Commentary

USA-Wales Men's World Cup Player Ratings

USA-WALES EXPRESS:
Nov. 21 in Al Rayyan
USA 1 Wales 1. Goals: Weah 36; Bale 82 pen.
Att.: 43,418.
* * * * * * * * * *

Optimism for how the USA could fare at this World Cup swelled during its first-half performance. It evaporated substantially by the time the final whistle blew. The USA controlled most of the first 45 minutes, struck a well-crafted goal, and limited the Welsh to a pair of shots far from target. Wales improved in the second half but hardly looked formidable. Walker Zimmerman's foolish foul in the 80th minute gifted Wales a penalty kick and a 1-1 tie. Taking only one point, instead of three, into its final two Group B games creates a significantly steeper climb into the knockout stage.

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

GOALKEEPER

Matt Turner tipped over the crossbar a header down the middle by a stooping Ben Davies. On the ensuing corner kick, Turner allowed Kieffer Moore a header from inside the goal area, which went high. He also bobbled an earlier corner kick but succeeded in punching the rebound away. His distribution included an accurate ball to Haji Wright in Welsh territory, and a stoppage-time boot that went all the way to his Welsh counterpart, Wayne Hennessey.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Matt Turner (Arsenal/England) 21/0 (28)

DEFENDERS

Walker Zimmerman, once hailed for bringing experience to a young squad, ruined the night for the USA by fouling with a tackle that was not only unnecessary — Gareth Bale had his back to the goal — but clumsy and reckless. Perhaps Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim was too occupied calling the penalty kick he forgot to caution Zimmerman, leaving two U.S. backline starters not carrying yellow cards. Zimmerman's central partner Tim Ream, who hit some clever passes, won balls and lots of headers, got himself yellow-carded for pulling down Bale 15 yards inside the Welsh half. Right back Sergino Dest was cautioned for a foolish, mis-timed tackle on Neco Williams on the sideline, inside the Welsh half, in the 11th minute. Dest had a few highlights, such as superb lofted pass down the wing to Tim Weah. Poise under pressure wasn't a strong suit among the U.S. defenders. Antonee Robinson fouled deep in the Welsh half in the 87th minute and then wasted more time by arguing with Al Jassim. Robinson's best moment came with a cross that Josh Sargent hit onto the post in the first half. Robinson and Dest also get credit for keeping the Welsh on their heels in the first half, but delivery from the U.S. outside backs was generally ineffective.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Sergino Dest (AC Milan/Italy) 20/2 (22)

2
Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 34/3 (29)

6
Tim Ream (Fulham/England) 47/1 (35)

5
Antonee Robinson (Fulham/England) 30/2 (25)

MIDFIELDERS

Weston McKennie matched his output of smart passes with failed ones and was also inconsistent in how he linked up with the frontline. Getting cautioned 13 minutes into the tournament — for a foul wide in midfield while Williams posed no danger — doesn't bode well for a player who often relies on brawn. McKennie committed four fouls in his 66-minute appearance. Tyler Adams' contribution to possession came mainly with backward and lateral passes, but defensively he provided cover for his adventurous teammates and he intervened at times when Wales looked capable of scoring from the run of play. Yunus Musah was most effective at bringing the ball forward swiftly, but the USA lacked central midfield creativity. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
Weston McKennie (Juventus/Italy) 38/9 (24)

6
Tyler Adams (Leeds United/England) 33/1 (23)

5
Yunus Musah (Valencia/Spain 20/0 (19)

FORWARDS

Christian Pulisic, who matched Bale's game-high four fouls-suffered while delivering a far more dynamic performance, sprinted away from Welshmen while setting up Tim Weah's goal with a perfectly placed pass. Weah played balls deftly and the USA's first big threat came when his half-volleyed cross nearly created an own goal. Josh Sargent's only appearance in front of the Welsh goal came with his header from Robinson's cross. Though dramatic at first viewing, it came from a position, on the wide side of the goal area, that made beating Hennessey near impossible even if it arrived inside the post. Sargent did lay the ball off to Pulisic on the buildup to the opening goal. After scoring with a swift sequence down the middle that also included a Pulisic-Musah combo at the halfway line, the USA went back to the predictable wing attacks that the Welsh could squelch by blocking crosses and crowding the penalty area. Pulisic, who ended the day with 14 crosses, failed to unleash a shot. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Tim Weah (Lille/France) 26/4 (22)

