It would be cruel to be too hard on any participant in Wednesday’s match between the United States and Mexico.
For one thing, there were a lot of new faces in different places for both sides due to the existence of this match outside of the international window.
[ MATCH RECAP: USMNT 2-0 Mexico ]
And the other thing, and it’s a big one, is the tough turf set-up at the Alamodome, which looked more like a Northeast pitch in late Fall than indoors in April in Texas.
For what it’s worth and for all his perceived and real flaws, Jurgen Klinsmann remains unbeaten as USMNT head coach versus Mexico. That means something to me (3W-3D).
Though on the other hand given the rosters, the States should’ve won… and did. Let’s see who shone brightest.
U.S. player ratings (out of 10)
Nick Rimando – 6
Struggled with kicks and first touch, but who wasn’t going to struggle on that playground-looking pitch? Had one extremely dicey first experience with a Diskerud back pass.
Greg Garza — 6
He was fine. Couple nice tackles, though saved by Alvarado on more than one occasion before subbing out at halftime.
Omar Gonzalez — 7
Strong at both ends of the pitch. One dicey moment from joining his center back mate as the high mark for players in this match.
Ventura Alvarado — 8
The 22-year-old Club America man made a very strong case for himself on Wednesday, and begs to be included in the Omar Gonzalez, John Anthony Brooks, Michael Orozco discussion at center back. Stole the ball that led to Agudelo’s goal.
DeAndre Yedlin — 6
“Quick, busy and active” could’ve been the motto for the team on the night, and Yedlin did fairly well on his side. Hopefully the Premier League training ground (and pitch) will continue to fast track his defensive acumen. His cutting runs and offensive flair may already be there.
Kyle Beckerman — 6
Killer tackle on Cubo Torres near halftime to eliminate a threat outside the 18. How horrible to watch him go down with what could be a Real Salt Lake-crippling injury on that surface? It was called a “left thigh contusion” on the broadcast, but the ice was on his knee.
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Mix Diskerud — 7
Like him more and more each time I see him play. For a player with real flair, he grinds and hustles at both ends of the field. A fixture for years, you’d have to think. How long will he stay at New York City FC if he keeps this up (Not that he has to leave, but you get what I mean)?
Michael Bradley — 8
Thought he played with purpose and provided some solid set piece service. Did the work to start Morris’ goal, and looked much more comfortable in his advanced role (and could he have been even better on much improved turf?). Classic Bradley service on the Agudelo ball, especially considering the surface (Have we mentioned the surface?).
Re-ignite the position discussion.
Joe Corona — 6
His highs were high and his lows were low. Clearly this is a guy Klinsmann would like to catch on, but subbed off at halftime for Miguel Ibarra.
Jordan Morris — 7
Go ‘head, young buck. Speedy as all get out, and made some handsome runs in the first half. Held up well against men. Of course, the goal was nice. Right place, right time, right pace, right shot. Come on, you Cardinal.
Gyasi Zardes — 6
Active and clean, given the field. Considering there was neither Jozy Altidore nor Clint Dempsey to take attention from him, and he was starting next to a college sophomore? Not bad. Ran well.
William Yarbrough (halftime) — 7
Composed. Laid off shots wide of the frame and was positionally-sound. Didn’t seem as troubled by turf.
Miguel Ibarra (halftime) — 6
Was just fine. Obviously anyone who gets on this pitch for this team is a good ambassador for the NASL.
Brek Shea (halftime) — 6
Nice flying run up the left near the end of the match. Could be a legit left back in time, and his body frame would make him a freak at the position.
Perry Kitchen (63′) — 6
Came on when Beckerman suffered his knee injury. Showed no hesitation, and almost put a cracker in on goal.
Juan Agudelo (65′) — 7
Good on you, Juan. The 22-year-old took down a high diagonal ball from XXXX, got the benefit of a slipping Mexican defender and a waltz across the edge of the 18 before besting the keeper with a low shot to make it Dos a Cero.
Brad Evans (81′) — 6
Came in at right back with something to prove after vocally calling his World Cup roster omission a mistake. Made a hard, crunching tackle as the clock struck 85.