USA-Mexico Men's Friendly Player Ratings

April 19 in Glendale, Arizona.
USA 1 Mexico 1. Goals: Ferreira 81; Antuna 55.
Att.: 55,730.

• USMNT Fan Poll: Give us YOUR player ratings!

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In its 75th international meeting against Mexico, the USA pulled off a 1-1 tie despite being outshot 9-4. Its meek attacking efforts required no saves from Mexican goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, but the first U.S. shot on target, from Jesus Ferreira in the 81st minute, provided the equalizer. A goal that owed much to Sergiño Dest’s dribbling genius.

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


Sean Johnson conceded the goal on his near post,  in a one-on-one with Ariel Antuna. Mexico challenged him with some mediocre crosses and shots. His veteran status was likely helpful to organize an American defense that had a busy night off the ball. He made a good low diving save in the 73rd minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sean Johnson (Toronto FC) 12/0 (33)


Right back DeAndre Yedlin covered space out wide well when he was the weak-side defender. He committed two fouls in the first half and didn’t complete any of his crosses. Left back Sergiño Dest was excellent in tight spaces and with plenty to prove for a potential new club. He showed some good footwork and sound passing on the few occasions action was on his end. The choice to build through Walker Zimmerman meant that he didn’t get the chance to dribble into the midfield like we often see him do. When he finally did, he dribbled through a clogged midfield and kickstarted the U.S. equalizer. Zimmerman dominated in the air. He usually found James Sands or Kellyn Acosta to good effect on buildups. The other central defender: Aaron Long's worst moment came when he got caught unfairly — thanks to Acosta's ill-conceived long back pass — in a 50/50 with Antuna, which led to the breakaway Antuna scored on. The LAFC center back, rarely involved in the buildups, was also beaten one-on-one by Alexis Vega on a counterattack in the first half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami) 78/0 (29)

Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC) 40/3 (29)

Aaron Long (LAFC) 32/3 (30)

Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA) 25/2 (22)


Kellyn Acosta was strong in the tackle and seemingly never tired. His brightest moment came when he sprang Jordan Morris on a U.S. counterattack in the first half. His worst came when he gifted Mexico a breakaway that led to the opening goal. When Jesùs Ferreira dropped deep, his vertical passes were unsuccessful. When Brandon Vazquez pulled wide, Ferreira made runs toward goal but Jordan Morris couldn’t find him. Ferreira's hard work was rewarded, though, when he finished off the USA’s best move of the night and hit the equalizer. The most impressive player in white in the first half, defensive midfielder James Sands won the ball, turned Mexican defenders, and sprayed forward, lateral passes with gusto.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Kellyn Acosta (LAFC) 58/2 (27)

Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas) 19/8 (22)

James Sands (New York City FC) 8/0 (22)


Jordan Morris missed the chance to put Ferreira one-on-one with keeper Carlos Acevedo not once, but twice in the space of 20 minutes because he had his head down at the ball. He offered the USA, which relied on counterattacks to get into Mexico’s half, some of its only verticality, but could’ve done better during an American attack in the 72nd minute. For the U.S. equalizer, Morris played a great trivela pass that only needed a slight touch from Ferreira to score. Brandon Vazquez won a foul, committed a foul, and made some runs in behind to free up space for Ferreira behind him. He couldn’t muster a shot for the time he was on, not so much by a fault of his own. He was marked vigorously by the Mexican backline, clearly aware of the danger he posed. The only teenager in the starting 11, winger Cade Cowell worked hard and held the ball well when he got it. He was almost always outnumbered when he was in Mexico's half. He had one shot that was blocked. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) 52/11 (28)

Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati) 3/1 (24)

Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes) 3/0 (19)


With the USA down 1-0, the game state allowed Alan Soñora to pass around in Mexico’s half probing for inroads. He played Jordan Morris on the counterattack that led to the U.S. goal. Aidan Morris showed some nice first-touch ball control, played through midfield lines well with Soñora but never found the killer pass in behind. Matt Miazga completed routine defensive plays as the central center back in USA’s three-in-the-back formation when it chased the game late on. Miazga's clever lobbed pass to Dest after getting the ball from Carlos Rodríguez's shot off the crossbar sparked the counterattack that led to the equalizer.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew) 3/0 (21)

Alan Soñora (FC Juarez/MEX) 3/0 (24)

Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati) 23/1 (27)

Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas) 3/0 (23)

Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United) 1/0 (18)

TRIVIA: Mexico's goal ended goalkeeper Sean Johnson's 803-minute shutout streak, the longest in national team history, dating back to his 2011 debut, the first of only a dozen appearances for the USA.  