5
Josh Sargent (Norwich City/England) 21/5 (22)

6 
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/England) 53/21 (24)

SUBSTITUTES

Kellyn Acosta surged into the areas the Welsh left open but couldn't help penetrate their final barriers. DeAndre Yedlin lofted balls into the penalty area that Hennessey punched away with no problem. Brenden Aaronson won a ball in midfield shortly after entering and a couple more, but wasn't secure enough on the ball to translate his hustle into the scoring chances the USA needed.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/England) 25/6 (22)

4 
DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami) 76/0 (29)

4
Haji Wright (Antalyaspor/Turkey) 4/1 (24)

4
Kellyn Acosta (LAFC) 54/2 (27)

NR 
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) 50/11 (28)

USA TRIVIA: At 19 days and 358 days old, Yunus Musah became the youngest U.S. starter in World Cup history, moving ahead of DaMarcus Beasley (20 years, 12 days in 2002).

WALES TRIVIA: Eight of Wales' players who saw action against the USA were born in England.

NEXT UP: USA-England, Friday, Nov. 25, 2 pm ET.

Nov. 21 in Al Rayyan
USA 1 Wales 1. Goals: Weah 36; Bale 82 pen.
USA — Turner; Dest (Yedlin, 74), Ream, Zimmerman, Robinson; McKennie (Aaronson, 66), Adams, Musah (Acosta, 75); Weah (Morris, 88), Sargent (Wright, 74), Pulisic.
Wales — Hennessey; Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Roberts, Ampadu (Morrell, 90+5), Ramsey, N.Williams (B.Johnson, 79); Wilson (Thomas, 90+3), Bale, James (K.Moore, 46).
Yellow cards: USA — Dest 11, McKennie 13, Ream 51, Acosta 90+10. Wales — Bale 40, Mepham 45+3. Red cards: none.
Referee: Abdulrahman Al Jassim (Qatar). ARs: Taleb Al Marri (Qatar), Saoud Al Maqalah (Qatar).
Att.: 43,418.


Stats:
USA/Wales
Shots: 6/7
Shots on target: 1/3
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 5/3
Fouls: 15/10
Offside: 1/1
Possession: 59%/41%

42 comments about "USA-Wales Men's World Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Santiago 1314, November 21, 2022 at 8:03 p.m.

    When does a Tie, FEEL LIKE A LOSS.!?!?!?
    Another Reason Ggg should have been FIRED.!!!

  2. Charles Stamos replied, November 21, 2022 at 8:05 p.m.

    Too late to fire him. Do you have any constructive advise?

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 5:07 a.m.

    "Trick" of Making Adams "Worked Out" he didn't get a Yellow, when he should Have.... That's One Positive... 

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 5:07 a.m.

    Making Adams: Captain 

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 6:25 a.m.

    Another constructive consideration;
    Don't let your players say in the Media, that they are going to "Kick" the other Teams Star Player,... Because then a FIFA MAFIA Ref (of CONcacaCrAPf level) will give you Early Yellow Cards to "Slow" you Down.!!! (Acosta){Not to mention giving the other team "Locker Room" Pin-Up Material)

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 7:35 a.m.

    Very Proud of that 1st Half;
    Very Proud of ALL Players putting their HANDS OVER THEIR HEARTS During the National Anthem.!!!

  7. frank schoon replied, November 22, 2022 at 7:52 a.m.

    Santi, "Be proud of" in relation to how the US played in the first half" or rather ' they were being allowed to play like that"  by Wales in order to make the US spend lots of energy for they nowhere to be seen in the 2nd half and it was all Wales...

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 9:11 a.m.

