There’s a lot of talk brewing about the USA-Panama match the other night. One thing is for certain: the USA proved how deep they are. By Andrew Pokorny.
Guzan – 5.5 – As fans have come to expect from the Villa keep, he had some great distribution. However, other than this he had a pretty mediocre night. He looked hesitant to come off of his line at times, and he should have done much better on the second Panamanian goal. Howard is still the #1 after this performance.
Evans- 5.5- For what seemed like long stretches of time, Evans had very little to do in the back. When Panama did attack his side, he looked shaky and got blown by a few times. He did a great job this summer filling in as this spot, but he is not a World Cup right back.
Goodson – 6.0 – It was nothing special out of the San Jose defender. He was caught out of position on Panama’s first goal, but I don’t blame him too much. He is nearly a lock for Klinsmann’s 23-man squad with his play this summer.
Orozco – 5.5 – Orozco did well to score by getting something on the ball. On the other side of the field, his defense and play was sloppy, so I seriously doubt he will be on the World Cup roster as of right now.
Castillo – 7.0 – Castillo saved the game with a big goal line stop in the second half. His turnover did lead to the Panamanian goal but he made up for this error with very strong play in the second half. He attacks with pace and strength and adds depth to the USA defense.
Bedoya – 6.5 – Bedoya played in three different positions in this game and showed his versatility. When attacking, he had a few moments of beautiful soccer with Altidore. Once he shifted to right back, he looked nervous and rightly so. His play was sloppy, and he nearly gave up a penalty. I think it’s safe to say he won’t be on the squad to play right back, but he will be on the team as a great attacking option.
Beckerman – 6.5 – It was another solid performance for the Swiss Army Knife of the US roster. Early on in the game, he was playing too far up and dangerously left too much space in front of the back-line. However, I’m still not a huge fan of Beckerman and can’t see what he adds that other midfielders don’t. But I still expect Klinsmann to give him a spot on the roster, sadly.
Diskerud – 6.5 – Diskerud played a solid game in the center attacking midfield position. He had his fair share of turnovers but created a good number of chances, too. My one big complaint is that he seems to be hesitant to shoot the ball when he gets the space in the attacking area. If he becomes a little more confident and starts taking chances, he will be a dangerous weapon for the US.
Kljestan – 7.5 – In the second half, Sacha turned it on. He was hungry for a goal, and it was noticeable. He attempted a bicycle kick and fought for balls on the top of the box. Although he is not yet worthy of a starting spot, he has earned a roster spot for the time being with this performance against Panama.
Zusi – 6.5 – For much of the game, Zusi did not play well; he turned the ball over too often and added little to the US attack. His defensive work rate was also quite poor at times; he will certainly have to work on his defense. He did well to head the ball into the goal, but I’m still wondering whether he should have scored that goal. But that is an issue for another time.
Altidore- 7.5 – Altidore was the top performer of the first half. His hold up play was superb, but his supporting cast was doing little to help out. He also looked extremely confident up top, which is a major step in his development. His play dropped in the second half some, but in the end he nearly scored a few times.
Davis – 8.0 – Davis was the difference maker in this game. He played a few very dangerous crosses into the box, once he was subbed in. Eventually, one connected with its target and found its way to the back of the net. Klinsmann again made the super sub and completely changed the dynamic of the game.
Johannsson – 7.5 – As we have come to expect from Kevin Bacon, his work rate was excellent. This time, however, it paid off as he scored his first USMNT goal, and it was a beautiful finish. Klinsmann did play him in more of a midfield position this game, which I don’t think is his right position. On another note, his curling shot that nearly found the net was insane.
Boyd – 7.5 – Boyd had an immediate impact when he entered the game with little time left. His header went high, and moments later the Panamanian goalkeeper made a daring grab to snatch the ball from Boyd’s foot. His control that led to Johannsson’s goal was also quite impressive. Watching what he did against Panama, is exciting for the future.