The US national team started slow and never really heated up, but got big plays from a sub to conjure an 90th-minute 1-0 winner against friendly guests Ecuador on Wednesday night.
It was far from a thrilling display, but the USMNT grew more organized and defensively sound as the match progressed. Ecuador put just one shot on goal, and as the end approached Bobby Wood fed Darlington Nagbe for a cool decider.
Player ratings for the game:
Brad Guzan (6.5) - Despite facing only one shot on target all night, Guzan made few key plays off his line during the first half.
DeAndre Yedlin (6) - The right back made some good early defensive plays with his speed, but also had a couple recovery attempts go awry. The youngster was solid on the ball, but we need him to help tilt the pitch on his flank a bit more.
Steve Birnbaum (5.5) - The D.C. United defender had early struggles, but largely cleaned up his act after the break. Birnbaum also completed each and every one of his passes.
John Anthony Brooks (6.5) - The Hertha Berlin defender held the hosts together at the back during a poor first half. Brooks' office was much quieter after intermission and he was removed late.
Fabian Johnson (5.5) - Sliding to left back, the 'Gladbach man was barely involved in the first half. Woefully unable to have impact moving forward, Johnson spent most of the second frame helping the US close the door on Ecuador. Regardless of where he is stationed, he needs to provide more.
Kyle Beckerman (5) - The Real Salt Lake midfielder had a nice pass here and a good defensive stop there, but traffic was far too often going the wrong way until he was replaced at halftime.
Michael Bradley (6.5) - Was rather quiet before the break, but rallied to enjoy a decent second half. Bradley stayed tidy in central park and pitched in with a big-hustle recovery play.
Jermaine Jones (5) - Unlike his sparkling recent outings for Colorado, Jones was quite subdued before leaving on 64 minutes. Unlike his typical USMNT showing, he provided no grit.
Graham Zusi (5.5) - It wasn't a great performance by any means, but Zusi came to scrap. He offered help tracking back and eventually broke through for a couple of dangerous passes in attack.
Gyasi Zardes (4.5) - The Galaxy ace barely touched the ball and failed to complete a positive pass in 45 minutes of play. Worst of all, that heavy first touch spoiled a great scoring chance.
Clint Dempsey (5) - The team did not bring him into the play, so Dempsey was never able to sink his teeth into the game over 64 minutes.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (6) - After the team concluded a dreary first half, it was very easy to charge Klinsmann with reverting to a handful of old ideas (Johnson at left back, Zardes on the wing, Jones and Bradley partnered, etc). That being said, the team fought very hard against an Ecuador side that granted little space and the manager's changes helped turn the tide.
Bobby Wood (7) - The Hamburg recruit has not only grown as a goal-scorer, he's grown as a competitor. The fight displayed on his knockdown for the winner was well worth the assist.
Darlington Nagbe (7.5) - Matters visibly improved for the home side after the Portland midfielder entered as a halftime sub. Nagbe completed all 26 of his passes and worked the pressure valve, opening his US account with a well-taken last-minute winner.
Alejandro Bedoya (5.5) - The Nantes attacker was never able to grab hold of the game during his 26 minutes.
Christian Pulisic (6) - The second-half sub decisively pushed forward a few times, forcing Ecuador to get on their horses.
Matt Besler (6) - The Sporting KC logged a couple of stops in just 13 minutes of action.
Michael Orozco (-) - A late cameo.