Bobby Wood scores from the penalty spot to give Dave Sarachan his first victory as USA manager, beating Paraguay 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Tuesday.
The USA edged past South American strugglers Paraguay, courtesy of a Bobby Wood penalty right before the end of the first half. Paraguay did try to find a way to score an equaliser in the second half, but the US defence was there to protect their slender lead to finish the game without conceding a goal.
The USA, however, under Dave Sarachan fielded an inexperienced, experimental squad against the South Americans. This move marked their entry into a new era with youth as a forefront for a team which is tasked with putting their disappointing World Cup qualification campaign behind and qualify for the 2022 edition.
Paraguay, like the USA, are in a transition phase of their own as they too left many of their experienced and seasoned stars behind to field a largely younger team on Tuesday. The South Americans, however, failed with their tasks as they were downed by a solitary Wood goal to give the USA the victory. Here are the player ratings from the game.
Zack Steffen – 7
A good outing for the Steffen who has been on a consistent run of form since returning to the MLS from Europe last season.
DeAndre Yedlin – 7
A solid outing from Yedlin who was playing in his 50th game for the national team. Good defending saw him help his side to a clean sheet.
Matt Miazga – 7
The central figure at the heart of the USA defence. Won many balls in the air and kept the backline tight for most parts of the game.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 6.5
Forged an excellent central defensive partnership with Miazga and like his partner won a lot of balls in the air. Dealt with whatever was thrown at him.
Jorge Villafana – 6.5
Limited Almiron’s threat to a great extent and was a lethal force in the final third in the first half. Waded off from his attacking play later on, but was solid in defence.
Will Trapp – 7.5
A splendid performance from USA’s holding midfielder. Kept things in midfield under his control without letting too much room for the opposition to carry out their attacks.
Darlington Nagbe – 6
An average performance from the midfielder. Apart from a good few attacking runs kept things quiet.
Marky Delgado – 7
A very composed performance from the young star. His delightful ball for Tyler Adams resulted in the USA winning the decisive penalty.
Tyler Adams – 8
The man of the match for the night. Adams was always available when the USA attacked the ball and proved to be a lethal force for the Paraguayan defence. He won the penalty which Wood scored to win the game.
Kenny Saief – 6
Deployed on the left, Saief provided a dangerous outlet, keeping the Paraguay defence busy with his darting runs.
Bobby Wood – 7
USA’s match-winner, as he scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot right before half-time. Worked hard all throughout the game and was taken off when USA were more focused on defending their lead than scoring more.
Roberto Fernandez – 6
Did enough to square off any potential attacks in the box. Decent in the air. Could do little to save Wood’s penalty.
Junio Alonso – 5
Unimpressive in defence, but will have gained some much-needed experience from the outing.
Fabian Balbuena – 5
Kept the defence tight as much as possible, but could not contribute enough from set pieces.
Gustavo Gomez – 5.5
Kept the the USA attackers at bay as much as possible. Did enough to not concede any goal from open play.
Bruno Valdez – 5.5
A good outing for Valdez, who used his experience and nous well, especially in the final third.
Cristian Riveros – 5.5
Could not make his experience count, and will be disappointed with the loss in what was his 100th outing for Paraguay.
Rodrigo Rojas – 5
Showed glimpses of his best in attack, but the USA midfielders took control of his area, stifling him to a great extent.
Nestor Camacho – 5
Camacho was far from his best, and needs to improve his game if he is to compete against stronger oppositions.
Miguel Almiron – 5.5
Showed glimpses of what he could be capable of, but ultimately lost his battle against Villafana.
Oscar Romero – 4
Was deprived of service from the midfielders and squandered the opportunities, when presented with some half chances.
Federico Santander – 5
Not the performance one would expect of him, but was right on the ball at times, although he failed to create any clear-cut chances to score.