The United States defeated Iceland 3-2 in a friendly match in California on Sunday, as the USMNT started 2016 on a positive note.
[ RECAP: USA 3-2 Iceland ]
Jurgen Klinsmann had a young, MLS-heavy roster at the January camp, as the starting XI consisted of ten players from Major League Soccer.
Four players earned their first cap for the USMNT, as Kellyn Acosta, Jerome Kiesewetter, Tony Tchani, and Ethan Finlay all featured for the first time under Klinsmann. Below, we take a look at how the team fared in a solid display against Iceland.
GK – Luis Robles – 6 – In his first USMNT appearance since 2009, Robles had no chance on either of Iceland’s goals. Unfortunately for Robles, he likely won’t see any action in a competitive match.
LB – Kellyn Acosta – 5 – It was the 20-year-old’s first cap with the national team, and he was partly at fault on Iceland’s first goal. However, he showed promise moving forward and is a player for the future.
CB – Michael Orozco – 6 – Orozco’s deflection left Robles helpless on the first goal, but he redeemed himself with a goal of his own in the second-half. Still not a top-choice center-back.
CB – Matt Besler – 6 – Besler is a consistent performer but the U.S. defense was a bit shaky at times. Much more comfortable with his preferred partner Geoff Cameron.
RB – Brad Evans – 5 – Evans wasn’t necessarily busy in the first half and was replaced at halftime. Hard to judge his performance on a short day at the office.
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LM – Lee Nguyen – 6 – Nguyen was strong in his 1st start for the national team, showing some pace and getting in good crosses to the box. He should become a more familiar face with the USMNT in 2016.
CM – Michael Bradley – 8 – Bradley had two assists and controlled the U.S. attack. A very strong showing from the captain as he will once again be the USMNT’s most important player.
CM – Jermaine Jones – 6 – Jones was decent on Sunday, but at 34-years-old is reaching the end of his international career. This could be his last run with the U.S.
RM – Ethan Finlay – 7 – Ethan Finlay was excellent today in his first cap, very involved in the attack and dangerous with the ball. He showed why he scored 10 goals and 13 assists for the Crew this season.
FW – Gyasi Zardes – 4 – Zardes missed a huge opportunity to score early in the match, and looked a step off today. We all know he has plenty of talent, but he needs to finish his chances to stay a regular starter.
FW – Jozy Altidore – 7 – Not only did Jozy score, but he also looked great off the ball against Iceland. He admitted he wasn’t at full fitness after the match, but he made plenty of runs in behind the defense and looked a danger. A good start to 2016 for a very important U.S. player.
RB – Steve Birnbaum – 8 – A goal and assist off the bench in just his second national team appearance, Birnbaum will be delighted with his performance on Sunday.
RM – Darlington Nagbe – 5 – Nagbe missed his only opportunity on goal, wasting a great cross from Jerome Kiesewetter. Still looking to find his feet with the national team.
CM – Tony Tchani – 6 – Tchani got his first cap for the United States on Sunday after missing out on a call-up from Cameroon a few months back through injury. An interesting player but likely won’t see any big minutes in the midfield.
FW – Jerome Kiesewetter – 8 – The 22-year-old was dynamic in his USMNT debut, bombing down the wings and taking on defenders. Remember this name…
FW – Jordan Morris – 6 – Morris came on for a late cameo off the bench and was busy in the box. The new Sounders star will look to follow up a breakthrough 2015 with a big year in 2016.