USMNT Player Ratings: Acosta, Steffen shine, defense suffers vs. Colombia

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The U.S. national team were taken to school by James Rodriguez and classy Colombia with a 4-2 friendly loss in muggy Tampa. 

After a bland opening-frame performance saw them head into the break trailing by one, the home side popped the top on their lightning bottle early in the second half to temporarily grab the lead through through fine strikes from Kellyn Acosta and Bobby Wood.

In the end, though, Colombia’s seasoned attackers made the young U.S. back line dizzy to pull out a see-saw victory with three unanswered goals.

Zack Steffen (6.5) – The USMNT netminder was repeatedly hung out to dry by his defense and shouldn’t be faulted for any of the goals. Steffen did manage a couple of decent saves and a strong smothering rush off his line.

DeAndre Yedlin watches Radamel Falcao | USA Today Sports Images

DeAndre Yedlin (4.5) – It was another in a string of disappointing displays from Yedlin, who fell asleep on Miguel Borja’s picturesque capper. He only sparingly offered positive passes going forward, and showed almost no interest in playing to one of his strengths by racing onto the overlap.

Matt Miazga (5) – The Nantes man was easily the best USMNT defender on the night, which isn’t saying much. A couple of early positioning snafus put his ‘keeper under stress, but Miazga was able to atone with a couple of important area shot blocks, including one near the line. However, he was also too slow to recognize the cutback target on Colombia’s second.

John Anthony Brooks (2.5) – Even more so than Yedlin, the Wolfsburg defender has been piling up woeful U.S. outings. And the mistakes Brooks is making are quite shocking: unnecessary steps out of position, shading key players to their weak foot and even a simple lack of hustle. The left center back was culpable on two goal leaks, and it could have easily been more.

Antonee Robinson (1.5) – The left back’s crossing game was off until he set up Acosta’s strike, which was his lone highlight of the game. Robinson habitually failed to recognize the overlap until it was too late, and this well-paved road into his corner allowed Colombia to put the hosts in serious trouble time and again.

Michael Bradley (6.5) – Despite all the chaos going on around him, the skipper enjoyed a decidedly solid return. Bradley stopped several Colombia advances up the gut and rarely misplayed a ball off his foot.

Kellyn Acosta (7.5) – The Colorado midfield ace put in quite arguably his best ever USMNT shift. Between the late sprint into the box, his read of a small cross deflection and the strong finish, Acosta’s goal was a thing of beauty. He also forced numerous Colombia turnovers, including one in his own box that eventually led to Wood’s tally.

Timothy Weah (7) – The PSG prospect was the only U.S. attacker showing great jump in the first half, but had little to no help creating meaningful possession in Colombia’s end. Weah finally was able to offer end product with a fantastic diagonal through ball for Wood’s goal. He also was the lone U.S. winger to have any sustained effect tracking back to help the fullbacks.

Julian Green (5) – The Greuther Fürth attacker always has his moments, such as when he shook loose for a decent early crack at goal from distance and his tackle-and-outlet that facilitated the second USMNT goal. Still, there were just too many loose passes and too many times when he neglected to stay connected to Acosta, which both served to routinely kill possessions.

Kenny Saief (4) – I don’t want to be too rough on the Anderlecht winger, as he’s still trying to work his way back to full match fitness from a preseason injury. And yet, it must be said that his 58-minute shift was rather empty at both ends of the pitch.

Bobby Wood (6.5) – It’s not the striker’s fault that he only had one meaningful touch in the final third. The good news is that Wood buried that lone chance with aplomb.

Coach Dave Sarachan (5) – I’m not going to mark the interim boss down for the slew of individual mistakes at the back, or even for leaving Robinson out there to learn hard lessons. It was a “teachable moment” friendly, after all. However, the Delgado-for-Weah switch threw the U.S. formation completely out of whack, practically begging for the defeat he got.

Subs

Fafa Picault (5.5) – The Philly Union speedster got himself on the ball in a few good positions, but was unable to connect with his attacking third plays.

Marky Delgado (5) – In 22 minutes off the bench, Delgado’s most notable moment came when he regrettably failed to track scorer Radamel Falcao on Colombia’s third.

Ben Sweat (4.5) – Unfortunately, the hometown debutant’s entrance did nothing to stop Colombia from getting behind the left side of the U.S. defense.

Josh Sargent (6.5) – In a short shift, the Werder Bremen teen hotshot pulled off a nifty turn to get loose and create a chance.

Andrija Novakovich (-) – Cameo time.

Source : https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/10/12/usmnt-player-ratings-acosta-steffen-shine-defense-suffers-vs-colombia