By Patrick MacDonald
A January friendly ends in a rather unimpressive draw. What else is new in U.S. Soccer land?
The long awaited debut for Bruce Arena’s second tenure as head coach may not have ended in impressive fashion, but that’s not to say there weren’t positives to take away from this match. The U.S. looked organized, they appeared to have a good idea of where they were supposed to be and what their roles were, and their captain finally looked like his old self.
All of these are positive steps in the right direction as the U.S. prepares to resume World Cup qualifying in March, when the European players will also join the fold.
Now onto the ratings.
Nick Rimando – GK: 6.5
Didn’t have a whole lot to do, but on the few occasions he was needed, he made the save, including a crucial one late.
Greg Garza – LB: 6
A few rough spots, but otherwise had an energetic, positive performance out at left back.
Chad Marshall – CB: 6
Wasn’t always the prettiest, but did his job shutting down the Serbian attack.
Steve Birnbaum – CB: 6
Same as Marshall, did his job to shut down Serbia.
Graham Zusi – RB: 6
Looked like he’s been playing RB his whole life. Never looked out of position and didn’t give Serbia anything on his side.
Michael Bradley – CM: 7
Looked the most like the Michael Bradley of old than we’ve seen in a long time. Did the yeoman’s work tracking back, while also calmly building the American attack out of the back.
Jermaine Jones – CM: 6
A nice shift from the veteran. While not known so much for his offensive prowess, some of the U.S.’ best 1st half chances came by way of Jones.
Sacha Kljestan – CAM: 5
Had a few moments of good link up play and through balls, but still left plenty to be desired.
Darlington Nagbe – LW: 6.5
Gave the U.S. some of it’s best opportunities on goal, being a general nuisance for Serbia all match. The only real knock was he sometimes seemed to get a bit skittish once in the box.
Alejandro Bedoya – RW: 4
Quiet afternoon for the Union man. Didn’t bring much of an attacking flair for the U.S.
Jozy Altidore – F: 5
Provided some nice moments of hold up play that sprung his teammates. No goals, though he wasn’t exactly provided the best service.
Sebastian Lletget – CM: 4
Came out fast before fading rather quickly, not making much of a mark.
Chris Pontius – RW: 5
Narrowly missed on a late goal, not much else.
Jorge Villafanna – LB: 6
Did a fine job defensively and added a little bit in the attack.
Jordan Morris – F: 5
Active around the box, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
Benny Feilhaber – CAM: INC
Not really enough time to get into the game and thus receive a grade.
Juan Agudelo – F: INC
Looked a bit nervous getting back out on the field in a short cameo.