Player ratings: Weah's red card costs USMNT despite Balogun's sublime goal

ATLANTA — The United States men’s national team lost to Panama, 2-1 on Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to put their hopes of advancing out of the Copa América in doubt.

Tim Weah was sent off in the 18th minute after video review upgraded his yellow card to an ejection. Weah jabbed his hand into the back of the head of Panama defender Roderick Miller in an incident away from the ball, changing the dynamics of a game the USMNT was expected to win.

Folarin Balogun scored a scintillating goal four minutes after Weah was sent off to put the Americans ahead, but the lead lasted only four minutes. César Blackman broke free and struck the equalizer in the 22nd minute as three U.S. defenders failed to close on the ball. José Fajardo got on the end of the ball in the 83rd minute to score the winner for Panama.

The USMNT must now chase a result against Uruguay in Monday’s group finale against favorite Uruguay to qualify for the knockout stage.

Manager rating (scale of 1-10; 10 = best)

Gregg Berhalter, 6 — A rare game for a manager in which he has to react to an early red card, and whether to change things immediately (in the 18th minute) or ride it out with the personnel he has. Berhalter waited until halftime to make changes and switched to a 5-3-1 to try to preserve the point and keep the USMNT’s tournament hopes alive. In the end, it didn’t work.

Player ratings (1-10; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Matt Turner, 6 — He was screened and let down by his back line on the goal he conceded, and he was obviously playing through pain in the first half if he had to come off at the break. No saves on a frustrating day all around for the USMNT.

DF Antonee Robinson, 5 — His high pressure and great run to win the ball led to an assist on the USMNT’s goal. Got caught out a couple times and had some questionable turnovers, and made an unforced error to clear the ball right back to Panama for possession in what soon became the winning goal.

DF Tim Ream, 5 — Couldn’t close down Blackman on the goal, got pulled out of shaped a couple time, including when the U.S. went to a five-back.

DF Chris Richards, 4 — Another game with too many giveaways — especially when not under significant pressure — including a couple early that caused problems for Ream and Turner. Was late to step to Blackman and turned his body as the shot went in. Looked uncertain on the ball for the second straight match. Took a late yellow in a scuffle to add to it.

DF Joe Scally, 5 — Got beat on the blind side late in the first half but didn’t get punished. Put in a significant shift to cover ground on the right flank with the U.S. down to 10, especially when tasked with getting up and down on rare transitions in the second half, as the U.S. packed it in for the draw.

MF Tyler Adams, 6 — Limited influence on a game that never allowed for much joy in midfield as the USMNT had to chase Panama.

MF Weston McKennie, 6 — Nearly scored a fine opening goal, but it was called back for an offside on Ream. Got on the end of another set piece before halftime but couldn’t finish. Did solid work in midfield over 90 minutes and nearly delivered a late assist on a nice run.

MF Giovanni Reyna, 6 — A quiet 45 minutes which was largely dictated by the red card. He played the quick free kick to Christian Pulisic in the 40th minute that might have deserved a look from VAR, and Reyna stopped a counterattack in first-half stoppage time after Robinson’s ball to nobody.

FW Christian Pulisic, 7 — Early set piece delivery was great, and he tried to carry the ball solo after Weah’s red card to rally his team. He nearly made something of nothing a couple times in the second half.

FW Folarin Balogun, 8 — Scored one of the nicest, most precise goals you’ll see in the tournament moments after his team was reduced to 10. He rung the crossbar just before halftime on another effort that was called offside anyway, but it illustrated how he managed to get behind despite his team’s numbers disadvantage. Can’t ask for more from a striker playing alone up top and down a man.

FW Timothy Weah, 2 — Got baited into the old Concacaf trick of reacting to an opponent and reduced his team to 10 players for over 70 minutes. The damage is made worse by him now missing an crucial group-stage finale against Uruguay. How that played out was worse than any on-field play could have been.


GK Ethan Horvath, 6 — Made a solid save six minutes into action, in a rare match where a goalkeeper replacement was required. No goalkeeper would be expected to save the game-winner Panama scored from close range.

DF Cameron Carter-Vickers, 4 — Came in at halftime as the central defender in the five-back, and he twice got in some dicey situations in the box. He was saved by video review from giving up a costly penalty kick. He lost his mark in the box on Panama’s late game-winner.

MF Johnny Cardoso, 6 — Held the grueling task of a holding midfielder role in a 5-3-1, down a man. Did well enough to shield the back line and chase balls laterally considering the odds were stacked against him.

FW Ricardo Pepi, NR — Came on in the 72nd minute and nearly found the go-ahead goal nine minutes later but couldn’t get any power on his open header inside the six-yard box.

FW Josh Sargent, NR — Came on after Panama’s winner for first minutes with USMNT this year, which is a positive.

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