The U.S. men’s national team concluded their October friendlies with a convincing 4-0 win over Ghana after falling to Germany 3-1 last Saturday. Relative improvements and matches against these types of opponents need to be played regularly as preparations for Copa America and the 2026 World Cup, which are approaching soon. We’ve seen both positives and negatives and plenty of lessons to be learned, which is the whole point of these friendlies.
USMNT MATCH RATINGS FOR OCTOBER FRIENDLIES
Ethan Horvath (N/A):
Horvath didn’t play a single minute.
Matt Turner (8.5/10):
Despite conceding three against Germany, Turner is one player who can keep his head held high, as the scoreline could’ve been a lot worse if it weren’t for some of his saves. The Nottingham Forest keeper had a quiet Tuesday night against Ghana as the Black Stars hardly tested him, barring that one Kudus chance that forced the former Arsenal keeper to make a save.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (7/10):
CCV was subbed on in the second half of both friendlies, picking up 43 minutes and put in a decent shift in both. He’s, of course, only just come back from injury, and it’s evident that Berhalter and his staff didn’t want to further aggravate the injury. A very solid center-back option, and he will look to keep this momentum going for Celtic in Scotland.
Sergiño Dest (6.5/10):
Dest was part of that very shaky defense against Germany and made plenty of mistakes playing at left-back, similar to where he plays at his new club, PSV. Dest started once again against Ghana, playing as the right back, and was playing with a swagger. He can be suspect defensively, but you can’t deny his threat in attack.
DeJuan Jones (N/A):
The NE Revs fullback was an unused substitute in both October friendly matches.
Kristoffer Lund (7/10):
After not appearing in the match against Germany, Lund started and played the full 90 minutes against Ghana, solidifying his position as the No.2 left-back. Antonee Robinson was, of course, missing in this month’s camp, and Lund needed to make a statement given the opportunity. He was given that chance on Tuesday night and delivered.
Tim Ream (5.5/10):
The Fulham captain only played in the horrid match against Germany, so that’s unfortunate that we’ll have to look at. He was caught ball watching several times, and to his defense, he wasn’t alone. Not a great evening for the USMNT veteran.
Chris Richards (6/10):
Richards was Ream’s center-back partner and there were plenty of instances of communication and/or lapses in concentration. The Crystal Palace defender was given another chance against Ghana and didn’t have much to do, as Ghana weren’t as threatening.
Miles Robinson (6.5/10):
The Atlanta United defender didn’t feature against the Germans, but was partnered with Richards at center-back against the Ghanaians. Just like Richards, he didn’t have much on his plate and it was a relatively easy night.
Joe Scally (5.5/10):
The BMG right-back played the full 90 minutes against Germany, and it’s fair to say it wasn’t his best performance. It’s very hard to defend players of the caliber of Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, and Florian Wirtz. Going forward was also a bit of an issue, but you can also question the structure of the team.
Johnny Cardoso (7/10):
Cardoso came off the bench against Germany and started the game against Ghana, accumulating a total of 81 minutes. He played exceptionally well against Ghana, holding the midfield alongside Musah and giving Mckennie some rest. The Internacional defensive midfielder performed admirably in playing out from the back and distributing passes, suggesting he’s more than just a destroyer in the middle.
Luca de la Torre (6.5/10):
LDLT played the first half against Germany and featured for the remaining 15 minutes against Ghana. The Celta Vigo midfielder looked decent in both appearances, but some wished Berhalter had experimented with the 25-year-old in the ‘Reyna role’ just above the double pivot.
Lennard Maloney (N/A):
The only debutant in this camp, marking the 60th debut made under the Berhalter era. The Heidenheim player only featured for 25 minutes against Ghana, coming on for Johnny Cardoso when the game seemed to have died out. He didn’t have to do much, so it’s hard to give him a score.
Weston McKennie (7/10):
Despite losing to Germany, I thought Mckennie’s performance was one of the bright spots. He created several chances and made crucial blocks, especially in the first half. A proper box-to-box player, and you can say he was let down. The Juventus midfielder came on at halftime against Ghana and once again showed his quality. He was very unfortunate not to score on one opportunity.
Yunus Musah (6.5/10):
We’ve seen better performances from the new AC Milan midfielder. The former Valencia defensive midfielder started in both friendlies and was seemingly the second-best of both double pivot partners, behind Mckennie and Cardoso, respectively. That is not to say he was poor; it’s just that the other two impressed more. Musah is developing very well as a deep-lying midfielder and at his age, he’s only going to get better.
Gio Reyna (10/10):
Easily the best player on the pitch on both occasions. The BVB attacking midfielder played the first 45 minutes against Germany, which saw glimpses of attacking brilliance from the U.S., but the moment he was taken off the pitch, everyone’s performances seemingly dropped. The same can be said in the game against Ghana, where he bagged a brace and was taken off at halftime. The performances of others dropped, and no goals were scored after. Reyna recently recovered from a leg injury sustained at the CONCACAF Nations League final win against Canada, which saw him on the sideline for Dortmund games and a September camp call-up. Now that he’s back up to scratch and all of the drama behind him, it’s time to pick up some minutes for his club in Germany.
Alex Zendejas (N/A):
Zendejas was called up after Tillman returned to PSV following an injury. The Club America winger did not come off the bench in either of the matches against Germany or Ghana.
Brenden Aaronson (5.5/10):
Aaronson accumulated a total of 70 minutes from both friendly matches and injected some energy into the front line, but apart from that, there was nothing notable to highlight.
Folarin Balogun (7.5/10):
A goal and an assist this international break for the Monaco striker. He helped set up Pulisic’s goal against Germany and bagged one for himself against Ghana. The Arsenal academy graduate also indirectly assisted Reyna’s first goal, if it weren’t for a Ghanaian interfering with the pass.
Kevin Paredes (N/A):
The Wolfsburg player only played for 15 minutes, and all of those minutes came from a cameo against Germany. The game had died down in those late stages and there was nothing notable to mention.
Ricardo Pepi (5.5/10):
The PSV striker played for 69 minutes across the two friendly matches and didn’t take a single shot. Pepi is usually a super sub, as seen with the national team and recently with PSV, and he was very quiet in those cameos. It also doesn’t help that he hasn’t received much service.
Christian Pulisic (8.5/10):
The USMNT captain certainly brought his shooting boots with him from Milan as he netted two goals this camp. A phenomenal goal against Germany that you can watch for hours, and a penalty that was dispatched. Pulisic seems to have that clinical edge to his game now, which has been lacking for some time, and his move to Milan has been paying off so far.
Tim Weah (7.5/10):
The Juventus wingback picked up an assist for Balogun’s goal against Ghana and has been a constant nuisance on the right wing, completely dusting anyone who gets in his way using his speed. Not only does he have speed, but he also has tricks up his sleeve to keep the defenders guessing. In one instance, he flicked the ball over Ghanaian fullback Alidu Seidu’s head, which completely stunned him.
Next on the agenda for the USMNT are the two-legged Quarter-Final CNL ties against Trinidad and Tobago on November 16th and 20th.