Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
How you see at the U.S. Men’s National Team’s recent 4-3 win vs. Germany depends on several factors. Do you consider the fact it was a Germany B team? Do you not put much weight into Germany’s final two goals and look more at the 4-1 scoreline before the late German rally? Do you give match added weight because of the contrast from last Wednesday’s performance vs. Belgium?
What can’t be argued, unless you’re just supremely cynical, is that the Americans as a team enjoyed a good match. The German team on the field at RFK Stadium had more than enough talent to mount a strong challenge and the Americans took it to them for a majority of the match. Ultimately, the result itself doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that several American players stepped up with strong outings in a match they needed to play well in.
At the top of that list was Jozy Altidore, who snapped an 18-month USMNT scoring drought and not only did he score a goal, he turned in a strong overall performance.
Another player who made the most of his chance on Sunday was Brad Evans, who looked every bit like a viable starting right back by defending well and providing quality service from the wing.
Not every player delivered on Sunday. Omar Gonzalez struggled for the second straight match, but both he and Jurgen Klinsmann appear to be chalking up the struggles to growing pains at the starting centerback role and it doesn’t look like Gonzalez will be losing that spot just yet.
How did the rest of the USMNT do on Sunday? Here is a closer look at SBI’s Player Grades for the U.S. 4-3 win vs. Germany:
USMNT PLAYERS GRADES (vs. GERMANY)
TIM HOWARD- (5)
Beaten to his near post on Germany’s second goal, but was screened on the third goal, which forced him to parry it away late and give up a rebound. Not his best game, but not nearly as bad as some suggest.
BRAD EVANS- (6.5)
Worked well defensively and provided quality passing out of the back. Played with confidence and didn’t look like a newcomer to the first-choice defense. Did cost himself a bit by falling asleep on Germany’s third goal and letting his man ghost in for the rebound finish.
MATT BESLER- (5.5)
Had some bad plays but overall a solid showing. Needed to do a better job of blocking initial shot on Germany’s third goal, but broke up several German sequences and made a strong case to start vs. Germany.
OMAR GONZALEZ- (4)
Another forgettable match for Gonzalez, who was directly involved on two of Germany’s goals. Beaten in the air on the first and gave up too much space for the shot on the second. Jurgen Klinsmann is preaching patience with Gonzalez, but anything short of a strong performance against Jamaica (assuming he starts) is likely to send him to the bench.
DAMARCUS BEASLEY- (6)
Beaten early on by Schurrle, but recovered well and had a steady match throughout. Picked his spots well to get forward and defended solidly. Looks every bit like the choice to start at left back vs. Jamaica.
GRAHAM ZUSI- (6.5)
His pin-point cross on Jozy Altidore’s opening goal was quality and he was active throughout, delivering good service and partnering well with Evans on the right flank.
JERMAINE JONES- (7)
One of his best games as a national team player. Not only did he do well to close down space for the Germans in central midfield, he was also very involved in the attack. His passes helped start the sequences on two goals and his pressuring of the German defense helped lead to their own goal.
MICHAEL BRADLEY- (7)
The rock in the middle for the U.S., Bradley was a stabilizing force for the Americans, providing an outlet for teammates and constantly pressing Germany’s central midfield. It was a quiet performance, but by all means a strong one.
FABIAN JOHNSON- (6)
Only played a half but during that half he was a threat on the left and his speed on the flank helped provide some balance to the U.S. attack.
CLINT DEMPSEY- (8)
Another star performance for Dempsey, who delivered a pair of quality finishes to become the second all-time leading USMNT scorer.
JOZY ALTIDORE- (8)
A real handful all day for the Germans, Altidore was active from the very start of the match and he took full advantage of finally receiving some good service from the U.S. midfield. Delivered the type of match that should give him plenty of confidence heading into Friday’s qualifier vs. Jamaica.
EDDIE JOHNSON- (5)
Not quite as strong a showing as vs. Belgium, but Johnson did provide some pace on the wing and tried taking defenders on when he could.
BRAD DAVIS- (5.5)
Quietly turned in a steady showing on the left wing in place of Fabian Johnson. His service on corner kicks was dangerous and he passed the ball well overall. Looks capable if he’s called on to start vs. Jamaica.
EDGAR CASTILLO- (4)
Not a memorable day for Castillo, but it should be noted that he arrived at RFK Stadium over the weekend after playing a tough Copa Libertadores match in Brazil. Looked a step slow and his slack defending cost the U.S. on Germany’s third goal.
TERRENCE BOYD- (NG)
Didn’t play enough to merit a full grade, but was clearly trying too hard against his birth nation. It’s safe to say he will dribble to the corner flag the next time he has the ball in the final minutes with his team up a goal.
What do you think of the grades? Which player impressed or surprised you the most? Which player left you disappointed?
Share your thoughts below.