The United States men’s national team put in a far from consistent performance in their World Cup opener on Monday, drawing Wales 1-1. The Americans looked great in the first half despite not creating many chances when Tim Weah scored, but in the second half it was a very different story when Wales took control and Gregg Berhalter’s team pulled the strings with Gareth Bale scoring a penalty kick. Of course, that came after the game’s biggest foul, with Walker Zimmerman unnecessarily knocking down the LAFC man in the box and giving up the game-changing penalty.
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But how did he and all the other Americans play? Here are our player ratings:
The Arsenal goalkeeper had absolutely nothing to do in the first half and he probably hasn’t been sweating either. In the second he made a fantastic save off Ben Davies in the 64th minute. Couldn’t help the penalty but did get a hand on what was a rocket shot.
Received an early yellow card, but it was hard. On the ball, his feeling for the ball was sometimes gone, but he was solid for the most part. There were times when his defensive positioning was questionable.
Sturdy and reliable, at least in the air, taking some dangerous balls out of the box that could have caused major problems. On the ground it was a different story. His foul on Gareth Bale to give up a penalty was reckless and surprising. He knew immediately that he had made a big mistake.
Did well with Bale early on by looking strong in the air, and he was always composed. Maintained quality positioning late in the game and definitely deserved more minutes. But don’t be surprised if he doesn’t play against England as he’s shown a yellow card.
A real bright spot. Strong when playing the ball forward. He moved well, made excellent contact with teammates and helped create chances. Recovered the ball well and always looked prepared.
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The best player on the field. The captain was cool and calm. Always played smart, checked for the ball, instructed those around him and led by example. He had a late tackle on Bale that was quite impressive. He is the heart and soul of this team.
Lively, breaking through the lines a few times with his runs to get the attack going. He would have liked to be more involved, but his chemistry with these guys is growing, and it shows. It wasn’t consistent, but we have to remember he’s only 19.
It wasn’t McKennie’s best performance, as an early card limited how aggressive he could be on offense. His passing wasn’t at his best, and he never really got involved in the attack. However, a performance like this should only fuel him.
Hit the post with his first good chance and powerfully headed to the nearest post. Was crucial in goal with his touchdown, allowing Christian Pulisic to get the ball and go. Faded a bit as the game progressed, but still put in a good shift.
Moved well into space and showed that speed to pick up the ball from Sargent and feed Weah on the opener. He was knocked down quite a bit, so it’s worth following his recovery over the next few days. But his assist was huge.
Went well to the right with limited ball contacts in the beginning, but grew as the game progressed and scored the opener with a beautifully taken shot just after the hour mark. His diagonal run was excellent, and he finished it off with class, certainly earning more minutes ahead.
Just adds a little dynamic power. His turns in space are fantastic, and he gave this team some juice that it couldn’t take advantage of. He probably should have been given more than 24 minutes.
A solid little shift marked by a good move to head a ball to the back post that wasn’t dangerous in the end. But his great stature and ability to shield the ball can be an asset if used correctly.
His performance will be remembered for the yellow card he received from fellow club member Bale. The Welsh star had caught Turner off his line and wanted to score from midfield. Acosta didn’t give him a chance and tackled him like he was playing the other football. Play smart.
A late substitute who was able to clear the ball once and won his only ground game. Had a number of chances to get the ball into the penalty area but didn’t do much with it.
A late substitute who had three touches and played no part.
Coach Gregg Berhalter
He had this team ready… to play for 45 minutes. It was a great start for them and the energy was there. They played the ball smartly and never gave up. In the second it was like they played to hold and in the end it hurt them. Why not be a little more aggressive there? That’s not to say they played scared, but it was way too conservative, especially after the hour. RATING: 6