ASN Player Ratings
Guzan, Gonzalez, and Besler Shine in Mexico City
Josh Deaver delivers the verdict, assigning numerical value to the performances of the United States national team members. In other words, he provides player ratings for the impressive draw.
BY Josh Deaver PostedIt wasn’t pretty, but it’s a point. In front of nearly 100,000 fans in Mexico City, the U.S. weathered the storm and escaped with a result on Tuesday night. Looking back, it won’t be an offensive performance to remember with any fondness, but Jurgen Klinsmann did get some questions answered regarding some inexperienced defenders who shined underneath the bright lights of Azteca. Without further ado, ASN's ratings. Brad Guzan Massive would be an understatement. He wore an ‘S’ on his chest. The way Guzan has stepped up in place of an injured Tim Howard has been nothing less than stellar. Facing down the dynamic attack of El Tri, the Aston Villa keeper was fearless. He commanded the box with authority and was lively in communication with his inexperienced backline. Guzan only made three saves on the night, but his diving stop deep into stoppage time saved the point for the Americans. While Tim Howard is still the unquestioned No. 1, Guzan's play against Costa Rica and Mexico confirmed that he's the Everton backstop's immediate successor on the national team. To quote Jurgen Klinsmann post-game, “Brad Guzan is more than a No. 2.” Rating: 7.5 DaMarcus Beasley The left back did not find the same success he had against Costa Rica. After picking up an early yellow card, the Mexicans attacked the left side early and often. Beasley was easily stretched, often going too far inside or pushing too high, which allowed Javier Aquino, a menace all night, to get behind the U.S defense and create some dangerous opportunities for El Tri. He also seemed to pick up a hamstring injury early in the second half and offered little in the way of pace out wide as the game wore on. Rating: 4.5 Matt Besler Sporting Kansas City's center back shined under the spotlight in only his second cap for the national team. After some initial nerves, Besler settled down and put in an excellent performance partnering with Omar Gonzalez. Starting in place of an injured Clearance Goodson, the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year contributed with several vital clearances including a block in the 69th minute to stop a close-range effort inside the box that seemed destined for goal. Overall, the performance is exactly what Klinsmann wanted to see. While Besler might not be a starter he has made more than a shout for future inclusion going forward in the Hex. Rating 7.5 Omar Gonzalez Any question regarding his international viability were answered with a monster performance on a truly grand stage. Gonzalez dominated in the air and covered well for a stretched U.S. defense. Aside from a few nervy moments, he was able to tame the frenetic pace of Chicharito and effectively kept the Mexican attack at bay inside the 18-yard box. Of his seven clearances inside the box, none was more important than a 53rd minute interception that seemed to be a sure goal for the home side. Truly a ‘man of the match’ performance, Gonzalez grew up in a big way on Tuesday night and cemented his place in the U.S. defense. Rating 8.5 Geoff Cameron Another mediocre performance from the right back. After failing to impress against Costa Rica on Friday, Cameron was once again sloppy on the ball, losing possession 27 times, more than any other U.S. defender. Service also left a lot to be desired as several crosses missed their mark by a wide margin. Still, Cameron was fairly steady with his defensive assignments on the right hand side. Rating: 6 Clint Dempsey After a grueling 90 minutes in the snow, the American captain had very little impact Tuesday night. Having just returned from an injury, Dempsey was sluggish and did not look in top form. While he was able to draw a couple of free kicks, he played deep for a majority of the evening and was largely anonymous in the attack. The lack of his normally excellent off-ball movement and combination play severely hampered the U.S. Deuce did account for the Americans one shot—yes, only one—an off-target effort that harmlessly skipped wide in the 52nd minute. Rating: 5 Michael Bradley Once again, Bradley displayed his midfield wizardry with near perfect passing, going 57-for-58, while attempting to pull strings for a U.S. midfielder that seemed bereft of ideas for a majority of the night. In the infrequent moments when the U.S. saw extended possession, Bradley was the anchor. Calm, cool, and composed, the Roma midfielder was solid defensively and acted as the inspiration for some the U.S.’s best scoring chances. After a series of quick passing combinations late in the first half, Bradley nearly got behind the Mexican defense for an excellent opportunity, only to see his first touch let him down in front of the goal. Rating: 7 Graham Zusi Running hard all night, Zusi put in another workman’s performance. Working on the right wing, he found some time to go forward but should also be praised for his defensive acumen. The winger defended admirably as he was forced to contend with constant overlapping runs along the touchline. In the 72nd minute, Zusi made a 40-yard trackback run and was able to kill a sure-fire scoring opportunity for Mexico with a well-timed defensive header. His delivery from the wing, usually excellent, was lacking as it had been in Denver and led to some wasted opportunities when the U.S. was able to get forward. Rating: 5.5 Maurice Edu The midfielder, starting in place of an injured Jermaine Jones, was strong defensively for most of the night but offered little in terms of keeping possession. Edu lost the ball more than a few times in the midfield and seemed too eager to dribble. He was also responsible for a rash tackle inside the box late in the second half, which on any other day was a clear penalty call. Edu will breathe a huge sigh of relief that his reckless challenge didn’t sink the U.S. tonight. Otherwise, it was his usual solid performance. Rating: 5.5 Jozy Altidore After one of his best national team performances in recent memory against Costa Rica in Denver, Altidore was essentially a non-factor on Tuesday. To be fair, the service was less than ideal, but Altidore failed to make the off-ball runs that make him so effective in the Eredivisie. "He just ran out of gas,” Klinsmann said after the match. Rating: 4.5 Herculez Gomez The Santos Laguna striker showed no fear given the mystique of Azteca. Unfortunately, Gomez was forced to help with defensive cover for DaMarcus Beasley for large portions of the contest, which took away from his efforts in the attacking half. His motor kept the Mexican defense on their toes when the U.S. was on the ball, but ultimately his efforts resulted in few chances. Gomez was also wasteful with his delivery, sending several errant crosses and corner kicks. Rating: 5.5
March 27, 2013
March 27, 2013