Folks, they did it.
The United States men’s national team met Jurgen Klinsmann’s goal of a Copa America Centenario semifinal with a 2-1 win over Ecuador in Seattle on Thursday night, contending with red cards and more.
[ MORE: Match recap ]
And despite losing several important players for a likely semifinal against Argentina, the U.S. gave its supporters a performance to wear with pride.
Here’s who shone, and who just “kinda” shone.
Brad Guzan — 7 — Wasn’t going to do much on that goal and still nearly got a glove on it.
Matt Besler — 7 — Fullback isn’t his normal position, but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
Geoff Cameron — 8 — Almost spotless.
John Brooks — 10 — Spotless. See this moment of yelling from me:
— Nicholas Mendola (@NicholasMendola) June 17, 2016
Fabian Johnson — 6 — Given his normal defensive acumen, he’s a relative 8. Huge tackle late.
Jermaine Jones (Red card, 51′) — 5 — I get it, fingers to the face and letter of the law and all that. It’s still a very weak-willed call, and his ball to Dempsey on the first goal makes it hard for me to drop him lower than 5.
Michael Bradley — 6 — If you thought the Yanks could make a tournament semifinal with Bradley being barely himself, raise your hand. Put it down, friend.
Alejandro Bedoya (Off 81′) — 5 — Missed a pair of chances to score and took a yellow that cost him the semifinal. He was solid otherwise, but that and an apple get you an apple.
Bobby Wood — 8 — Very strong performance from the relentless Hawaii-born “winger”. Well-played, sir.
Clint Dempsey (Off, 74′) — 10 — Gritty header to put the States ahead, and he deserved a penalty on the play that went as an assist of a Zardes goal. Star man in the clutch.
Gyasi Zardes (Off, 90+3′) — 6 — Gets his six from scoring, and his relentless work rate is wonderful, but man he could still use a break.
Kyle Beckerman (On 74′) — 7 — Did his thing well.
Graham Zusi (On 81′) — 7 — He’s a savvy veteran, and did the savvy veteran thing well.
Steve Birnbaum (On 90+3′) — N/A