Player Ratings: U.S. 2, Jamaica 1

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By JACK HAZZARD

Gold Cup logoIt took a late goal, with 30 minutes of extra time looming, for the United States to win the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

An 88th-minute strike by Jordan Morris saw the United States defeat Jamaica, 2-1. The U.S. controlled possession against a relentless Reggae Boyz team that lost its starting goalkeeper (Andre Blake) to injury, tied the match early in the second half and never was bowed by a stronger U.S. team.

Here are our player ratings from Wednesday night’s final in Santa Clara, Calif.

Goalkeeper

Tim Howard controlled his box with fearless shot-blocking and diving efforts. Any ball that came into his 18 was his. Grade: B+

Defenders

Graham Zusi gave his all. Smart movement up and down the line and proper communication with Paul Arriola resulted in a solid performance. Grade: B

Omar Gonzalez was a brick wall. Nothing got by him on the ground or in the air. Grade: B

Matt Besler was there to cover Gonzalez when he made a defensive foray. He was the last man back and calmly collected any defensive mistake. Grade: B

Jorge Villafaña had one of his better performances with precise tackling and good communication. His crosses, however, left much to be desired. He’s proved to be a viable option at left back as the U.S. moves ahead in World Cup qualifying. Grade: B-

Midfielders

Paul Arriola provided chance after chance but couldn’t finish. Impressive energy with no pay off. Grade: B-

Kellyn Acosta struggled. No production on offense and casual defense led to him being replaced early in the second half. Grade: C

Michael Bradley played a captain’s game. A calm demeanor mixed with smart passing. It’s his team now. Grade: B+

Darlington Nagbe gave everything. He ran all over the field and offered an abundance of offensive chances. Superb effort and heart. Grade: A

Forwards

Jozy Altidore did it again. His strength and relentlessness led to a goal and made him the center piece of the attack. Any questions? Grade: A-

Jordan Morris‘ awful marking led to Jamaica’s only goal, but he was in the right place at the right time to hammer home the game-winning goal. Grade: B

Substitutes

Clint Dempsey had a chance to score the go-ahead goal twice but failed to score what would have been a record-breaking goal for the national team. Grade: B-

Gyasi Zardes was subbed on to help find the game winner, but again frustrated with an awful first touch. That said, his cross did lead to the winning goal. Grade: C

Dax McCarty came on in the final minutes to provide extra defense – for three minutes. Grade: Incomplete

Coach

Bruce Arena made no changes to the lineup after the semifinal against Costa Rica. His team dominated, but couldn’t finish. Still, he brought home the trophy and boasts a 9-0-5 record since taking back the job last November. He’s seen a lot of players over the past several months and has his guys believing and playing well. Grade: A-