    Frank, Proud of; because We BOSSED THE GAME...
    Oor play was instinctual, creative, passionate, tense, all the things we have been looking for and not just because Wales sucked.
    If we play the same way against England, or argentina, or france, we will also boss the game.
    I don't know what GGG said to the team at halftime but I can only imagine it was some sort of "Play the ball to the fourth quadrant of the third Zone watch out for their overlapping third Winger from the 5th metatarsal of the left kneecap.!?!?!?(in other words total nonsense)
    We came out flat and rudderless.

  9. frank schoon replied, November 22, 2022 at 9:41 a.m.

    Santi, I think the difference between the first and second half was Wales gave us plenty of space, for us to run crazy and spend energy in the first half, for the Second half we were nowhere to be see for Wales got down our space and time with the ball.  I don't think G had anything with how US came out the second instead I would have liked to know what the Wales coach stated for their team played totally different..

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, November 22, 2022 at 10:36 p.m.

    Frank, I didn't  watch the match, but from what people said it sounds like the US was outcoached AGAIN. Wales made an adjustment at the half. The US didn't adjust, except having to substitute for the less than fit players that the coach started anyway. Of course those substitutes would have been planned before the match and wouldn't be an adjustment to what was happening during the match. 

    The US men are far far too predictable.

  11. frank schoon replied, November 23, 2022 at 5:11 p.m.

    Bob, I don't know whether you can call this being outcoached. I don't know whether Wales wanted to play defense and let the US just get tired, 'rope a dope' and tactically switched the style of play or he just tactically changed the way they played because his originally strategy in the first half didn't work out. Either way the US could only play one way and couldn't change and counter Wales in the second half. I think we are a very limited team that just is not capable of changing style of play to counter the opponent's style. We are basically a counter attacking team, that relies on fight and turbo, that's where we are at in our development....

  12. Charles Stamos, November 21, 2022 at 8:03 p.m.

    Generally agree with the ratings. The USA goal showed how teamwork will often produce goals, yet a single defensive mistake results in goals against opportunities. The USA could use some aditional attacking skills (Reyna?) to produce offensive pressure and more shots on goal.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, November 21, 2022 at 8:20 p.m.

    Anybody hear why Reyna didn't Start, much Less Play.???...
    I'm not sure I could Bear to hear the Ggg after game Garbage Gaggle.!!!

  14. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 6:32 a.m.

    Reyna says he's 100%
    Jimmy Conrad reported that he was Told; Reyna didn't even Warm Up
    And Ggg said; .... Well, whatever he says is a Lie, so, ...  Who Believes what her says.!!!
    Anybody got more info.???

  15. frank schoon, November 21, 2022 at 8:48 p.m.

    I left 5min. before half time to go to the store. Having seen this much of the game, I figured we win it . Wales, just played defense, mostly at times 5-3-2 system, making the game boring to watch. Their attack lacked lack creativity for there were no options downfield other than Bale. I was thinking how did Wales get to the World Cup, in the first place. 

    I got back and watched it from 65min. on. They tied it up with a penalty. I figured I'll watch the second half from the start tonight. I can't believe the CHANGE in how Wales came out the second half. They won every battle, every second ball, their pressure forced us to become 11 individuals out there with no game plan. Pulisic was playing like a headless chicken, our boy ,the Jedi was back to his usual routine of running 30meters ,full speed not knowing what he's going to do with the ball and running into 3 Wales players who the ball away from him. Weah, was nowhere to be seen, Sargent was found back playing defense at times in his own third. We had no midfield, Adams was useless.

    The US team played like loose sand. There was no leadership, especially from the most experienced players , Pulisic , McKennie and Dest. These three have had a history and none showed any leadership, they were a no show. Pulisic still complains to the ref as if he was still playing high school ball.

    Zimmerman, and Reams are simply to slow for this level of ball. There was no one with a functional brain that thought soccer. 

    Like the US women, our passing is also lacking as compared to Wales that passed fast and hard and accurately. I was impressed with how well and fast they moved the ball around and one of the reasons was they did not play a 532 , instead sort of a 343. In other words they created more options to pass downfield in the second half.

