Sports USMNT Player Ratings: Miazga stands tallest in friendly loss vs. Brazil
The Nats enjoyed some nice spells of possession, but rarely put Brazil under great duress. Our boys also came up with a selection of big stops at the back, but it wasn’t enough thanks to a Douglas Costa-orchestrated jailbreak and a questionable penalty call.
Zack Steffen (6) – The Columbus netminder showed some good area awareness with a key low cross punch and a through ball scoop just ahead of charging Philippe Coutinho. However, he also required a bailout after letting a soft Neymar shot get through him. It all washes out to an average mark.
DeAndre Yedlin (5) – The Newcastle right back was a defensive nuisance in the opening phase of the game. As his cheap giveaways going forward piled up, Yedlin experienced considerably more trouble at the back.
Matt Miazga (7) – Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Miazga made the tough choice to allow Roberto Firmino to peel off for the back post and it proved the be the wrong decision for the opening goal. Aside from that demerit, the Nantes man enjoyed a strong outing. He repeatedly interrupted Neymar ideas, performed the line clearance alluded to above and moved the ball safely.
John Brooks (6) – Just for starters, overloading the left to set up his diagonal switches should be part of the gameplan. Brooks makes opponents scramble with that doozy. Defensively, the Wolfsburg center back faded from view for stretches.
Antonee Robinson (4) – This was the soccer version of an Ivy League education for the young left back, but he did have his moments among plenty of struggles. There were passages when Robinson was quite disruptive in his corner. And then every 15-20 minutes he would get flame-broiled by Douglas Costa, such as on the opener. It was a trying night, but the kid rallied after the break to make a big block or recovery here and send a nice cross there.
Wil Trapp (6.5) – Though it’s not his strong suit, Trapp was decent at disturbing Brazil rushes in the first half. The Columbus midfielder is known for positive passing through central park, and he did that well. He also served some dangerous corners and was the first US player to test the away ‘keeper. And I won’t even pretend to count against Trapp for the highly generous penalty decision.
Tyler Adams (6.5) – The New York Red Bulls hotshot is basically a midfield Swiss Army knife. He covers tons of ground to get involved near the ball, and the finds some sort of use for himself. One minute, Adams is surging the team forward on the ball, the next he’s stepping in front of a pass near your box, and then he’s off to link a pressure valve build. Throw an impactful “Wow!” moment or two on top of all those little things, and we’ve got something.
Weston McKennie (4.5) – It was not a great outing for the Schalke standout, who just seemed slightly off-kilter all night. McKennie’s pressure valve work was oddly lacking, there were a couple of restart chances that were left begging and he was not much help at all when Brazil strolled through the middle.
Julian Green (5.5) – The winger’s defensive efforts could also be described as intermittent, at best, and he wasn’t much of a cog. But when he got his boot on the ball in the final third, be it during open play or a set piece, Green accurately peppered the Brazil area with tempting serves. On a team that often struggles with its crossing, that’s a fairly big deal.
Bobby Wood (4.5) – The Hannover 96 forward never caused the visitors any final third stress (which is certainly not all his fault) during his 70 minutes of muted action. It did help the team when Wood dropped back to find touches, but it didn’t happen enough and he was also unable to run behind the defense.
Coach Dave Sarachan (5.5) – There were things to like about this exhibition run, even if the coach’s lineup selection was hit-and-miss, his subs had near minimal impact and I never prefer to go without a single central playmaking type on the roster. Like Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle, this humble correspondent also greatly approves of giving our back line and midfield spine guys time together against this level of opposition. That should pay off later.
Timothy Weah (5) – The Paris Saint-Germain apprentice was very eager to show to the ball, forcing defenders to shuffle out of position. However, he also never got loose down the wing or attempted a forward pass in 35 minutes.
Kellyn Acosta (5) – Returning to the USMNT fold for the first time in 10 months, Acosta was quite shaky in the middle of the field. On the other hand, both his restart serves were money.
Gyasi Zardes (5) – The 70th-minute sub rarely found the ball and it rarely found him, which makes for a very quiet shift. Zardes looked in line for one great chance, only to have Weah get in the way of the cross.
Cristian Roldan (5) – The other late sub was also a bit careless with the ball.