US Player Ratings: Much-maligned US back line earns high marks in Cuba drubbing

There won't be any red marks on the US national team report cards following a 6-0 cruise past Gold Cup quarterfinal victims Cuba in Baltimore on Saturday.

Paced by Clint Dempsey's three goals, the home side scored early and often against the weakest opponent they will face during this tournament run. Still, the boys all handled business with confidence and served up a circus win for the fans in reaching the semis.

Brad Guzan (6.5) - The US No. 1 was sure-handed and in command of the area on the rare occasions that Cuba threatened. It was a fairly easy night, but he stayed in tune to the game.

Timothy Chandler (6.5) - Before leaving at halftime, Chandler notched a fine crossing assist on the opener. He had little to do at the back, but handled it well.

Omar Gonzalez (6.5) - Gonzo had perhaps the least to deal with defensively, but he was a little lax on one cutback lane from the touchline in particular. All is forgotten, though, as he celebrated his first USMNT strike near the break.

Ventura Alvarado (6.5) - On this night, with plenty of watching from the defense, Alvarado occasionally pitched in with a nice step or cover challenge as contributions. He did, however, nearly have a hiccup leading the ball back to Guzan in the 68th minute.

Fabian Johnson (6.5) - Johnson notched an assist that nearly mirrored Chandler's, the highlight of his solid first-half display. On the down side, one cross left his corner without any pressure. The right back seemed to tire early and was lifted in the 67th minute.

Kyle Beckerman (6) - The Real Salt Lake midfield ace did away with the bad giveaways from earlier tourney matches, completing all 29 of his passes in 45 minutes of play. Beckerman also pulled off one rather swashbuckling tackle.

Gyasi Zardes (7) - It was a fun night for Zardes, who showed great patience on both his run and finish on the second goal. The Galaxy man also pushed play wide on several occasions, opening up space for the interior attackers.

Alejandro Bedoya (6) - Despite some sloppy short passing in the opening frame, Bedoya kept his motor running and running some more to produce a solid display. Should it even be a surprise that he looked more than a little comfortable during his 23 minutes portraying a left back?

Michael Bradley (7) - Sure, the Toronto FC star shipped a stray pass here and there, but that just feels like nitpicking on a three-assist night. Bradley's long passing into the final third was on festival display against Cuba; the bomb that led to Aron Jóhannsson was perfect and a later lead ball to Zardes may well have been better.

Clint Dempsey (8) - The man of the night pulled off a hat trick befitting of his character. Deuce banged home an early header, bagged a penalty after the hour and quickly followed that with a get-dirty strike. Golden Boot, here he comes.

Aron Jóhannsson (7) - The AZ Alkmaar hit man was toying with Cuba just as much as Dempsey. His lob for the goal landed as gently as you like, much like the scoop entry feed that Bradley stumbled over. His knockdown assist rescued a corner serve going out of bounds.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (6.5) - Judging tactics and personnel decisions against a shorthanded Cuba side that would be huge underdogs at full strength seems silly. Tonight, let's talk about the real Klinsi effect; before and after halftime, you could hear him barking traffic direction for passes. This coach certainly won't let the team's hunger slide, even in a rout.


Brad Evans (6) - The replacement right back came on to work a nice shift at both ends of the pitch.

Joe Corona (6) - Stationed in an odd place at holding mid, Corona provided a little grit and was dangerous with his lead passing.

DeAndre Yedlin (6.5) - His participation in a match immediately turns the right side into the fast lane. His service into the box still needs to be refined, but Yedlin deals in volume and that causes headaches.