    Besides our weak passing techniques the other weakness  is that we can't play under pressure. We just simply lack the 'brains', the ball handling speed, and the maturity of play, it was all 6's nand 7's out there.

    Wales took it to us in the second half and I think their strategy was just to get us tired in the first half for we had a lot of young players. We were lucky to have gotten away with a tie. 

  16. Kevin Leahy, November 21, 2022 at 8:55 p.m.

    The ratings are a little baffling but,when aren't they. Dest & McKinnie left a lot to be desired. Would rather see Musah on the right. He seems to have a understanding with Weah & Dest. Stupid yellow cards accept for Acosta. Thought Pulisic tried to do to much in the second half. This team cannot play 90 minutes to save it's life. GB was asked after the match why no Gio and he said he went for Morris for strength and speed. This is the typical American coach that prefers this instead of skill. I am sorry but, at this level that's unacceptable. It's really unacceptable at any level and the main reason why the growth of U.S. players is stunted.

  17. Kent James replied, November 22, 2022 at 9 a.m.

    Acosta's yellow card was actually a very smart one.  I am generally not a fan of tactical fouls in the midfield, but Bale was lining up a shot on an empty goal (because Turner was upfield).  

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 11:46 a.m.

    Reams Card was a "Good" one also; on his Part, but really belonged to his Teammate....  Christian Pulisic, for Unforced Error in turning over the Ball in 50th minute

  19. frank schoon, November 21, 2022 at 9:11 p.m.

    Having seen the second half, I'm glad Reyna didn't play after seeing all the bodies that ended up on their butts due to cramps and injuries. Yes, I thought Morris would be a better fit under the circumstances of the second....

    Look at CP in the second half, he could just as well not have played the second half, it would not have made any difference, and one thinks Reyna would have made a difference.....

  20. James Madison, November 21, 2022 at 10:56 p.m.

     


    Except for McKennie, who should have been taken off before his injury made it essential, I do not understand the substitutions.  IMHO, too much was expected of and by Pulisic with the result that too much reliance was placed on him and Weah was relatively unused.  Reyna?

  21. Sam Bellin, November 22, 2022 at 12:06 a.m.

    Very disappointing second half.  The 3 points were ripe for the taking!  It seemed obvious to me right from the start of the second half that the US thought it was job done and we could just "manage" the second half for a 1-0 victory.  I don't know if Berhalter set up these tactics or if he was unable to convince his players not to sit back, but the USA is currently not good enough technically or defensively (center backs) to "manage" a 1-0 lead against any team at the WC Finals, certainly not for 45 minutes.  Our team strengths are quickness and energy on both sides of the ball.  As soon as we lose that we are a highly beatable team and I don't think the Welsh "took us out of our game" as much as we just stopped playing our game.  
    The first half showed that we can play some bright and quick attacking soccer, and even get the end product.  Hopefully we can shake this off and still advance, but I can't help thinking that we blew a golden opportunity.

  22. Kent James replied, November 22, 2022 at 12:56 p.m.

    Agreed.  Managing a 1-0 lead can be difficult; if you're too aggressive you can leave yourself open for a goal.  Too conservative, you risk giving up what got you a goal in the first place.  We were the better team, and except for Zimmerman's mistake, we would have "weathered the storm" and it would have been a great result.   Zimmerman's mistake was not as stupid a mistake as everyone thinks, since he didn't see Bale with the ball and try to take it away from him (which would have been the stupid mistake people are claming) as much as he knew Bale was off to his right and tried to prevent the ball from getting to Bale, and didn't know Bale was close enough to challenge for the ball.  Maybe he should have been more aware of exactly where Bale was, but Bale's a smart attacker playing in Zimmerman's blind spot.  So we clearly left 2 points on the table, but we didn't destroy our chances at the WC.  We're a young team, we've still got some growing to do.  And we did show we were capable of dominating Wales, which is better than not being able to do so.

