I do not envy the USMNT kit person on Tuesday night. Let’s hope they brought plenty of stain remover.
Jordan Morris scored a 91st minute header as the USMNT salvaged a 1-1 draw with El Salvador in the Concacaf Nations League on Tuesday night at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador. A bigger story than the result was the mess of a field the match was played on, with rain turning an already poor pitch into a cow pasture by the end of the night.
The U.S. now has just two more matches left before the World Cup begins in November. Unfortunately, given the muddy field conditions, not a whole lot can be gleaned from the individual performances that will carry over to a World Cup played in Qatar in a few months. It didn’t help the match finished 10 vs. 10, looking more like a pick-up game at a park than an international match.
Alexander Larín scored on a cross/shot in the first half to give El Salvador the lead with its only shot on goal all night. Paul Arriola then picked up a red card in the 70th minute followed by Ronald Gómez doing the same for El Salvador nine minutes later. Morris finally found the equalizer for the Americans in stoppage time to ensure the U.S. remains the heavy favorite to win Group D of the Nations League.
We had originally planned to bring you USMNT player ratings, but instead decided to just give you USMNT mud ratings. Below are ratings for every U.S. player based on how dirty they got throughout the match.
It was impossible to come away from the match with a pristine jersey. Just trotting around the pitch would kick up enough mud to splatter the back of the jersey. Additionally, most USMNT players put on new shirts for the second half, so players were able to dirty two jerseys.
What follows are our USMNT player ratings based on how much work the laundry machine had to do for each player after the match.
USMNT Player Ratings vs. El Salvador
(Based on muddiness scale: 0 = pristine, 10 = full mud bath)
GK Ethan Horvath 0.1/10
The three goalkeeper roster spots for Qatar 2022 are fully up for grabs, and Ethan Horvath could have reminded Berhalter of his qualities on Tuesday. Instead, he was barely noticeable, in part because he didn’t have much to do with the U.S. dominating possession and in part because he didn’t even attempt to make a save on El Salvador’s goal. Horvath was badly beaten on Larín’s shot (maybe his feet got stuck in the mud) and stayed on his feet most of the night, earning the worst score on our mud scale.
El Salvador strikes first pic.twitter.com/LNVCRnt1Kk
RB Reggie Cannon 3.5/10
The fullback muddied himself up with a yellow card tackle in the first half but stayed mostly clean in the second half until the final 10 minutes.
CB Cameron Carter-Vickers 2/10
The Celtic center back didn’t have too much to do defensively, though he did clear the ball off the line in the 16th minute. His jersey wasn’t too dirty since the ball was rarely played his way.
CB Aaron Long 5/10
Long had the cleanest jersey on the pitch until the 43rd minute when he took a belly flop into the mud to draw a foul instead of giving El Salvador a breakaway. His second-half jersey was slightly below average muddiness.
LB Antonee Robinson 6/10
Jedi Robinson got stuck in more than just about any player on the pitch, and as a result had plenty of mud splattered all over him. He might have had more mud on him had Christian Pulisic played to his overlapping runs more often.
CDM Tyler Adams 6.9/10
The Leipzig midfielder was the first player to show off just how muddy the Cuscatlán pitch was. Always putting out fires all over the pitch, he continued to add dirt to his shirt throughout the match, though his second-half jersey wasn’t nearly as mucked up. He gets a little bonus for playing a little dirty, earning a yellow card shortly before coming off for Morris.
Things are heating up between the U.S. and El Salvador pic.twitter.com/n9lNphkBss
CM Yunus Musah 10/10
The Valencia teen was the best player on the pitch, so maybe it’s no surprise he was also the muddiest at the end of the night. Musah was all over the field and became fully caked in mud when he drew a red card after he was taken down denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. I think even Musah’s mouth had mud in it at some point.
El Salvador was shown a red for this challenge pic.twitter.com/KYGoXUe2WT
CM Brenden Aaronson 6/10
Given another shot in midfield, Brenden Aaronson couldn’t impress and was hooked at the half. But he did draw a few fouls to pick up a hefty amount of mud in the first half. Rating would be higher if he had played both halves.
RW Timothy Weah 5/10
Tim Weah was the only USMNT outfield player who did not change his jersey at halftime, but it wasn’t for lack of mud. The winger got dirtied up when he kicked Bryan Tamacas in the head with an attempted bicycle kick in the first half but couldn’t find any end product before he was subbed off for Paul Arriola after an hour.
ST Haji Wright 0.5/10
This was supposed to be Haji Wright’s moment to stake a claim for a ticket to Qatar. He failed miserably. Not only did he fail to create much offense — his primary job — while skewing his one good opportunity wide, but Wright barely got his jersey dirty before he was yanked at halftime.
LW Christian Pulisic 9/10
No one in Concacaf gets fouled more than Christian Pulisic, and the Chelsea winger was the target of countless fouls on Tuesday night. He was clipped from behind early on to begin his night in the muck and continued to be taken out by El Salvador defenders throughout the match.
Pulisic's jersey is no longer white pic.twitter.com/TrgqL52k58
Coach: Gregg Berhalter 1/10
GGG probably regrets his choice of white Nikes on Tuesday night.
ST Jesús Ferreira 3/10
The FC Dallas man came on at halftime for Wright and remained fairly clean for the first 35 minutes. He finally got a bit of grime on him late, but not enough to climb the USMNT player ratings.
CM Weston McKennie 8/10
Is it any surprise McKennie, despite only coming on at halftime, racked up more muck than most? The Texan was sliding all around the pitch trying to get the U.S. back in the game, starting with a big sliding tackle in the 57th minute.
RW Paul Arriola 2/10
The FC Dallas winger came on in the 61st minute and didn’t really get dirty until he was shoved down going for a header in the box about eight minutes later. Shortly after that, he muddied his left side up with challenge that earned him a red card. Still, he got muddier than Wright and Horvath combined.
Paul Arriola was shown a red for this challenge pic.twitter.com/LxKRg84MwP
Jordan Morris 4/10
Morris was the second-to-last U.S. sub (seconds before Luca de la Torre) and managed to avoid going to ground until he scored the late equalizer. I think most of the dirt on his jersey at the end of the day came from teammates mobbing him after his goal.
Luca de la Torre 5/10
Though Luca de la Torre didn’t have long on the pitch, he wasted no time smothering his white jersey in brown mud when he was fouled two minutes after coming on.