Gold Cup: US player ratings from win over Guadeloupe
Though a few will be sent to finishing school, the grades are mostly improved after the United States posted an advancement victory over game Guadeloupe that was closer than it needed to be.
Despite being served up a buffet of chances on the evening, the Nats ended up having to get by on Jozy Altidore's delicious first half leg roast.
While the US did fail to get their money's worth in attack, the tweaked team generally ruled the proceedings through patient play much more befitting of a favorite in a CONCACAF mismatch.
Here are the ratings for the US' 1-0 win:
Tim Howard (5.5) — After looking a bit shaky early when a ball squirted through the goalmouth, Howard regained command of the area. He had little to do most of the night.
Steve Cherundolo (7) — The Hannover 96 captain really had his flank motor revved for this match. After crossing miserably against Panama, all five of his deliveries were dangerous on this night.
Clarence Goodson (4.5) — The right center back was fine most of the night, but there were a couple of potentially fatal mental lapses. Goodson allowed that troubling early centering feed to squeeze through and could have put the Nats down a man for committing a 17th minute recovery foul on an unluckier night.
Carlos Bocanegra (6) — In sliding over from the left, the skipper predictably provided a cool head at the back. Bocanegra also launched a couple of nice long balls into attack.
Eric Lichaj (6.5) — Putting the Spain debacle firmly behind him, the Aston Villa apprentice put in a solid showing on his off wing. He was strongest in the first half, with strong defending in his end and insistent surges into the other.
Michael Bradley (6) — Though not overtly effective in halting rushes, the midfield general directed traffic forward near his usual level. It's a pity his cheeky corner kick backheel redirection was blocked off the line.
Jermaine Jones (7) — There were a couple of early moments where the midfielder's energy got the better of him. From about the half-hour mark on, he was among the best few players on the field. The active midfielder should have had an assist from one of several quality entry passes in particular.
Clint Dempsey (4.5) — Top shelf Deuce would have bagged at least a hat trick, and I can't even imagine what the idea was on the late sitter miss. On the plus side, Dempsey fired off a pair of scary free kicks, did some nice possession work and made sharp runs.
Landon Donovan (5) — While Dempsey missed three prime chances, Donovan became the new Wondo by skying over from the doorstep when it seemed a trick. As has become typical, his build work was competent and his restarts mediocre as a bunch.
Chris Wondolowski (6) — The Quakes hit man ticked nearly all of the forward boxes in the first half, but somewhat disappeared in his 20 minutes after the break. Wondo was very positive with the ball early, forced some danger-spawning turnovers with pressure and flirted with scoring. If nothing else, he surely did enough to bury the ghost of sitters past.
Jozy Altidore (7) — It was beyond great to see Altidore abandon any hesitation in unleashing that cold-blooded winner. In addition, his incisive runs were expertly timed, repeatedly drawing the team into attack mode.
Coach Bob Bradley (7) — To reiterate a point from the other day, the boss doesn't flub gimmes in the box. Though the side still lack some sharpness, they came out and controlled mattes well enough to win by four or five goals — which certainly would have qualified as an expectation-filling result. All of Bradley's line-up maneuvers and sub picks ended up looking justifiable to even his harshest critics.
Alejandro Bedoya (6) — Always lively and physical, the attacker was another Nat robbed of an assist by hapless or unlucky finishing. However, Bedoya probably should have done better when Donovan dropped a perfectly weighted back post cross on his foot.
Sacha Kljestan (6) — The Anderlecht man did a good amount of noticeably positive work with the passing game in just 12 minutes. Add him to the list of players thinking of an assist that should've been.
Maurice Edu (-) — A five-minute cameo was just enough time for some serviceable ball hoarding.