  23. John Sabala, November 22, 2022 at 1:20 a.m.

      Berhalter Outcoached Again,
    Once again we see our GB outcoached by his opponent.  The Welsh came out with their second half adjustment, which was to play two tall Stirkers up top. Once the Welsh won the ball they attempted to quickly switch the field and play to the opposite striker. And of course it worked and of course GB made no adjustments to this tactical change.  Based on how the team began the second half, and played it seemed the plan was to play not to lose. Anyone who has coached any sport and any level knows that is the way you wil not win a game.

    As Franc stated, all of our A. Robinson lovers out there......was a wasted player on the pitch once more.  Watching him sprint up and down the left flank had to drive anyone with a half a soccer brain mad as this consistently forced Pulisic to come back deep to receive the ball.  The few times he got the ball in the attacking third, Robinson was so close CP could not lay the ball off and A. Robinson will not break anyone down 1v1.  GB's plan to send both outside backs deep got exposed in the 2nd half, and we created few chances from the wings.

     Substitutions made did not really impact the game in a positive way.  Yedlin looked hesitant and scared to take the Welsh on to breaking their pressure. Just kicked the balls out of bounds or could not connect with the midfield. Wright had good hold up play, but our attacking impetus was gone by this point since we were playing not too lose and again no significan threats from the wings.  Should have left Weah for the whole game.  CP was beat up by this point, could have used Reyna and Aaronson to try and create some sort of attack from the center of the pitch. Brings on Morris who will not be able to create in the final third...makes no sense. But again made no sense to have him on the roster.

    The US cannot play a complete 90 minute game, because our coach has no idea how to make adjustments to the other team's change of play.  

    Not looking good for game two. The English front line will wreck havoc on our centerback duo that include Long, Zimmerman or Ream.  Too slow. England will press us since we seem to be unable to play out of the back.

  24. Robert Biondolillo, November 22, 2022 at 7:23 a.m.

    Player ratings are decent, but they never tell the full story.  You ought to, as a matter of course, add an element on coaching.  Our most green person on the field and lowest rated should be Berhalter.  The mistakes from coaching were the albatross.  A big part of our troubles are systemic - You can insert and substitute names of players who get low grades all day long, but you also have to ask and consider why.  Why?

  25. Santiago 1314, November 22, 2022 at 7:46 a.m.

    13 seconds....
    That's how long it took for USA 
    11 Touches of the Ball by 6 players(7 if you count CP Twice)
    A Thing of Check/Flick Beauty.!!!

  26. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 4:02 p.m.

    Tiki-Turbo.!!!

  27. Santiago 1314, November 22, 2022 at 9:04 a.m.

    In a 2nd Half that was Crying Out for Tiki-Taka, Ggg didn't Believe in his Own System or Players;
    Should have Brought in;
    Aaronson for McKenNIE at Halftime
    (Why did Ggg leave IN a Player, who was CLEARLY, Struggling Physically AND HAD A YELLOW CARD, McK coming Back On COLD could have very easily Re-Injured Himself or gotten 2nd Yellow for a Slow Timed/Hesitant Tackle)

  28. Scott Chaney, November 22, 2022 at 9:38 a.m.

    I call BS on Zimmerman's explanation. I've looked at it several times. Zimmerman just made a dumb mistake. He kicked thru his backside which is typically a bad move and a foul. In the box it was REAL stupid. End of story. 

  29. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 8:14 p.m.

    And the Opponent wasn't even Facing the Goal.!!!

  30. stan kull, November 22, 2022 at 9:46 a.m.

    The US has a huge problem breaking down a team packed in the attacking third.  And the coach had said before the game they worked on tactics to break down the Welsh.  Not enough reativity of the players to do that.  Our goal was scored on a quick transition because of instinct and creativity.  One shot on goal the whole match!

  31. John Munnell, November 22, 2022 at 12:01 p.m.

    For me, the elephant in the room is that...Pulisic is a sub. So many give-away passes, dribbling into trouble, and he can not take any free kick to save his soul. Seems like too much pressure and a lack of confidence...and this seemed one of his better games lately. Aaronsson and Reyna need to be on the field. Something has to give. 