REMATCH: The USA hosts Mexico in the 2023 Concacaf Nations League semifinals June 15 in Las Vegas.

April 19 in Glendale, Arizona
USA 1 Mexico 1. Goals:  Ferreira 81; Antuna 55.
USA — Johnson; Yedlin, Zimmerman, Long (Miazga, 70), Dest (Wiley, 90); Acosta, Ferreira, Sands; J.Morris (Pomykal, 89), Vazquez (A.Morris, 64), Cowell (Soñora, 64).
Mexico — Acevedo; Reyes, N.Araujo, Guzman; J.Araujo, Antuna, Sanchez, Chavez, Gallardo; Vega (C.Rodriguez, 70), de la Rosa (O.Herrera, 87).
Yellow cards: USA — Sonora 69, Zimmerman, 89, Acosta 90+2; Mexico — none; Red cards: none. 
Referee: Bryan Lopez (Guatemala). AR1: Emmanuel Aguirre (Nicaragua). AR2: Keytzel Corrales (Nicaragua). 4th Official: Selvin Brown (Honduras)
Att.: 55,730.

Shots: 4/9
Shots on target: 1/3
Saves: 2/0
Corner Kicks: 1/3
Fouls: 15/7
Offside: 0/3
Possession: 47%/53%

Photo: Shaun Clark/ISI Photos

30 comments about "USA-Mexico Men's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Santiago 1314, April 20, 2023 at 7:53 a.m.

    Why did it Take AH, SOOooo Long to Switch Formation.!?!?!?
    He Could Have AND SHOULD HAVE, Switch Sands Back to "Sweeper" after Five Minutes, and that would have Allowed Yedlin and Dest to Push Out and Up against their Wingbacks.
    Instead we had a ALWAYS ARRIVING LATE 4 Player GegenPress that was Easily Broken by Mexico Switching the Ball over the Top of Morris.
    Should have Played a 3 Front against their 3CBs with Dest and Yedlin on their Wingbacks

  2. humble 1 replied, April 20, 2023 at 10:04 a.m.

    yes.  Painful to watch over and over.  We were lucky they did not score first half.  They had 3 maybe 5 good chances first half after beating our press putting four of our players behind the ball.  Had any of those gone in - discourse would be different today.  

  3. Kent James, April 20, 2023 at 9:37 a.m.

    I thought it was a fair result.  Not a particularly entertaining game, until the last quarter. I didn't think Yedlin was so bad; while his crosses could've been better, he was prettiy active in a positive way on offense, and didn't get beaten on defense. He deserved a 5.  Dest won the game; not by himself, but his positive run with the ball turned the game on a dime.  He's a quality player.  Sands passing was incisive, and when he moved to the back line, he dramatically improved the ball handling in the back.

    While I thought it was a good move to go three in the back, I don't understand the Miazga sub.  When you're putting your quick outside backs farther up the field, I'd prefer to have a little speed on the back line to cover for them, and when you're offense is being managed by your defenders handling the ball, you want them to be good at that, which is not Miazga's strength.  Overall, I would have like to have seen more younger players (I thought Cowell came off just when he seemed to be getting involved).  Vasquez seems like a capable player, but like so many players in that position, we just didn't give him a lot to work with (and Mexico put him under a lot of pressure whenever he had the ball). 

    While we put some good pressure on Mexico's defense when they had the ball early in the game (and forced them to turn the ball over a few times), I thought we could have been smarter about it. Fereirra making a 30 yd sprint to put the pressure on the CB while he has two options open seems like a lot of work for very little gain. Instead of running straight at him, why not cut off one of the options (while one of our wingers shuts down the other)?  I was surprised Mexico didn't pressure Long and Zimmerman more, since they made me nervous when they were passing the ball back and forth.  Johnson is a good shot stopper and dominates the box well, but his ground game is pretty bad.  When he had to deal with balls at his feet, it usually did not end well (but no disasters!).  

