Sergino Dest - United States - USMNT - fights for the ball with a player from Wales

After more than nine months out of action, the US men's national team got back on the field with a very green lineup that handled themselves admirably in a scoreless draw at Wales.


The kids' pressure game had them verging on dominant in the opening frame, with only a bit of immaturity in the final third holding them back. They looked a lot more pedestrian after halftime, which shaved hairs of the marks you see below.


United States Player Ratings


Zack Steffen (6.5) — On the plus side, his save just past the hour was the biggest of the game. On the other hand, we saw another ill-advised bit of distribution that could have gone horribly wrong.


Sergiño Dest (7) — The Barcelona right back's near constant push up the flank repeatedly put Wales into scrambling situations, and a couple of his deliveries into the box deserved better pursuit.


Matt Miazga (7) — While the Anderlecht man ably handled all comers to the US defensive third, what most caught the eye about Miazga's outing was arguably his best night of passing out of the back in a US shirt. He wasn't breaking lines, he was flat out erasing them.


John Brooks (6) — Miazga's partner also passed positively, as you'd expect him to do, and made a few nice interventions around the US box in the second half. However, he also got burnt on a couple of dicey steps into midfield.


Antonee Robinson (5.5) — The young left back had his moments defensively, but a bad tracking lapse granted Wales their best chance of the night. Robinson was functional going forward without ever finding room for one of his fine crosses.


Tyler Adams (7) — The RB Leipzig gatekeeper was routinely stepped in to halt any Welsh ideas of a rush up the gut, especially in the first half. Adams also showed the maturity in his transition passing game on a few occasions.


Weston McKennie (6.5) — It was an excellent first half from the Juventus midfielder. McKennie was routinely available for the ball, and though not all of his passes came off, he drove play and served the best low cross of the night. His rating dropped a shade after the break, when he kept fanning out wide, which is not where his strength lies.


Yunus Musah (6.5) — The teen debutant impressed enough that one could easily see the possibilities of his talent. Musah excelled as a fast conduit through the middle, both on the dribble and with prompt passing decisions, and was a dogged nuisance when it came time to win the ball back. He also found some good positions in attack, but flubbed a few lines there.


Highlights: Wales 0, United States 0

Giovanni Reyna (5) — Another teenager getting his first cap, Reyna was a bit underwhelming on this night. Whenever he got the ball, his "processing speed" was unusually slow. This caused him to get his pocket picked from behind more than you'd like, and kept him from finding a killer pass around the Wales area.


Sebastian Lletget (5) — Horribly miscast as a center forward, Lletget looked like a guy horribly miscast as a center forward. A proper striker probably would have demonstrated more killer instinct on a couple of crosses into the money zone. There's not much else to say, but he did serve a few tempting restarts.


Konrad de la Fuente (4.5) — For me, the teenager simply doesn't look like he's ready for this level. The Barcelona prospect never challenged defenders and he fired wildly over when presented with a gift of a golden chance.


Coach Gregg Berhalter (5.5) — Let's start with the good stuff. Despite having a highly inexperienced squad that needed a lot of introductions before the game, they came out executing both the press and the resulting fast build game like it was a familiar routine. That is not an easy thing to do, and Berhalter deserves kudos on that point.


On the other hand, few things grind my gears more than ruining the formation by going without a real center forward when three of them are available. And the fact that the boss kept Lletget leading the line until the 79th minute when it was obviously hampering a game plan that looked great until it was time to strike is downright annoying. Big red mark for that. Let's not do that again.


Substitutes


Johnny Cardoso (6) — Though a few passes could have been shrewder, the defensive midfield debutant quickly showed that he's got a handle on his primary function. A "stick in the spokes" reach foiled Wales at the door the US area, and then he committed a well-chosen professional foul to cut short a potential counter.


Ulysses Llanez (6) — The young winger wasted no time looking to goal, forcing a decent save with a long-range drive. Aside from that, not much to report from his 19 minutes.


Timothy Weah (-) — Working 11 minutes will typically get one a grade here, but Weah never got an offensive touch. His biggest impact came tracking back to harass a Welsh ball carrier.


Nicholas Gioacchini (-) — See Weah above.


Owen Otawosie (-) — A mere cameo for the teen midfielder on his debut.


Reggie Cannon (-) — In just three minutes, the Boavista right back was more involved than the three guys directly above him combined. As you'd expect, he looked solid.