Bill Hamid, CJ Sapong make their case for more chances at international level
A low-stakes affair in front of a sparse Stub Hub Center crowd ended in a goalless draw as both the United States and Bosnia & Herzegovina rolled out young, inexperienced groups. For the USMNT, ending a nearly month-long camp without a goal and without a win will chafe, despite the uncertainty around the program.
Several young players got their first taste of international soccer in a period when integrating a new generation of talent is the program's main focus. Both goalkeepers acquitted themselves well in a half each, giving some hope that the U.S. will be able to bridge the gap at that position.
The attack lacked variation and creativity, especially before Kelyn Rowe's introduction in the second half. Muddled tactics and a personnel group that seemed to lack any cohesiveness delivered a turgid performance in the opponent's half. Several players seemed to struggle with pace or pressure of the international game. Simple mistakes happened too often, and the game lacked crispness from a team that trained together for three weeks ahead of the match.
Manager rating out of 10
4 -- Dave Sarachan was admittedly in a difficult spot with his lineup choices but instead of erring on the side of youth, the interim head coach chose to play several players who won't be part of the push for 2022. Whatever the tactical plan for the Americans, it did not look clear what the side was trying to accomplish on the attacking side. The U.S. lacked ideas and identity and failed to create any meaningful chances. A haphazard press did more harm than good over 90 minutes.
Player ratings (1-10, 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bill Hamid, 7 -- Only called into action once but stepped up in the moment to keep the game at zero when a missed clearance led to a Bosnia & Herzegovina chance.
DF Matt Polster, 5 -- Mixed bag in a 90-minute shift. Pushed up into the attack to good effect in the second half. Poor in several one-on-one defending situations.
DF Walker Zimmerman, 4.5 -- Aggressive, perhaps overly so, especially in the first half. Conceded a penalty and whiffed on a clearance that demanded a good save from Hamid.
DF Ike Opara, 6 -- Solid, if not spectacular. Good in the air and made more than one late intervention to prevent a Bosnia & Herzegovina goal.
DF Justin Morrow, 5.5 -- Picked up a yellow toward the end of first half and otherwise failed to stand out. Defensively sound. Made little of a few forays forward.
MF Tyler Adams, 6 -- Started brightly, covering ground and involving himself in several attacking moves in the first half. Slowed in the second half.
MF Wil Trapp, 6.5 -- Set good rhythm from deep-lying position. Passed well in the central third, but was less effectively with balls at Bosnian end. Settled into game.
MF Cristian Roldan, 6 -- Did well to help fill gaps and break up play on the defensive side of the ball. Passed accurately, but lacked a cutting edge going forward.
MF Gyasi Zardes, 4 -- Mostly invisible. Only managed a handful of touches and never made an impression on the game in a half of action.
FW Jordan Morris, 4.5 -- Opened up space with smart runs, but wasted several good passes with poor touches. Needs to match industry with technical improvements.
FW CJ Sapong, 6.5 -- The best of the American contingent in the first half with energy and aggressiveness. Indecisive in one moment that could have led to a U.S. chance.
GK Zack Steffen, 6 -- Earned his first cap and made one save in a half of play.
MF Paul Arriola, 6 -- Added a spark on the right side after coming on for Zardes. Created better dynamic with Polster behind him.
MF Kelyn Rowe, 6.5 -- Provided a much-needed bit of creativity off the bench. Found teammates in good positions only to see chances wasted.
FW Juan Agudelo, NR -- Provided a few bright moments in less than half an hour. Showed penchant for clever play followed by simple mistake.
MF Rubio Rubin, NR -- Touched the ball just twice as a second-half substitute.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.