  4. humble 1 replied, April 20, 2023 at 10 a.m.

    Long knows full well why he was subbed.  Miazga was best option.  Speed is not as important as read in that setup with both CB's pushed up into the attacking half.   Costa's pass was poor, wrong, Zimmerman's was too slow reading the threat, but it was Long who jacked it as he made the wrong decision, he could have just booted it out.  Tough love by coach.  Long will learn from this.  His mates got one back, so less painful.  Today a new day.

  5. humble 1 replied, April 20, 2023 at 10:10 a.m.

    Yedlin learned to read game and defend in England - this gave his career legs.  Well done by him as those were his weaknesses on arrival.  He can shut
    down left side threats.  Mexico aboided him and picked on our left side for crosses.  On the attacking side - it was his speed that made him a threat.  What he never developed was first touch, ability to create
    space and range or accuracy in passing.  That's what you saw last night.  Clear as day.  Yedlin is one of my favorite players.  Respect.  

  6. Andrew Megas, April 20, 2023 at 10:34 a.m.

    Both teams pretty much stunk. Mediocre squads playing for SUM $. However good to see Sands, Aidan Morris, & Dest show some quality. However Dest can't defend (at all) & is a liability unless he has strong cover, and Aaron Long is not the answer. Thanks Yedlin for your service and experience but hey coach play the young guys in meaningless games. 

  7. frank schoon, April 20, 2023 at 11:43 a.m.

    Just watch the first half this morning. I couldn't take the preview show last night and decided to wait and watch it the next day. I expected more from the two gentlemen commentators who have played the game, mentioning who to watch and could present a problem from the Mexican team and who on our team that could give the Mexicans problems but instead all we get is a litany of 'this is really not a friendly', 'the player are nervous', blah, blah ,blah. Well, all I can say is that, we've added two more useless commentators to the growing army of soccer commentators who have absolute nothing to say but, blah, blah ,blah.


    I'm not impressed with our coach, as far as seeing the details of the game. For example, I noticed the flanks were wide open for runs, most of the time. And guess what, we have Mr.Turbo Morris on the right flank. One of the golden rules of tactics is to USE THE PLAYER'S STRENGTH TO THE FULLEST.  Morris is right footed, playing on the correct flank and he can run ,outmuscle and outfight the Mexican leftback.  This role would fit Morris to a tee and possible would force another defender to help out thus opening more space in front of the Mexican goal. 


     What happens it forces the Mexican leftback to be afraid to make any incursions in the US half for attacks. In other words we would master the right flank, defensively ,but more important, OFFENSIVELY. Morris needs to be fed with good diagonal ball from the centermid that go behind the Mexican leftback....I DIDN'T SEE ONE PASS TO MORRIS. I mean, HELLO....anybody home? This should have been one of our main attacking features. The problem at midfield was that we had no one that could pass the ball to make Morris effective. 

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  8. Bob Ashpole replied, April 21, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

    Frank, one-footed midfielders are a curse on right wings.

  9. humble 1 replied, April 21, 2023 at 2:37 p.m.

    I listened to game in Spanish - american annoucers try to be like our other sports, too cute, witty and interlace 'stories'.  There are moments for this in soccer, but, they are fleeting.  Maybe they have a different target audience than us?  Not sure.  The broadcase I watched was - by the numbers - close to 10X the audience - just like the crowd - the the US city of Glendale - was 95% Mexican - and the announcers focused - for the most part - on the game.

  10. frank schoon replied, April 22, 2023 at 9:23 a.m.

    Humble, I had no idea the amazing amount of Mexican  fans...As a player , I prefer to play in front of away crowds than at home crowds.. I enjoy playing in front of different crowds, new girls to check out :)   I mean, it performance time for it is more fun in front of a new crowd than in front of the old boring home crowd....Playing in front of a new crowd makes one perform least for me. If our guys feel a little upset about not playing for a home crowd, they need to take up another like  sport like 'Duckpin' bowling....

  11. R2 Dad, April 20, 2023 at 11:47 a.m.

    Would like to hear how the coach performed. What would you give Hudson and why?

  12. frank schoon replied, April 20, 2023 at 12:06 p.m.

    R2, Not impressed about the coach....

  13. frank schoon, April 20, 2023 at 12:05 p.m.

