USMNT Player Ratings: Low marks all around after sluggish performance in Costa Rica
As one might expect, the marks are not pleasant following the US national team's 3-1 defeat to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hosts Costa Rica on Friday night.
The visitors were hit twice during a nightmare start and problems at the back continued to pop up the rest of the night. Just when it appeared the Nats were on the verge of conjuring an equalizer, more mistakes led to the Ticos putting the three points on ice.
GK Tim Howard (6.5) – The netminder worked a strong first half; some will gripe Howard should have come out for the cross on the second goal, but it's hard to fault him when he leaves it for two defenders in prime position for a simple clearance. The last goal, however, was one he typically stops.
RB Michael Orozco Fiscal (3) – It was an incredibly rough night for the right back, who was constantly foiled by overlapping runs. The Puebla man also came up short on Costa Rica's corner kick opener.
CB Omar Gonzalez (4) – It was another shaky outing from the LA Galaxy center back, with a terrific 65th minute saving tackle his lone highlight. Gonzo settled for stretches of the second half, but mistakes of all varieties eventually returned.
CB Matt Besler (4) – The Sporting KC defender made considerably more plays than his partner, but also the bigger errors. Besler was oddly adrift on the hosts' second goal and plum fell asleep on the third. A silly booking also earned him a ban with Mexico up next.
LB DaMarcus Beasley (4.5) – It would be harsh to give him a red mark for failing to nod away the opening bullet header, but he was badly caught waiting for the ball to come to him on the Ticos' second goal. The veteran also failed to make an offensive impact when given an opening to do so.
DM Jermaine Jones (5.5) – The Schalke midfield cop suffered through a very rough opening phase, with several bad giveaways and pointless long punts. He eventually calmed down to provide more than a few slicing passes and helpful pocket picks.
DM Geoff Cameron (6) – There were a couple of flubs, but all in all the last minute starter worked a decent shift. Though we could have all done without the yellow card suspension ahead of Mexico's visit, Cameron again showed he can periodically ship some clever attack-minded passes when played in defensive midfield.
RW Graham Zusi (4.5) – The right midfielder looked a half-step too slow most of the night and played easily his worst defensive match for the Nats. On the plus side, Zusi's quick thinking and deft touch helped earn the US spot kick.
CAM Landon Donovan (6.5) – It took a long while for the Galaxy star to turn bright and his spell leading the line was a tactical waste, but he caused a lot of problems for the Ticos in the second half.
LW Fabian Johnson (5.5) – The left midfielder was the best US field player in the first half, which ended shortly after his hustling penalty kick win got the visitors back in the game. After intermission, Johnson was an invisible man until his removal.
FWD Clint Dempsey (5) – Precious little was going his way until near the hour and it was his mark that headed home the opener. Frankly, he was lucky the penalty kick went in, but experienced the flip side of fortune when his artfully-created potential equalizer rifled off the post.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (4) – For as much as Klinsi claimed this was the team's biggest tilt of the year, they came out looking like spectators. The back was a mess and we probably saw more stray long balls in 30 minutes than we had in the last handful of games. Playing Deuce up top didn't work, nor predictably did switching Donovan there. When the coach started making subs, a formation that was starting to break down Costa Rica got altered and the fearsome attack postures dried up.
LW Eddie Johnson (4.5) – For a player bringing fresh legs to a team dominating possession, the Sounders forward made almost no impact in his half hour of action.
FWD Jozy Altidore (5) – The powerful forward certainly didn't look hobbled, making a couple of nifty plays that sadly came up empty. His grade took a big hit for a foolish stoppage time booking that forces him out of the Mexico game.
FWD Aron Jóhannsson (-) – A mere cameo, barely had a touch.