USMNT player ratings vs Mexico: Sergino Dest and Jordan Morris help set up Jesus Ferreira late in otherwise ugly game

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Jesus Ferreira celebrate USMNT Mexico friendly 2023
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Few American stars made a case in what was a largely dull friendly between two great rivals, but Jesus Ferreira did get a goal in the 1-1 draw

In the end, nothing could separate the U.S. men's national team and Mexico. Uriel Antuna scored on one end, Jesus Ferreira on the other. That was that in a 1-1 draw.

And on we move from the first Continental Clasico, a game that offered very little, becoming a somewhat-forgettable latest chapter in this historic rivalry.

Wednesday's match was always going to be a unique one: a midweek friendly between CONCACAF's two powers, both without many of their key stars. There were plenty of familiar faces, of course, with World Cup veterans on both sides, but the teams were skeletons of their best selves.

It was a match largely devoid of an attacking spark, with the teams combining for just three touches in the opponent's penalty area in the first 45 minutes. Both teams were, generally, out of ideas in the attacking end and, if not for a catastrophic mistake from Aaron Long and Kellyn Acosta to jolt things to life, it seemed it could have finished scoreless.

Thanks to Antuna's finish, it didn't. The Mexican forward's goal lifted his confidence, but it also spurred the USMNT on. Jesus Ferreira finished the only good attacking sequence of the night for the Stars and Stripes, getting a hand from Sergino Dest and Jordan Morris in the build-up to make his case in a match where few others made theirs. The FC Dallas star is one player that will feel better after this one, but not many of his teammates will say the same.

Thankfully, these two teams will face off at least one more time this year with much, much bigger stakes. Their Nations League clash in June will provide a much better look at where these two programs stand than this friendly.

GOAL rates the USMNT players from Glendale...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defense
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    Goalkeeper & Defense

    Sean Johnson (6/10):

    There goes the shutout streak. Could he have taken a different angle on Mexico's opener?

    Segino Dest (6/10):

    Looked like a player devoid of confidence and form... until the goalscoring sequence. A vintage Dest run through a maze of Mexican players helped kickstart the Ferreira goal, which is great news for a player who needs something, anything, to hang his hat on.

    Walker Zimmerman (6/10):

    Long balls were all over the place, but was generally solid defensively. In a fight to keep his starting pace, but nothing about this performance will really help or hurt.

    Aaron Long (4/10):

    Acosta is partially at blame for the goal, but so too is Long, whose mis-touch sprung Antuna. Was OK until that point but, as a defender, you're defined by your mistakes.

    DeAndre Yedlin (6/10):

    Probably the best USMNT defender in the game. Was solid in his own half and got on the ball plenty, proving he still has a part to play at least for the start of the cycle.

  2. Midfield
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    Kellyn Acosta (5/10):

    Bad pass put Long in a tough spot on Mexico's goal. Even aside from that, never really got into the game.

    James Sands (7/10):

    Probably the USMNT's best player for much of this one. Was steady on the ball, solid defensively and passed well. A positive performance for a player who recently arrived back in MLS.

  3. Attack
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    Cade Cowell (5/10):

    Effort was there, quality was not. A tough one for the young San Jose Earthquakes star, but a good learning experience.

    Jesus Ferreira (6/10):

    Played as more of a second striker or No. 10 for the first half. He went back up top for the second and got his goal. His best position is once again TBD, but goals are always nice for a player who still has a bright, bright future.

    Jordan Morris (6/10):

    Perfect pass across goal to Ferreira, even if was deflected a bit. Was a bit sloppy until that but it only takes one.

    Brandon Vazquez (5/10):

    A disappointing night. Hardly noticeable with just 15 touches. Not the night he was hoping for given his connection to El Tri.

  4. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Aidan Morris (6/10):

    Came on in the second half to help steady the midfield. Accomplished that with a fairly smooth performance.

    Alan Sonora (6/10):

    A FANTASTIC ball on the goalscoring sequence. Offered an attacking spark that no other midfielder in this squad could.

    Matt Miazga (6/10):

    Replaced Long with just 20 minutes left and looked really, really smooth on the ball.

    Paxton Pomykal (N/A):

    Came on just ahead of stoppage time.

    Caleb Wiley (N/A):

    Same as Pomykal. Would have been nice to see the young star get more of a run.

    Anthony Hudson (6/10):

    Subs were good, even if the starting XI was a bit too safe, although you can understand why.