BY PATRICK MacDONALD
The U.S. went down to Guatemala City and squeaked out a 1-1 draw in a frustrating display that saw the home side look far more dangerous than their visiting counterparts. The defense again looked shaky, the midfield anemic, and the forwards, at times, gun shy.
Fact is, despite the disappointing results to begin qualification, the U.S. is atop Group A on goal differential with 4 pts. Klinsmann and company get 3 months off to figure things out before they try again against second place Jamaica.
For now, let’s take a look at how the team did:
Tim Howard GK – 8
He had no chance on Marco Pappa’s free kick. The very clear fact of the matter is that were it not for a few stellar saves by Howard, the scoreline could have been much, much worse.
Steve Cherundolo RB – 5.5
A quiet night by the right back who showed more life in the second half.
Clarence Goodsen CB – 4
Not a good yellow card and looked panicked quite often in his 1st half appearance.
Carlos Bocanegra CB – 5
Also had a shaky night. Carlos Ruiz had an early shot that Bocanegra failed to close on and it could have been costly. The long ball seemed to cause many problems for the captain.
Fabian Johnson LB – 6.5
The run that lead to Dempsey’s goal shows why this kid has cemented his position as the team’s left back. His foul at the top of the box that cost the U.S. 3 points shows he still has room to improve.
Jermaine Jones CM – 5
Had moments where he looked dangerous and others where he was sloppy on the ball.
Maurice Edu CM – 4
Was not clean on the ball whatsoever tonight making a number of sloppy passes that led to Guatemalan counterattacks.
Michael Bradley CM – 5
Had a few good moments including his tricky shot on goal in the first half. Probably should have had an assist on the night were it not for a poor run by Altidore.
Clint Dempsey F – 7
Got better as the game went on. Perfectly slotted shot after dodging two Guatemalan tackles in the box.
Landon Donovan F – 5
Had a few nice crosses late, but was gun shy once again. What happened to the re-invigorated Donovan from the Scotland match?
Herculez Gomez F – 5
A much quieter night than prior matches.
Geoff Cameron CB – 6
After Cameron came on at half. Guatemala was at times dangerous, but less than they were in the first.
Jozy Altidore F – 4.5
A maddeningly inconsistent appearance by Altidore. The holdup play drastically improved once he entered the game. He was robbed of one goal by the ref, but broke off a run that should have slotted home a Bradley cross.
Kyle Beckerman F – Inc
Came on for Donovan and played seconds.