The hosts were easily the more clever side in a sloppy first half, racing to a three-goal lead. The Canucks picked their game up a bit after the break, but not nearly enough to keep the US from putting themselves in a great position to grab the Group A top spot with a win over Cuba on Tuesday.
Sergino Dest (7) — The Ajax youngster repeatedly handled Alphonso Davies advances, either by stripping the Canada star cleanly or playing him away from his dangerous left foot. Dest also found occasions to put the visitors on their heels by surging forward on the dribble and notched a lucky assist.
Aaron Long (8) — It was a nearly flawless outing for Long, who turned away several Canada rushes. For good measure, he bagged the US third goal with a strong restart header.
John Anthony Brooks (6.5) — The Wolfsburg back line marshal was a bit shaky early, when he was fortunate to get away with a few poor challenges and looked unusually tentative on the ball. However, Brooks settled into the game to provide a calmly foreboding presence.
Tim Ream (7) — The veteran left back was terrific in the opening period, when he coolly solved a few problems in the US end and served a pinpoint free kick for Long to nod home. Ream’s grade did take a hit when he fell asleep at the back post on Canada’s lone goal.
Jackson Yueill (7) — Though typically known for his smooth passing game, Yueill’s best contributions to the win came in the form of hard-nosed defensive stops.
Weston McKennie (7) — There was nothing flashy from the Schalke midfielder on this night, but he did a much better job of finding the game on both sides of the ball than he has in recent caps.
Sebastian Lletget (7) — The LA Galaxy midfielder helped slow Canada through the middle and tried his best to make the most out of limited touches. Lletget served two very tempting crosses that were begging for a finish and earned the free kick that led to Long’s goal.
Paul Arriola (5) — The D.C. United man put in an uncharacteristically static showing. Arriola was routinely flat-footed at both ends, but his mark was saved to an extent by the long ball that freed Jordan Morris to cross for the US second.
Jordan Morris (7.5) — Though he faded after the break, Morris did more than enough before it to earn high marks. He was quickest to react in the box on his opener, authored a fine set-up for the winner and provided some ace pressure valve play in between.
Gyasi Zardes (8) — The Columbus striker’s firm header midway through the first half stood up as the game-winner, but he was far from done. He did very well to set up a pair of area chances for teammates, pitched in with a few nice possession touches and then smashed the final nail in Canada’s coffin with a confident late strike.
Coach Gregg Berhalter (7.5) — The boss came up with solutions to most of the main problems that plagued the team in last month’s loss in Canada. The US were more cohesive defensively, constantly forcing the visitors to find new avenues for their rushes. Perhaps most importantly, the boys came out with a big chip on their shoulder that was missing in Toronto. Berhalter certainly could have gone to his bench sooner, but let’s not quibble too much with this effort.
Alfredo Morales (7) — Just when it looked like Canada might worm their way back in to the contest, Morales came up with two huge defensive stops in the US area.
DeAndre Yedlin (6.5) — In what normally would register as a cameo, Yedlin gets one gold star for helping to set up the capper with some hustle and a troubling ball into the box.
Tyler Boyd (-) — Barely enough pitch time to break a sweat.
Milan Borjan (3) — One could certainly argue that the Red Star Belgrade netminder was slow to catch on to the deflected cross that Morris bagged for the opening goal, but there can be no mistaking the hash he made out of the US second. His poor punt allowed the Nats to fast break and his wild rush out of the goalmouth was deservedly punished.
Steven Vitoria (4) — The Moreirense defender suffered through an absolute nightmare in the opening frame, as he was highly culpable on all three US goals. Vitoria avoided a complete shocker by rallying somewhat after intermission and grabbed Canada’s consolation tally with a capitalistic corner kick header.
Doneil Henry (5.5) — The Vancouver center back started the game well, single-handedly shutting down a few US surges. However, he did allow Zardes to sneak past him for the winner and would be subbed off with an injury early in the second half.
Alphonso Davies (4.5) — It was rough going for the Bayern Munich wunderkind for a good hour and change. Davies was caught spectating on the Morris goal, had no luck getting past Dest when he raced into attack and kept conceding dangerous free kicks. He finally looked threatening over the final 20 minutes, but could not conjure any end product.
Samuel Piette (3) — This will surely be a game the Montreal man will want to forget. Piette was clumsy on the ball too many times to count and no real deterrence when the US worked through the middle.
Scott Arfield (6) — Try as he might, the Rangers midfielder was unable to repeat his influential October performance. At least he avoided the unsightly gaffes that afflicted so many of his teammates.
Mark-Anthony Kaye (7) — Bright Canada moments were quite rare over the first hour of the match, but pretty much all of them were set into motion by Kaye’s incisive passing.
Jonathan Osorio (5) — Add the Toronto FC midfielder to the list of Canada players who struggled mightily in the first half. It was Osorio who kept Morris onside for the first US goal and killed several of their rushes forward with turnovers. His mark rose some late thanks to a restart flick assist.
Jonathan David (3) — Unlike in October, the Gent ace was almost entirely invisible in this one. When he did get near the action, David flubbed most of his touches.
Lucas Cavallini (3) — If not for a horrendous tackle on Yueill that drew yellow, the Puebla forward might have been as unnoticeable as David.
Coach Jon Herdman (4.5) — It would be hard to fault the manager for all the early individual mistakes that dug Canada’s hole, but he never found them the tactical ladder needed to climb out of it.
Derek Cornelius (5) — The injury sub acquitted himself to the game fairly well until the waning moments. Cornelius misjudged Yedlin’s cross, and in doing so left Zardes completely free to lash the resulting loose ball home.
Junior Hoilett (6) — The Cardiff City attacker accounted for one rash yellow card foul and a sizzling strike that was cruelly shoved aside by Guzan, but Canada needed more from him than that.
Stephen Eustaquio (6) — The debutant entered with attacking intent fully on display, but couldn’t find the space needed to make a real difference.