KRIS LINDSAY - Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The United States defeated Azerbaijan 2-0 on Tuesday night behind goals from substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson.
The defense was largely untested, and the focus was largely on the play of the midfielders and the forwards. Here were the ratings from the game:
Tim Howard - 6.0 - Controlled the box, not called on often.
Demarcus Beasley - 5.5 - Got up the field well, but largely untested on the wing. Should face a heavier test on Sunday against Turkey.
Matt Besler - 6.0 - Had a few key clearances, and his marking was improved.
Geoff Cameron - 5.5 - Largely untested, but worked well with Besler in the back. Defense on set pieces was improved.
Fabian Johnson - 6.0 - Dribbling was superb going forward. Did well on the left in his debut on that side for the US.
Jermaine Jones - 4.5 - Several turnovers in the midfield, didn't seem to have much precision in his passing, and didn't exhibit the kind of dominance in the midfield you would expect against lesser opposition.
Alejandro Bedoya - 6.0 - Nearly had an assist on a superb cross to Chris Wondolowski. Did well going forward. Turned the ball over a few times, but made up for it with his tracking back and helping with the defense.
Graham Zusi - 5.5 - Decent passing night, but his lack of dominance in the midfield against lesser opponents raised question marks, especially after his substitute made such a difference.
Michael Bradley - 5.5 - Got the USA in good spots several times, but his passing was a bit less crisp than in previous games.
Chris Wondolowski - 5.5 - Decent showing for the forward, who learned about his starting role just minutes before kickoff. Had two headers that probably should have found the back of the net, but was in impressive positions.
Jozy Altidore - 5.0 - Hold up play was fantastic. Jozy's strength shined against the competition, but really struggled to keep his shot down. Made a couple of questionable touches in the box. Seemed to lack confidence after a challenging season with Sunderland.
Mix Diskerud - 6.5 - Made an impressive entrance, scoring the first goal for the USA within five minutes of entering. Got himself into a great position again moments later only to have his shot blocked.
Aron Johannsson - 6.0 - Showed great chemistry with Altidore, was in a great position on the goal. Brought energy on the field, and showed confidence on the ball.
Brad Davis - 7.0 and MOTM - Was a magician on set pieces, sending in dangerous balls on all of the set pieces except for the last one. Assisted on the Johannsson goal, drew what should have been a penalty, and was precise in his passing.
Timmy Chandler - 6.0 - impressed with his ability to get forward and to not give up on the ball. Did not give the ball away under pressure. Will likely be further tested against Turkey.
Omar Gonzalez - 5.5 - Largely untested in the back, but did better marking his man and reading the opposing offense. Made a few smart passes and clearances.
DeAndre Yedlin - 5.0 - Showed well going forward, but gave the ball away in key places in an attempt to move the ball out of the back.