Commentary

Mexico-USA Men's World Cup Qualifying Player Ratings

MEXICO-USA EXPRESS:
March 24 in Mexico City
Mexico 0 USA 0.
Att.: 47,000
* * * * * * * * * *

For the third consecutive time at the Estadio Azteca, the USA held Mexico to a tie in a World Cup qualifier. Both teams created chances — Mexico had more, the USA's were of higher quality — but there was something missing in both team’s attacks. The U.S. pressed high up in the beginning and played well for the first 65 minutes, connecting passes and moving the ball with purpose up the field. They failed to penetrate Mexico’s half meaningfully thereafter, especially once Coach Gregg Berhalter changed to a five-in-the-back system in the 80th minute.

The U.S. backline defenders stood tall — no Mexican player was able to get in behind them. The game opened up around the hour mark and both teams were unlucky not to score. Sharing the spoils was a fair result. The Americans will be happy to earn a point and continue their unbeaten run against El Tri. The Mexico squad was booed by a half-capacity crowd at the final whistle, and chants of "Fuera Tata" bounced around the concrete walls of Estadio Azteca.

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

GOALKEEPER

Zack Steffen faced only two shots on target and looked comfortable on crosses and distribution -- besides his overhit pass to Walker Zimmerman in the first half that led to one of the few moments of panic for the USA’s backline.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG) 27/0 (26)

DEFENDERS

The U.S. backline held strong all night long against a talented, though sputtering, El Tri attack. Antonee Robinson did well to join the attack and served in several dangerous crosses. Walker Zimmerman won all his individual battles and impressed in the air, though his distribution could have been more consistent. His attempts to find Ricardo Pepi’s feet were futile. Miles Robinson played flawlessly — besides a foolish yellow card foul early in the game — and shadowed Raul Jimenez expertly. The Robinson-Zimmerman duo excelled and forced Mexico to attack down the sides rather than through the middle. DeAndre Yedlin lost the ball in the U.S. half early on and recklessly tackled Edson Alvarez for a yellow card, making him ineligible against Panama. Though solid on the defensive end, the Inter Miami defender was unable to consistently contribute in attack. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami) 72/0 (28)

8
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 26/3 (28)

7
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United) 18/3 (25)

6
Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG) 23/2 (24)

MIDFIELDERS

Kellyn Acosta did well in his individual battles and was energetic defensively and offensively. His service in the first half could have been better -- he over-hit a free kick cross that should have created a scoring chance -- but he did wonderfully to set up one of USA’s best chances in the second half when his pin-point through ball to Gio Reyna led to a close-range opportunity for Jordan Pefok. Tyler Adams starred defensively and set the tone for U.S. possession early on. His departure from the match and the USA going to a five in the back resulted in Mexico taking over. Yunus Musah covered a ton of ground but faded later on, and his poor back pass led to one of Mexico’s best chances in the second half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Kellyn Acosta (LAFC) 49/2 (26)

8
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER) 25/1 (23)

6
Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP) 14/0 (19)

FORWARDS

In the attack, the USA looked best for the first hour. Ricardo Pepi and Tim Weah combined excellently in the first half to set up a golden opportunity for Christian Pulisic, who was dangerous when he got the ball in space. But he misplaced a few through balls and was subbed off in the 80th minute to keep his legs fresh for Panama on Sunday. He was visibly frustrated on multiple occasions. Pepi was isolated for most of the match. Weah's yellow card rules him out of the Panama game.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6 
Tim Weah (Lille/FRA) 21/2 (22)

6
Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg/GER) 10/3 (19)

7 
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG) 46/18 (23)

SUBSTITUTES

Gio Reyna gave the team a burst of life, going on a tearing run in the second half reminiscent of Diego Maradona’s in the same stadium (although without the finish). He set up Jordan Pefok for the USA’s best chance in the second half. Aaron Long’s first touch was a clearance near the goal line, and Erik Palmer-Brown did well coming into a big game late on.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 10/4 (19)

4
Jordan Pefok (Young Boys/SUI) 9/1 (25)

6
Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls) 22/3 (29)

6
Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes/FRA) 3/0 (24)

nr
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) 44/10 (27)

TRIVIA: U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter became the second American to play (2005) and coach in a World Cup qualifier for in Mexico -- along with Bob Kehoe, who played in the away qualifier in 1965 and coached the USA there in 1972. Berhalter is the first to play and coach a qualifier at Azteca Stadium.

