BY PATRICK MacDONALD
The U.S. Men’s National Team put forth yet another lackluster effort in the Jurgen Klinsmann era, but managed to steal a 2-1 victory late against Antigua and Barbuda. The same old tired excuses will be trotted out – injuries, poor pitch, bad weather – and none of them matter. The U.S. should have won tonight’s match handily, but they were lucky to win at all.
With that cheerful opener, let’s get on with the ratings.
Tim Howard – GK: 6.5
Was tested way more than expected. Still answered the call on a night that should have been easy. Was severely let down by his centerbacks on the lone goal.
Steve Cherundolo – RB: 6
Was the only player giving the U.S. any semblance of width on the attack. A solid night overall for the veteran right back.
Geoff Cameron – CB: 3
Was totally victimized on Antigua’s lone goal. It was the same type of play that essentially ended Oguchi Onyewu’s national team career. Shaky all night
Clarence Goodson – CB: 3
Also culpable on the goal. Also extraordinarily shaky. It’s hard to see this tandem having much success with a tougher opponent, the way the played against the cupcake that is Antigua & Barbuda.
Carlos Bocanegra – LB: 5
Ok in his emergency start at left back. Solid defensively, but there was zero offense coming from the left side all night.
Danny Williams – CM: 5
Wasn’t particularly bad, but was hardly the revelation he was against Jamaica. Offense started clicking a bit more once he was subbed off.
Michael Bradley – CM: 5.5
Feisty in his return, had some of the U.S.’s best possession of the night, still not enough.
Graham Zusi – CM: 6.5
Solid night for Zusi. His assist on Eddie Johnson’s first goal was beautiful. A few nice corner kicks as well from the SKC man.
Eddie Johnson – F: 7
Welcome back to the U.S. national team Eddie Johnson. He’s the player who gives hope that maybe Jurgen Klinsmann knows what he’s doing, considering his brace came off his head. Was sloppy in possession at times but not many will remember that.
Clint Dempsey – F: 5
Quiet night for Dempsey, never was able to get any serious pressure in the offensive zone.
Herculez Gomez – F: 3
Gomez did everything that endeared him to U.S. fans; he found space behind the Antiguan back line and put himself in dangerous situations. Only problem was his touch was absolutely wretched. He botched two scoring opportunities that would have made this match far less exciting had he converted.
Jermaine Jones – CM: 6
Once Jones entered the game, shockingly the offense started to settle down and get more into a rhythm despite his yellow card.
Alan Gordon – F: 7
Was quite dangerous in his 17 minutes of work. He hardly looked like a player making his first appearance on the national stage. He’s the man with the assist on Johnson’s second goal as well.
Sacha Kljestan – CM: 6
Solid in his appearance, had a shot from range that forced the Antiguan keeper Molvin James to make a diving save, solid night for the Anderlecht midfielder.