, but Sargent is almost as big as Deke. I was surprised. They may be both growing still too.

    If Busio cannot handle starting at pivot, then Adams moves there and we bring in someone else
    at FB. I like the idea of Dest playing off of Pulisic and what I looking for is a similar combo for the right with Weah/Adams.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a Donovan/Cherundolo pair on both flanks :) I badly want to see a front diamond of Reyna (10), and Pulisic/Sargent/Weah. Quality wise, I think they could be as effective as the typical WNT front line, and that is a very high bar to clear. But we won't raise the bar if these guys don't get playing time together.


  16. Bob Ashpole replied, July 16, 2021 at 6:07 p.m.

    You may be concerned that Busio is not playing in Europe. Looking at Busio play, even against minnows, his quality is unmistakeable. I wouldn't be surprised if Ajax or even Barca was interested. Who knows the future, but my gut tells me that he has the greatest potential of any male US player I have seen yet. He has all the tools for positional play. Notice his speed of play is the fastest of any US player that he has played with so far? He would be a joy to play with.

  17. Santiago 1314 replied, July 17, 2021 at 7:38 a.m.

    I could go with that Lineup... Hopefully Weah Blossoms this year... 
    I like the Pulisic-Dest... But it seems to me they Tried that and it Didn't Work... Dest is Very uncomfortable on the Left... Maybe he'll get more Time at it at Farća this year. 
    Not sure that Bringing more People around CP is a Good idea... He doesn't really need the help,  to make his own Penetration...He seems to like the Space were he can "Frankie Turbo" 
    I prefer the Dest-Reyna-Arriolla Triangulation on the Right,  But not sure Arriolla is or can Stay Healthy enough

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, July 17, 2021 at 7:51 a.m.

    I think they are "Wedded" to Adam's as #6, whether that's going to be as Single or Two #6... I really like McKenNIE work Rate... Have yet to see him "Perform" as a #8... Seems they Tried to make Bradley into #8, and that was also very Frustrating/Inconsistent....
    Double 6 with McNIE--Adams , with either Busio or Reyna as the 8... Lots of "Motion" and Twitch in there.
    You are right about the "Upside" on Busio... Hopefully he ends up at Club that Suits his Style. 

  19. Bob Ashpole replied, July 17, 2021 at 10:15 p.m.

    Here is my thinking on Dest. If Pulisic goes inside, Route 1 is open for Dest. If Pulisic goes outside, Dest can cut inside. If Pulisic is double or triple teamed, they won't be able to pick up Dest. Basically I am looking for someone at Pulisic's level to combine with him.

    Adams plays FB and winger too. It would be out of position for him. Really I am looking for ways to get the most skilled players on the field at the same time. I suspect that Adams and Dest are our best FBs. If Busio can handle the pivot, then Adams can be used at FB.

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, July 18, 2021 at 3:33 a.m.

    Sigh. "It would NOT be out of position for him."

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, July 18, 2021 at 8:59 a.m.

    I read it the way you "Thought" it, cause I Remember Adams was RB, that Ggg kept sliding into #6 spot ... :)

  22. John Bonini, July 16, 2021 at 4:14 p.m.

    James Sands was more dynamic around the field than Robinson and Zimmerman and deserved a higher score.

    Hoppe made much more of an overall impact than Roldan, who was invisible for most of the game. Giving Roldan anything above a four is generous.

    Bello had a poor game. He's good and has a high talent ceiling but offered the least of all the midfielders. He still deserves playing time against Canada over other options.

    The only time I've seen Donovan Pines (memorably) play was this season when he got beat twice by Thiago on a 50-yard run. I understand late subs get more lenient ratings, but he was almost as bad as Kellyn Acosta in limited minutes.

  23. Santiago 1314 replied, July 16, 2021 at 4:56 p.m.

    Agree on All you said John... Maybe a little Less on Bello

  24. Santiago 1314 replied, July 17, 2021 at 7:41 a.m.

    I thought I heard someone say that Sands can play as a #6... That would be Interesting to Pair with Busio...
    Pines looked like Bambi out there,  But 6'5", Maybe he'll Grow into that Body

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