March 24 in Mexico City
Mexico 0 USA 0
.
Mexico -- Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Vasquez, Arteaga; Herrera, Alvarez (Rodriguez, 79; Lozano, Jimenez, Corona (Vega, 79).
USA -- Steffen; Yedlin (Palmer-Brown, 80), Zimmerman, Robinson, Robinson; Adams (Long, 80), Musah, Acosta; Weah (Reyna, 60), Pepi (Pefok, 60), Pulisic (Morris, 84).
Yellow cards: USA -- Robinson 9, Yedlin 26, Weah, 39. Mexico -- Alvarez 21, Martino (coach) 39, Vega 90.
Referee: Mario Escobar (Guatemala).
Att.: 47,000.

Stats:
MEXICO/USA
Shots: 11/9
Shots on target: 4/2
Saves: 4/2
Corner Kicks:1/4
Fouls: 14/12
Offside: 1/0
Possession: 63%/37%
52 comments about "Mexico-USA Men's World Cup Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. Wayne Norris, March 25, 2022 at 6:26 a.m.

    Agree mostly. Yedelin seems harsh at "4". Did not seem to ding Pulisic for brutal miss but Pefok gets a "4" for his? Btw, agreed Pefok had awful shift!

    Solid result here and in Panama for US. Costa Rica win hurts little.

  2. Kent James replied, March 25, 2022 at 6:55 a.m.

    I agree about Yedlin and Pefok. Yedlin was under a lot of pressure defensively, and generally handled it well, while also coming forward. Looked like he was cramping near the end.  After the tactical switch (partially forced by Yedlin needing to come off) Pefokwas really isolated up top. The 'sitter' he missed wasn't as easy as it looked (bouncing balls hit one touch are always challenging), but he should have done better. I hope he doesn't let it affect him. 

  3. Tom Keene replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:43 a.m.

    oh please   Pefok doesn't keep his shot on the field of play...

  4. John Sabala replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:25 a.m.

      Wayne,
    I thought Yedlin had the best all around game of all the defenders.  Mexico did not really create any real chances down the left side. He covered so many times when the centerback pulled out of position and at least was able to link the ball with Musah or Weah when we did try to build out of the back.

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:46 a.m.

    I think Ggg inserted Pefok, because he was Planning on Starting him versus Panama....That would be more His Kind of Game..."Gate Crasher" versus a Bunker Defense... (Wanted to get him a little "Integrated ", because He had Neglected to do it in Earlier Windows)... Similar to the way he Plays and Scores for Young Boys... Except for a Few Champions League Games, that's the way he always Plays, because YB dominates so much....But, Pefok was CLEARLY Confused as Playing as a False9 and is Pretty Bad at Hold-Up Play or Pressing.
    The Game was Crying for Ferreira, to be the Sub for Pepi... Not Pefok.
    Previous Ggg Pattern has been to NOT Bench Players who Struggle.
    Let's see if that continues with Pefok AND CP( Who Screwed Up just as Badly)... I do think Pefok should Start versus Panama.

  6. Seth Vieux replied, March 25, 2022 at 6:11 p.m.

    CP didn't "miss" like Pefok did. CP wasn't clinical but Ochoa made a good lateral movement to at least make a save. CP also forced a really nice save from Ochoa on the through ball from Acosta. Pefok's shot went close to 90 degrees off target. Makes you wonder if that kind of miss will make GGG reconsider his initial plan to start him against Panama.

    Santi, on Ferriera I totally agree, but most ridiculous was going to FOUR CBs and confusing everyone to make the last 15 minutes a COMPLETE panic in the back. What a time to throw in the towel when the Mexican defense was running on fumes and Reyna could just cruise past them.

    Here's an idea GB: I know Yedlin cramping totally exposed your awful roster selection, but how about switching to 3-5-2 with EPB on for Yedlin LDT on for Adams there?  

