BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Brendan ranks the US troops after the Americans eked out a draw on the match's final kick.
Jurgen Klinsmann took an experimental roster to face Fabio Capello's high flying Russians, and fittingly, the hosts were the real aggressors throughout the match.
The Americans were fortunate to walk away with a draw, and in the end, Klinsmann can walk away knowing that Tim Howard is still one of the world's best keepers - if only because he was tested so much.
Here's my take on how each American performed:
Howard - 9
An acrobat throughout. The Everton star delivered another spectacular game saving performance for the USMNT against one of the world's top teams. Would have been hard pressed to make a save on Feyodor Smolv's opening goal.
Fabian Johnson - 5.5
Johnson was good in stretches for the USMNT on the afternoon, but far too inconsistent. Helped infuse some life into the US attack with some nice dribbling displays, but also left Cameron and Goodson exposed on a few occasions when he lost possession.
Carlos Bocanegra - N/A
Injured in the 15th minute, not enough time to get an accurate rating.
Geoff Cameron - 6.5
Rescued the USMNT consistently in the first half. Brilliant job tracking back to deny Maksim Grigoriev an opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute. Dropped off slightly in the second half, including giving Russia a dangerous free kick in the 78th minute. Removed for Mikkel Diskerud in the 87th minute.
Timothy Chandler - 5
Came to life towards the end of the first half, looked dead towards the end of the second. Made nice runs up the right side and delivered a few quality crosses, but he was victimized defensively at times.
Michael Bradley - 8
Tireless performance rewarded with a spectacular goal. Bradley's volley from distance is sure to become a YouTube favorite and his marauding runs through the Russian midfield were, at times, the only offense the US could generate. However, this is partially due to the lack of service the forwards received, which Bradley and the rest of the midfield are accountable for.
Danny Williams - 3.5
An astonishingly poor performance for a player who had, in recent matches, established himself as a core part of Klinsmann's team. Time and time again, the Hoffenheim midfielder gave the ball away in terrible spots before his removal in favor of Maurice Edu in the 73rd minute.
Jermaine Jones - 7.5
Moved forward after Gatt and Gomez came off and helped link the American attack to the midfield. After a first half in which he, Bradley and Williams failed to connect with the forwards, Jones provided some tidy touches and clever passes which emboldened the US attack in the second half.
Herculez Gomez - 5
Largely anonymous. Granted, the US didn't do a great job getting their forwards opportunities in dangerous positions, but normally Gomez is able to overcome that with clever movement, and lots of it. Rarely found himself around the ball, and his one strong run in the box was overshot by Bradley. Removed for Kljestan in the 65th minute.
Jozy Altidore - 5.5
He's back, but didn't do much to enforce his hold on a starting job for the US. Worked hard up top, but service was lacking. Threatened the defense with a thunderous shot from 25 yards out which sailed just high, but also failed to control a brilliant opportunity created by Fabian Johnson in the 70th minute which would have seen him 1-on-1 with Russian keeper Vladimir Gabulov. Taken off for Terrence Boyd in the 87th minute.
Josh Gatt - 6.5
Good debut for the speedy winger. Found himself in dangerous positions in the first half when no other American could. Deserves kudos for providing some sort of attack early, but didn't stretch the Russian backline or take on defenders the way many would have hoped. Taken off for Juan Agudelo in the 63rd minute.
Clarence Goodson - 4.5
Replaced the injured Bocanegra in the 18th minute. Frequently found himself chasing Russian attackers from behind in the first half, and if it wasn't for Cameron, his poor marking could have been at fault for a few goals. Slightly improved in the second half before he gave away a silly penalty in the 84th minute.
Sacha Kljestan - 5
The Anderlecht player came on for Hercules Gomez in the 63rd minute and provided a languid performance. He provided a few nice passes upon arrival, but he fell into the background shortly afterward. His performance was capped with a cheap yellow card four minutes into stoppage time.
Maurice Edu - 4.5
Replaced Williams in the 73rd and was nearly as ineffective. Didn't provide the same terrible giveaways as his predecessor. Still the Stoke City man did little, if anything, to slow down the Russian attack as it hurdled toward the American net.
Juan Agudelo - 6.5
Provided the performance you would have hoped for from Gomez. Came on for Gatt in the 63rd minute and forced the Russian backline to work, providing constant movement and searching for seams in the Russian defense. Clever header back to the unrushing Bradley led to Il Marine's wonderful volley.
Terrence Boyd - N/A
Came on for Altidore in the 87th minute. Had few touches, one of which did set up Diskerud's equalizer however.
Mikkel Diskerud - N/A
Came on for Cameron in the 87th minute. Although his tying goal was fortunate to deflect off of a Russian defender, he took the chance well, driving a volley low and hard towards net. Optimism rewarded.