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USA vs. Costa Rica, 2020 Friendly: Man of the Match

A debutant shines

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Costa Rica at USA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The United States men’s national team opened their 2020 slate with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Carson, CA. A young and experimental side showed very well against a relatively experience Ticos side in the opening match of the year.

With eyes toward Olympic qualifying in March, head coach Gregg Berhalter selected a youth-filled starting lineup and was rewarded with a bright start to the match. The young starting 11 was a breath of fresh air with LA-native Uly Llanez stealing the show with an electric debut. The 18-year-old Wolfsburg winger easily takes home the SSFC community’s Man of the Match award with an average rating of 8.02.

His sparkling first appearance for the senior team was capped off with a goal for the penalty spot early in the second half. In addition to getting on the scoresheet in front of his friends and family, he impressed with his directness and dynamism. This performance should make it clear that he’s one of the more promising upcoming prospects in the U.S. pool. He’ll hopefully be playing a huge role in the USA’s attempt to qualify for the Summer Olympics.

The SSFC Player Ratings

Sean Johnson: 5.89

Reggie Cannon: 7.30

Aaron Long: 6.45

Walker Zimmerman: 5.83

Sam Vines: 6.00

Jackson Yueill: 5.67

Brenden Aaronson: 6.02

Paul Arriola: 5.11

Sebastian Lletget: 5.95

Jesus Ferreira: 6.44

*Uly Llanez: 8.02

Mark McKenzie: 5.60

Gyasi Zardes: 5.37

Brandon Servania: 5.53

Jonathan Lewis: 5.08

Bill Hamid: 5.60

Chase Gasper: 5.06