The home side gave their opponents precious little room to maneuver through midfield and turned steals into solid team-building exercises all night long. They were unable to pull the right levers in the final third, but made a 45th-minute Bobby Wood penalty-kick strike stand up without too much great fuss.
Zack Steffen (6) — The netminder didn't have a whole lot to do, and most of his tasks were pretty straightforward. Steffen's most important action came when he rejected a last-ditch restart shot. Unfortunately, he also endured a nervy distribution moment for the second straight US game.
DeAndre Yedlin (5.5) — It was an oddly quiet night for the Newcastle right back at both ends, especially in the first half. Yedlin was often sloppy with the ball when venturing forward. He did make a helpful nudge-away-from-trouble maneuver during a late set-piece scramble.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (5) — The Ipswich Town loan defender easily had the most uneasy night. A too-gentle back pass caused some early stress, and he'd later lose a battle at the top of the area in a clumsy fashion. For the time being, Carter-Vickers may be best suited at this level as the middle man in a three-man back line.
Matt Miazga defends vs. Federico Santander | USA Today Sports Images
Matt Miazga (7.5) — On the other hand, the Vitesse marshal was largely as cool as you'd like. Among his 10 total defensive stops in and around the US area, Miazga squelched dribble drives, turned away crosses, stepped into lanes and came up with a couple of important shot blocks. The only real blemish was a poor giveaway, and part of the blame lies with Steffen for putting him in dutch.
Jorge Villafaña (6.5) — Though the left back's crosses were often imprecise, he was clearly dedicated to getting forward and repeatedly aided possession with shrewd moves. It was a mixed bag defensively for Villafaña. His most notable error involved losing a late back-post mark, but his best work soon followed when he ushered trouble away from the aforementioned restart scramble.
Wil Trapp (7) — While the night's skipper has certainly passed better across games, he still supplied enough fuel for moves forward. What really made the 4-1-4-1 set hum, though, was Trapp's wise control of the region between the home area and the midfield stripe. Thirteen of his 17 defensive plays came in this section, and all 12 of his positive passes out of it occurred prior to the US goal.
Darlington Nagbe(7) — The Atlanta United traffic director was moved wide right for this US cap, and he made it work. Nagbe routinely helped the team creep forward, and sprinkled in some key one-man pressure valve moves.
Marky Delgado (7) — The early phase of the game was bumpy for Delgado, who flubbed a couple of important rush passes into the final third. The Toronto FC midfielder soon grew into the game, however, and ended up providing plenty of the measured press-and-link work from his MLS portfolio. His shining moment came on the diabolical through ball that led to the winning spot kick.
Tyler Adams(7.5) — Plain and simple, Adams is a professional nuisance. If he's not picking a pocket or shutting off an attack avenue, he's probably exploiting space with a selective surge forward. That's precisely what happened when he teed up the penalty winner by racing free on Delgado's needle-threader.
Kenny Saief (7) — It was an excellent outing for the Anderlecht man, who showed an array of build-up skills. Obviously cozy comfy on the ball, Saief was a mighty handful across several attack lanes throughout his 67 minutes. He also surprised by piling up 11 defensive stops, largely from the pressure game. More, please.
Bobby Wood (6.5) — The Hamburg forward was an early spark, but fell quiet as the first half progressed due to some bad hold-up touches and teammates failing to reward a couple of excellent runs behind. Wood coolly buried his spot kick chance ahead of the break, before fading again after intermission.
Coach Dave Sarachan (6.5) — The interim boss' grade get stretched and pulled in both directions by several factors. It's easy to question how much can truly be gleaned from a formation likely to be a faint memory by the time the US plays a competitive match, and it was highly annoying to see only two subs get so many as 13 minutes after Sarachan vowed to properly use all six.
That said, it was a very well-drilled 4-1-4-1. The Nats effectively bottled up Paraguay's danger guys, caused threatening turnovers, re-organized into shape calmly and worked the ball to the final third with great ease.
Rubio Rubin (6) — It took a few times on the ball for Rubin to find any space, but he did play one terrific switching ball to help set up a danger free kick.
Andrija Novakavich (6) — The striker had one noteworthy action, as he raced loose late to display his surprising wheels. The Telstar loan ace probably should have given up the fast-break shot, though.
Timothy Weah (6) — Though he only enjoyed a few touches, the PSG youngster quickly showed he was a game debutant.
Christian Roldan(-) — No need to rate the stoppage-time entrant.