The United States men’s national team won the CONCACAF Nations League in a nondescript match against rivals Mexico, which betrayed the nations’ customary rancor.
Only part of that is true, as Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT scored him a statement with a 3-2 win in extra time, including a penalty made, another saved, two American equalizers, a surprise red card for Mexican coach Tata Martino , a surprise no-red card for Mexican star Hector Herrera, a break in play after a homophobic chant from the crowd, and a pitch invasion.
Oh, and the Americans conceded a goal in the first minute that would make any neutral fan believe it would be 300-0 for the Mexicans.
What do you say we rate the USMNT players?
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USMNT – Mexico Player Ratings
Zack Steffen (Out of 69′): 7 – The non-contact injury will be a concern for both Pep Guardiola and Gregg Berhalter and came after he was hanged to dry before Mexico’s opening goal. We give him an extra point because if he had stayed in the game it wouldn’t have turned out like this. Butterfly effect.
DeAndre Yedlin: 5 – Looked unfamiliar with his surroundings, which is odd for a 64-time capped back before remembering that he’s played all nine minutes for the USMNT since the calendar hit in 2020, and that was the only nine minutes he once played alongside Mark McKenzie. Risky and unnecessary mistake on the first minute goal.
Mark McKenzie: 3 – Nightmare begins as the leader of a string of first-minute errors that put Mexico ahead. Almost made up for extremely shaky play from the back with a header from a corner that was caught by Ochoa with 15 minutes to go. Then he saw the second goal go through his legs on his way past Ethan Horvath. The good news is he will know that one of his worst nights – McKenzie is a damn good young back – still ended with a winners medal.
John Brooks: 7 – A mistake early in the build-up to the Mexico opener and another bad giveaway, but otherwise an exceptional performance from the excellent passing, physical backline leader. Still more adventures than necessary, but there’s no one in the player pool that comes close to his center back skills.
Tim Ream: 4 — He’s not a left-back and we’d say, “but don’t tell Gregg Berhalter” if we weren’t sure dozens of people have told Gregg Berhalter exactly that. The Fulham centre-back who started as left-back for the USMNT over the man Fulham coach Scott Parker usually chose as left-back at Craven Cottage was exposed to the pace. But really, that’s not Ream’s fault. Not at all.
Sergino Dest (Out of 60′): 4 — The good news for Dest is twofold. No. 1: He’s really good so it will be easy to come back from a bad performance. No. 2: So many crazy things have happened that few will remember the poor performance.
Kellyn Acosta: 5 – The penalty wasn’t his fault as no one should have to call a handball when a cross turns a head off a super close range, and – again – it’s not his fault that Berhalter keeps putting him there in front of a pool of players made up of a lot of them options including but not limited to Julian Green, Jackson Yueill, and — yes — even Michael Bradley. Bad touch on the Mexican opening goal, having lunch but with a great view of the second.
Weston McKennie: 9 — He almost scored with his header from a Pulisic corner that became Reyna’s goal, then scored on another set piece. He is the epitome of what most USMNT fans want their team to be, and his huge long throw to put the corner on Reyna’s goal was weighted like a through ball. Incredible things.
Giovanni Reynac (Out of 86′): 9 — Why he was lifted before he was full time, I have no idea. Claudio Reyna’s son showed his father’s magnanimity by scoring a goal and assist and more often than not finding space when Tata Martino tried to take out Christian Pulisic.
Christian Pulisic: 7 — Delivered the corner for the opener and won the deciding penalty, one he sent into the camera with vicious accuracy in the top 90. When the USMNT captain finally lifted the CONCACAF Nations League trophy weeks after winning the European Cup, you feel like he had gone from USMNT star to all-time great. He is 22 and has 16 USMNT targets on 37 caps, one away from the programs always top ten.
Josh Sargent (from 68′): 5 – Slipped out twice in the first few minutes and both were huge. One led to Mexico’s opener (though his slip was just the catalyst for bigger mistakes by others) and the second came on a great run that could have made it 1-1 had he not slipped. Still, before the end of his short shift, he would find his real and proverbial base.
Timothy Weah (At 60′ for Dest): 8 – Pace to burn and he did just that, firming up the right side. Made a quick pass that should have left Mexico with 10 men when Herrera knocked out the three-time Ligue 1 champion.
Jordan Siebatcheu (at 68′ for Sargent): 6 — Not a super sub day, but still okay.
Ethan Horvath (At 69′ to Steffen): 9 — Save after save after save after… oh yeah, one of those was a penalty save on Andres Guardado 3-2 in the second period of extra time. Can’t give a 10 because of the wrong foot on Mexico’s second goal, although he was far from a culprit. Pretty good, dude.
Sebastian Lletget (at 86′ for Reyna): 6 — Not bad, not great, and a little weird to see him there for an 18-year-old Reyna giving a goal and an assist for 86 minutes.
Tyler Adams (At 86′ to Ream): 6 – Please get fit and stay healthy, Tyler. The USMNT is much better with you in the fold.
USMNT player ratings of trophy-claiming ET win over Mexico originally appeared on NBCSports.com