The US men’s team held, to be honest, the kind of World Cup that we expected in Qatar this winter.
Gregg Berhalter’s Yankees made it out of the group stage before losing to an excellent program in the Round of 16, putting on a game that was always energetic, at times naive, and in no way did the USMNT’s reputation a disservice.
But the devil is in the details, and the federation will have to figure out not if the team could have done better this month, but if they should have done better.
[ MORE: Christian Pulisic reaction | Gregg Berhalter reaction ]
There were absolute successes, such as how the team got better in each successive group stage game. And how its stars – Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams – basically used their talents to the best of their ability. Sergino Desta, Anthony Robinson, Tim Rome and Tim Weah may have had the best periods in USMNT’s career. It’s all real.
But there were also pitfalls. In the second half of the tournament, opening the tournament with a 1–1 draw, the timid side occasionally defeated weak Wales. Weston McKenny was uneven and missed several chances to put the US ahead against England. And the rotation that Berhalter talked about so often during qualifying was almost non-existent, leaving the team looking ready and almost burned out during the final tournament against the Netherlands.
What does all this mean for the program? It’s up to the powers that be, but we’ll let you know how we think each player performed in terms of minutes played in Qatar. And maybe, as an aside, we can stop worrying about “changing the way the world sees American football” and just worry about real results.
US Player Ratings of 10: How did USMNT perform at the World Cup?
Shawn Johnson: no data (0 minutes)
Ethan Horvat: no data (0 minutes)
Joe Scully: no data (0 minutes) What could this team have done against the Netherlands by giving Dest and Robinson a little more rest? Berhalter clearly didn’t think they could get the knockout without them, and they were great. But by the end of the game, they were dead too, and Scully’s game for the club meant that he might well have made his way to the substitution table.
Aaron Long: no data (0 mins) – Glad he made it to the World Cup and a bit surprised that Berhalter didn’t include him instead of CCV against Iran (it was a good decision, just unexpected).
Christian Roldan: no data (0 minutes)
Jordan Morris: no data (14 minutes)
Shaq Moore: no data (20 minutes)
DeAndre Yedlin: N/A (31 minutes)
Acosta Kelly: no data (40 minutes)
Jesus Ferreira: no data (45 minutes) – It would be cruel to rate Ferreira for his 45-minute match against the Netherlands, as he was asked to lead the centre-forward line on his World Cup debut in what will be his first match in front of a crowd. since his season with Dallas ended on October 24. Can Ferreira rise above or join with Hadji Wright, Josh Sargent, Jordan Pefok, Ricardo Pepi and a host of new faces to make him two World Cup squads? His MLS career gave him the foundation to do so.
Giovanni Reina: no data (57 minutes) – The tournament required a combination player like Reina (or Aaronsohn), but Berhalter felt he was getting enough from Tim Weah and the alternating centre-forwards, as well as Brenden Aaronsohn from the bench. It’s a pity we’ll have to wonder if he could have done something when Wales insisted on an equalizer and looked undefended in the first leg, or started with Weah at the center of the striker against the Dutch. If Gregg Berkhalter remains in charge – and who knows if the coach is interested in this? – he has a huge task ahead of him – to earn again the trust of a player who should become an important player of the Pulisic level in 2026, if he has not already done so.
Cameron Carter-Vickers: 7 (90 minutes) – The Celtic star did what he was asked to do in the Iran game: hold and move the ball, intimidating someone from time to time. It will be interesting to see if the new manager values the big defender more than Berhalter does, as CCV was one of Celtic’s Player of the Season candidates in their SPL last season.
Brenden Aaronson: 6.5 (105 minutes) – The Leeds man wasn’t bad at all. You can understand why Berhalter values him as a super substitute, but Aaronson also feels like a player who has to tease opponents at the first whistle. He is a card magician. Could he be one of two Aaronsons on the 2026 team?
Hadji Wright: 6.5 (135 minutes) – The Antalyaspor center has had good and bad moments, the best of which was clearly his goal of bringing the Yankees into one game against the Netherlands. What’s in store for 24-year-old Wright’s program in the future? You could see him start four more years or go even further back on the radar, but let’s take a look at the big, strong young man who went from the LA Galaxy academy to the New York Cosmos, to Schalke, to four other European clubs, to qualify for the World Cup. .
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) December 3, 2022
Josh Sargent: 6.5 (163 minutes) – Argument here if you will: Sargent is better off running like a maniac in Norwich City and either helping wreak havoc with the Teemu Pukki type or doing the dirty work for Milot Rashiki. But Sargent has shown himself to be a worthy striker for the USMNT, and he is definitely maturing with club and international play. It is likely that he will start against the Netherlands if not for an ankle injury that has hampered him all week. Where will he (and Norwich) be when 2026 hits planet Earth?
Weston McKenny: 6 (275 minutes) – The eternal “what if” questions of the tournament will be how the round of 16 game would have turned out if Pulisic had buried his chance in the 3rd minute, and how a 0-0 draw might have affected with England. would have ended if McKenny hadn’t converted two chances, including an early one that was close to “gimme” status. McKenny has at times been the heart and engine of the team. His passion seeps into the room and onto the pitch. But his fitness and wit kept him from getting above average, and the Yankees may not have been able to win the group.
Walker Zimmerman: 7 (278 minutes) – Yes, the penalty missed by Gareth Bale was bad. But Zimmerman has shone on the big stages at every stage of his career since running the Dallas back line alongside Matt Hedges. His 15 clearances – what he was there for – are in the top 20 of the tournament, and his 13 completed long balls show just how far he’s come since he started playing in MLS.
Sergino Dest: 7 (309 minutes) – Again, let’s not let the recent prejudice about his very poor defense against his home country, the Dutch, obscure the sensational group stage. Dest had two of his best games in the USA jersey against England and Iran, keeping the talented flanks honest while also holding them back. He finished just ahead of Robinson and Musa with the most successful dribbles on the team with five.
Christian Pulisic: 8 (315 minutes) – Pennsylvanian Pulisic, who committed an almost absurd 11 fouls in 315 minutes, earned his moments in the sun and paid for them with a visit to the hospital to treat a bruised pelvis. Pulisic will regret the Dutch deflection in the third minute, but he had a hand in three of the Yankees’ goals that the checks indicate were theirs. Led the team in goals, assists and key assists, second only to Adams in won duels.
— Nicholas Mendola (@NicholasMendola) December 3, 2022
Timothy Weah: 7 (320 minutes) – If Weah had played as a centre-forward, we might have had to punish him for not converting some difficult chances. But the Lille winger, often used by Paulo Fonseca as a right mid, was explosive, and his goal against Wales was one of the best in recent USMNT memory. Weah was especially accurate in passing for the winger, and his work on the right flank worked just fine with Dest, giving left-backs a huge amount of headaches.
Yunus Musakh: 7.5 (345 minutes) – Ran out of gas towards the end of the Netherlands slope, yes. But has any player done more for his transfer value in this tournament than Musa? The Valencia player will certainly impress clubs in his native England as his passing was exceptional and he also made eight tackles. By the way, he left his youth in the middle of the tournament. We can see it for another three World Cup cycles.
Anthony Robinson: 8 (359 minutes) Readers will have a hard time seeing this article up close…