  7. Seth Vieux replied, March 25, 2022 at 6:16 p.m.

    So at 80th minute:

                      CP - Pefok

    ARob - LDT - Acosta - Reyna - Musah (who plays as a RM in Valencia's 4-4-2)

             MRob - Zimm - EPB


    Now we have strong defense plus fresh-legs Reyna and LDT to carry the ball quickly upfield on counters. And if we want to preserve CP's legs a bit then bring on Ferreira (NOT Morris) for him who would be our best to combine with the ACM dribbling forward and most capable of setting up Pefok or the other ACM.

    A point is a good result absent context, but that game was there for the taking and GB not only threw in the towel on getting 3, his panic tactical change damn near cost us completely.

  8. Santiago 1314, March 25, 2022 at 6:28 a.m.

    Oh So Close.!!!... Who would have thought that CP and Pefok would miss Sitters.!!!
    The Result is Excellent, but Why does it Feel like A LOSS.!?!?!?
    Maybe it was the Fact that, this was the WEAKEST Mexico Home Team I have EVER seen, before the SMALLEST Azteca Crowd Ever, With the "BEST" USA Talent Ever(NOT)...
    I would have done things Differently, but the Result would have probably been the Same.
    Biggest Problem now is; who is going to back Up Moore.??? Why is Scally NOT Called IN(Yedlin had Ice on his Thigh at End of Game: He's Done...)

  9. Wooden Ships replied, March 25, 2022 at 8:05 a.m.

    Literally, Sargent would have made the difference. 

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:41 a.m.

    Wood, I would like to Think So, but when you see CP and Pefok miss from 6 yards out, you have to wonder IF; this was the way it was Meant to be.
    Seems like we seen Sargent miss Similar Chances, and that why Ggg doesn't bring him...
    But, Man... Did Pefok look LOST up there as "Lone Ranger"... Felt Sorry for the Guy...
    Again, we can Blame Ggg for his Lack of "Integrating" Players thru this Whole "Octogon"
    Another Reason Ggg Should Be FIRED.!!!!

  11. John Sabala replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:30 a.m.

      Wooden,
    I think Sargent would have added a whole other dimension the US attack, and it is some GB does not see or is so stuck with playing a traditional center striker. If Sargent is there with Weah and CP, all three of them can interchange with the flow of play. Much like Chelsea does.  The diaganol runs can happen much more often and now Mexico's CBs can't lock on one guy because they keep moving in and around the box.  Like I said, this becomes much hard to defend as all three can finish inside the box. Don't necessarily need the lone tall striker.

  12. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 1:54 p.m.

    Ships, I would have like to have seen Sargent out there...and also I would have like to have seen Morris on the right side blowing by the Mexican to the end line with Sargent in the middle. 
    Weah, is just beginning to look predictable for me. 

    I don't know why Sargent hasn't been given a chance

  13. Wayne Norris replied, March 25, 2022 at 2:30 p.m.

    Grass is always greener......Sargent has shown nothing in his entire European career except a few flashes. Having said that I do feel he would be good add to this squad but let us not forget he has scored in one game this entire Premiere league season....

  14. Sam Bellin replied, March 25, 2022 at 4:03 p.m.

    Exactly what I was thinking Santi:  A tie (and a good one at that), but somehow still felt like a loss.  That game was so winnable!  I've never seen the Mexicans look so toothless in the final third, and we were playing faster and with more urgency in the middle third than they were, another "first," at least in the last decade.  This game really shows how critical it is for the USA to develop a reliable finisher (dare I ask for 2)?

  15. Kent James replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:36 p.m.

    Frank, I agree on your observations about both Sargent and Morris.  Sargent needs to be in the mix and Morris could blow by tired Mexican defenders on the right side.

  16. R2 Dad, March 25, 2022 at 9:35 a.m.

    Gio's run was the saddest thing I've seen in a while. When you point to problems with team mentality, this is a highlight. Having said that, I guess it was Gio's turn to try and do too much.

  17. Wooden Ships replied, March 25, 2022 at 9:44 a.m.

    Sort of know what you're saying, but that was just a moment in time and a statement. A statement that I'm back, on the pitch and the best technical player playing. He was also using it to get his mojo going and it worked. Some psyops for the the Mexican players. I loved it. 

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:46 a.m.

    r2, that was the Only thing worth seeing Last Night.!!!

