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Sunday, December 5, 2021

USMNT takeaways & participant grades: Shaq Moore shines, however USA wants extra to contend for Gold Cup

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

Because it stands, the consequence left the USA second in Group B behind Canada on purpose differential after the Canadians put 4 previous Martinique. Head coach Gregg Berhalter might want to fine-tune his assault in order that it will possibly at the least match Canada’s purpose output when it faces Martinique within the second recreation. And the attacking facet of the sector — creating and ending possibilities — 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 targets and to be harmful and to be first-pass ahead and aggressive,” Berhalter mentioned. “To me, it was method too gradual and method too backwards and never sufficient intent to show Haiti round and get them defending within the penalty field. And as soon as we had 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 had been disillusioned with the intent that we confirmed tonight.”

MORE: 2021 Gold Cup scores and standings

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

1. Howdy, 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 certainly one of his crosses led to the purpose. And to assume that he solely discovered he was going to start out a couple of hours earlier than the match after Reggie Cannon picked up an damage.

Moore just isn’t at full health and there was a transparent drop-off within the second half, however the crew fed off his vitality and aggressiveness. “There’s extra to return from him,” Berhalter mentioned.

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 identical time. Each participant was dedicated to the press they usually had Haiti scrambling for many of the opening minutes. The eighth-minute purpose 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 a couple of breakaways throughout that frenetic begin and different groups might be much less forgiving.

3. A formation change

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 prime. 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 may solely wonder if a couple of of the problems within the first half can be helped by the cushion provided by the three-man backline.

USMNT participant rankings

GK — Matt Turner: 7
Turner was undoubtedly busier within the second half, and every time he was referred to as into motion he was decisive and sure-handed. He was all the time in charge of his field and did not spill any photographs. He made a sensible 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 house with a private coach earlier than this camp, his first half was pretty much as good a forty five minutes as any USMNT participant has had this yr. Moore (beneath) was electrical going up and down the best flank and his play and crossing helped set an aggressive tone for the crew. He by no means took his foot off the pedal, however he finally pale within the second half.

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

LCB — Miles Robinson: 6.5
All it’s worthwhile to find out 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 expensive 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 top of the ball that he scored for the one purpose 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 sensible, environment friendly efficiency from the first-time USMNT captain. He was particularly robust along with his set-piece deliveries into the field. However the crew was lacking his runs into the field, which he is sometimes capable of 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 simple.

CMID/RB — Kellyn Acosta: 6
He has proven to be invaluable to this crew due to his skill to adapt so properly to adjustments within the recreation and within the personnel round him. He obtained caught in possession on his yellow card, however given the circumstances it was warning to choose 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 damage.


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RW — Nicholas Gioacchini: 5.5
Subbed in for Arriola and performed the best wing place quite a bit in a different way than Arriola would have. It is telling that his finest second got here when he converged from the huge proper place and hit the left publish on a well-placed shot. He is nonetheless working his option 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 standard composed self on the ball and almost marked his debut with a terrific purpose, however the ‘keeper punched away his try.

FW — Daryl Dike: 5
He did not reach giving the assault a lift within the half hour he was within the recreation. Then once more, much like Zardes within the first half, he was taking part in towards two robust middle backs and there wasn’t a ton of service or crossing occurring in the course of the time he was on the sector.

CB — James Sands: N/A
He obtained his first cap in the midst of a three-man again line and did not need to do a lot within the quarter of an hour he was on the sector. 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 temporary stint and left the distinct impression that he has quite a bit to contribute to that three-man U.S. midfield. It will likely be fascinating to see how he does from the beginning in a future match.

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