The United States Men’s National Team continued their winning ways in CONCACAF qualifying on Friday night, taking down Jamaica 2-0. By Andrew Pokorny.
Howard – 6.5 – After a shaky start on a play that required a goal-line save from Brad Evans, Howard was solid the rest of the night. Once again, he held firm in the back and led the US to its fifth shutout in five home games.
Beasley – 6.0 – Beasley was solid all night long and prevented any serious attacks from the quick Jamaican team. Loses points for not getting forward more— he’s at his best when he ventures into the attack.
Besler – 6.5 – Besler was rarely called into action, but he must be credited for the fifth shutout in five games at home. With his play throughout the qualifiers, he has pretty much solidified his position as a starting center defender for Brazil 2014.
Cameron – 6.5 – Cameron had good distribution at times, but, like Besler, he wasn’t really tested in first or second half. I still find it interesting that Klinsmann refuses to play Cameron at the position occupies at the club level. There should be some good competition for the four spots in the back as this summer’s tournament nears.
Evans – 7.0- The Sounders midfielder held his own against a fast Jamaican attack. He also receives a boost because of his crucial goal-line save very early on in the game. However, he did not show that he is truly the best option at right-back, and others might still have a chance to stake a claim for a starting role.
Donovan- 5.5- Landon was hidden for the majority of the time he was in the game. He touched the ball so little that the typically oblivious ESPN commentators even mentioned it. If Donovan wants to keep his starting role, he will need a better showing next time his number is called.
Jones – 6.0 – Jones appears to still not understand his position at times. He frequently tries to go for the killer ball and rarely hits it right. At other times, his defense looks suspect. His performance against Jamaica was completely typical in these respects. He’ll need to seriously pick it up in order for the USA to be successful in Brazil.
Diskerud- 7.0- For much of the game, Diskerud wasn’t in his preferred position and the team wasn’t finding him enough. However, that changed with the second half substitutes. When he was given the opportunity to push up more, he dominated the midfield. Mix has become a strong player for the USA.
Bedoya – 6.5 – Much like Donovan, he was absent from the action for extended periods of time. Also, for some reason most of his crosses were hit way too high. However, he did do extremely well to keep the play alive in the build up to Graham Zusi’s goal. Bedoya has become a very solid option for the American attack this summer.
Altidore – 5.0 – He gets a low rating for three reasons. First, he did not find the ball enough; he needs more touches on the ball. Second, he lacked any sort of chemistry with Aaron Johannsson up top. And finally, he carelessly turned the ball over way too many times. He made up for some of this with his cool finish in front of goal, though.
Johannsson- 7.0 – For the majority of the game, Johannsson’s three half chances were all the team had. Although he missed a shot off of a corner, his touch to control that ball was a beauty. The AZ star showed an impressive level of skill and a high work rate; he will be a crucial player for the US as they move forward.
Zusi – 8.0 – Zusi was easily the difference maker in this game. He immediately changed the entire dynamic of he USA attack. His ball distribution was excellent, and the hometown hero did especially well on his goal. For his excellent play in the second half, Zusi is the Man of the Match.
Castillo- 8.5 – Castillo had an immediate impact when he came into the game at the start of the second half. He served a few dangerous balls into the box before he finally found Altidore who sealed the game. Castillo’s stock certainly went up as a result of his play against Jamaica.
Kljestan- N/A – He had one or two plays but not enough for a rating.