  19. John Sabala replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:34 a.m.

      Gio's run just showed why he should be our central attacking midfielder with Musah or McKennie (once he is healed) and Adams behind.  He has the skill set and vision to break lines and create with his dribbline or passing.  Either Aaronson or LDT is on in relief. Imagine

    CP     Sargent    Weah
     
        Reyna      Musah
        
               Adams

    Won't add the back line. For me in the WC, this is the midfield and front line.

  20. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 1:05 p.m.

    JS, McKenNIE is a MUST START...
    Who you gonna Sit, so that he can Start.???

  21. John Sabala replied, March 25, 2022 at 4:03 p.m.

      Santi,
    I would go with either one, but likely McKennie first once he is healthy. Reyna needs to be on the pitch.  Now this is why I keep beating the dead horse about getting us in a back three with our more athletic CBs.  This allows you to play Musah and Dest as wingbacks instead of A. Robinson. Scally would also be a great fit as a wingback with his size and skill set. We put better skill sets on the field and become much more dangerous on offense through build-up or direct play.

                    Sargent
             CP                 Weah

    Dest    Reyna    Adams    Musah

    Richards  Brooks  Erik-Palmer         

           Steffan/Horvath  

    Forward Subs - Aaronson, Pefolk, Ferreira, Hoppe, Konrad
    O-Mid Subs/Move Position - Aaronson, LDT, Musah, Green
    D-Mid Sub - Acosta, Busio
    Wingbacks - Busio, Scally, Vines, A. Robinson, Yedlin
    CB - Carter-Vickers, Sands, Miazga, Zimmerman

    I think this is our best pool to pick for the WC.

  22. Seth Vieux replied, March 25, 2022 at 6:23 p.m.

    Gio's Prime Maradona-esque slaloming through 6 Mexicans was SAD?!?!? Give me a break, it was brilliance and I guarantee the Mexican fans needed everything inside of them to resist shouting out the Ole's for him!

    My only regret is after that GGG threw in the towel tactically and we didn't get to see him and LDT do that to them again and again.

  23. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 7:27 p.m.

    R2, it was meaningless run, not realistic by Gio. All of the players on both teams were tired that's why none of Gio's teammates except  Antonee made a run downfield to support him while the rest just walked. 
    Gio, having just got in as a sub made use of nonsensical display, but it looks good in the yearbook, for this would never have happened during the start of the game for Gio would be eating grass. Gio just wanted to show a he's back...

  24. Santiago 1314 replied, March 26, 2022 at 9:56 a.m.

    JS, I just don't see the Point of having Reyna chasing back to the Defensive Third to make Tackles, because he would have to do that as a Center Midfielder... Seems like a waste of Energy and Talent, and "Un-Natural" for him... McKenNIE is the "Natural" fit there... Flip Reyna with Sargent .. Sargent could also play where Musah is, that's what he does for Norwich currently.

  25. frank schoon, March 25, 2022 at 10:19 a.m.

    ?Watched the first 25min last night ,turned it off and watched some NCAA basketball, for this game wasn't going anywhere...The Mexicans were lousy and so was the US. This morning I watch the first 47min. of it. I don't know where Arlo gets this from, as I quote," The US played well the first 65min", REALLY??..We couldn't string two passes in a row....

    Having watched, I've come to the conclusion that CP is brainless, meaning ,he's never been taught  how to play good soccer. And his statement that he's tries to do too much ,really?, NO KIDDING!!!,sort of implies he realizes he doesn't really understand the game, and I feel so bad for him that he's not had good coaching or guidance, the latter at this stage is the most important...One of the problems is that he's been in an environment of 'turbo' and having gone to Germany, and England and having had two German coaches has done nothing mentally for him, he's not learned the finer elements of the game which turbo soccer does not demand. He receives the ball and it's VROOM, VROOM and off to the races...

    CP's first 9 touches on the ball, 6 of them were ball losses. If he playes on the flank, wing, he needs to know how to position himself. First and foremost he needs create space for HIMSELF and create space for his TEAMMATE. Wingers are 'SPACE CREATORS' FIRST, period!!! he has no clue how to create space. Have you ever seen him run back towards the ball a couple steps, drawing his opponent with him, and then all of sudden turns around and runs past his opponent down the flank into the space left behind by his opponent and vice versa..go long and then quickly come back to get receive ball to feet. He fails to understand there needs to be a "foreaction"(dutch) or better a movement before a movement in order effect his opponent. He doesn't think that way, he wants the ball, first, without thinking, WHY AM I DOING WHAT I'M DOING!!! Of course that goes not only for CP but for all of them out there....

