The US continued improvement on the road is a welcome sight for fans of the national team. International Football is all about performance on the road: grinding out results unlike Russia’s failure today in Israel, and building confidence and an ability to play at altitude and in bad weather. Today the US took a big step towards international respectability with the 1-0 victory in Johannesburg against 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa.
Bob Bradley’s system of employing two holding midfielders- in this match Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu once again forced the opponents midfield to play much deeper than the opposition had wanted. This tactic denied Benny McCarthy, South Africa’s main scoring weapon any kind of adequete service all game long. Edu and Bradley also seemed to be the most poised performers for the US yet again.
TIM HOWARD, 6
Calm and collected. Decent match
BRAD GUZAN, 6
STEVE CHERUNDOLO 7
Great goal and good work getting back to cover.
CARLOS BOCANEGRA 5
A couple of communication mix ups and bad back passes
JONATHAN SPECTOR 4
Still needs some serious seasoning
DANNY CALIFF 4
Looked slow and somewhat insecure out there. Also fouled constantly
OGUCHI ONYEWU 8
The best Gooch has looked for the national team against an opponent other than Mexico.
HEATH PEARCE 5
Didn’t read the game as well today as he had in the last few matches
MICHAEL BRADLEY 6
Solid workmanlike effort
MAURICE EDU 8
How did this kid slip through the US Youth Team radar? Another great match including numerous attack killing tackles and a sweet set up pass on the goal.
BENNY FEILHABER 3
Totally lost on the right side. His lack of club form has affected his national team worth.
DAMARCUS BEASLEY 6
Solid game for a player with tired legs.
CLINT DEMPSEY 5
A tough outing for a player willing to sacrifice for both club and country. Needs a break to avoid burn out or a serious injury.
FREDDY ADU 6
Had a very good first half but was lousy after halftime until being subbed out.
JOZY ALTIDORE, SACHA KLJESTAN, JONATHAN BORNSTEIN, NR
MAN OF THE MATCH: MAURICE EDU (2ND STRAIGHT USA SOCCER SPOT MOM FOR EDU)