The US national team recovered their mojo on Friday night, getting goals from five players in a comprehensive 6-1 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines in St. Louis to open CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in style.
Even with the underdogs scoring first, the result was never in doubt. The home side picked up steam as the game progressed to post an appropriately gaudy win.
Brad Guzan (6) - It was largely a feet-up night for the netminder, who can't be faulted on the away opener.
DeAndre Yedlin (6.5) - For a guy that's been quite involved defensively for Sunderland in recent weeks, it was unexpected to see him freeze up on the early Oalex Anderson ice-breaker. Yedlin rallied, though, notching a sharp assist on the quick reply equalizer and seven pass interceptions.
Geoff Cameron (7) - There was not much work at the back, so Cameron chalked up his third career USMNT strike with a fine corner kick header. Cameron also connected on several incisive or distance-eating passes in and into the attacking end.
Matt Besler (6.5) - The Sporting KC man had even less to do in defense than his partner, so he also got involved with the offense a few times. Besler should have scored with a restart header in the first half, and then saw another ping the crossbar.
Tim Ream (6.5) - Along with Besler, the hometown boy almost completely took Tevin Slater out of the game. Ream also participated in some dangerous advances.
Jermaine Jones (7) - The "Dread-ator" started a bit slow, but warmed up well enough to pocket a pair of assists and the most central park defensive stops of anyone. Jones' forceful entry passes helped keep the team in attack mode.
Michael Bradley (7) - Though he did not make the scoresheet in any way, Bradley was constantly directing traffic forward and worked the away netminder with a couple of distance tries. Unburdened by the lead playmaker role, he looked much more in control of the night's proceedings.
Fabian Johnson (7.5) - Sure, his free kick took a friendly deflection, but it was well-hit. Johnson did not add an assist, but it certainly was not from a lack of trying. Simply put, he was the team's ignition switch for 64 minutes.
Gyasi Zardes (6) - While it was not the sharpest outing we've seen from Zardes in a US shirt, he kept at it and finally got in on the scoring fun.
Bobby Wood (7) - The Union Berlin ace tied the game with a nice header and could have added another goal or two with more precise finishing. Wood also provided a few good set-ups, eventually flicking on for Cameron to score.
Jozy Altidore (7) - After disappointing on some early hold-up opportunities, Altidore routinely injected himself into the middle of the action. The Toronto FC man ended up with a brace and an assist for his varied efforts in attack.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (6.5) - Even though a mistake came of it, the boss gets points for finally fielding Yedlin at right back. That move allowed Johnson to play in attack and the overall effect is hard to argue with, regardless of opponent. In the big picture, these decisions showed Klinsmann was in no mood to be overly cute. He gave the team a simple properly-manned plan, let them off the leash and they recorded a suitable victory.
Matt Miazga (6) - The New York Red Bulls youngster worked 26 tidy minutes in his first US cap. There wasn't much to deal with, but Miazga picked off a few passes.
Darlington Nagbe (6) - Nothing really special came from the Portland Timbers' debutant, but he dutifully aided possession and made a few defensive stops.
Jordan Morris (5.5) - It was just 22 minutes in a rout, but this is as loose as we've seen his touch.