    And also he did the same thing that Morris did in the last game on the left wing, runs square towards the sideline with his back facing the field, away from the goal, placing himself in a useless position and worse he's has 2man on him...
                                                       NEXT POST.....







  26. Bob Ashpole replied, March 25, 2022 at 5:50 p.m.

    Frank, I know what you mean about wingers creating space. I don't think I ever made even one straight run in the 2 years I played competitively. But you have to read the game and time your runs to arrive in the right place at the right time. Since about 1990 I had to stop making those runs because my team-mates couldn't handle a simple checking run. 

    For the last 20 years from what I have seen of US professional players, most of them can't pass as well as I expected of a good amateur player. Even the best of the men are "limited" passers. They put the ball where they can rather than where it is needed. Add to that a basic lack of fundamentals (first touch!) and that is the biggest problem the US faces. This is the cost during development of generations of coaches endlessly selecting primarily for "athletic ability" (as if balls skills are not athletic). So we play turbo because that is all poorly skilled players can do.

    The women tend to be better because they rely more on skill and less on power than male players.

    The USSF 2010 program has come and been forgotten, while we have made no real progress since 2002.

    Sorry for the preaching. I am just frustrated. CP is lucky to not have suffered a carreer ending injury on the missed shot that everyone is talking about. The defender he beat altered his run and raked his cleats across the tendon on the back of CPs trailing foot while the officials were watching the ball. CP was pounding the ground, not because he missed but because he was cleated.

  27. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 6:39 p.m.

    Bob, I didn't know about CP's clip from behind while trying to shoot..
    The problem I find is that when coaches tell a player to play wing, the doesn't really understand what wings are suppose to do or suppose effect. You see we don't have a wing culture here like so many other countries. Just like the 4-3-3 over the years this system has been watered like the principles of soccer that Cruyfs states has been watered down.

    A coach states he wants to play 433 ,what does he really know about 433 inside details, just like what does he really know what the inside details of wings play....The following week the coach wants to play 4321 or 4231 or 532, it's like the alphabet soup out there from one game to the next.  There are numerous nuances players grow up playing 433 like Cruyff or players of Ajax who have followed the 433 system, they know exactly what to expect and also are able to fine tune it themselves if there is a problem....
     
    Fine tuning can be done when CP is faced with two defenders on him on by the sideline. You don't need a coach for that. When CP has two man on, he wants to take on both which is stupid. What should happen, is when CP is covered by the opponent back and the lefthalf than obviously, the lefthalfback's man, CP's teammate should position about 10yards behind them and receives CP's pass. This way CP's pass beats two defenders and he's able to run full speed down flank and receive pass back. This little play is very simple but not carried out for CP thinks he can beat two players. Obviously GG and his staff have little knowledge about how to play wing for CP continuous making mistakes out there.

    Creating space as a wing, means staying wide ,thus spreading out the opponent's defensive back line. By a wing penetrating down to the endline forces the backline to go all the way backwards into their own penalty area or in front of the goal, giving our attackers more space to go forwards and get closer to the goal. It also forces the opponents back line to not be able to look at the ball and his man at the same time giving our attackers on the cross more time. This is basic but we don't carry this out and instead wing go inwards these and clog things up in front of the goal....Or wings should never receive a pass from the back but from a midfielder which allows him to always see his  defender and the ball...All these principles have gone by the wayside....

  28. frank schoon, March 25, 2022 at 11:16 a.m.

    CP has a bad habit of coming back to midfield to want the ball. As a wing, a space creator, you MUST position as deep as possible down wing, because that does TWO things: One, you create space for your midfielders behind YOU, and/or back for this allows your midfield more time with ball; TWO, stay positioned as deep as possible downfield creating a 1v1 advantage, for yourself. 

    CP coming back towards midfield , CLOSES down not only his own space because his defender will follow him but also will draw as a result more opponents at midfield thereby screwing things up for all his teammates..So if CP gets the ball he'll face a 1v2 disadvantage....This has also the overall effect of screwing up the build up movement...

