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Grade Performance Average of the USA National Team during game 2 of the World Cup: USA vs England

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Jesús Rico-Sanz, PhD

Soccer Performance & Science Institute

 

In the previous article, I reported the performance of the USMNT during the first game of the World Cup 2022 against Wales. In this article, I am presenting the analysis and grade performance average (GPA) of the players of the USMNT during the second game of the World Cup against England.


TECHNICAL ACTIONS


The game against England ended in a 0-0 tie. The USMNT had 822 attacking technical actions in open play which included 341 ball controls, 66 dribbles, 405 passes and headers, and 10 scoring attempts. This is almost 300 less attacking technical actions compared to the game against Wales, indicating less possession of the ball against England.


As in the first game against Wales, the two central defenders again had the largest number of technical actions; Zimmerman with 128 and Ream with 90. The total number of technical actions by all defensive players (the starters Dest, Zimmerman, Ream, A. Robinson, Adams, and the sub Moore) was 461 actions, which was 1.50 times higher than the total attacking actions by the more offensive players (the starters Musah, McKennie, Weah, Wright, Pulisic, and subs Aaronson, Reyna and Sargent) who had 308 attacking technical actions in the entire game. This illustrates that the USA team against England also had a conservative approach as during the game against Wales.


The total number of defending actions was 119 which included 30 blocked passes and blocked dribbles, 4 saves and blocked shots, 36 clearances and defender headers, and 49 interceptions. As in the game against Wales, Adams was the player with the highest number of defending actions with 20 interventions, followed by the two central defenders Zimmerman and Ream both with 15 defending technical actions. The total number of defending actions was 16% less against England than in the game against Wales. Since the total number of attacking and defending actions were less against England, the USA team seemed to have a more difficult time both keeping possession and winning possession against England compared to the game against Wales.


Of the ten scoring attempts, only two were on target, both on the first half of the game:

1) on minute 28, a shot from Musah outside of the penalty box which was saved by the goalkeeper after a small deflection (picture below),


Musah's shot on target during the first half of USA vs England game at the World Cup 2022
Musah's shot on target during the first half of USA vs England game at the World Cup 2022

2) on minute 32, a shot from Pulisic inside of the penalty box that hit the crossbar (picture below).


Shot on target by Pulisic hitting the crossbar on minute 32 of the 1st half of the USA vs England game during the World Cup 2022
Shot on target by Pulisic hitting the crossbar on minute 32 of the 1st half of the USA vs England game during the World Cup 2022

PERCENT ACCURACY VS GPA OF ATTACKING TECHNICAL ACTIONS


The team percent accuracy on attacking technical actions during the game against England was 89% which is similar to the 90% accuracy against Wales. As in the game against Wales, all three forwards (Weah, Wright, and Pulisic), and outside back A. Robinson, and attacking midfielder McKennie had a percent accuracy of technical actions that was below the average. However, with the exception of Wright, all others (Weah, Pulisic, A. Robinson, McKennie) had a GPA above the team average of 1.33. The GPA is a better indicator of the performance quality of the players than simply accuracy.


Attacking Actions Accuracy vs GPA for the starting players of the USA during the game against England in the World Cup 2022
Attacking Actions Accuracy vs GPA for the starting players of the USA during the game against England in the World Cup 2022

ATTACKING TECHNICAL GPA BY POSITION


The attacking technical GPA for the starting eleven is shown in the graph below. The average attacking technical GPA for the USA team was 1.33. For the defenders, A. Robinson had the highest GPA (1.45), while Musah with a GPA of 1.63 was the highest for the midfielders and the team. Regarding the forward line, Pulisic performed better on attacking technical actions than Wright and Weah obtaining a GPA of 1.62, ranking second in the team with McKennie also with a GPA of 1.62.


USA Attacking Technical Grade Performance Average against England during World Cup 2022
USA Attacking Technical Grade Performance Average against England during World Cup 2022

In fact, Musah, McKennie, and Pulisic had a substantial improvement in their attacking technical performance from the game against Wales. Indeed Musah improved from a GPA of 1.23 to 1.62, a 32% improvement from the previous game against Wales. McKennie and Pulisic both showed a similar improvement from the game against Wales, 18% and 17%, respectively.


MATCH TECHNICAL GPA BY POSITION


The match GPA includes all the attacking and defending technical actions. The average match technical GPA for the USA was 1.53. The individual match technical GPA is shown in the field picture by position.


Despite their attacking midfield roles, both Musah and McKennie contributed significantly to the defending efforts, primarily interceptions, as demonstrated by the 14.7% and 13.6% raise, respectively, from the attacking GPA to the match GPA. Pulisic's technical contribution to the match on the other hand was primarily offensive; in defense, he only had one interception and a defensive header. Based on the match GPA, the top 5 match technical performances from the USA team during the game against England were:


Musah, GPA= 1.87

McKennie, GPA = 1.84

Pulisic, GPA = 1.67

A. Robinson, GPA = 1.65

Dest, GPA = 1.54


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