USMNT player ratings: Johnson, Bradley, Dempsey diamonds in a rough, ugly win


We highly doubt any U.S. fans were impressed by more than 2-3 players in Tuesday’s Gold Cup opener, and that’s okay.

Rarely does a tournament start with a team firing on all cylinders, and even more rare is those pistons firing for three weeks.

[ MATCH REPORT: USMNT 2-1 Honduras ]

There was a little to like, a little to hate and a lot to “meh” over in the USMNT’s 2-1 win over Honduras. Yes, they got three points from the toughest fixture of group play. No, they didn’t look good doing it.

The good news? Plenty of alternatives on Jurgen Klinsmann’s bench (Why didn’t Ale Bedoya start?) and some good work from the new (and old) captain.

Starting XI

Brad Guzan 6/10 — Made one good and one great save in the first half. Didn’t make any big mistakes, and had a heck of a task in organizing that back four.

Fabian Johnson 8/10 — The Monchengladbach man was strong as usual, this time at outside back. His versatility and effectiveness at both back and winger is stunning, and his through ball to Yedlin for what should’ve been 2-0 was fantastic.

Ventura Alvarado 3/10 — He’s a man out of his depth. I get the allure of two 22-year-old center backs growing as a pair for 10 years or whatever, but Klinsmann needs to pull the plug soon or against any attack of merit.

John Anthony Brooks 6/10 — Wasn’t the No. 1 or No. 2 problem on the back line. Had his hands full in making up for Alvarado’s tire fire.

Timmy Chandler (off 63′) 5/10 — Not his best and definitely not his worst. Klinsmann clearly adores him.

Kyle Beckerman 6/10 — An average night’s work of doing the unspectacular job asked of him.

Gyasi Zardes (off 87′) 4/10 — As Andy Edwards rightly points out in his “Three Things” post, Zardes is out of position and shouldn’t be asked to defend. But he was asked to, and his answer was, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… what do I do?”

source: Getty Images
Yedlin (Steve Nurenberg/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

Michael Bradley 7/10 — The captain was far from perfect, missing some passes and letting his high motor run a little too hot at times, but he was very good. There isn’t anyone with his skill set on the team, and his free kicks were productive.

DeAndre Yedlin 4/10 — He’s very fast, but not ready technically to be cast in a 90-minute advanced role. Should’ve scored. Maybe twice. Not his best night by a long shot.

Jozy Altidore (off 59′) 6/10 — It was his shot that turned into Dempsey’s first goal, and he did some nice things in holding up the play.

Clint Dempsey 9/10 — Deuce scored his 42nd and 43rd goals with his noggin, and showed that his penchant for being in, and getting to, the right place isn’t going away any time soon.


Chris Wondolowski (on 59′) 5/10 — Just because he wasn’t the sub the game needed, nor the one any of us wanted, doesn’t change the fact that he did some nice things. Made a solid, unheralded late steal with the game still very much in the balance.

Brad Evans (on 63′) 6/10 — Maybe you didn’t even notice him, but it was defensive addition by subtraction when he replaced Chandler.

Graham Zusi (on 87′) N/A  He only played six minutes, and I’d still take him over Zardes if the formation remains the same moving forward.