    Look at min.46, Antonee R, passes the ball the ball to an open midfielder, Acosta by the sideline, CP who is about 8-10 meters away down flank, comes toward Acosta with his man closing the spacing down when instead he should have ran down an open flank, creating a 1v1. Here is the kicker, another brainless action, is that Pepi, about 10meters away comes towards CP, closing everything further things down....  I DON'T CARE WHO COACHES THIS TEAM, but these guys need to be all put back into the classroom including this brainless coach along with his computer carrying laptop coaches and learn something about this game, for I see the same mistakes , over and over again. Realize these are our stars from Europe. Were talking WC, we can't even play soccer properly!!!

    At Ajax the wing is taught the moment you have two men on, PASS IT!!!. Your job is done!!! ,for someone else is not guarded or is open. But what does CP do, he takes them on ,runs towards the middle where Weah in his path is WIDE OPEN a few meters away. CP could have passed but instead held on the ball and was fouled by the two opponents. Something like this at Ajax, he would have not only been substituted but also yelled at by his teammates for being stupid and realize with his propensity for injuries he doesn't need to place himself in a postion to be fouled.

    At min.40 around, a bad Mexican pass goes to CP, who is open and so is Weah is in a great postion ,wide open. Instead CP decides to take 3dribbles and finally passes to Weah, who now has his defender able to close the shooting space down...This all could have been prevented by CP passing right away, giving Weah more time and "space"
     
                                 NEXT POST....

                                                         

  29. Goal Goal replied, March 25, 2022 at 8:44 p.m.

    Couple days ago they said Reyna was better than CP and then in an article here they compared Reynas run up the middle to Maradona.  We sure have a way of building our own heroes.

  30. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:41 p.m.

    LOL, amazing isn't it

  31. John Soares, March 25, 2022 at 11:19 a.m.

    Very good... Very enjoyable game!!!

    For those of you in the know
    47.000 for a Mexico USA game ???
    Less than 50% of capacity 

  32. John Soares, March 25, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Very good... Very enjoyable game!!!

    For those of you in the know
    47.000 for a Mexico USA game ???
    Less than 50% of capacity 

  33. John Soares, March 25, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Very good... Very enjoyable game!!!

    For those of you in the know
    47.000 for a Mexico USA game ???
    Less than 50% of capacity 

  34. John Soares, March 25, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Very good... Very enjoyable game!!!

    For those of you in the know
    47.000 for a Mexico USA game ???
    Less than 50% of capacity 

  35. John Soares, March 25, 2022 at 11:21 a.m.

    Have no idea why the repeats

  36. John Sabala, March 25, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.

    Should Have Made History

    First and foremost I will give GB credit for actually trying to win the game. We did press, albiet not effectively most of the game (we did in certain spots and create a couple of turnovers), but could not capitalize on it.  Now that being said lets look at it from group play

     First three levels turned the ball over too many times needlessly and in the WC we will get punished and be heading home.

    Backline -  The CBs played ok defensively, but the passing and shifting points of attack was horrendous.  Ok, Zimmerman can win aerial battles, but can't make correct crist passes to the midfield or outside backs. Instead, he is launching everything over the top and giving away possession most of the game. M. Robinson's passing was a little better, but not much. As Franc stated already, we were not connecting passes with meaningful purpose to the attack much of the time. Outside backs both had solid games defensively. I was ok with Yedlin not pushing too far forward and in my opinion overall was the best backline player for the entire game.  Mexico could not exploit the left side too much, most of Mexico's attacks were down right and center. Yedlin covered numerous times when both CBs were pulled out of position. A. Robinson again shows his ineptness on the ball. If he does not have acres to run on he can't beat guys 1v1 and gives the ball away time and again. Oh god for Scally or Vines on that side.  

    Midfield - Not too many complaints here. Acosta had a good game and did not play recklessly as he is prone to do.  Again, the attack down the left is stagnant due the A. Robinson not being able to play the ball in smaller spaces with accuracy.  Again Pulisic has to come back to get the ball closer to midfield and then gets the S+@T beat out of him. Musah did ok, had some moments breaking lines with dribbling, but could not connect play with the front line well. He did a lot of good defensive work, and Mexico was not able to dominate the midfield. Adams had track shoes on and put in a solid performance.  Had to come too far back too many times to help cover when our backline made some dumb mistakes.

