A different lineup against a different opponent featuring a much more forgiving style looked to favor the U.S. men's national team against Uruguay. The result was different too, as Jordan Morris' 79th-minute tally allowed the U.S. to secure a 1-1 draw in St. Louis.
LAFC's Brian Rodriguez scored the game's opening goal, finishing off a 50th-minute counterattack with a wicked strike past Brad Guzan. The U.S. didn't look capable of climbing back into the match, but in the 79th minute an attempted clearance from Jose Maria Gimenez caromed off Nick Lima and found Morris at the far post to chest home.
The U.S. looked much more fluid on the ball than it did against Mexico, linking passes and creating some decent opportunities in the first half. It must be said, however, that Uruguay's style of settling into a mid to low block suited the U.S. much better than Mexico's high-pressing from four days earlier. Jackson Yueill was basically allowed to operate as he wished and connected plenty of passes. Defensively, the U.S. was solid for the most part, although it did show some weakness in certain situations -- more on that in a bit. Of course, it helped that neither Luis Suarez nor Edinson Cavani were available.
The U.S. deserves credit for sticking to its task as well. Morris' goal was lucky, no doubt, but it will provide a bit of confidence ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League matches next month.
Defensively, the U.S. looked vulnerable in transition even before Rodriguez's goal, allowing Uruguay to cut through with relative ease. The goal was simply a case of Uruguay eventually making the home side pay.
In attack, the U.S. needs to be more ruthless with the chances it creates. Granted Fernando Muslera delivered some sharp saves, but the Americans need to do much better in this area. The U.S. also struggled to break down Uruguay as the match wore on, at least until a flurry of subs entered the match.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Given the way that the U.S. controlled matters in the first half, there was little to quibble about in terms of Gregg Berhalter's initial approach, especially given that the U.S. was shorn of seven starters that began the match last Friday against Mexico. The attack began to peter out for the U.S. as it struggled to create chances in the second half, but credit Berhalter for making some substitutions that tilted the match back toward the home side. Lima, in particular, provided a spark with some telling crosses.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Brad Guzan, 5 -- Did well to claim a loose ball at the feet of Jonathan Rodriguez early, but his fumble in the 23rd minute nearly gifted Matias Vecino a goal. Not much he could do about Rodriguez's strike given the power put behind it.
DF Sergino Dest, 6 -- Created some problems for Uruguay by pushing high up the field and then tucking inside. Forced a fingertip save from Muslera in the 39th minute. Did get beaten by Rodriguez on one foray in the second half, but more good than bad. The question now is will he accept a call-up for the CONCACAF Nations League that will cap-tie him to the U.S.?
DF Tim Ream, 8 -- Impeccable distribution from Ream, who came to Guzan's rescue to block Vecino's aforementioned shot. Overall, an impressive homecoming from the St. Louis native.
DF Aaron Long, 4 -- Was a bit careless with his distribution at times and got absolutely eaten alive by Rodriguez for Uruguay's goal. Yes, Rodriguez's strike was quality, but Long needed to do much better.
DF Reggie Cannon, 6 -- Provided more of a stay-at-home presence than Dest, but held up well defensively. Had a perfect night (23 completed passes from 23 attempts) on the ball.
MF Cristian Roldan, 5 -- Nearly put the U.S. in front with an 11th-minute header, only to be denied by Muslera. Labored a bit in the second half and was outmuscled in the sequence leading up to Uruguay's goal. Needed to win the ball or commit a foul and he did neither.
MF Jackson Yueill, 7 -- Did plenty to link defense to attack by hitting diagonal balls into the attacking third, usually to Morris. Wasn't really tested defensively but did his job. Only complaint is that some of his set-piece deliveries left a bit to be desired.
MF Sebastian Lletget, 6 -- Created a solid chance for Roldan in the first half, and was plenty involved in the U.S. attack during the first half. Faded a bit as the game went on in terms of his influence, although he was sharp on the ball.
FW Tyler Boyd, 4 -- He'll be having nightmares about his miss in the 22nd minute, when he somehow contrived to put his shot over the bar when on the doorstep. He barely got on the ball in the first half, although some of that was due to the U.S. team's success on the left flank. His game picked up after halftime, but a subpar performance overall.
FW Josh Sargent, 6 -- Provided some slick holdup play after dropping deeper into midfield, and should have won a penalty only for the referee to ignore a handball late in the first half by Gimenez. Didn't get much in the way of service in the second half.
FW Jordan Morris, 8 -- A near constant threat on the left wing, and should have had an assist on the opportunity he created for Boyd. Sure, his goal had an element of luck to it, but he'll take it, and it was just reward for his hard work.
DF Miles Robinson, 6 -- Was called into action immediately, and made some vital interventions.
FW Gyasi Zardes, N/R -- Threatened with a few runs, and did get one shot off, but not that impactful.
DF Nick Lima, N/R -- Made an immediate impact with some telling crosses, and helped keep the play alive in the run-up to Morris' goal.
MF Paxton Pomykal, N/R -- Had one driving run in the 88th minute that put the Uruguay defense under pressure.
DF Daniel Lovitz, N/R -- Settled in at left back, although he mostly stayed home given Lima's forays forward.