  32. John Sabala replied, November 22, 2022 at 3:49 p.m.

      John,
    The problem is GB's tactics. CP should be getting the ball in the attacking third facing goal. Not coming back to midfield to receive passes from the CBs because Robinson is running like a maniac up and own the pitch on the left side. If you were watcing the game on several occasions Ream brought the ball forward and began to make a pass to the outside back near midfield to only stop at the last second because Robinson is not there and off running like a road runner. Look at the game and see how many times CP has to come back and receive that pass from the CB because the outside back is not there.  I cannot disagree with the free kicks from this game.  Have not seen anyone take give good service which brings up another point of our coach.  Set plays are horrible at creating chances and we are not good at defending them.  You get the ball to players in the right places so they can do what they do best.  Wales took the same tactics all teams do when CP gets the ball near midfield. He beats the first or second guy and then you foul him.  You see the same approach with Aaronson now as well.  Both are lighter guys so the repeted pounding will have a negative effect over time.

  33. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 4:08 p.m.

    And we HIRED a Specific Coach for Free Kicks.!?!?!?
    Looks like another waste of USSF Money.!!!

  34. Goal Goal replied, November 22, 2022 at 9:30 p.m.

    CP spends too much time crying about every time he goes down.  Get up and play instead of sitting there like a grounded attorney pleading his case.  He is embarrassing.

  35. humble 1 replied, November 23, 2022 at 4:23 p.m.

    Acosta takes a lot of free kicks and corners for LAFC including his goal from free kick - allbeit deflected - in the final.  He has a world class boot. 

  36. Santiago 1314 replied, November 23, 2022 at 10:27 p.m.

    Agreed Gol, GOOooo...L ,,, Way too Much whining.!!!..  Man-Up.!!!

  37. Peter Bechtold, November 22, 2022 at 1:57 p.m.

    I know that land and population size are not predictors for success in sports, BUT look at this:
    Wales is only two-thirds the size of Maryland, one of our smaller states. Should we not send a MD select team against Wales, like Baltimore, Montgomery and Howard counties?

  38. David Blenko, November 22, 2022 at 2:55 p.m.

    Your grade for Zimmerman is harsh. 

  39. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 8:17 p.m.

    The Opponent wasn't even Facing The Goal... Ref didn't even give Zimm a Yellow Cards, BECAUSE IT WASN'T A CLEAR GOAL SCORING OPPORTUNITY.!!!... NOT EVEN A YELLOW.!!!
    Cost us the Game.!!!

  40. Santiago 1314, November 22, 2022 at 8:31 p.m.

    Let's look at the "Veteran" players they were supposed to be the Glue to hold the Youngsters together; (I have Long Advocated that we bring No One over 25(get experience for WC2026)
    1. Zimmerman.(29).. Enough said... So Do CCV, McKenZIE, EPB make the Same Mistake.???
    2. Yedlin (29) ... Look at the Video Tape ... The Last USA Possession before the Penalty by Zimm... Yedlin MisTraps a Simple Pass from Zimm, OUT of Bounds, with NO Pressure on him... Wales threw it IN, Switched it across the Back Line, Got it Kicked Out for a Throw-In, which they took Quickly, which Resulted in the Zimm PK.!!!

  41. Santiago 1314 replied, November 22, 2022 at 8:37 p.m.

    Scally would have been a Better Choice... He is used to playing thru balls to a Winger in a German Style, versus Dest playing a Tiki-Taka style which doesn't suit Weah...Versus Yedlin who just Turbos Up and Down the Line... They had poor Combination play the whole game

  42. Santiago 1314, November 22, 2022 at 9:30 p.m.

    3. Ream (35)... Where was he on the Throw-In.???... It was his side ... He was asleep... Thought the Ball was Out of Bounds... Reacted late to getting over, once the Ball was Thrown over the heads of Jedi, Adams, Acosta, CP... He was In-between, in No-Mans Land... Not out where he should have been, and Not in the Center either when the Cross came in.... EPB or CCV or McKenZIE or Trusty,  would have had the Athleticism necessary to get Outside and help.

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