USMNT's Josh Sargent 8/10, shows promise in partnership with Tim Weah
A young U.S. men's national team nearly managed a victory against a talented Peru team in East Hartford, Connecticut, only to see a late goal from the South Americans ruin the party and push the game to a 1-1 draw.
Despite their youth, the Americans seemed intent on engaging the Peruvians whenever possible. The defending from the backline was solid, with good communication between goalkeeper Brad Guzan and center backs Aaron Long and Cameron Carter-Vickers. The attacking duo of Josh Sargent and Tim Weah worked well together, which is a good sign for the future.
The Americans were simply unable to hold much possession over the course of 90 minutes. Without a strong ball-winner in midfield and featuring green players still trying to learn how to play together, the USMNT was forced to defend for most of the night. Pressure on the ball was lacking or applied ineffectively. Because of that, Peru regularly found space between the American lines.
6 -- Dave Sarachan's mandate for another friendly against a talented South American side was to give young players a chance. He did that at almost every position. The tactical plan was adequate and allowed Peru's superior understanding and ability to hold the ball. His substitutions made sense considering the circumstances of the game.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Brad Guzan, 6 -- Made a clear difference for the American defense with organization. Hung out to dry to on the Peru goal. Made a late punch on a free kick that helped the U.S. hold onto the tie.
DF Ben Sweat, 3 -- Poor defensively, especially in the first half. Showed plenty of desire to make up for mistakes but simply made too many of them.
DF Cameron Carter-Vickers, 6 -- Solid most of the night. Made no obvious errors aside from a bit of sloppiness on aerial balls. Stayed at home and defended well.
DF Aaron Long, 6 -- Equal to, if not slightly better than, his center back partner. Guilty of a few more rushed long balls than is usually acceptable, even considering the pressure the USMNT was under most of the night.
DF Reggie Cannon, 5 -- Not much of a threat going forward but did not look out of place, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Benefited from Peru's repeated forays up the U.S. left flank.
MF Wil Trapp, 4 -- Not involved enough from a deep-lying position. Played as a shield for the backline but was bypassed too easily by Peru's passing. Had nine defensive interventions, a decent number made poor by the amount of Peru possession.
MF Tim Weah, 5 -- Strong in the first half but faded dramatically in the second half. The brightest player in the U.S. attack in the first 45 and provided the pass that led to their best chance ahead of halftime.
MF Kellyn Acosta, 5 -- Set up the U.S. goal with a clever free kick that found Sargent's run. Inconsistent with his touch, did not provide enough bite in midfield to limit Peru's possession. Middling as a passer.
MF Marky Delgado, 5 -- Involved, maybe more than any American midfielder. Passed well at times. Gave the ball away cheaply a handful of times in the first half as well.
MF Jonathan Amon, 5 -- Mixed bag for the young winger. First-half slackness on defense helped Peru dominate the U.S. left side. Missed chance to spring Weah on goal with a break in the first half after running onto a flick from Sargent and cutting back into space well. Drew the foul ahead of the corner that led to the U.S. goal.
FW Josh Sargent, 8 -- Showed excellent hold-up play and instincts with the ball at his feet, in addition to the goal. Tracked back effectively to provide the first line of American defense. Guilty of one egregious turnover that led to a Peru chance.
MF Julian Green, 5 -- Helped grab some possession after his entry with half an hour to go. Showed good bite with a pair of recoveries. Played a poor ball with the Americans breaking in the 68th minute.
FW Bobby Wood, N/R -- Touch not good enough on holdup opportunities. Created a good chance with a run in the right channel and a cutback pass.
MF Michael Bradley, N/R -- Sloppy with the ball deep in the U.S. half with Peru pressing for goals in the last 15 minutes. Made two clearances from the American penalty area.
DF DeAndre Yedlin, N/R -- Appeared complicit on Peru's goal in combination with Delgado.
DF Antonee Robinson, N/R -- Made one clearance in a late cameo.