Antonee Robinson excels in U.S. debut as Americans breeze past Bolivia
A Memorial Day friendly against Bolivia ushered in a new era of the U.S. men's national team as manager Dave Sarachan rolled out a young side at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. A group of fresh faces dominated the game on the way to a 3-0 victory, all three goal scorers hitting their first tallies for the senior national team.
Despite the youth of the squad, the Americans rarely looked unsettled across 90 minutes. Partnerships developed across the formation, with teenagers Timothy Weah, Josh Sargent, and Weston McKinnie finding their feet quickly. The defensive performance has to be judged against the Bolivians' lack of quality, but any clean sheet is worth highlighting. In the second half, the U.S. pressed its advantage and opened up a lead it could protect to the final whistle.
There are few negatives worth pointing out. Christian Pulisic wasn't on his game, but players around him picked up the slack on the attacking end of the field. There was a lack of sharpness at times, but it never caused the American problems.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- No major beefs with Sarachan this time around. The interim U.S. manager took the step to trust the young players in his squad and utilized all six of the available substitutes in a friendly. The result was positive and a number of players got experience. Job done.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alex Bono, 7 -- Required to do very little over 90 minutes as Bolivia managed zero shots on goal. Largely played long out of the back, with mixed success.
DF Eric Lichaj, 7 -- Calm, composed and untroubled most of the night. Made smart decisions on the defensive end. Had a limited impact on the attacking end of the field, playing behind Weah for most of the night.
DF Walker Zimmerman, 7 -- Opened the American scoring with a rising header from a set piece and backed it up with a solid defensive performance. Made several important interventions and read the game well.
DF Erik Palmer-Brown, 7 -- Quiet evening at the back for the Manchester City player. Passed well but was rarely required to do much on the defensive end of the field.
DF Antonee Robinson, 8 -- Played an excellent match minus a few questionable decisions that required difficult recovery runs. Contributed to the attack and hit the cross that led to the third goal.
MF Weston McKinnie, 8 -- A menace all over the field for the Americans in the defensive midfield. Broke up Bolivian play with tackles and interceptions across the match.
MF Timothy Weah, 8 -- Scored a goal in his first-ever start for the U.S., a reward for a strong night of work on the wing. Overcame a first-half injury scare and one-v-one miss. Combined well with Sargent.
MF Joe Corona, 6 -- Provided the assist to Zimmerman to open up the scoring for the U.S. Put in a decent shift in midfield playing between the lines. Lacked a strong connection to midfield partners.
MF Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Played well below his usual standard and looked lethargic at times. Lacked sharpness in the attacking third. Took a ball to the face to end his night.
MF Rubio Rubin, 7 -- Active up and down the wing all night. Found space wide and posed regular danger in the attacking end. Not sharp, but good enough to do the job.
FW Josh Sargent, 7 -- Created the second U.S. goal by harrying Bolivia's back line. Played strong as a target forward, dragging defenders out and holding the ball up for teammates.
MF Julian Green, 7 -- Energetic and influential in his half-hour playing mostly in the center of the attacking group. Picked a few poor decisions to kill moves, but connected well with teammates on the whole.
MF Keaton Parks, 8 -- Looked the part in the center of the field in relief of Corona. Showed the promised passing touch and made smart choices with the ball.
FW Andrija Novakovich, 6 -- Made an impression in a limited appearance. Hit a couple of good passes and should have had a chance on goal if not for a missed offside call.
MF Lynden Gooch, NR -- One dribble, a few defensive interventions and a missed chance late in the game for the Sunderland man.
MF Matthew Olosunde, NR -- Put in the necessary effort to hold down the flank late in the game. Unable to impact the match up the field.
DF Jorge Villafana, NR -- Made a cameo with the game decided.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.