The U.S. men's national team's limped to a nightmare 2-0 defeat at Canada in CONCACAF Nations League action on Tuesday night in Toronto in which Gregg Berhalter's team was overwhelmed in every aspect.
Canada had not beaten the U.S. since 1985 and the hunger to change history showed in every way at BMO Field. The U.S. was second to almost every loose ball and came out on the losing end of many a 50-50 chance.
The two losses to Mexico earlier this year certainly raised concerns, and now this abject performance will sound the alarms that World Cup qualifying for Qatar 2022 will be fraught with problems.
Zack Steffen. That's the only one. Steffen left no doubt that he is the goalkeeper of choice for the U.S., with his stop of a Jonathan David shot from point-blank range the jewel of his performance on the night, plus a similarly excellent save on David in the second half after another poor U.S. giveaway.
How much time do you have? The U.S. put forth as poor a performance as one will ever see, evoking memories of Jurgen Klinsmann's nadir in Costa Rica in late 2016.
They were slow, disjointed, lacked urgency and failed to put any pressure at all on the Canadian defense. Too often Christian Pulisic was left to go against up to four players, with none of the attacking players offering much in the way of support.
Things were just as shaky in the back, with a slew of giveaways and overall sloppy play. The pace of the Canadian attack made U.S. fans hold their breath anytime Alphonso Davies and David looked to make a run and all those things culminated in Davies' goal in the 63rd minute when giveaways from Michael Bradley and Tim Ream, plus DeAndre Yedlin failing to track back allowed the Bayern Munich man to score.
Alphonso Davies nets the breakthrough for Canada
CONCACAF Nations League: Alphonso Davies (63') Canada 1-0 United States
Manager rating out of 10
1 -- It was a surprise to see Berhalter not set up his team to come out and press the Canada center back tandem that was considered its weak point. The Canadian defense was hardly troubled, while at the other end the decision to start Daniel Lovitz was apparently warmly welcomed by the hosts, with the large majority of the Canadian attack coming down that flank. The U.S. failed to adjust to Canada's switch to move Davies central after the injury to Mark-Anthony Kaye but most concerning was to see Berhalter's team play with zero urgency even though it was down only a goal.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Zack Steffen, 8 -- The man of the match for the U.S. Made an unbelievable save on David's shot from point-blank range in the first half, before repeating the feat in the second half amid the same circumstances. Without question, he is the No. 1 goalkeeper for the national team.
DF DeAndre Yedlin, 2 -- Rarely got to show his speed in pushing forward on the right flank, contributing to the U.S. struggles going forward. Also failed to get back on the Davies goal and had his fair share of lost balls.
DF Aaron Long, 3 -- He did have some key interventions to prevent David and Davies from going in on goal, but gift-wrapped a chance to David in the second half after failing to deal with a simple flicked back header. Also flat-footed on Lucas Cavallini's late goal.
DF Tim Ream, 2 -- Had the tough task of going up against Davies and got scorched on a particular play in the first half. Paid dearly for a poor clearance that led to the Davies goal and failed to close down on the Cavallini goal.
DF Daniel Lovitz, 2 -- Was targeted by the Canadian attack. Didn't even come close to pushing upfield in attack. Too many giveaways and was too slow to pressure when Canada bore down in attack.
MF Michael Bradley, 3 -- A tough night for Bradley. He made the mistake that ultimately led to the Ream giveaway and the Canada goal. There were other giveaways as well and little passing to move things forward.
MF Cristian Roldan, 2 -- Was lucky that his early first-half giveaway to Jonathan David went unpunished. So many lost balls, which you simply can't have from someone playing his position in midfield.
MF Weston McKennie, 3 -- It is hard for the U.S. to function at any type of level if McKennie is untidy in possession and that was the case Tuesday with the Schalke man. Passes were either too heavy or too soft.
FW Christian Pulisic, 2 -- Another frustrating night. Lost possession several times when trying to start a U.S. break and failed to finish the best U.S. chance. The fact that he was yanked off at the hour mark spoke volumes. Just 11 completed passes.
FW Josh Sargent, 2 -- Anonymous mostly. Had just a few touches. Had a really bad giveaway that led to a Canada break and too soft a ball when trying to lay off Jordan Morris.
FW Jordan Morris, 4 -- The best field player for the U.S., which isn't exactly saying much. He did create the best scoring chance for the U.S. by doing well to haul in a long ball to set up Pulisic's shot.
MF Paul Arriola, 3 -- Came on for Pulisic at the hour mark, much to everyone's surprise, but like everyone else in a white shirt, did nothing to stir the Canadian defense.
FW Gyasi Zardes, NR -- Came on for Roldan in the 73rd minute but failed to make a difference.
DF Nick Lima, NR -- Replaced Yedlin in the 74th minute and did little.