The United States men’s national team defeated Mexico 3-2 in the Nations League final in their first competitive win over El Tri since 2013.
The chaotic match lasted 130 minutes, defined by Christian Pulisic’s penalty in the first half of overtime.
The United States boasted a youthful roster, labeled the new golden generation for the country. With World Cup qualifiers in three months, head coach Gregg Berhalter tested new formats and challenged the depth of his squad. Underrated players emerged heroes, while others conformed to mediocrity on the pitch.
These are the USMNT player ratings for the CONCACAF Nations League final.
Zack Steffen (GK) – 7/10 – Prior to limping off the field with a knee injury, Steffen saved some heavy shots by Mexican forwards. Though he gained momentum as the game progressed, the Manchester City goalkeeper struggled to find his form in the beginning. Mexico took advantage of his mistakes and scored twice before Steffen could become a real barrier.
Mark McKenzie (RB) – 3/10 – A disappointing performance by the Philadelphia Union defender over the weekend. His messy work on the ball led to an assist in Mexico’s opening goal. It was also Mark McKenzie that caused the late penalty foul that could have caused United States the trophy. Though he provided some necessary clearances later on in the match, he endangered his side more than helping.
John Brooks (CB) – 4.5/10 – The Wolfsburg center back may have been thrown off by the formation change, but his inability to adapt should concern head coach Gregg Berhalter. His indecisiveness on the ball translated to the miscommunication in the backline. Brooks blocked some important moments, but definitely failed to reach his maximum potential.
Tim Ream (CB) – 4/10 – To put it simply, the player was outpaced and outperformed by the Mexican offense too many times.
DeAndre Yedlin (LB) – 5/10 – His rating reflects his mediocracy on the pitch. He failed to show up and be an integral part of the action, and simply floated in the back.
Segino Dest (RM) – 4/10 – The Barcelona player did not impress. His extensive European experience signaled a positive performance internationally, but that was not the case against Mexico. He simply could not shake Luis Rodriguez and could not capitalize on his potential.
Kellyn Acosta (CM) – 5/10 – The Colorado Rapids midfielder suffered a rough first half as Mexican players manipulated his position into bending to their advantage. As the game progressed, Acosta grew in presence and put in some defensive work. Unfortunately, when it came time to stop Diego Lainez, Acosta simply could not constrain the player and allowed for the Mexican nation to score all too easily.
Weston McKennie (CM) – 8.5/10 – The Juventus midfielder stunned audiences with his immense potential after his performance against Mexico. He embodies the new generation of the USMNT, making his presence known all around the pitch. He was the player of the night, doing a little bit of everything to help secure the win. He scored the second goal to equalize the match before going into overtime.
Josh Sargent (CF) – 5/10 – Sargent provided some help in key moments of the match, but then quickly blended into the background. He disappointed in not providing his usual energy, especially in such an important game.
Christian Pulisic (CF) – 7.5/10 – The Chelsea forward captained the USMNT to victory against Mexico, contributing with an overtime penalty that sealed the win. He provided great assistance on set pieces, but didn’t deliver the same quality during the action. Pulisic still has a lot to improve before becoming an icon with the American side, but the potential is certainly there.
Gio Reyna (CF) – 7/10 – Reyna came out strong, scoring in the 27th minute to equalize the match. He was present in the top moments of the match, but tended to disappear completely in others. Inconsistency can become a problem with the player if Berhalter does not address it.
Ethan Hovrath (GK) – 9/10 – The substitute goalkeeper became the hero of the night. Hovrath was forced into the pitch in the 70th minute, having mere seconds to acclimate to the goal before being tested by Mexico. He made some great saves before dramatically stopping a 124th minute penalty by Andres Guardado to retain the win for the USMNT.