Player Ratings: Ukraine 2-0 U.S.A.

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

By PATRICK MACDONALD
Staff Writer

Here’s the first thing to remember about this friendly: the MLS based national team matches now features the better squad.

The U.S. sorely missed the likes of Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, and even DaMarcus Beasley. So take a deep breath — this squad does not remotely resemble what will face Ghana, Portugal, and Germany in the World Cup. That being said, the continued struggles of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are worrisome. In the case of Dempsey, he at least has two months of MLS play to get on track while Altidore still has to ply his trade at Sunderland.

The U.S. faced a spirited Ukraine side (good for them by the way!), and no one really made a clear cut case to get on the plane to Brazil. Still, a few warrant second looks.

Without further ado, here are the player ratings.

Tim Howard GK – 6
Was left hung out to dry on both goals, though the reality is the scoreline could have been much worse.

Geoff Cameron RB – 5.5
Had a few defensive lapses but looked better going forward in the second half. Needed to do a whole lot more to hammer down that starting RB spot.

Oguchi Onyewu CB – 5
Nothing special on a very suspect back line. He was the better of the two center backs at least.

John Brooks CB – 3
Proved he’s the center back of the future — and not of 2014. Played the goat in both goals not playing the offside trap on the first goal and then ball watching after Howard’s initial save on the second. He needs to grow some more before being seriously considered as a CB option.

Edgar Castillo LB – 3
With DMB and Fabian Johnson ahead of him, Castillo likely played himself out of the World Cup, though he may get another chance in Arizona.

Sacha Kljestan CM – 5
Didn’t do much to stake his claim on a World Cup spot. Had a few nice moments early in the second half but that’s it.

Jermaine Jones CM – 6
One of the better players on the field, played with his usual physicality minus the yellow card, missed his midfield partner Michael Bradley.

Alejandro Bedoya RM – 6
Had a quiet first half as did the entire offense, but some of the better moments in the second went through him. Had a very nice shot blocked by a defender and his corners weren’t bad.

Clint Dempsey CAM – 4
No U.S. other player has seen such a colossal dip in form like Clint Dempsey. This guy needs to get back to Seattle and pick up his game, fast. The U.S. has no replacement for him. Save for a brief scuffle with a Ukranian player, that Deuce fire was sorely lacking.

Fabian Johnson LM – 4.5
Split time between the left wing and left back. Was equally culpable on Ukraine’s second goal as Brooks. On the wing, he had a few decent forays forward but nothing game changing.

Jozy Altidore F – 3.5
The midfield was bad, so it’s not like he had many opportunities, but save for one header, his poor form at Sunderland carried over.

Substitutions:
Aron Jóhannsson F – 5.5
Far more lively than his counterpart Altidore. Unleashed a blistering shot late in the second half that was blocked. Klinsmann may want to try and get Altidore back into form in the spring, but right now, Jóhannsson should be the man starting up top.

Brek Shea LM – 5.5
Continues to turn heads as a super sub. While his attacks on the left eventually led to nothing, they were far more dangerous than anything mustered by the U.S. prior to his stepping on the field.

Danny Williams CM – 6
Very active coming on for Jones and Klinsmann had to notice. His good form at Reading translated to the international level.

Juan Agudelo F – 4
Mercifully subbed on for Altidore but never really had a chance to get in the game, despite brief moments.