Gold Cup: US Player Ratings in victory over Canada
The United States national team closeted Jekyll to re-introduce Hyde on Tuesday night, rallying from bad weekend reviews in some style to top Gold Cup opening night foe Canada.
The Americans were in control throughout, winning with a solid halftime lead/insurance tally/clean sheet trifecta for the first time in 30 games.
What's more, the hosts played tribute to Detroit by motoring around the pitch in free-flowing attack mind set for much of the night. In particular, the US midfield dominated against Canada's most talented line. Here are the ratings for the US' 2-0 win:
Tim Howard (7.5) - Suddenly being called upon after watching from afar can be tricky for a goalkeeper. This was no problem for Howard, though, who clawed an Ali Gerba shot over the crossbar in the 70th minute. Near time, the Everton star nullified any chance of a nervous finish with consecutive primetime stops — one up high and one down low.
Steve Cherundolo (7) - The Hannover 96 captain was only bested by fellow former Portland Pilot Josh Simpson once, spending most of the evening directly in the winger's face. Cherundolo took every occasion to aid the attack up his flank, but none of his final balls provided danger.
Clarence Goodson (7) - There was one bad pass out of his end at the half hour, but other than that, Goodson was tidy. He rejected all comers and cleanly dealt with five crosses of varying heights.
Tim Ream (6.5) - Despite being nutmegged in the area, it was a rebound night overall for the Red Bulls prodigy. His positioning, in particular, was greatly improved over the weekend outing.
Carlos Bocanegra (6.5) - The skipper was solid if unspectacular in a showing reminiscent of his Saint-Étienne work at left back this past season. There were a couple of hairy moments, including on the late scramble that necessitated Howard's big double save.
Michael Bradley (8) - Many US fans moaned at his inactivity with Aston Villa, but the truth is, he probably needed a break. Bradley kicked off his fifth consecutive summer playing a tourney with a fresh legs showing. He was seemingly everywhere, distributed efficiently and took a few hard cracks at goal.
Jermaine Jones (7) - Another comeback kid after the Spain debacle, Jones started this contest slowly. He got better as the night wore on, however, frequently sparking the team forward from forced turnovers.
Landon Donovan (7.5) - Like Bradley, the No. 10 short was practically ubiquitous. Though a bit indecisive at the attack moment of truth, Donovan spent the entire game driving the US up field. His right-corner outswingers were also better than usual.
Clint Dempsey (7) - Nearly invisible in the first half, Deuce revved it up for the Motor City after intermission. Just after having a devilishly acrobatic flick shot cruelly blocked, Dempsey got his goal on the slide to give the home side insurance. In the end, it was a typical dirty shirt performance from the Fulham ace.
Juan Agudelo (7) - The youngster played a strong, mature game before being lifted on 64 minutes. Though he misfired on a decent chance, Agudelo made a real pest of himself in a number of ways.
Jozy Altidore (7.5) - Leaving his detractors speechless for a night, the young striker pulled out just about every tool in the box against Canada. Despite the Lars Hirschfield howler, his goal was a pure power forward play. To top it off, one of several good centering feeds set up Dempsey for the second.
Coach Bob Bradley (7) - A critic could easily try to wave off the turnabout from Saturday by insisting the "A" players made the difference, but that group is also Bradley's. The boss didn't just have the team put the Spain loss behind them, he had them doing it with the most stylish soccer seen from the US in a long while.
Chris Wondolowski (5.5) - His off-the-ball runs again plowed road, but the Quakes forward made no other impact.
Sacha Kljestan (6) - It was a nice short shift for the Anderlecht man, who was another player erasing bad weekend memories.
Maurice Edu (5.5) - The Rangers stalwart hinted at getting into trouble a couple of times, but managed to avoid it.