Player Ratings: U.S. 2, Costa Rica 0



The United States men’s national team will play in the championship match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup after defeating Costa Rica on Saturday night.

The U.S. dominated the match but had to wait until the second half to ice the match on goals by the veteran strikers Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey. Altidore scored his first for the U.S. in 10 matches while Dempsey tied Landon Donovan‘s career goal-scoring record.

We grade the performance of the U.S. players:


Tim Howard made the big saves when needed. He has shutouts in back-to-back games. Grade: A-


Graham Zusi‘s ability to link up with Paul Arriola provided a few opportune chances in the first half. His offensive presence was lacking but his defensive ability was not. Grade: B+

Omar Gonzalez controlled everything in the air. He was a brick wall in the back. Grade: A-

Matt Besler was perfect. His ability to cover, clear the ball and stick to his mark stood out. Grade: A

Jorge Villafaña had another up-and-down game. His ability to stick to a man needs to improve and his offensive support was minimal — he often floated out of position. Grade: C+


Darlington Nagbe had a quiet night on the left side. Both the U.S. and Costa Rica opted to play on the opposite side, offering Nagbe few chances to shine. Grade: B-

Michael Bradley was a leader on the field. Perfect passing/crossing and precise tackling helped the U.S. maintaint possession. Grade: A-

Kellyn Acosta played well in his hometown. Apart from a few mistakes and missed chances, he offered smart positioning and passing. Grade: B

Paul Arriola offered energy and quickness on the wing. A strong connection with Zusi on the right side led to multiple one-twos that resulted in counter-attacking opportunities. Grade: B


Jozy Altidore played the target-man role well. He dropped back to provide support and defense while notching his first goal in 10 games. Grade: A

Jordan Morris had an early chance seconds into the game, but the shot hit the right post. Unable to finish his chances, he could only offer energy and hustle. Grade: B-


Clint Dempsey tied Landon Donovan’s goal-scoring record in the 82nd minute (57 goals). The Deuce had the goal and the assist on Altidore’s game-winner. Grade: A+

Gyasi Zardes subbed on after the second goal for Jozy Altidore. His presence was limited. Grade: Incomplete

Dax McCarty subbed on late in the game and was not given enough time to make an impact. Grade: Incomplete


Bruce Arena‘s team dominated the game. Unable to grab a goal in the first, his decision to sub on Clint Dempsey changed the game. The U.S. is unbeaten (8-0-5) since he returned to the national team bench last November. Grade: A