The young Nats had far more trouble running their game plan against the firmer opposition provided by an Ireland side holding a huge experience advantage. Bobby Wood opportunistically put the visitors up on the edge of halftime, but they acquiesced control of play in the second half and were eventually punished for it near full time.
With nothing at stake from the result, we can safely consider the contest a lesson for the kids.
Bill Hamid (3.5) – Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he's mostly watched from the bench since moving to FC Midtjylland in January, but Hamid had some obvious struggles commanding his area. His weak attempt at tracking down a serve into the box effectively teed up Ireland's equalizer.
DeAndre Yedlin (4.5) – Though he offered some positive attack work in the opening half-hour, Yedlin virtually disappeared on the ball from there. It wasn't any better on the defensive end, where the Newcastle man had repeated troubles in his corner and gave up a danger free kick while helping in the middle due to wild tackling form.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (5.5) – The young center back was uneasy on the ball throughout his hour of work, but did bring a foreboding presence to his side of the box.
Matt Miazga (5) – It was a tale of two halves for the Chelsea defender, who ably cleared danger at the back and notched a flick-on assist before the break. Miazga was much busier after intermission, and some mistakes followed. Though he worked his way up to 10 clearances, it mattered not when he was skinned alive in the box on Ireland's winner.
Jorge Villafaña (5) – It was not a great night for the left back. He was either safe (in both the good and bad sense) or loose with the ball and did not have enough impact defensively.
Wil Trapp (5) – The Columbus Crew SC skipper was solid enough on the ball for his role, but it became progressively easier for the home side to knock on the gate to the defense as the game went on. The question of whether Trapp can provide enough steel to play defensive midfield at this level remains wide open.
Tyler Adams (5) – The New York Red Bulls ace had his stray moments of excellence on both sides of the ball, but his influence vanished for long stretches. Aside from a worthy set-up move near the hour, Adams was often invisible after the break.
Weston McKennie (4) – The best of McKennie's attributes went missing for most of the night. He wasn't standing Ireland up in midfield, had too many cheap giveaways and wasn't breaking the lines with his usually incisive passing game.
Timothy Weah (5.5) – The pacy winger ate ground on the rush without truly threatening goal during the opening frame. Weah faded badly after the interval, yet managed to find his best chance of the night – which he promptly missed high. As with all the youngsters listed, there should be better nights ahead.
Rubio Rubin (5) – The Tijuana attacker suffered for the lack of flank push provided by Villafana. That was just part of the recipe for his overly bland showing.
Bobby Wood (6) – Getting straight to the point, Wood's nice ninja attack tally brought his grade up to average. You've heard of scoring against the run of play? Well, this goal was against the run of the performance, which largely lacked his usual defender-disturbing runs.
Coach Dave Sarachan (5.5) – I'm not going to be too hard on the coach for this one. This game was always going to be a challenge for his green side. There shouldn't be too much griping over his lineup or subs, but it might have been nice to shift tactics when the game was getting away from them during a tough second half.
Tim Parker (6) – It was not an entirely clean shift from the Red Bulls center back, but he gets a passing grade for his debut. Parker racked up nine total defensive stops in just a half-hour.
Shaq Moore (6) – The Levante right back showed that a) his physical skills are promising & b) plenty of polish is still needed.
Josh Sargent (5.5) – The teen striker certainly didn't do anything egregious, but he also was unable to find the right runs and receiving spots to unsettle Ireland's defense.
Luca de la Torre (6) – The debutant pitched in with a few nice link passes and a few defensive actions in 13 minutes of play. It's too bad he wasn't getting much help on the left side.
Joe Corona (-) – Only a few game incidents for the midfielder in a 10-minute cameo.