Canada Player Ratings: Davies, Laryea shine in historic win over U.S.

Canada midfielder Alphonso Davies (12) celebrates a goal against the United States during second half of CONCACAF Nations League soccer action in Toronto, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Cole Burston/CP)

TORONTO — What a night.

The Canadian men’s national team earned its first win over the United States in 34 years thanks to a 2-0 victory at BMO Field on Tuesday night.

Alphonso Davies opened the scoring shortly after the hour mark before Lucas Cavallini capped off the proceedings with a powerful finish past Zack Steffen in second-half stoppage time.

There were plenty of standout performers, so here are the ratings of every Canadian player who participated in the match.

The ratings are based off a 10-point scale. Anything above a six, the average score, is considered to be a solid-to-great rating.

Milan Borjan (goalkeeper): 7/10

The Canadian No. 1 came up big when he needed to, especially in the second half. Borjan managed to parry Christian Pulisic’s attempt in the 51st minute off an error from centre-back Steven Vitoria.

Otherwise, Borjan was sturdy if not inactive. But luckily for the Canadians, he remained alert, as he’s often done for the national team in previous games.

“He said he’s playing until he’s 38 or 40,” said Canada coach John Herdman. “Hopefully a lot more to come [from Borjan].”

Richie Laryea (right-back): 8/10

The Toronto FC defender was arguably the man of the match. He completely nullified Pulisic, who exited the match on the hour mark in frustration.

Laryea also made some surging runs forward, combining well with Scott Arfield, Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David as the full-back ran at American left-back Daniel Lovitz.

Towards the end of the match, Laryea was exchanging words with some American players as the match drew to a close. Before the referee pulled out a card, a veteran made sure that the right-back remained calm in those heated situations.

“I told him not to yell [and] not to fight because we don’t need a yellow card,” said Borjan. “We are winning the game, and he needs to stay in the game, not worrying about what their players are trying to do us, to get yellow cards or red cards.”

When the message didn’t click the first time, Borjan ensured that Laryea heard him during the second conversation.

“I had to swear at him a little bit to understand what I am trying to say! But he listened after and everything was good.”

Steven Vitoria (centre-back): 6/10

One costly error aside on Pulisic’s chance in the 51st minute, Vitoria was solid enough when he was needed.

He was excellent in the air, which was necessary during U.S. corners. The U.S. had five corners, but produced nothing threatening off those set pieces thanks to the centre-back’s aerial presence.

Derek Cornelius (centre-back): 7/10

The 21-year-old didn’t put a foot wrong. Normally a rotation option with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Cornelius successfully marked Josh Sargent out the game and was composed in possession as well.

Kamal Miller (left-back): 5.5/10

Miller was always going to be a target for the U.S. Even though he’s logged nine appearances with Orlando City at left-back this season, he is an MLS rookie and only earned his fifth cap for Canada on Tuesday.

There were moments when Miller was overrun by DeAndre Yedlin and Jordan Morris, but credit the youngster for tracking back when the U.S. had the ball.

“We were communicating throughout the game,” Miller said when discussing the back line’s performance. “We all had each other’s backs. The clean sheet is huge.

“Clean sheets will win us these games. We have just got to do our part and take care of business.”

One notable trend during the game was Miller pushing towards the touchline when Canada had possession to create an overload on that left flank. Jonathan Osorio combined nicely with the full-back in those situations.

Samuel Piette (midfielder): 7/10

Largely responsible for the 36 duels won by Canada, Piette needed a strong defensive showing and that’s exactly what he provided.

Cristian Roldan and Weston McKennie had very little influence when the Americans had possession because Piette was always surrounding them and recovering the ball.

Mark-Anthony Kaye (midfielder): N/A

Kaye limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury just six minutes into the game. He was replaced by Toronto FC’s Liam Fraser.

Jonathan Osorio (midfielder): 7/10

This was reminiscent of Osorio’s performance in the 2017 MLS Cup final for Toronto FC. He covered tons of ground, harried the Americans with his relentless pressing and was fearless on the dribble.

This game was also the latest example of Osorio performing at his best in a box-to-box role.

Scott Arfield (midfielder): 7/10

Arfield’s recovery off Michael Bradley ultimately led to Canada’s winning goal. There was an odd misplaced pass or poor touch, but given the rampant pace of the game, that can be excused.

The Canadian captain may not have been the flashiest player on the pitch, but his energy was necessary in the victory.

Alphonso Davies (forward): 8.5/10

The first Canadian to score against the U.S. men’s national team since 2007, Davies was a pest for the Americans.

“I’m happy to be able to score in this game,” said Davies. “We knew it was a big one and millions of emotions were running through me on that goal.”

Not only was he causing fits for centre-back Tim Ream and leaving other players in the dust, Davies was pressing energetically throughout the game as well.

“The front two put a hell of a shift in,” said Herdman. “That’s nearly 85 minutes of high pressing constantly. Just great pride to see the guys working for that flag and their country.”

The 18-year-old walks out of BMO Field as a thoroughly deserved recipient of the man-of-the-match award for Canada.

Jonathan David (forward): 6.5/10

Two brilliant chances went astray for the Gent forward, who logged 66 minutes in the win.

David should still be credited with getting into those positions to score, though. The patience to wait for goalkeeper Zack Steffen to commit before David’s second attempt exemplifies his composure.

Unfortunately, he scuffed the shot wide.

Then there was this brilliant opportunity early in the second half that was created by Laryea.

It was just one of those days for the 19-year-old.

However, the partnership with Davies was clearly troubling the U.S. defence given their pace, technique and finishing abilities.

“It was fun,” David said when talking about the partnership. “This time we were a bit closer together so it was good. I am looking forward to the future.”

Substitutes

Liam Fraser (midfielder): 6/10

It was evident that Fraser was not coping with the pace of the game in his debut. But to his credit, he adjusted to the speed of the match in the second half and seemingly developed better chemistry with Piette.

There were times when both Fraser and Piette pressed higher and it left acres of space behind them. If the U.S. had been able to play through that high press, it would’ve left the defence exploited.

The ball is not present in the photo but this space behind Piette and Fraser was seen whenever they were more aggressive with their pressing.

Lucas Cavallini (forward): 7/10

The Puebla striker came on for David shortly after Canada took the lead and finished off the game with a scintillating strike.

“I was expecting a pass from Osorio,” Cavallini said when recapping his goal. “Me and him played together since we were small. I knew the kind of pass he was going to give me. Once the ball just started bouncing, I knew that all I wanted to do was just break the net.”

Junior Hoilett (forward): 6/10

The Cardiff City man replaced the goal-scorer Davies. He had a one-on-one opportunity stopped, but his pace was clearly an issue for the U.S.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.