Following the USMNT’s 2-1 victory over Ghana we look at the playmakers and rank their performances on the evening.
Tim Howard, 9: The US goalkeeper was at the top of his game all night long, and while he was forced into just two big saves, Howard’s presence was immense. No one on the entire squad inspires more confidence.
Fabian Johnson, 7: Interestingly, Johnson wasn’t targeted as much as DeMarcus Beasley by Ghana, and he was solid most of the night – but he was caught out on Ayew’s equalizing goal. In the end though, Johnson redeemed himself by winning the corner that Brooks scored.
Geoff Cameron, 8: Did very decent work all night, and was especially strong in the air. Worked well with both Belser and Brooks under siege all night and made a terrific World Cup debut.
Matt Besler, 7: Besler did well in the first half – doesthe fact that he was taken off for “precautionary” reasons speak more to Klinsmann not wanting to lose him going forward or does it speak to Klinsmann’s confidence in Brooks?
DaMarcus Beasley, 6: Beasley was targeted and often left exposed early, but he settled down and did a nice job from the 30th minute on.
Kyle Beckerman, 9: Perhaps the real feel-good story here: Beckerman was fantastic all night, expertly positioned and tough as nails. Along with Jones, he was the American’s best player as he made his World Cup debut at 32 years of age.
Jermaine Jones, 10: By far, this was Jones’ best game in an American jersey. He was everywhere, tearing up blades of grass while covering the entire field. You can’t say enough about his performance.
Alejandro Bedoya, 6: Bedoya worked extremely hard all night, and was good with the ball in tight spaces. He made a few bad decisions in the first half, and was substituted before the late fireworks.
Michael Bradley, 3: Bradley was bad – shockingly so. Over-hit and misplaced passes were commonplace. Bradley was the biggest reason why the US didn’t keep the ball. He knows he’ll have to do much better in the next two games.
Clint Dempsey, 8: His first minute goal was absolutely sensational. Still covered a lot of ground after breaking his nose. Deserved his captain’s armband tonight.
Jozy Altidore, 5: Altidore looked pretty good in his limited action, but he wasn’t on the field for long. Fingers crossed that he can return to play in this tournament.
Aron Johannsson, 3: Johannsson was put in a tough position, but he did nothing to alleviate pressure as a target forward, and made some poor decisions late on.
John Brooks, 9: Overlooked because of his goal is the fact that Brooks was terrific defensively. It remains to be seen whether this was a coming-of-age performance, but it was one that he will remember for the rest of his life.
Graham Zusi, 8: It was a terrific corner from Zusi that set up the game-winner and cue American euphoria.