Morris leads U.S. to top of Nations League group with 8/10 showing against Cuba
Following the win over Canada on Friday in Orlando, the United States men's national team saw off Cuba 4-0 in the Cayman Islands to secure first place in Group A1 in the Nations League. The win against a poor opponent -- which earned the Americans a spot in the Nations League semis -- was mostly about avoiding a letdown and proving an ability to put weak competition to the sword.
The Americans never broke a sweat, going up a goal in the first minute and generally controlling proceedings over 90 minutes. The attack generated a number of good chances, with Jordan Morris again putting in the most influential performance among U.S. attackers. Gregg Berhalter's team dealt with imperfect conditions on its way to a comfortable win.
Because Cuba posed so little threat, it's difficult to get a handle on the value of the match for the U.S. The defense held the Cubans goalless, but there were several chaotic moments that might have been punished by a better team. The U.S. got sloppy, particularly in the second half when energy dropped.
Manager rating out of 10
6 - Berhalter gets a passing grade for keeping his team on track following Friday's win. He made four changes from the team that beat Canada, refreshing his team while maintaining the core that fired the U.S. to victory in the first game of the window. It was tougher than it should have been, but the Americans won their Nations League group.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Brad Guzan, 7 -- Tested a handful of times, including via dangerous deflections, and kept Cuba off the scoresheet.
DF DeAndre Yedlin, 5 -- The sloppiest player in the first half, playing high up the field against a packed-in Cuban defense.
DF Aaron Long, 6 -- Not obviously at fault in allowing Cuba to threaten on the handful of occasions they did. Used his athleticism to bail the U.S. out. Could have had a goal.
DF Tim Ream, 6 -- Good defensive performance on a night when the opponent wasn't much to worry about. Calm and clean with the ball.
DF Daniel Lovitz, 5 -- Saved by Cuba's unforced errors when spun around while defending. Ranged forward to limited effect.
MF Jackson Yueill, 6 -- Part of a dominant midfield performance against a bad team. Played physically when necessary and hit a few key passes.
MF Weston McKennie, 6 -- Workman-like in midfield, less effective in the attacking third. Wasted a couple of opportunities to hit shots on frame.
MF Cristian Roldan, 6 -- Busy, energetic, slightly out-of-control at times. Forced a great save with a diving header.
FW Paul Arriola, 7 -- Effective finding space on the flank. Provided good set-piece service.
FW Josh Sargent, 7 -- Credited for the first goal, bundled over the line in the first minute. Showed more on the second, well-taken without a touch.
FW Jordan Morris, 8 -- Excellent again in a single half of play. Stole a goal from Long but deserved both of his goals on the balance of play.
Tyler Boyd, 5 -- Got better as the half went along but looked rusty at times. Played nice backheel to set up final goal.
Reggie Cannon, 5 -- Ranged into the attack in relief of Yedlin. Solid defensively.
Alfredo Morales, NR -- Nearly scored with his first touch. Good over 20 minutes as American energy lagged.