    NEXT POST------->

  37. John Sabala replied, March 25, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.

    Forwards - CP had an ok game, but as I stated prior to this match he has to get the ball close the the box.  It won't happen with A. Rob. Weah was able to get the ball much closer to the box and created one of our best chances of the game. He helped clog play defensively with Yedlin and the three of them connected better than the left side. Yedlin is a little better than A. Rob with the ball at his feet in tight spaces. Pepi continued to struggle and his hold up play let him down, but so did Pefolk before we went to a 5-4-1.  So I agree with Wooden again that Sargeant was the best player to have on the pitch with the game plan. Can't say he would have scored, but pressing and being able to change out with either CP, or Weah in the attack would have made it much harder for Mexico's backline to defend.

    Not upset with the result since we played to win.  Can't believe we did not bring in Scally, but brought in Shaq Moore.  Again, now with so outside backs out, we need to play a three back and use players as wingbacks on the outside for the next game instead of playing more marginal players as outside backs. Again put your best XI on the pitch and build the tactical plan for their strengths.  Reyna needs to play with Musah or DLT and Adams behind this next game.

  38. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 1:02 p.m.

    JS, this is the First Time I have seen USA play with a "False9 Press"...
    Instead of "Sargent Type" Leading the Press, we had the Ct. F. INTENTIONALLY Dropping OFF to cover the Outlet Pass from the GK to the Center Half Checking Back. So Pepi (and later Pefok) did this Very Well and it Confused the Mexican Build Up out of the Back... Which just Led to a Double-Sided Dis-Jointed game... and Hence 0-0, Instead of 2-2(my Prediction)...
    That's why I said even if we had played a Line-up of:
              Sarg  
    CP                 Weah
    Doubtful that we could have sustained that for 90+ in the Altitude.
    Ggg had to Pick his Poison... And Ggg is Clearly Building toward Reyna as the False9,
    So he Instituted the "Future Formation" vesus Mexico. (With Pepi as the False9)
    If USA is going to try and "Create"; versus "Harass" with GegenPress;
    This is the BEST Xl for WC22 (This will NOT Work against Most CONcacaCrApF teams)
    (If everyone is Healthy and In Form)
    CP ---------------------Weah
                  Reyna
                        Musah
          McKenNie
                  Adams
    Jedi                         Dest
            Brooks  Richards
               *Steffen*

  39. frank schoon, March 25, 2022 at 12:02 p.m.

    Zimmerman, shouldn't be handling the ball, it seems like he can only pass long which are not placed well, and has no eye for situations diagonally left of him... He dribbles towards the right sideline where his back and wing are situated. Of course while dribbling there, snooze, snooze, he draws everyone ,the opponents, creating a disadvantage 3v4 situation near the sideline which initself bad. He passes long with no result when instead if he looked to his left Musah is WIDE OPEN by the centercircle eating a pizza.....

    Our midfield lacks a presence, a director , a leader. Adams is no leader, he's everwhere except in the stands....I don't know who this color commentator was for I was getting a headache from the BS he spouted. He stated, that Adams is doing so well that he's second in number of tackles/ recovery, after he tried to tackling/sliding by keeping a ball in bounce about 3-4 meters from the opponents endline. Why would you do that. By sliding/tackling the opponent/ball you commit yourself for the opponent would be free to take the ball up with one less midfielder ahead of you to content with...These stats are meaningless for SMART defenders rely less on tackling and use it only a last resort...Adam's thinking is more like, this is my weapon....

    Our left side needs to be more penetrating DOWN THE FLANK, we don't seem to get enough push there as compared to our right and also I was not impressed with Weah or our right flank...
    I just notice we were very lucky in not getting a penalty called against us....

  40. oswaldo rodriguez, March 25, 2022 at 12:55 p.m.

    Disagree.  Pulisic.-5,  Pepi.-5, Long.-4

  41. Mark Mittelstadt, March 25, 2022 at 1:02 p.m.

    This team ranking is far too generous. The US struggled to maintain possession of the ball, lost many challenges, had difficulty stringing together a series of passes, could not put together a cohesive scoring attack. At many times the team looked like an average high school squad. I thought GB had gotten the US away from over-the-top, long downfield passes and goal kicks through the air that all-too-often are not collected by a US player. Also can't agree with 7 for CP. He's too experienced, too skilled to drill that cross straight at Ochoa. That looked more like goalkeeper warm-up.

