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Player Ratings

Michael Bradley Leads U.S. On Field and in Our Ratings

Life in Major League Soccer seems to suit The General just fine, but Omar Gonzalez struggled against Mexico last night. Here are Blake Thomsen's player ratings for last night's 2-2 draw.
BY Blake Thomsen Posted
April 03, 2014
10:29 AM


Nick Rimando: Rimando commanded his penalty box well and couldn’t do anything about either of the two Mexico goals. He dealt well with crosses and also did a good job of holding onto a few late strikes from distance. You’d expect nothing less from the world’s steadiest No. 3 goalkeeper. Rating: 6.5

Tony Beltran: Despite a decent spell in the middle of the first half (including a “hockey assist” on Chris Wondolowski’s goal), Beltran looked a little overmatched in a surprise start at right back. Mexico targeted his side the entire time he was on the field, and he was beaten a few too many times. Rating: 5

Omar Gonzalez: Gonzalez struggled throughout the game and was partly culpable for both Mexican goals. He looked far too sluggish for a prospective World Cup starter—so cue two months of intense lineup speculation. Geoff Cameron back to center back and Fabian Johnson at right back, anyone? Rating: 4

Matt Besler: In sharp contrast to Gonzalez and his difficult night, Besler was excellent in every—way aside from one questionable header in the first half. The Sporting Kansas City man showed his strength, pace, and sound positioning in a display that makes him a mortal lock to start in Brazil. Rating: 7

Michael Parkhurst: Parkhurst again reminded Jurgen Klinsmann of his versatility with a serviceable display at left back. He didn’t do anything special but was useful in possession and dependable defensively. He could easily be on the plane. Rating: 6.5

Kyle Beckerman: It was an up and down display for Beckerman—in the first half he did his job brilliantly, staying in front of the back four and allowing Michael Bradley to rampage forward. But his impact on the game lessened in the second half, and for a player known for his defensive quality, he didn’t cover himself in glory on either of Mexico’s goals. Rating: 6

Michael Bradley: Bradley looked on his way to a 9.5 or 10 with an astonishing first half that delivered a goal and assist, but like Beckerman, his impact on the game waned in the second half as the U.S. lost control of the play. Regardless, he was comfortably the best player on the pitch and further underscored his importance ahead of the World Cup. Rating: 8.5


Graham Zusi: Zusi was typically hard working and delivered a terrific corner for Michael Bradley’s goal. He was useful in the buildup and did well to support Beltran on the U.S. right. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was the type of defendable performance we’ve become accustomed to from the SKC midfielder. Rating: 6

Brad Davis: One has to think this will be Davis’s last U.S. appearance before the World Cup. He looked physically overmatched and lost the ball a bit too easily on too many occasions. Davis contributed a few decent passes in the first half, but there’s simply no room in Brazil with Alejandro Bedoya, Landon Donovan, Zusi, and even Brek Shea and Julian Green around. Rating: 5

Clint Dempsey: The American captain showed occasional flashes of the form that made him the U.S.’s best player for much of 2010-2012 in an up-and-down performance. Still, it was nice to see some of the commitment and clever touches that American fans have enjoyed from Dempsey for almost a decade. An encouraging performance that no doubt secured a sigh of relief from Klinsmann. Rating: 6

Chris Wondolowski: Despite him looking very overmatched physically at times, it’s getting hard to ignore Wondolowski’s goal scoring. There’s no way he’d start in Brazil—is there?—but his opportunistic finishing and clever movement are helping him make a case to be used off the bench. Rating: 7


Landon Donovan: Donovan wasn’t at his best—out of shape, injured, or a little of both?—but was calm in possession and delivered some quality set pieces. His impact on the game was muted throughout, but he made some strong solo runs late as the U.S. pushed for, and felt short of, a winner. Rating: 6

Clarence Goodson: Given Gonzalez’s poor play, it was a big chance for Goodson to make a case for himself to break into the first-choice XI. However, he looked almost as sluggish as Gonzalez in his half-hour cameo. The San Jose Earthquakes defender did deliver some quality blocks, but little else. Rating: 5

Julian Green: All eyes were on Green, who showed some promising signs but also looked overmatched at times with Mexico’s physical play, almost like an 18 year-old would. Oh wait… We’ll need to see more before we make a definitive claim on his potential World Cup spot. Rating: 10 (just kidding—5)

Eddie Johnson: Johnson was heading toward a low rating before he popped up to score a clinical late winner. The Panamanian officiating crew didn’t see it that way, however, so Johnson was denied a huge goal on a bogus offside call. In somewhat typical Johnson fashion, he made little impact aside from his goal and a trademark just-into-the-game header from a corner—but that’s two big pieces of action in less than half an hour. How does his skill set off the bench compare to Wondo and Green’s? Is he one of the 23? We’re glad we’re not Klinsmann right now. Rating: 6

Maurice Edu: Edu may have quietly improved his stock as much as any fringe U.S. player on the night. His introduction brought control and strength to the U.S. midfield, and he didn’t misplace a pass or lose out on a tackle in an impressive 20 minutes. You’d think it will certainly be enough to get him firmly back in the conversation for a spot on the plane. Rating: 7

DeAndre Yedlin: Yedlin didn’t face too much pressure defensively, and he responded by getting forward really well on a few occasions. He showed the blazing pace that he’s become known for and looked far more confident than he did in his first cap against South Korea. Could he go to Brazil? Don’t rule it out yet. Rating: 6


Jurgen Klinsmann: Klinsmann deserves credit for guiding the U.S. to a sensational first half, but for whatever reason the performance level dropped sharply in the second interval. The 4-4-2 looked much more dangerous than his preferred 4-2-3-1, and is better suited to Jozy Altidore's style of play. In terms of personnel, he will have some extremely tough decisions to make over the next two months. Rating: 6

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Blake Thomsen is a frequent ASN contributor. Follow him on Twitter and let him know what you think.

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