The United States men’s national team concluded the 2021 Gold Cup group stage round with a 1-0 triumph against rivals Canada.
Shaq Moore opened up the game with one of the team’s fastest ever goals, putting the ball past Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau after just 20 seconds.
After the early goal, Miles Robinson and James Sands maintained the momentum on the offense by knocking on Canada’s door time and time again. As the minutes passed and the game settled, Canada began testing the United States defense and New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner but ultimately couldn’t finish.
Several Major League Players took part in Sunday’s triumph, attesting to the progress and impact the league has had on American soccer as a whole. Sporting Kansas City homegrown player Gianluca Busio continued to call attention to himself, earning praise from USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter for yet another great performance.
But despite the score and individual standouts, Berhalter made it clear that more is left to be desired by the North American giants.
Here's the player ratings from the USMNT's victory.
1. Goalkeeper and defenders
Matt Turner (GK)- 6/10- Turner did not fail, but by no means did he excel in any manner either. The US team’s offense made sure Turner had the best view of the match, rather than play an active role in the triumph.
Miles Robinson (CB) - 9/10 - Robinson earned Berhalter’s praise after the match against Canada. The defender shut down any attempt of an advance by the North American rival, denying entry at all points. The Atlanta United star did all that was asked from a player in his position without flinching.
James Sands (CB) - 8/10 - The New York City FC defender also caught the eye of the USMNT head coach for his timely defending and firm positioning throughout the match. He led the defense with tranquility and stability.
Walker Zimmerman (CB) - 5/10 - Zimmerman almost gave away the team’s lead by committing a penalty-worthy foul. Though the referee didn’t make the call, Zimmerman's rookie play could’ve ruined the game for the US.
2. Wing-backs and midfielders
Sam Vines (LWG) - 7/10 - The Colorado Rapids player did a decent job in maintaining a firm and stable backline throughout the match, but given that the USMNT led the attack for most of the match, Vines could have pounced on the ball a bit more.
Shaquell Moore (RWB) - 8/10 - The Tenerife player scored one of the fastest goals in USMNT history, finding the back of the net in the 20th second. Beyond the goal, he played a key defensive role in the match, intercepting and redirecting Canada players before reaching the box.
Sebastian Lletget (CM) - 5/10 - The LA Galaxy player left much to be desired in what was largely a background performance.
Gianluca Busio (CM) - 7/10 - Busio is slowly becoming a favorite of Gregg Berhalter. Though he didn’t have one particular standout moment, he’s learning to adapt to any position, making him a valuable player for the USMNT.
Kellyn Acosta (CM) - 6/10 - the Colorado Rapids midfielder had two great runs before disappearing into the abyss, earning him a mediocre rating. He helped set up the winning goal in the first minute of the match, but failed to maintain him momentum and was eventually subbed off.
Daryl Dike (CF) - 7/10 - The Orlando City striker is a Romelu Lukaku in training. He has loads of potential and physical presence to make an impact in any game he enters.
Gyasi Zardes (CF) - 6/10 - He may have only completed one shot on target, but Zardes maintained play in Canada’s half for most of his time on the pitch. He also contributed to defensive plays before being subbed off in the second half.