Despite a spirited performance against the Netherlands, the United States of America were knocked out of the FIFA World Cup following a 3-1 loss.
The loss, in many ways, was a reflection of the technical gulf between the two sides as the Dutch side exploited the USA’s weaknesses in defence and they could never break Louis van Gaal’s side down to the lack of players who can break down defensive blocks.
They were quite promising in the group stages, as a host of players impressed. But despite looking quite good as a team, the lack of individual quality perhaps let the US down.
Most impressive player: While Christian Pulisic did impress, Tyler Adams was probably the USA’s best player and he has also been one of the best players of the tournament so far. He was key in dictating play from the back and helped the team build up in a very good way, while receiving the ball in the right areas too.
Biggest disappointment: The lack of a proper striker let the US down. There were times when they looked very promising in the final third but they lacked a proper number nine who could put chances away. Haji Wright scored against the Dutch, but a better striker would have also allowed them to break down defences in a better manner.
Grade: B – They gave a good account of their abilities in the tournament and lost to a better team on the day.