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Before his 1st game with the USMNT after his 1st full season in the MLS

Sam Vines


Left fullback

178 cm / 5’10’’

68 kg / 149 lbs

International U23

Colorado Rapids

2146 minutes during 2019 MLS season

Vines received the call to join the winter camp 2020 after his 1st full season in the MLS, where he played 2146 minutes divided into 26 games. Before that, he only played the 2nd half of the last game in the 2018 season, in that year he spent the entire season with the USL team of Charlotte. This 1st called up with the USMNT comes more like a project for the next 6 years rather than for the next world cup (in 2 years).

Defensive transition

His first reaction is to go back, his speed depends on how fast is the counter-attack or his position on the field. He might run full speed if it’s necessary, he has good judgment on that. If the ball is on the other side of the pitch, he stays closer to the opponent striker, to avoid the counter-attack. Takes low risk when anticipating if he is in the last line of defense.

Defensive organization

His one-on-one defending is very good, even against some of the league's best dribblers, like Vela, Brian Rodriguez and, Russell. Sam has the pace to close them down. He shadows them so they can not receive or if they do with really tight space, even if that means going forward to the opponent half. When the Rapids are attacking he has a good positioning staying close to the opponent winger. He is always turning his head to make sure he is in the right spot, looking if he has a winger or fullback on his back and readjusting his position. He needs to work out his ball protection.

Attacking transition

He is very fast, but he needs to know when to use it. He needs to get better on the timing when to make the run behind the defenders. Speed is his only resource, not a great dribbler in tight spaces or an outstanding vision. He plays short and simple and, taking a low risk making clearance in his own box.

Attacking organization

His positioning in attacking organization is deficient, usually, he is way up than is required, he needs to be closer and open to the center back so he can receive with the body positioning facing forward, because going to his own box to receive he will be facing the center back and not the winger or midfielders. Again, he is really fast and can take on defenders. He offers himself to do the 1-2 all the time, using his pace to go behind defenders, but the problem his that he does it all the time, sometimes the play does not require a big run. He feels comfortable in wider areas but he can go inside the box and attack the far post when someone crosses on the right side.

Set pieces

Sam is not very tall or has a great left foot, but he is fast, so he steps back to the centerline to defend the counterattack in the attacking corners and wide-set pieces. Defending usually marks a small guy.

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