    The problem is that ,if the coach couldn't figure this Mexican weakness for Morris to exploit, then why didn't the players on the field to read it...This is what happens in real soccer, somebody out there needs to organize or better see what is happening and adjust. This happens all the time, when tactical plans don't work out and or a new unexpected element is added to the game, then the players need to adjust and take care of it, themselves , instead of waiting hoping for Daddy Coach to figure.

    At midfield I saw #9 Fereira, whom I wasn't impressed with, struggle to control the ball, or this Vasquez, who likewise wasn't impressed. Actually there was no midfield, a control center, so to speak, that was able to dish out some passes.. I think both teams played very defensively, the Mexican switched to a 4-4-2, then 5-4-1. Our goalie was very nervous, he needs to work on his kicking and placement skills, which he's weak at....


    Our buildup is atrocious. I mean, the worst passers and least creative players in the backfield, Zimmerman and Long, our centerbacks, touched/passed the ball the most which says a lot about our game. How do you expect an attacking game to be initiated from these two.  HOW MANY SQUARE AND USELESS DID THESE TWO CREATE ?

    I took a birdseye of both teams for the stadium allows the TV cameras to give a great view of things. If you look at the Mexicans they are 'footballers', their passing, their ball handling, their movements with the ball is far superior to us... We're lucky to make 3passes in a row, we're not good in 1v1 situation, meaning how you handle yourself with confidence, with Dest as the exception with the ex So much of this is due to lack of pickup soccer which creates individuality. Our players have just trained way too much group and programmed oriented soccer. It is much easier for Mexicans who perhaps have not played together able to gell together as group of guys than American players for they are to programmed in their developmental backround.

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, April 21, 2023 at 1:48 p.m.

    A game plan is what you use only if a better opportunity isn't available. But coaches today develop players that follow instructions rather than think for themselves.

    I remember a USMNT match where we were getting killed by the coaches game plan. The opponent had quickly adjusted to exploit a weakness in the game plan. The obvious fix was to swap 2 players' positions. Obvious to everyone at the match except the coach. Finally about 25 minutes into the half, M. Bradley and 2 veterans went to the sidelines to get permission from the coach to make the adjustment which the coach should have seen and made within the first 5 minutes of the half. Bradley bringing 2 vets with him doesn't flatter the coaches' approachability. This was an international match with a coach that USSF thought was a good fit for the US. Some fans think that coach was the best that the MNT has ever had. You have to go back to before 2014 to find a coach that made timely adjustments to what was happening on the field.

    Given that I have a hard time dumping on an interim coach for not being sharper. I will give him the benefit of a couple more matches before I make any judgments.

  15. Seth Vieux, April 20, 2023 at 12:49 p.m.

    At the end of the 90 I at least didn't regret spending my time watching as I honestly pretty much expected to after seeing the XI. Didn't learn anything new to change opinion on the guys who've been getting their chances - Ferreira was extremely poor in a position that suits him best, but I know he's better than that and still young, not time to throw him out but also needs to continuing growing. Acosta, Zimm, Long, Morris & Yedlin are who they are. IMO opinion they've served their purpose covering for the lost generation and deserve respect, but shouldn't be overly involved going forward.

    Glad Dest got an opportunity to showcase his talent. Overall not a standout performance, but was clearly playing conservative until the end, and when he took a chance it turned the match. Hope his club situation improves in Summer, again still very young with tons of potential.

    Thought Sands was man of the match, demonstrated his continued development, and deserves to be squarely in the picture. Probably should have been Adams' cover at the 6 for WCQ and WC over Acosta, and still may prove to be one of our top 2-3 options at CB in time.

    Thought Aidan Morris was a winner on the night, looked really comfortable in his first action: smart, good first touch, played like a man, a lot to like.

  16. Santiago 1314 replied, April 20, 2023 at 1:24 p.m.

    Pretty Much agree with u Seth...
    Not Sure Sands can be Replacement for Adams... 
    Better at "Sweeper" in a 3Back System.
    Acosta starting to "Slip"... We Really got to hope that AMorris or Cardoso can "Step Up".!!!

  17. David Ruder, April 20, 2023 at 2:04 p.m.

    Nobody mentioned it, did Mexico play their "A", the US certainly did not by design.

