The USMNT gear up the 2020 Olympics playing a youthful side against Costa Rica.
The USMNT started off 2020 with a 1-0 victory over CONCACAF rivals Costa Rica Saturday afternoon in Carson, California. 18 year-old winger Uly Llanez confidently stepped up to finish from the penalty spot after Reggie Cannon earned the penalty kick. The young American side controlled the ball for much of the game against the more experienced Ticos side although Costa Rica was occasionally dangerous on the counter.
Here are the USMNT player ratings vs Costa Rica.
USMNT Player Ratings vs Costa Rica
Gregg Berhalter (6) – Gets points for giving youth a chance. Berhalter had the team pressing fairly effectively. Overreliance on playing out the back nearly cost the team but a February friendly is probably the place to work on things.
Sean Johnson (5) – Was saved by the post on one occasion. Nearly gifted a goal on a poor pass out of the back on what appeared to be a set play. Handled what little he had to otherwise
Reggie Cannon (7) – Won the penalty on a good attacking run and was composed defensively. The Dallas defender continues to grow as an international.
Aaron Long (6) – Strong in the air, came close to scoring from a corner kick on a header. Solid defensively. good performance after the disappointment of missing out again on a desired European move.
Walker Zimmerman (6) – Like Long, dominant in the air. Nearly scored on a couple of second half headers. Zimmerman also delivered some useful long diagonal balls to unsettle the Costa Rican defense.
Sam Vines (6) – Not overly troubled defensively by the oddly passive Ticos attack Vines took advantage of that freedom to combine well with Uly Llanez and to deliver some good crosses. Earned his first cap.
Jackson Yuiell (5) – With Michael Bradley out longterm Yuiell was looking to “Stake his Claim” as the # says. Did he? Not really. The San Jose player was solid without standing out. Earned his first cap.
Sebastian Lletget (6) – Nearly scored with the last kick of the opening half, distributed well and gave a stabilizing performance surrounded by his young teammates.
Brenden Aaronson (5) – Quiet early, delivered some probing passes and had one nice run as he grew into the game. Earned his first cap.
Paul Arriola (5) – Sent Cannon in for penalty winning foul, otherwise Arriloa did what Arriola does. He worked his socks at both ends BUT he failed to finish a couple of very good chances.
Jesus Ferreria (6) – Very good combining in tight spaces. Was an effective target man, receiving ball and laying on some good passes. Earned his first cap.
Ulysses Llanez (8) – Scored from the penalty spot in his full USMNT debut. Although he could be sited for overdribbling on occasion, Llanez was creative and dangerous throughout. Man of the Match while earning his first cap.
Gyasi Zardes (6) – 62 minute. Zardes was good in his half an hour or so and even had the ball in the net on a fine header. The goal was overturned for offside but the Columbus Crew man did his job.
Mark McKenzie (5) – The 20 year old Philadelphia Union defender helped the U.S, hold the fort as Costa Rica made a late push. Earned his first cap.
Jonathan Lewis (4) – Lewis saw little of the ball in his 17 minutes, although the winger did his bit to help protect the lead.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Uly Llanez was inventive, dangerous, and effective and showed confidence when he stepped up to claim and convert the U.S. penalty kick just after half time.
Here’s hoping his bosses back in Wolfsburg were watching.