The first 70 minutes of the match did little to inspire the crowd at Sporting Park in Kansas City, but a late U.S. burst gave the Yanks a Hex-clinching win. Here's how the individual players performed.
October 11, 2013
SHARE THIS STORY
: Howard should have done better with an early free kick—he was saved by an excellent Brad Evans clearance—but he rebounded nicely to put in a strong overall performance. He kept the back line organized and looked confident when dealing with crosses and the occasional Jamaican effort on goal. Rating: 6.5
: The unlikely first-choice right back continues to impress. Evans was perhaps the strongest defender Friday night and handled the pace of Darren Mattocks well throughout. In a dream world he would offer more going forward, but with each dependable showing the Sounders man further bolsters his case to start in Brazil. Rating: 7
: Considering he plays exclusively right back at Stoke City, Cameron defended well when filling in for the injured Omar Gonzalez. His distribution was overly ambitious at times but Klinsmann has to be impressed by his willingness to try and ping balls to his strikers’ feet. A marked improvement from his last game at center back for the U.S. national team, when Bosnia’s dynamic attack gave him problems throughout. Rating: 6
: It’s amazing how far the Sporting Kansas City man has come in a few short months. He’s the one surefire starter in the U.S. back line and he looked the part tonight, dealing effectively with the Jamaican threat for the whole 90 minutes. Like Cameron, his passing left a little to be desired—especially in the first half—but all in all it was another solid night from the back four’s Mr. Consistency. Rating: 6.5
: Beasley didn’t have his best night, despite creating one of the U.S.’s best first-half chances with some admirable hustle. He was slightly troubled by Jamaica’s forays down his side and offered considerably less going forward than the impressive Edgar Castillo, who replaced Beasley in the 65th minute. Rating: 5.5
: It’s difficult to fault Jones too much for a lackluster display—he may not be fully fit, and it’s hard to remember the last time a U.S. central midfielder played well without Michael Bradley in the lineup. U.S. fans are still waiting for the Bundesliga veteran to step up and really command a game in Bradley’s absence. Along with most of his teammates, Jones improved considerably in the second half. Rating: 5.5
: It was a tale of two positions for Diskerud. When playing alongside Jermaine Jones in the center of the park, he struggled to make much of an influence. But he came to life when moved closer to goal late in the match, pulling the strings along with Graham Zusi as the Yanks finished with a flourish. Rating: 6.5
: Bedoya looked much better when given space to work with late in the match, and did well to set up Zusi’s opener. He didn’t offer much going forward in the first half—to be fair, no one did—but he deserves credit for neutralizing the Jamaican attack with his impressive work rate. Just about what we’ve come to expect from the reliable Nantes midfielder. Rating: 6
: Like every U.S. attacker who doesn’t resemble Kevin Bacon, Donovan struggled to get anything going in a sleepy first half. Fitness concerns may have played a part in Donovan being taken off at halftime, but Jurgen Klinsmann said after the contest that Donovan was taken off because of "performance" issues. Rating: 5
: Johannsson was far livelier than any other American in the first half. He showed his class all over the field, dropping deep to facilitate attacks and dribbling characteristically well. His rating could have been so much higher if he’d shown more quality in front of goal, though. A glimpse of his potential, but nothing more. Yet. Rating: 6.5
: Altidore looked a bit out of sorts in the first half but was finally rewarded for getting into good positions when Castillo fed him for a late tap-in. Even if it wasn’t the most difficult finish, Altidore will certainly be pleased to get back on the score sheet after a tough start to life at Sunderland. Rating: 6
: Zusi came on for Donovan at intermission and starred in front of his home fans. He changed the feel of the game with his ambitious play, and he scored the team's first goal when he cleverly finished Bedoya’s cutback cross. Zusi seemed to be enjoying himself late on and nearly assisted Edgar Castillo with a sublime left-footed chip. Rating: 7.5
: Castillo changed the game from the moment he came on, providing a much-needed lift to the floundering U.S. attack. He wasn’t tested defensively—so it’s important not to get too carried away—but he showed just how big of an impact he can make on a match, especially against a tiring defense. Rating: 7
: Kljestan looked comfortable on the ball in his late cameo and nearly scored a fantastic goal from Zusi’s deep cross. He was a tad conservative going forward but did well to maintain possession. Rating: 6
: For whatever reason, the Yanks looked very flat in the first half. Part of that falls on Klinsmann. Should he have brought in some eager, untested young players? His subs certainly worked brilliantly, though. Zusi was the man of the match, Kljestan’s introduction freed Diskerud to make a bigger impact, and even a straight swap of left backs delivered a huge attacking boost. Rating: 6.5
OK, these are our ratings. Now we want to see yours. It's easy with our interactive Player Ratings tool. Do it.
Blake Thomsen is a freelance writer and ASN contributor. Please follow him on Twitter; he could really use the support.