Player Ratings: Mexico 2-1 USA

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by PATRICK MacDONALD

Jurgen Klinsmann lost this game. Plain and simple.

Mexico was there for the taking and all Klinsmann had to do was field the guys who gelled at the end of the last round of qualifying and put them in their best position.

But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? As it’s gone in the past when Klinsmann has displayed such maddening behavior, the National Team fell flat on it’s face. U.S. fans have got to be terrified with Klinsmann blowing everything up at the start of the all important Hexagonal.

Hopefully the man got a dose of reality tonight though that’s doubtful.

Here are the match ratings:

Tim Howard – GK: 5
Gotta feel for those Rapids fans right now. Very unfortunate to see Howard leave early — and on such an ugly goal at that. He could have done more there but the deflection certainly made it tricky.

Omar Gonzalez – RB: 4
Made a good play or two, but is damn lucky not to have given up a penalty kick that was quite clear on the replay

John Brooks – CB: 6
Was certainly not the dominant force we saw in the Copa America, but he did play a role in the lone goal.

Matt Besler – LB: 5
Solid defensively, but nothing impressive. USMNT in desperate need of a natural fullback.

Michael Bradley – CDM: 3
A near absent night by the Toronto FC midfielder. Surprising given his recent form in MLS.

Tim Chandler – RW: 4
Like Bradley, also absent for long stretches of the math. A right back playing right wing.

Jermaine Jones – CM: 4
Typical night by Jones where he freelanced a bit too much about the field and was reckless with his tackles.

Christian Pulisic – CM: 5
The guy’s been playing real well on the wing, so naturally Jurgen Klinsmann threw him in the middle in the biggest game of his career. Had a few moments going forward, thwarted by the Mexican defense.

Fabian Johnson – LW: 4
Had the potential to be dangerous, but often held onto the ball too long.

Bobby Wood – F: 6
Really fought through the Mexican defense on his strike, finsihing with enough power to get it past the keeper.

Jozy Altidore – F: 5.5
A nice assist on Wood’s goal, fighting off the Mexican defender. But didn’t do much else in this one.

Substitutions:

Brad Guzan – GK: 5
Not too much to do. On the goal, what’s he supposed to do against a completely unmarked Marquez?

DeAndre Yedlin – RB: 4
Didn’t change the game in the midfield where he’s never been particularly great.

Michael Orozco – LB: Who Cares
I’m just mad now.

COACH:

Jurgen Klinnsmann –  1
Jurgen Klinsmann has been the manager for the U.S. National soccer team now for five years. Couple that with his time in Germany and Bayern Munich, he has been a soccer manager for nine years of his career.

On this night, you would wonder if he’d ever spent any time whatsoever with his current squad or watched a soccer game in his entire life. Starting Pulisic in the middle when Kljestan has been playing so well? Moving to a 3-1-4-2, a formation they’ve never played before, when the U.S. has started to get comfortable in a 4-4-2? Starting Timmy Chandler, who’s been absent from the national team picture for months? And finally throwing defensive subs in when they needed a goal?

Quite simply, what the hell was Jurgen thinking? Just when you thought the guy was settling down when the games truly mattered, he goes mad scientist and lays a giant egg in Columbus, the former fortress against the Mexican National Team