USMNT Player Ratings: Lima, Zimmerman, Bradley lead the way in 2019 opener

The US national team's Gregg Berhalter era got off to a promising start as his green first selection calmly ruled play on its way to a 3-0 friendly victory over Panama on Sunday night.

As a periodic reminder, all marks are handed out on a scale with "6" as the average grade. The ratings are also relative to time spent on the field, meaning that a "7" earned over the full shift is more impressive than one earned for a 15-minute appearance.

Zack Steffen (7) - The US netminder could have kicked back with his feet up for most of the game, but came up with a dandy save when pressed into urgent duty 10 minutes after halftime. Steffen also played out of the back well on the few occasions when Panama pressed high.

Nick Lima (8) - It was a standout showing for the San Jose right back, who essentially worked two positions in this one. Lima helped the Nats crowd central park and quickly pushed the ball into attack any time Panama turned it over in midfield. He also found his way back into defense when necessary, but his best takeaway of the night occurred in the away end. Not satisfied with a terrific tackle to stop a potentially dangerous counter in its tracks, he quickly followed that swipe by delivering a pinpoint cross for the first insurance tally.

Walker Zimmerman (7.5) - Though his passing out of the back occasionally left something to be desired, the LAFC man was the busier and more forbidding of the two US center backs. Of course, Zimmerman capped the performance by burying a late header to double the US lead.

Aaron Long (5.5) - Despite having little to do, the reigning MLS Defender of the Year was a tad sloppy on the night, both in passing the ball and defending against it.

Daniel Lovitz (7) - The debutant left back also had a couple of shaky moments at the back, but still did much more to help his team than he did to trouble it. Lovitz contributed a few timely stops in his own end and some positive ball movement (including a nice early cross that deserved a better finish) across midfield.

Michael Bradley (7.5) - A considerable portion of the USMNT fandom probably could be heard shrieking over the bald eagle's inclusion from the moon, but they were in for a pleasantly rude awakening as the veteran barely put a foot wrong. When Bradley wasn't controlling tempo or passing through lines, he was rushing into the face of Panama dribblers to stem counter advances.

Cristian Roldan (7.5) - He didn't end up on the score sheet, but make no mistake, Roldan's late runs into attack constantly unnerved the Panama defense. All night long, he was reliably available to force turnovers and help the US set up in the final third.

Djordje Mihailovic (7.5) - Forget for a moment that the kid's deflected drive found the net to open the scoring, and while you're at it, forget that he serves mighty tempting corner kicks. The real beauty of Mihailovic's debut outing was that he repeatedly found the right soft spot to show for the ball before sending the team forward. Not everything he tried in attack came off, but the Chicago Fire playmaker put on a composed display bereft of shyness.

Djordje Mihailovic celebrates his goal | USA Today Sports Images

Corey Baird (7) - Direct to a fault, the Real Salt Lake attacker put Panama under duress even when his final-third forays didn't pan out. After narrowly missing the net with his own shot from the top of the box, Baird just kept coming until he was able to tee one up for Mihailovic's opener.

Jeremy Ebobisse (6.5) - One fine cross notwithstanding, Ebobisse was the least clinical US starter in Panama's half. Still, the Portland youngster did help soften up the Panama defense by routinely getting loose down the left.

Gyasi Zardes (7) - The Columbus striker pitched in with plenty of blue-collar No. 9 work. Zardes had probably his best hold-up game in a US shirt and fed the flank well. About the only thing he failed to do was put away a couple of excellent header chances.

Coach Gregg Berhalter (7.5) - The best thing one can say about the boss' first match was that a group still making introductions all over the field truly looked like a team out there. Berhalter's boys were always on the same page, even with a rather unique wrinkle that left the right back spot empty for much of the contest.

Subs

Sebastian Lletget (6.5) - The LA Galaxy midfielder was able to keep the home side pushing forward during his 28 minutes of work.

Jonathan Lewis (7) - The NYCFC winger capped his 24-minute debut with an explosive move past a defender to cross for the US third.

Sean Johnson (6) - The substitute 'keeper made a comfy lone save in his 16 minutes of action. Johnson also had one nervy distribution episode and one splendid long boot, so we'll call it even.

Paul Arriola (6.5) - Entering with the USMNT only up one, Arriola did his sturdy best to keep the ball down in Panama's corner.

Christian Ramirez (7) - It would have been a mere cameo had Ramirez not bagged the US capper to go with a few positive link touches.

Wil Trapp (6.5) - The Crew SC skipper only worked six minutes, yet managed to cram in a few nice lead passes.

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