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The US national team rebounded from a sobering grudge match defeat to Mexico by clawing back late for a deserved 1-1 share with friendly visitors Uruguay in St. Louis on Tuesday night.
While the game lacked the pace and intensity of Friday’s border war affair, the Nats put in a markedly improved presentation. They generally carried play, poking and prodding at the visitors defense until Jordan Morris could pull them level with 11 minutes left on the clock.
Brad Guzan (5) — It was an up-and-down showing from the veteran netminder, who distributed smoothly and came up with a couple of nice area command plays. However, Guzan also had to bailed out after a poor spill and was beaten short side for the Uruguay goal.
Reggie Cannon (3.5) — This game was a big step back for the FC Dallas youngster, who erred on both sides of the ball. While Cannon did play a couple of nice lead balls in the final third, he was timid and/or untidy on most of his forward advances. His defensive game was also sheepish, at best. The right back was often too slow to close down and flat quit on the Uruguay goal play after being caught up, a massive taboo in my book.
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Aaron Long (4.5) — While not as rough as his Friday display, it was another negative night for the New York Red Bulls defender. Long was rudely undressed as LAFC newbie Brian Rodriguez teed up his strike, and that wasn’t the end of his problems. He was stretched out of position without actually confronting the ball carrier several times, which is part of the reason he managed a grand total of one dispossessing stop in 65 minutes.
Tim Ream (7.5) — The night’s skipper put in one of the most solid shifts of his USMNT career in front of his hometown. Ream came to Guzan’s rescue with a huge early block, one of a handful of nice area defense episodes. The Fulham man also rediscovered his passing game, with one of several line-splitters sparking the US goal play. He did commit one bad turnover, but it was a lonely exception in this one.
Sergino Dest (6.5) — Though he didn’t always complete his exhilarating advances into attack properly, Dest was near to terrific in the first half. The Ajax handful again drew a good save from distance and played some dangerous balls into the area. He was much less effective after the break, when a couple of defensive mistakes cropped up, but it was another encouraging performance.
Jackson Yueill (5) — On the plus side, Yueill shipped a host of positive balls out to the wingers (even if some had a bit too much air under them). On the other hand, he committed a few bad giveaways in the US end and his restart serves were poor. More annoyingly, the San Jose midfielder was rarely in the right place to slow Uruguay advances up the middle. All told, it’s very fair to suggest he’s better suited to play the No. 8 role at this level.
Cristian Roldan (6.5) — Although the Seattle battler was too easy to get past on a few occasions, he was more active defensively in central park than his holding partner. Even better, Roldan’s constant availability helped when the team was slow to move out of the back and he repeatedly linked play into the final third, such as on the US goal sequence.
Sebastian Lletget (6.5) — The LA Galaxy man was not quite as positive in the attack zone as Roldan, but he also connected moves all night long. Lletget also delivered a couple of danger crosses into the box, but was never able to force high turnovers despite his efforts.
Tyler Boyd | USA Today Sports Images
Tyler Boyd (5) — The Besiktas winger was somewhat more aggressive than against Mexico, and produced a couple of tasty serves into the box in the second half. That said, we still need Boyd to force the issue with the ball at his feet more consistently. And while he practically had to climb around his marker to get to the end of a Morris cross, his bouncing doorstep miss was still quite disappointing.
Jordan Morris (7.5) — Over on the left, the Sounders attacker persistently ran at defenders, and with some success. His brilliant early drag-and-cross to Boyd should have been rewarded with an assist and another serve late in the first half should have ended with a US spot kick. Though it was awkward, Morris eventually got his reward by chesting home the tying goal.
Josh Sargent (6.5) — The hometown boy’s drop-deep hold-up touches were all helpful, but he never really cracked the Uruguay code around the box. Unfortunately for Sargent, most of the quality US service went to teammates.
Coach Gregg Berhalter (6) — There were again some questionable lineup choices, but this time the boss put together a less rigid game plan that could have easily ended in victory.
Miles Robinson (7) — The Atlanta United center back was solid on the ball and strong defending against it. It’s a shame he didn’t get the start.
Corey Baird (6.5) — The Real Salt Lake attacker didn’t author any final third magic himself, but his ability to get behind the back line opened space for teammates.
Daniel Lovitz (6) — There was nothing overly good or bad about the Montreal left back’s 20-minute outing.
Nick Lima (7) — Unlike the man he replaced, Lima really made Uruguay sweat when he ventured into the final third. After a couple of excellent crosses, the Earthquakes right back finally notched an assist on the equalizer. It was an unorthodox helper, to be sure, but he made it happen with moxie.
Gyasi Zardes (6) — The strike sub offered some decent hold-up play and a couple of decent runs in his quarter-hour of action, but couldn’t find the target with his lone half-chance.
Paxton Pomykal (-) — A mere cameo, but it’s nice to know he can split defenders into the box at this level.