BY PATRICK MacDONALD
Staff Writer, USMNT
In a match that is almost always chalked up as a loss, the United States Men’s National Team displayed grit and determination, earning an impressive nil-nil draw against the once mighty Mexico.
Jurgen Klinsmann and company have all but erased the doubts spawned by the Honduras loss and should build a significant amount of confidence going through the rest of the Hex. If recent history is any indicator, this team may be turning a corner that could put them on the fast track to Brazil.
Now onto the ratings:
Brad Guzan GK – 7.5
Didn’t have to make too many ridiculous saves until late in the game but was good in the air and did what he had to do. Elevated his game to what’s long been expected of American keepers in stoppage time.
Geoff Cameron RB – 5.5
Ok on the right, didn’t let anything too dangerous come in from his side. At times killed the attack in the offensive zone.
Omar Gonzalez CB – 7.5
Great in the air, calm on the ball, finally looks ready for the part of starting centerback.
Matt Besler CB – 7.5
Paired with Gonzalez for a tremendous match in only his second cap for the national team. Displayed nerves of steel handling the pressure of Azteca as a relative rookie.
DeMarcus Beasley LB – 4
Shaky for most of the game. Tried to do too much and had to be bailed out often. Granted, one has to admire the guy playing damn near crippled by the end.
Maurice Edu CM – 5
Sometimes too timid on the ball, but considering the venue, it’s best to pass back and keep possession rather than to turn the ball over
Michael Bradley CM – 7
Bradley was the calmest player on the field. He repeatedly tried to slow the game down whenever he gained possession. Was dangerous with a brilliant run in the first half.
Graham Zusi RM – 4.5
Bit better than he was against Costa Rica, few nice touches here and there but didn’t really do anything for the non-existent offense.
Clint Dempsey CAM – 4
Largely absent in that central role and his lack of fitness showed – especially late.
Herculez Gomez LM – 4.5
High motor night typical of Gomez. Actually was decent on defense, but did nothing for the offense.
Jozy Altidore F – 5
A shorter than expected shift by the AZ man, wasn’t playing too poorly. He can hardly be blamed for the total lack of service he got.
Eddie Johnson F – 5
Had a moment or two late, but was nothing special.
Brad Davis LM/RM – 4
Looked a bit in over his head on the field with some poor touches and panicked defense.
Brek Shea LM – Inc
Was brought on late for a chance to make some magic happen and possibly steal three points. Didn’t do it, nor was he given much time to do so.