  42. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 1:10 p.m.

    Mark, I agree with You.
    Maybe Arlo got Carried Away with the fact it was a Tie.
    Something that Years ago, we would have said was "Marvelous" and Deserving of these Scores.
    But, it wasn't like we had to do all that Much to Stop Mexico, they were Pathetic.
    I don't thing ANY Player did anything Offensively(or Defensively) to deserve anything above a 6.

  43. Ted Morehouse, March 25, 2022 at 1:19 p.m.

    What you aren't saying is how badly weakened the team is now due to yellow cards.  Tim Weah is a critical and unique difference maker due to his speed.  So now he sits just like Mckinnie, Dest, Aaronson and the others.  Yedlin joins that "lost" plié and we lose his experience.  Now, we okay out third choice at that position.  And given that Pulisic played too much (80 minutes), I expect little from him.  So now what?  We can't score and are down numerous players.  If we lose Robinson and Sdams we might as well go home.  If Panama is 100%, we have no shot of winning.  This is worse than the media is making it seem. 

  44. beautiful game, March 25, 2022 at 1:36 p.m.

    Watched the first half only. Good result at Azteca.  

  45. Philip Carragher, March 25, 2022 at 2:45 p.m.

    I watched about half of the game intermittently hoping to see something, anything entertaining. A few flashes here and there but mostly boring except for the high stakes.

  46. Seth Vieux, March 25, 2022 at 6:32 p.m.

    Might have to go pull my defense of this group to a new comer earlier this week. I get Frank will always says he watched 10 minutes of a match and then provides 20 minutes of reading on his analysis of what he didn't watch ;-)

    BUT, I'm stunned that several others have said they watched only part of this hugely important match. Tells me you are not interested in the USMNT nearly as much as membership to SA would imply... I don't get it. The match isn't important enough to you to watch it but it is important for you to give your analysis of?

  47. Santiago 1314 replied, March 25, 2022 at 7:04 p.m.

    DAMN RIGHT SETH.!!!  jajajaj  :)

  48. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 7:34 p.m.

    Seth,  by me it was 10pm  already when the match began, unless it was great match I would watch the whole thing but 25 min. was enough for me to get the idea what it was turning out to be. I figured I'll watch it the next morning on Paramount+. I need my beauty sleep...  :)

  49. Philip Carragher replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:17 p.m.

    My informal poll had only 1 out of 5 well-informed, college level players watching the entire game. One didn't watch at all, one was mad he kept the game on in the background while he read (thinks any exposure to U.S. soccer is a waste), one sort-of watched it, and one watched the whole game. This is indicative of the state of USMNT soccer: the result is much more interesting than the play. Our play is mediocre at best and entirely predictable. The result is the only question mark. Hard to imagine how we've squandered so many years of player development. Most sports fans think soccer is boring; mediocre-at-best play + a 0-0 result = boredom. (I don't need to watch the entire game since the play is so predictable, but the main reason I watch is to see if there is a player doing something that shows he has something special, and every once in a while I do see something. For instance, I'd like to see Sargent given another chance because I think there is something there and would be interested to know if anyone thinks that Pepi might have a future as a mid or even an attacking mid.? I don't rule out his ability to be a top notch 9, but I haven't seen enough to know. Plus he never gets the ball. He does have some interesting skills and instincts as does Sargent.)

  50. frank schoon replied, March 25, 2022 at 10:44 p.m.

    Philip, totally agree with everything you stated

  51. James Madison, March 25, 2022 at 7:18 p.m.

    Wow!  Bloom, except for Yedlin and Pefok, thy name as a rater is GENEROUS!!  Pulisic gets his sitter excused, but Pefok does not?  OK, but Pefok was otherwise big, strong, slow, awkward, unsure where to be.  Yedlin is fine when he's on the field, but he's a send-off waiting to happen. Zimmerman and Adams were the best and steadious players on the field for the US.

  52. R2 Dad, March 26, 2022 at 11:48 p.m.

    Props to the man of the match: the referee Mario Escobar. CONCACAF had every chance to screw things up with bad calls, yet this Guatamalan referee did not put a foot wrong all match long. Well done! Hope to see you in Qatar!

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