USMNT PLAYER RATINGS VS. JAMAICA
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Saturday, June 8, 2013
The United States national team earned their first win at The Office and many players enjoyed strong performance.
The 2-1 win over Jamaica along with the Mexico's draw against Panama ensured that the American team sits atop the Hexagonal standings despite three out of four games coming on the road. With the next two games coming at home, the United States has a clear opportunity to separate itself from the pack and cruise to an easy qualification.
Yes, Jamaica is the worst team in the Hex and the Americans have the talent edge but winning on the road in qualifying is always tough.
So who performed well for the U.S team? Here are the ratings.
Tim Howard: Rating: 5.0: He made a big save in the first half and controlled his line well except for the Jamaican goal where the ball was likely within his range to cover. After struggling against Honduras and Germany, it hasn't been the best year for the New Jersey native.
DaMarcus Beasley: Rating 5.0: He is still a makeshift left back and was beaten too many times but he played with a ton of heart and his pass completion out of the back was solid.
Matt Besler:Rating 6.5: It's been a great year for Besler who was the best defender in the game for either team. He wasn't perfect but still was calm on the ball and made some important plays when it mattered.
Omar Gonzalez: Rating 5.0: Was a little bit shakier than Besler and didn't look as confident. It was still an improved performance for Gonzalez over the recent friendlies against Belgium and Germany but he may be vulnerable in having Cameron take his spot. He has talent but he's capable of a lot more.
Brad Evans: Rating: 6.0: There is no question he's the hero of the game after his dramatic injury time winner. On the goal he showed composure and made his turn well to get the shot off. On defense, he was very vulnerable to Jamaica's speed and was beaten too many times. He was helped tremendously by Graham Zusi on defense. Evans is obviously not a right back and is simply filling in while Cherundolo and Chandler are out. But if he can help the U.S team achieve results in this series of qualifiers, he will have served his team more than anyone would have imagined.
Jermaine Jones: Rating: 5.5: Jones was not nearly as effective as he was against Germany last weekend as he wasn't as smooth transitioning the ball forward and had more turnovers than his recent games. Still he made some solid defensive player and Jamaica had a tough time making plays when Jones was in the area. His concussion in the second half was a loss for the U.S team and the team will miss him if he cannot play in the games ahead.
Michael Bradley: Rating: 6.0: It was an uneven game for Bradley against Jamaica as his short passing as solid but too many times he tried, unsuccessfully, to play a long pass forward. He nearly had a goal in the first minutes with a shot off the post and assisted on the game winning goal while showing composure to find Evans in the box.
Fabian Johnson: Rating: 5.0: In his second straight start in the midfield, Johnson started off strong in the first 15 minutes but struggled to make an impact the rest of the game before being subbed out. Even when he was struggling, he provided needed width for the U.S. team and creates more room in the center.
Clint Dempsey: Rating: 5.0 : It was pretty clear that Jamaica's priority was to take Dempsey out of the game as Dempsey has been the team's leading scorer this year. The good news is that when the other team is focusing on Dempsey it creates opportunities for others.
Graham Zusi: Rating 7.0 and Man of the Match: It has been a good week for Zusi who was solid against Germany on Sunday and was the team's best performer against Jamaica. His assist on Altidore's goal was a beauty and he played solid defense when helping to cover for Evans. Zusi was involved throughout the entire game and will be missed against Panama after picking up a yellow card. His foul seemed smart at the time but Jamaica scored on the ensuing free kick. Despite that, he had a very good game.
Jozy Altidore: Rating: 6.0: His goal against Germany broke his scoreless streak but his goal tonight against Jamaica was another step in helping him become the dominant player he is at the club level. Classy finish on Zusi's perfect cross set the tone for the game.
Geoff Cameron: Rating: 6.0: Cameron showed just how much his versatility can help the U.S team when he came on for Jones and played central midfield. He helped provide the physical edge the team needed and broke up several plays defensively. He worked with in the midfield with Bradley.
Edgar Castillo: Rating: 5.5: Entering the game as a winger, Castillo did not have to concern himself as much with defense and could focus on attacking. He moved forward well into the attack and stretched the Jamaica defense on counter attacks but it didn't change the game.
Eddie Johnson: Rating Incomplete: After coming on late for Altidore, Johnson did not play enough to earn a rating but he was smart when he had to kill the game off. He took the ball to the corner at the end and left the Jamaicans with little time to press for the second equalizer.
Jurgen Klinsmann: Rating: 6.5: For the first time in his tenure, Klinsmann started the same lineup in consecutive games. The team played well early but took its foot off the gas pedal and allowed Jamaica to get back into it. His faith in Zusi, Besler, Beasley, and Johnson has helped the U.S team pick up results even if it hasn't always been pretty.