The US men's national team showed no signs of a Nations League title hangover, calmly strolling to a 4-0 friendly win over Costa Rica at Rio Tinto on Wednesday night.
Brenden Aaronson put the home side up early, and they never looked back. Even with the odd lull in their technical play, the Nats gave up little and buried big chances to post a comfy celebration win.
United States Men's National Team Player Ratings
The netminder was rarely put under real duress, but handled area command business when needed. We'll let a couple weak distribution episodes slide.
The Boavista man put on a clinic in choosing when to bomb forward. He opened space for teammates with his run into the final third, and then eventually took a lane himself to lash home a fine first international goal.
It was a redemption effort for the former Philly Union center back, even with a bad danger free kick concession late in his 45 minutes. McKenzie made some heady plays at the back and capped his outing by sending Daryl Dike through for the US second. Simply picking out that pass was even better than the execution.
The veteran defender also picked his game back up after a spotty Mexico showing. Ream was made to scramble a bit on occasion, but he got the jobs done.
The left back was quiet going forward, but his entry pass did lead to the opening goal. Robinson certainly wasn't flawless in his own end, but pursued well and made the job difficult for any Ticos who entered his corner. He does take a demerit for the stray pass that set the visitors running at the US area.
Having the RB Leipzig spark plug on the field is calming. With one exception, Adams always seemed to know the way out of the US end, even if it took a twist and a turn to guide the team loose.
It was a slightly subdued, but no less impressive display from the teen midfielder, who was more facilitator than flash in this one. I'll refrain from docking him for the agonizing early second half miss in front of goal, as Dike's toenail touch threw off his timing.
The Ligue 1 champ was making all sorts of noise in the first half, but got quieter after the break when Costa Rica started getting rough with him. During that impressive opening frame, Weah again showed that he's as capable of threatening goal as he is of putting teammates into scoring position.
The Orlando City power forward plowed the road for the first US goal. Then, in a demonstration of how patience exudes confidence, he bagged the second running free. There was a heavy receiving touch here or there, but Dike's star continues to rise.
The Red Bull Salzburg attacker is certainly making a habit of capitalistic finishes where he almost seems ahead of the play. Scoring the goal makes it easier to look past a later missed chance he'd surely love to have back. Like Weah, Aaronson mostly cooled off after intermission. The exception was exceptional, though, as he somehow wiggled through a maze of defense to set up a prime chance.
Switching back to the usual 4-3-3 paid off, as did the decision to let his center backs rally from a tough performance the other night. And once again, the team made it clear that they're out there playing for each other.
The Nashville SC stopper was tidy, but unspectacular. As usual, Zimmerman aced his aerial exams.
We've seen the San Jose ace pinging immaculate diagonals to the wing in a US shirt. Recently, we've seen Yueill buckle down when it comes to protecting the back line. In this game, we saw him do both on the same night. He was so strong over most of his 28 minutes, one can almost forgive his being caught flat-footed by the aforementioned Robinson gaffe.
The strike sub had trouble connecting to the game before suffering an unfortunate late injury.
So... does anyone else enjoy watching this 18-year-old deposit a spot kick so nonchalantly mere seconds after entering the game?
The Colorado Rapids midfielder wasn't involved in much of the garbage time action.
A mere cameo for the Barcelona talent.