The United States men’s national team is onto the Gold Cup semifinals again, but defensively put in a performance that would’ve gotten them eliminated against pretty much any other team remaining in the tournament.
Did anyone shine? Yeah, the “new” boys were good. But confidence isn’t high heading into Texas for a semifinal date with Costa Rica on Saturday.
Tim Howard — 7 — Didn’t have to do much, but made a key save early to help avoid a disastrous start.
Justin Morrow — 6 — Good going forward and with the ball, but lost his marks a few times. Still, one of two defenders who won’t totally hate their defending.
Omar Gonzalez — 5 — Scored again, which is really good. Also drifted out of position on several occasions, struggled with his marks, and butchered a headed clearance that should’ve seen El Salvador pull within one.
Matt Hedges — 5 — Not a starring role, but improved from a poor performance in his last outing. Relative to his defensive peers, he was fine.
Eric Lichaj — 5 — Like Gonzalez, he scored. And this one was a very nice goal, but the Nottingham Forest star committed a horrible giveaway early and made a big mistake in the second half as well. Poor.
Michael Bradley — 8 — Much maligned in U.S. circles, had a standout night in the middle of the park that showed why he’s ahead of decent Dax McCarty in the pecking order. Good service on all but one set piece, and an assist to boot.
Darlington Nagbe (Off 87′) — 6 — More than decent work, and trademark clever footwork. Didn’t have that one singular moment of danger to earn a higher mark. Shouldn’t have been taken off unless Bruce Arena plans to use him heavily again on Saturday.
Paul Arriola (Off 66′) — 6 — Industrious evening getting himself into position to make key passes, but accuracy was missing. Also kicked an El Salvadoran player between the legs, which is not good.
Gyasi Zardes (Off 71′) — 6 — If you wanted to give him high marks for some electrifying moves you’d be justified, but still something missing from his final passing.
Clint Dempsey — 7 — Far from perfect, and didn’t match Landon Donovan on the all-time goals mark, but his moment of brilliance to set up Lichaj’s goal was vintage ‘Deuce’.
Jozy Altidore — 6 — A physical menace who deserves credit for not reacting violently to being bitten, he still didn’t create that moment
[ MORE: Three things from the 2-0 win ]
Jordan Morris (On 66′) — 5 — Made a good run upon subbing into the game, then drifted away.
Kellyn Acosta (On 71′) — 6 — Active, now let’s see him with Bradley?
Chris Pontius (On 87′) — N/A