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11/23 FINAL
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11/30 9:20pm
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Eastern Conference Championship

US Player Ratings: Solid grades all around in huge win

Landon Donovan and Jermaine Jones

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Sparked by a milestone night that proved Landon Donovan has plenty of internal fire left to burn, the US national team earned high marks for a 5-1 humbling of Scotland in Jacksonville, Fla.

The home side put up a fence near midfield and repeatedly rumbled forward with turnovers that eventually became goals until the last 20 minutes of the game was reduced to the southern hospitality of ceded possession.

Tim Howard (6.5) - The Everton star has very little to do, but snagged a couple of tempting crosses.

Steve Cherundolo (6.5) - The right back had a couple of few issues in his corner. Happily, Cherundolo spent most of his night shipping lead passes to teammates.

Geoff Cameron (6.5) - The Dynamo man created his own bad luck on the own goal by losing Kenny Miller to begin with, and then rallied to complete a decent showing. Cameron found some occasion to surge forward and dealt well with Scotland's long-ball attempts.

Carlos Bocanegra (7) - The Scots found no luck against the Rangers defender and eventually stopped trying him.

Fabian Johnson (7) - Barely asked to play any defense on the night, the Hoffenheim flank man stayed high to support pressure and periodically hopped on his bicycle. Johnson's surges into attack produced two danger free kicks.

Maurice Edu (7) - The Rangers midfielder's job in this system is three-fold: get in shirts, tidy up and simply move the ball forward to someone with more ideas. For the large part, Edu ticked his three boxes.

Michael Bradley (8.5) - This would have been a great performance even without the nasty strike for his 10th USMNT goal. Bradley was both "The General" and the repeated release point for attack. His terrific pass facilitated the second Donovan goal and an even better one set up the hat trick. Molto bene!

Jermaine Jones (8.5) - A goal and two helpers would be enough for high plaudits, but the Schalke wild man was also quite sound. His second assist was well-earned with a beautiful cutback pass. As evidenced, Jones is also a menace in high pressure.

Landon Donovan (9.5) - The degree of difficulty and lack of competitive weight are all that separates the LA Galaxy star from a perfect grade. Not merely content to finish three times in his record-setting 125th US start, Donovan was also the main engine moving forward. Heck, even his miss off the post was class.

Jose Francisco Torres (8) - Those tricky feet and splitting passes were obviously free to wander tonight, and the Pachuca man took full advantage. Torres also nearly took advantage of snoozing Scotland with a quick free kick off the woodwork.

Terrence Boyd (7) - No, there wasn't a fatal touch to celebrate, but the youngster had his fin above the water and circling for 64 minutes.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (9) - Gradually, the pages of Claudio Reyna's system handbook are coming to life. The aforementioned high pressure was disruptive; until the game was out of hand, Scotland had enough trouble just maintaining possession across midfield. With or without the ball, US player movement was outstanding all night. Credit's due here.

Subs:

Oguchi Onyewu (6) - Not a long shift, but Gooch managed to make a couple of strong plays.

Kyle Beckerman (5.5) - The Real Salt Lake ace was a bit invisible in just less than a half-hour's time.

Herculez Gomez (6) - The freshly crowned Mexican league champ took a little time to find the game. When he did, Gomez looked dangerous.

Joe Corona (6) - In a 22-minute US senior team debut, the Tijuana attacker showed flashes of having the build skills for this level.

Brad Guzan (-) - The free-agent netminder had an easy relief appearance.

Edgar Castillo (-) - A smidge of good and bad was seen from the team's shortest outing.