Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
The first half was forgettable, but the second half was encouraging. That was the best way to sum up the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 0-0 tie vs. Scotland.
The first half was truly forgettable, with the U.S. team lacking energy and offering little in the attack. Sacha Kljestan looked lost in his playmaking role while Eddie Johnson sleepwalked through a lackluster and turnover-filled performance. Then there is Jermaine Jones, who turned in one of those efforts that make you wonder whether he really is the best option to start next to Michael Bradley.
Here is my Goal USA look at Friday’s match, and the main takeaways from the match.
It wasn’t all bad. Aron Johannsson impressed, DaMarcus Beasley restored some faith in his ability to play left back, and Omar Gonzalez looked steady in central defense.
Here is a closer look at how all of the USMNT players fared against Scotland. Here are SBI’s Player Grades for the match:
USMNT Player Grades vs. Scotland
TIM HOWARD- (7). Made the save of the day to deny a Robert Snodgrass free kick. Commanded the penalty area and turned in another strong showing.
BRAD EVANS- (5.5). Active and relatively solid defensively, though he didn’t offer much in the attack. Committed more turnovers than usual.
GEOFF CAMERON- (6). Got caught forward a few times, and looked to show the rust that comes with not seeing reps at centerback. Settled down in the second half and even looked good getting into the attack.
OMAR GONZALEZ- (6.5). A strong outing for Gonzalez, who was outstanding in the air and faced all challenges well. Could have done better with some clearances, but still looked like someone who should be starting in central defense for the foreseeable future.
DAMARCUS BEASLEY (6.5). Needed a good showing after a few recent disappointing ones and he came through with a gem of an outing. He defended well, and also got forward into the attack well. His crosses weren’t exactly accurate, but it was a performance to build on.
JERMAINE JONES (4.5). Looked to be out on a Sunday stroll, offering little in the way of attacking threat or bite in the midfield. Covered a decent amount of ground, but at times he looked disinterested.
MICHAEL BRADLEY (6.5). His usually steady and effective self, though he was left with more to do than usual as central midfield partners Jones and Kljestan struggled.
SACHA KLJESTAN (5.5). Played in a more advanced role than he’s used to playing and he struggled to get a hold of the match. Had a few good moments, but didn’t provide the attacking threat needed from that position.
EDDIE JOHNSON (4). Didn’t track back, didn’t provide service and couldn’t beat anybody on the dribble. Then there were the turnovers. Other than that he was pretty amazing. Kidding aside, it’s time end the Johnson on the left wing experiment.
ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (6). Provided his trademark hustle, but his surges forward often failed to find teammates to combine with. That was more a product of what others weren’t doing than what Bedoya wasn’t doing.
JOZY ALTIDORE (5). Another frustrating match for Altidore, who received no service in the first half. Things improved in the second half, and he clearly became more involved, but still wasn’t a great performance.
ARON JOHANNSSON (6.5). Very effective finding the game, and chances. He could have done better on at least one of those chances, and had another saved well. His touch is excellent and he combined well, but he did have a few unforced turnovers.
MIX DISKERUD (5.5). Didn’t have the impact you would have hoped given the opportunity, but appeared to have a good connection with Bradley in what could be a midfield partnership we see in future matches.
BREK SHEA (6). Came into the match aggressive and made some things happen, including one great run and pass that should have yielded a goal if Johannsson had finished the chance.
ERIC LICHAJ (NR). Didn’t have much to do in limited minutes.
CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI (NR). Only played nine minutes.
TERRENCE BOYD (NR). Barely played.
What do you think of our grades? See any of them being too generous? Think anybody deserved a better grade than we gave them?
Share your thoughts below.