  18. R2 Dad replied, April 20, 2023 at 3:56 p.m.

    The US played their B team, I think Mexico brought their C squad.

  19. humble 1 replied, April 21, 2023 at 2:21 p.m.

    Mexico was 5 shy of their first team.  Not B not C - hybrid.  They took care of their mostly Mexican crowd. 

  20. James Madison, April 20, 2023 at 3:21 p.m.

    Acosta showed why he should be history. He's borderline awful. Yedlin's a send-off waiting to happen. Sands was impressive,  Cowell wasn't given much of a chance to show himself.  Ferreira and Vasquez should have switched roles---Ferreira up top and Vasquez in the middle. A. Morris and Sonora showed me nothing.  The first 15 minutes were impressive, but the rest was muddled with Mexico barely missing multiple shots until Dest saved the day.

  21. R2 Dad, April 20, 2023 at 3:58 p.m.

    The first half was so painful to watch, the build-up so predictable and slow. Our players don't understand the point of passing, which is to create space. I think we pass to get rid of the hot rock.

  22. frank schoon replied, April 20, 2023 at 4:03 p.m.

    R2, exactly..."passing the hot rock". We call it in Holland passing the ball without a solution behind it and shove the problem to the next guy. The whole purpose behind building up an attack is to create the 'free man' around midfield , forcing the opponent to choose who is going to pick him and leave his own man....

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, April 21, 2023 at 1:54 p.m.

    Frank, ironic how it all traces back to developing youth with pattern passing drills rather than small sided games.

  24. frank schoon replied, April 22, 2023 at 8:01 a.m.

    Bob, So True. Those pickup games is where you begin to think on your own, the rudiments and ofcourse when you get older and begin to see the game better, you'll learn from better players certain 'shortcuts', new things. 

    I think without playing pickup in the formative years is really the problem we have with our players. Pickup not only develops your skills ,but  also THINKING, LEADERSHIP, AND PRIDE of what you have accomplished and all of that we'll put you on scale of hierarchy among the players.

    Bob, we have reached a ceiling in player development ,meaning we have licensed coaches, coaching academies, hi-tech equipment, multiple coaches who specialize in various aspects of the game, we have the accommodations,facilities. But what we lack and we have been doing this over 50 years is that we havent  ONE player with great talent, natural talent, or whatever, greatly skilled players, NOT ONE!!  One thing that is missing in our player development is PICKUP soccer. The other thing which we don't rely upon and I have been saying this for years is the technical input and brain trust of the great ones to come here to help out our players....

  25. humble 1, April 21, 2023 at 2:46 p.m.

    They got a tie, on hostile ground, using mostly MLS players v Mexico.  This is ok.  Hudson is a young developing coach - this experience will be a stepping stone for him.  All of the above points are fair.  Frank has some class insights, which I jotted down.  Thank you Frank.  We will need the young guys coming up in MLS, as a lot of our players abroad are struggling, stuck.  A good number of young players got a look, they needed the vets on the pitch to set the tone and lead, which they did.  Well done for coach and players.  Never easy, Glendale, AZ vs. Mexico.  

  26. humble 1 replied, April 21, 2023 at 2:47 p.m.

    At the outset, the spanish speaking annoucers pretty much said it - they said, paraphrasing - 'we may as well be at Azteca!'

  27. Ric Fonseca, April 21, 2023 at 3:54 p.m.

    Senores:  I hereby nominate Frank Schoon for the HC gig with the US MNT.  Jeez, he seems to have the answer for what is needed! 
    Other than this, I found the game lacking in all/everything, both sides were more interested in just the trip to Glendale (!!!) Arizona a,d get a couple of bucks!  So. no, the game was a couple notches below an ncaa division 1 game....

  28. Bob Ashpole replied, April 21, 2023 at 5:31 p.m.


  29. Ric Fonseca, April 21, 2023 at 3:57 p.m.

    J. Morris needs more speed up front, and if he's indeed right footed, maybe he'd be more productive playing on the right.  

  30. frank schoon replied, April 22, 2023 at 8:21 a.m.

    Ric, he is a limited player ,technically, but if you just use him for his strength in what he is suited for and only just, he's perfect. Can you imagine if he learned his soccer in Mexico with his physical talent and drive. I don't understand why the coach GB placed him on the left flank with his right foot.

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