New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica

After each match the contributors to New England Soccer Today will rate the performances of the United States National Team players who made an appearance on a 1 to 10 scale (1 horrendous, 5 average, 10 perfection). This week Brian O’Connell Sean Donahue contributed ratings for the USA’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica.

Brad Guzan – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Had a few expected bobbles, and didn’t look strong on a 53rd minute corner. Nevertheless, made the stops he needed to, which is all you can ask in a game impacted by the conditions. (Brian) … A few errors, but that was to be expected given the weather. Got the shutout and filled in admirably for Tim Howard. (Sean)

DaMarcus Beasley – Average Rating: 6.5 (Brian 6, Sean 7):
How many lives does this guy have? Only there because of injuries, but brings exactly what the team needed in this kind of game: leadership, savvy and an engine that wouldn’t quit. Involved early and late; a thorn in Costa Rica’s side. (Brian) … One of the most active players for the U.S. in the match. Actually seemed to thrive in the poor conditions and did a great job on both sides of the ball filling in at left back. (Sean)

Omar Gonzalez – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 5.5, Sean 6.5)
Overshadowed by Goodson, and gave too many openings to Saborio and Co. Came on a little stronger late. (Brian) … His sliding block on Bryan Ruiz’s shot just before halftime probably saved the U.S. two points. Otherwise nothing too fancy, but got the job done. (Sean)

Clarance Goodson – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 7, Sean 6.5)
Most reliable player in the rear. Stepped up big under pressure, and made a few important clearances. (Brian) … Strong at the back all night and made some big aerial clearances with Costa Rica attempting plenty of long balls. (Sean)

Geoff Cameron – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Shook off a few troubling moments and improved as the game progressed. Made a key second half clearance with Costa Rica knocking on the door. (Brian) … No big mistakes, but turned the ball over too easily at times, including finding teammates on only 4 of his 13 throw-ins. (Sean)

Michael Bradley – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 7, Sean 6.5)
Did everything but score; got the attack going early, partnered well with Jones, provided support and played the ball into space. (Brian) … Didn’t get the ball as much as usual, but when he did, made smart passes in transition. Great effort to get forward and still get back in position to clog the passing lanes. (Sean)

Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
A typical Jermaine Jones game – linked well on a few advances, brought usual brand of physicality and earned a yellow for his efforts late. (Brian) … His talent was often evident, but needlessly gave away some dangerous set pieces – including one late where he saw yellow and was only saved from it leading to an equalizer by an offside. (Sean)

Herculez Gomez – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Service from set pieces was decent, found a few openings early. Held the ball well. (Brian) … First touch let him down on a few occasions, but otherwise had a solid and active outing. (Sean)

Graham Zusi – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Played a few decent balls forward, but the snowy conditions prevented him from keeping it on the ground. (Brian) … Rarely got on the ball, but showed glimpses of his quality when he had the chance. (Sean)

Clint Dempsey – Average Rating: 7.25 (Brian 7.5, Sean 7)
A threat for much of the match and the goal was the icing on the cake. Combined well with Altidore and exploited space near the edge of the area. (Brian) … Dempsey’s fitness – having just recovered from an injury – was a concern heading into the match, but the Texan managed to go the full 90 minutes, scored the game winner, survived some rough challenges, and spearheaded the U.S. attack.

Jozy Altidore – Average: 6.25 (Brian 5.5, Sean 7)
Strong holdup play sharpened the offense, and nearly snuck one through in the second half. (Brian) … Confident play from Altidore. Played a huge role in the lone goal, came close to scoring one of his own and did well in holding up the ball and helping the U.S. maintain possession going forward. (Sean)

(sub) Eddie Johnson – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Collected some dangerous touches, and provided a little spark late. (Brian) … Mixed bag. Showed some spark off the bench, but also turned the ball over too easily when the U.S. needed to maintain possession. (Sean);

(sub) Maurice Edu – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, 5.5)
Came in and provided some good energy to thwart the Costa Rica attack. (Brian) … Helped solidify the midfield for the final minutes. (Sean)

(sub) Kyle Beckerman – Average Rating: NR
Not enough time to make an impact.

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