USMNT takeaways & player grades: Shaq Moore shines, but USA needs more to contend for Gold Cup


A shutout, three factors and three debuts have been the primary highlights of the USMNT’s 1-0 opening win over Haiti on the 2021 Gold Cup on Sunday, however the workforce might want to make some actual progress earlier than the knockout stage if it is going to make a deep run. One unhealthy bounce and Haiti might’ve had a late equalizer.

Because it stands, the end result left the USA second in Group B behind Canada on aim differential after the Canadians put 4 previous Martinique. Head coach Gregg Berhalter might want to fine-tune his assault in order that it may at the very least match Canada’s aim output when it faces Martinique within the second sport. And the attacking facet of the sphere — creating and ending probabilities — is the place Berhalter positioned his emphasis in his postgame feedback, stating that he felt the U.S. “want to enter one other gear.”

“I missed the urgency to attain extra objectives and to be harmful and to be first-pass ahead and aggressive,” Berhalter stated. “To me, it was approach too gradual and approach too backwards and never sufficient intent to show Haiti round and get them defending within the penalty field. And as soon as we have been within the penalty field, I did not just like the runs and motion within the field. I did not just like the service. So from the attacking finish, we have been disillusioned with the intent that we confirmed tonight.”

MORE: 2021 Gold Cup scores and standings

Listed below are three key takeaways from the USMNT’s win over Haiti:

1. Hey, Shaq Moore

We’ve not seen Moore in a USMNT match since 2018, and after his first half many followers may’ve been questioning the place he is been all this time. The Tenerife proper again was a person possessed up and down the best flank within the first half, and one in every of his crosses led to the aim. And to assume that he solely discovered he was going to start out just a few hours earlier than the match after Reggie Cannon picked up an harm.

Moore isn’t at full health and there was a transparent drop-off within the second half, however the workforce fed off his power and aggressiveness. “There’s extra to come back from him,” Berhalter stated.

2. What a begin

The U.S. gamers unleashed a fierce press to start out the match that was efficient, entertaining and harmful all on the similar time. Each participant was dedicated to the press they usually had Haiti scrambling for a lot of the opening minutes. The eighth-minute aim got here throughout that span: Sam Vines scored on a cross from Moore that was touched by Gyasi Zardes.

The draw back of the all-out assault: Haiti generated just a few breakaways throughout that frenetic begin and different groups will likely be much less forgiving.

3. A formation swap

Berhalter went to a 5-3-2 within the ultimate quarter-hour with debutant James Sands as the additional middle again and Zardes paired up with Daryl Dike up high. It created a few good spells and Berhalter indicated that he may entertain revisiting it. It is clearly not Berhalter’s most popular system, however you possibly can solely ponder whether just a few of the problems within the first half could be helped by the cushion provided by the three-man backline.

USMNT participant rankings

GK — Matt Turner: 7
Turner was positively busier within the second half, and each time he was referred to as into motion he was decisive and sure-handed. He was all the time accountable for his field and did not spill any photographs. He made a wise cease on the finish of the match to protect the win.

RB — Shaq Moore: 7.5
For a participant who was off since Might and has been working at dwelling with a private coach earlier than this camp, his first half was nearly as good a forty five minutes as any USMNT participant has had this yr. Moore (under) was electrical going up and down the best flank and his play and crossing helped set an aggressive tone for the workforce. He by no means took his foot off the pedal, however he in the end pale within the second half.

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RCB — Walker Zimmerman: 6.5
Hardly ever put a foot flawed. If any fan is anxious concerning the U.S. middle again scenario, Zimmerman served to remind everybody that he will be counted on to do the job. And the hazard he presents on attacking set items is such a precious weapon.

LCB — Miles Robinson: 6.5
All it is advisable to learn about Robinson’s efficiency is that he had Haiti ahead Carnejy Antoine pounding the ball on the finish of the match. He was efficient on his challenges (although he misplaced one that might’ve been pricey within the opening minutes), his timing was on level and his emergency defending was essential throughout a busy and fast-paced first half.

LB — Sam Vines: 5.5
His grade will get a bump for his want to make the far-post run to get on the tip of the ball that he scored for the one aim of the sport. In any other case, he was hardly ever an element down the left facet (the ball hardly ever went to the left within the first half) and Haiti had its finest assaults within the gaps that he left by pushing up so excessive.

CMID — Sebastian Lletget: 5.5
A wise, environment friendly efficiency from the first-time USMNT captain. He was particularly sturdy together with his set-piece deliveries into the field. However the workforce was lacking his runs into the field, which he is sometimes in a position to contribute. He wasn’t a presence in and across the field.

CMID — Jackson Yueill: 5.5
An everyday 62 minutes for Yueill on the No. 6 place: The way in which the sport unfolded meant he wasn’t requested to do something extraordinary. When he was on the ball, it was protected and easy.

CMID/RB — Kellyn Acosta: 6
He has proven to be precious to this workforce due to his capability to adapt so properly to adjustments within the sport and within the personnel round him. He obtained caught in possession on his yellow card, however given the circumstances it was an excellent warning to select up. And he additionally performed quarter-hour at proper again. It would not be an Acosta look with out an in-game positional change.

LW — Jonathan Lewis: 5.5
He did not have too many moments to shine within the hour that he performed. The sport did develop totally on the best facet within the first half, however he appeared faraway from the actions and by no means made himself a nuisance within the field.

FW/LW — Gyasi Zardes: 5.5
His dedication to the press as a middle ahead helped set the tone to start out the match. However even with that, he was by no means harmful exterior of a set-piece play, and we did not see a lot variation in his runs within the field to get away from his Haitian markers (two powerful clients) and reap the benefits of the crosses. He performed the final half hour on the left wing.

RW — Paul Arriola: N/A
He was energetic to start out the match, however he was pressured right into a Twelfth-minute exit due to a leg harm.


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RW — Nicholas Gioacchini: 5.5
Subbed in for Arriola and performed the best wing place rather a lot in another way than Arriola would have. It is telling that his finest second got here when he converged from the broad proper place and hit the left publish on a well-placed shot. He is nonetheless working his technique to full health, which explains his early exit.

CMID — Gianluca Busio: 6
Busio (above) debuted rather than Yueill to play the No. 6 position and obtained his first style of the physicality of CONCACAF matches. He was his normal composed self on the ball and almost marked his debut with a terrific aim, however the ‘keeper punched away his try.

FW — Daryl Dike: 5
He did not achieve giving the assault a lift within the half hour he was within the sport. Then once more, just like Zardes within the first half, he was enjoying towards two sturdy middle backs and there wasn’t a ton of service or crossing taking place through the time he was on the sphere.

CB — James Sands: N/A
He obtained his first cap in the course of a three-man again line and did not must do a lot within the quarter of an hour he was on the sphere. We’ll see if he is given the chance to play at middle again in a four-man again line or whether or not Berhalter feels the three-man setup fits him finest.

CMID — Eryk Williamson: N/A
One other USMNT debut. He had a few good performs in his transient stint and left the distinct impression that he has rather a lot to contribute to that three-man U.S. midfield. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how he does from the beginning in a future match.


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