England 0-0 USA: Player ratings as lifeless Three Lions held to draw
England slumbered to a 0-0 draw with the United States in their second World Cup showing, extending their lead atop of Group A by just a point following a turgid performance.
After a blistering start to their World Cup campaign against Iran, England looked an entirely different team in the opening 45 minutes against the USA. The tempo had dropped, passes were wayward and gaps were being found in their shape all too easily, thanks to an impressive showing from Gregg Berhalter's side.
While many would've expected the USA to falter after the break, they continued to take the game to England, who spent much too much time locked inside their own half defending their box. As the clock ticked down, the States continued to probe, but were happy to draw with England for a second time in the World Cup group stages.
The USA made their intentions clear early on. Unafraid to retain possession and show patience in high pressure areas, England had to stay compact inside the opening 10 minutes, before a neat passage of play between Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka generated a square ball for Harry Kane.
His effort was blocked by Walker Zimmerman, but the chance swung momentum into England's favour, who probed patiently around an aggressive press. Patience quickly turned into complacency, however; the USA countered sharply and looked like scoring whenever they had time around England's 18-yard box, while Matt Turner remained untroubled in their goal.
Weston McKennie wriggled free inside the box after 26 minutes to get on the end of a patient move, but fired his shot over the target. Christian Pulisic then missed the chance of the half, rattling the crossbar from outside of the box following more neat possession at the expense of England's sloppiness.
Unable to break beyond the USA's back line or even play through their well-drilled pressing shape, England were fortunate to head into the break level, having had plenty of warnings and been caught in possession on more than one occasion. Mason Mount finally forced a save from Turner on the cusp of the interval, having barely made a splash for 45 minutes; a summary of England's lacking and timid performance.
The proverbial rocket that England definitely needed during the interval didn't appear to happen, with the start of the second half echoing their pitfalls from the first.
Berhalter's side moved the ball much more smoothly and were set up well to snuff out England, who were still too laboured in possession and unsure how to break the lines. Pulisic was afforded far too much time and space to dart inside and fire a shot just wide of Jordan Pickford's post around the hour mark, and rightly so; a cleaner connection and the USA could've pulled ahead.
As the game drew on, the USA looked more and more in control. England couldn't keep possession, nor could they get near their opponents.
Southgate had seen enough with little over 20 minutes to go and called on Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson to claw England back into the game. And while they did bring them back into a more dominant spell of possession, they still couldn't stretch the USA or find a way into the penalty area.
With time running out, England still hadn't figured out how to get in behind their well-drilled opponents and instead spent more time passing the ball around the back before inevitably losing possession when aimlessly moving forward.
England's biggest chance of the night came in injury time, when Kane headed wide from a Luke Shaw free-kick. It was a moment that not only highlighted their lack of quality, but also their concerning lack of creativity and bravery.
A draw is by no means a bad result - England are in a good position to top the group - but it's one that most definitely feels like a loss, considering how they performed. The USA, alternatively, can be incredibly satisfied with their night's work, if not frustrated that they didn't snatch a win.
England vs USA player ratings - World Cup Group B
1. England (4-3-3)
GK: Jordan Pickford - 6/10 - Expressed his displeasure with his outfielders on more than one occasion and rightly so.
RB: Kieran Trippier - 4/10 - Sloppy on the ball and often switched off, leaving Saka isolated when trying to contain the USA. So poor when trying to go forward - if you can even call it 'trying'.
CB: John Stones - 5/10 - More comfortable than his colleague in possession of the ball, but was often too comfortable. Has to move the ball quicker.
CB: Harry Maguire - 5/10 - Absolutely fine until he's challenged in a test of speed or sharpness - then England immediately look troubled. Got his head on everything, at least.
LB: Luke Shaw - 6/10 - England's biggest outlet in the first half. Key to causing the USA problems when on the overlap.
CM: Declan Rice - 5/10 - Too reluctant to play a pass through the lines. Wasn't helped by both midfield colleagues bombing forward, but seemed flustered by the opponents' press.
CM: Jude Bellingham - 5/10 - First touch let him down on occasion, but showed glimpses of what he's got. Faded considerably after the break.
CM: Mason Mount - 3/10 - Swallowed up by the occasion completely.
RW: Bukayo Saka - 5/10 - Was bypassed too easily when pressing.
ST: Harry Kane - 6/10 - He tried. Completely starved of service but did all the right things whenever a scrap did fall his way.
LW: Raheem Sterling - 5/10 - Much the similar story to Kane. Was barely ever given the ball or a chance to run at defenders inside the box.
SUB: Jack Grealish (68' for Sterling) - 6/10 - Attracted players towards him, as he does.
SUB: Jordan Henderson (69' for Bellingham) - 5/10 - Came on to join the party of players passing the ball aimlessly around the back.
SUB: Marcus Rashford (78' for Saka) - N/A - Had no chance of making an impact being introduced so late and with England unable to play vertically.
Manager: Gareth Southgate - 4/10 - There's trusting your team, and then there's being too risk averse. It was clear that change was needed as soon as five minutes into the second half, but Southgate didn't call on his bench until the 68th minute. Needs to be more proactive.
2. USA (4-3-3)
GK: Matt Turner - 6/10 - Looked a natural between the sticks as number one. Solid hands and did his job when - occasionally - called upon.
RB: Sergino Dest - 6/10 - Showed flashes of his quality, but was the quieter of the USMNT's two full backs.
CB: Walker Zimmerman - 7/10 - Made a brilliant block to deny Kane early on in the game.
CB: Tim Ream - 6/10 - Confident performance from the Fulham man.
LB: Antonee Robinson - 7/10 - Gave his side a way out of England's press and helped overload in wide areas.
CM: Weston McKennie - 7/10 - Showed his composure in possession, taking the extra touches to keep the USA in control when needed. Really should've hit the target after 26 minutes.
CM: Tyler Adams - 8/10 - Swept up tremendously in front of his defenders and kept England's midfielders incredibly quiet. Really mature performance.
CM: Yunus Musah - 7/10 - An industrious performance - impressive.
RW: Tim Weah - 6/10 - His side's best stuff came down the other flank.
ST: Haji Wright - 6/10 - Struggled to wriggle free of England's two centre halves, but did catch Maguire on his heels early on.
LW: Christian Pulisic - 6/10 - So unlucky not to score in the first half, but quiet beyond that.
SUB: Brenden Aaronson (77' for McKennie) - 5/10 - Saw the game out with relentless pressing.
SUB: Shaq Moore (78' for Dest) - N/A
SUB: Giovanni Reyna (83' for Weah) - N/A
SUB: Josh Sargent (83' for Wright) - N/A
Manager: Gregg Berhalter - 7/10 - Set up his side brilliantly and didn't shy away from taking the game to England. Just a shame they couldn't finish the key chances they did carve out.