Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


USMNT player ratings vs. El Salvador: All aboard the Pepi train!

The USMNT got the job done Monday night by beating El Salvador 1-0 at Exploria Stadium to advance to this summer's CONCACAF Nations League Finals in Las Vegas. 

The Americans needed only a draw to make it happen, and everyone at home probably would've agreed to that after a scoreless opening 45 that was painful to watch. USMNT wordsmith Anthony Hudson called it "a little bit too transitiony." The highlight was La Selecta fans starting an "olé!" chant after stringing together a couple passes, only for a guy to pass it straight to Daryl Dike. 

But the U.S. transformed its approach in the second half while El Salvador did no such thing. 

Here are the USMNT vs El Salvador (selective) player ratings. 

3 players who excelled

#1. Ricardo Pepi

After getting cut from the World Cup squad, Pepi made a triumphant return against Grenada with a brace. On Monday night, he made an even greater impact by replacing Daryl Dike in the 60th-minute and scoring the game-winner in the 62nd.

It was a good run, a great pass from Weston McKennie and a filthy finish. The 20-year-old made a statement this window.

Pepi almost scored another memorable goal in the 85th but Mario Martínez denied his effort following a cushioned first touch. 

#2. Miles Robinson

Robinson made his return to the starting lineup 11 months after rupturing his Achilles, and the 26-year-old anchored the clean sheet alongside Tim Ream with El Salvador hardly challenging Matt Turner in goal.

Robinson showed that he still has the old acceleration a couple times, and he was clearly missed back home this weekend as Atlanta lost 6-1 to Columbus. 

#3. Gio Reyna

Reyna was at least watchable in the first half. 

And the attacking intent displayed by the U.S. in the second began with the 20-year-old. This would've been one hell of a goal.  

2 players who struggled

#1. Alejandro Zendejas

That performance had major Paul Arriola vibes — if you squinted, it kinda even looked like Arriola (5'6'', sleeve, continuously losing the ball). I do like the left-footed set piece delivery, and I'm sure he'll look less like Pauly Nipples in the future.

#2. Christian Pulisic 

After putting in a man of the match performance against Grenada, Pulisic wasn't nearly as effective on Monday. The first 45 minutes were really bad (the same could be said for almost everyone), but the Chelsea winger did improve in the second half. 

All could've been forgiven late in the game when Luca de la Torre played him into space in the area, but Pulisic blazed widely over. Ah well. He's the only hero the CONCACAF Nations League has ever known, and he'll surely deliver at Allegiant Stadium. 

This also happened to Sergiño Dest.

Videos you might like