It surely took a while for the US national team to warm up, but they eventually built up enough momentum to rally late for a 2-1 friendly victory over Peru in Washington D.C. on Friday night.
Jurgen Klinsmann's boys started solidly enough, but fell into a dreary period after leaking a 20th-minute opener. Gyasi Zardes kept the team's heart beating until Jozy Altidore netted twice in a 10-minute span to flip the result.
Jermaine Jones (6) - While Jones was not overly disruptive in central park, he did pitch in four area clearances in 72 minutes of work. He handled the ball well at times, but also caused a few messes with passing turnovers. His mark rises to passing because his 38th-minute long-range laser to draw a fine save seemed to spark the team.
Alejandro Bedoya (5) - This reporter still could not identify what Bedoya's position/role was in this game, and that is probably not his fault. Letting the assist pass by on Peru's strike, on the other hand, was. This set-up requires plenty of link touches and defensive sturdiness, and the Nantes man only managed the former.
DeAndre Yedlin (6) - The new Sunderland loan item was a bit quiet, but he still provided some good pushes on the flank and a couple of dangerous balls into the area. He was involved on the winning goal play and even pitched in with a big shot block in defense.
Gyasi Zardes (7.5) - From a Peru perspective, Zardes was clearly the most unnerving USMNT presence on the field, especially over the opening hour. How does one say, "Number 21 is loose again!" in Spanish? Though he did not offer statistical end product, the winger almost single-handedly kept the team's pulse going, set up the deciding goal with help from a defender carom and then provided plenty of help in defense near the end.
Bobby Wood (5) - As with Yedlin, his evening probably seemed quiet on the surface. Unfortunately, Wood was never able to get the proper settle on the ball in a handful of possessions in dangerous areas. However, his movement is always a nuisance and the forward dropped back to provide some important help defense in the first half.
Jozy Altidore (7) - The striker got better and better as the game progressed, culminating in a pair of goals and a couple of late defensive plays to help close out the win. It's probably better he goes back to blasting into the top left corner on penalties, but he eventually made sure winning a foul in the box did not go to waste. Altidore also caused danger with his flicks around the box, with one starting the play he finished for the winner.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (6.5) - As always, this is a complex rating to tabulate. On one hand, this space remains baffled by the sudden insistence on a formation when the evidence indicates that is does not best suit the team. Even with the stronger second half, the Nats managed barely more than 40 percent of the ball. Midfield shape remains an issue.
Then again, with one glaring exception, the position staffing came off well on this night. The subs blended seamlessly to do their jobs. Most importantly, the team posted a much-needed win to dilute Gold Cup disappointment ahead of October's crunch showdown with Mexico.
Mix Diskerud (6.5) - The man they call Mix was outstanding on the ball and piled up four pass interceptions in just 45 minutes of action. The US midfield ran smoother with him as traffic director.
Ventura Alvarado (6) - There was one rather bad pass, but the defender generally worked with an air of calm confidence during his half on the field.
Geoff Cameron (7) - How does eight total defensive stops and nine positive passes in or into the attacking half over 45 minutes grab ya? Cameron seemed to be everywhere over the last 15-20 minutes of the contest.
Matt Besler (7) - The Sporting KC defender made it look easy over his 27 minutes of play. He notched three clearances and three pass picks, with four of those stops coming in the US area. Besler was also the most alert American when Peru took a potentially dangerous quick restart late in the game.
Aron Jóhannsson (5) - Like Wood before him, the fresh Werder Bremen catch had more of an impact in his 20 minutes with movement than he did with the ball on his boot.
Daniel Williams (6) - The Reading ace put in 18 solid minutes, including a pair of defensive plays in the US box in stoppage time.