The US national team posted a different type of pretty win on Friday night, defeating CONCACAF World Cup qualifying guests Costa Rica 1-0 with a workmanlike effort in a snow globe at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
With coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the team under widespread examination this week, the Yanks deservedly continued their home dominance in Hexagonal play thanks to an early strike from skipper Clint Dempsey.
US Player Ratings
Brad Guzan (7) - Aside from getting away with a missed corner kick punch, the custodian was tidy. Guzan cleanly dug a couple of low shots out of the snow and did well to snag a dangerous late cross out of the blizzard.
Geoff Cameron (5) - Several of the US trouble spots involved the right back. Cameron set Costa Rica running with a couple of bad giveaways in the opening frame and served up a pair of danger free kicks in the second half.
Omar Gonzalez (7) - Who would guess the LA defender would find redemption in the snow? Officer Gonzo was back on the beat, with one particular hustling shot block of great importance.
Clarence Goodson (7.5) - Oft-maligned of late, the Brøndby defender was large and in charge all night. Several threatening Costa Rica advances were shut down by Goodson.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) - The stand-in left back was very fortunate to get away with a bad slip in the box, but it was one of his few mistakes. For the most part, Beasley handled the assignment worlds better than his last meeting with the Ticos.
Michael Bradley (6.5) - It was not a showy outing by any means, but the central park ranger kept things safe. Bradley was nearly flawless with the ball and also pitched in with a big shot block.
Jermaine Jones (6.5) - The Schalke midfielder was excellent in the first half, but his impact waned after the break. Jones was replaced in the 83rd minute after picking up a silly yellow card.
Graham Zusi (6.5) - The right-sider really didn't see that much of the ball, but still managed to find opportunity to put a few dangerous balls into the box.
Clint Dempsey (7.5) - Costa Rica put a shadow on the Texas Tornado; they probably needed two or three. Dempsey didn't just start and finish the goal play, he also provided everything from restart clearances to terrific flick-ons with his usual gusto.
Herculez Gomez (6) - Though not particularly evident in the attack zone, Gomez found lunch pail ways to contribute.
Jozy Altidore (7) - The US striker was the most technically accurate player on the field, perhaps by a decent margin. Most importantly, Altidore made space for the low drive that was deflected onto Dempsey's goal platter.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (7) - It's a bit difficult to grade tactics when the game is played in a "spring" wonderland. For the weather, score early and stay organized is as good a game plan as any. Still, pretty much every move Klinsi made worked in the biggest match of his tenure to date.
Eddie Johnson (6) - The first sub used his fresh legs to kill a little time and ship one dangerous cross.
Maurice Edu (-) - In a defensive cameo role, the Bursaspor standout helped keep the gate closed.
Kyle Beckerman (-) - Came in moments before the final whistle.