The USA got their easiest and biggest win of the 2015 Gold Cup on Saturday afternoon in Baltimore against a depleted Cuba in the quarterfinal. The final score? 6-0 to the Americans.
Stiffer tests are to come, but for now, the US can enjoy a big day.
Here are the player ratings (out of 10):
Brad Guzan, 7 – Easy night for the American #1, who had little to do but did it well.
Timmy Chandler, 6 – Chandler, who’s always better when not pressured in defense, notched a solid assist on the opener to highlight his 45 minutes.
Ventura Alvarado, 6 – Alvarado, who needed a good showing to retain his place once John Brooks is back from suspension, had a mostly comfortable night.
Omar Gonzalez, 8 – The big LA Galaxy defender scored his first goal for the national team in a good all-around performance. He should be in the team going forward.
Fabian Johnson, 7 – Looked good, like he always does, and was especially active early on. Got the assist on the second goal.
Kyle Beckerman, 6 – Beckerman cleaned up his passing act for this one, and is appearing to relish another – possibly his last – run in a major tournament.
Alejandro Bedoya, 7 – Bedoya is playing good soccer, doing plenty of running, and quietly reestablishing himself as a key cog for Jurgen Klinsmann. Well done.
Gyasi Zardes, 8 – Very nice game from Zardes, who was back out on the wing. Got a goal, but more importantly, was smarter with his runs and worked well with those around him. Looks like a starter in the next game.
Michael Bradley, 8 – Didn’t score – and he very well could have – but there is very little to complain about on a three-assist night.
Clint Dempsey, 9 – The Texan is in the form of his life. Dempsey’s first US hat trick makes it all but a formality – he’ll get that Golden Boot he’s so keen on.
Aron Johannsson, 8 – Of course, it was just Cuba – but Johannsson looked terrific, as good as he’s looked over the last year with AZ in Holland.
Brad Evans, 6 – Evans looked more than comfortable in his 45 minutes, using his considerable versatility to chip in on offense as well as defense.
Joe Corona, 6 – Playing deeper than he usually does, Corona did well in Beckerman’s spot.
DeAndre Yedlin, 6 – Yedlin is a somewhat frustrating player to watch at this point – he can get anywhere he wants to on the field, but his final product is still mostly lacking. In any case, Yedlin is a weapon unlike anyone else in the US pool.
Disovelis Guerra, 3 – Not a tournament to remember for the Cuban goalkeeper, who let in fourteen goals in four games and exits here without much to hang his hat on.
Andy Ruiz, 4 – Wasn’t as bad as some of his cohorts, but that’s not saying much.
Angel Horta, 4 – Saw plenty of action and battled in central defense, but really didn’t stand a chance all night.
Yeisnier Napoles, 5 – Maybe Cuba’s best player, he looked like he could be quality enough for MLS. We might see if several of his now former teammates are too soon enough.
Arturo Diaz, 3 – Never got his feat under him as the American pressure came thick and fast.
Jose Clavelo, 4 – Wasn’t in the spotlight so much as he worked in front of his beleaguered defense. Didn’t do too much wrong.
Alberto Gomez, 5 – Made more of an impact than Clavelo, with some dogged work. Beaten too often, though.
Jorge Cordero, 3 – Never looked like he belonged. Possibly struggling with the heat, Cordero had a rough afternoon.
Liban Perez, 5 – An intriguing player who has some of the natural talent that his teammates don’t possess, Perez had several sniffs around the American box but couldn’t produce a final product.
Daniel Saez, 3 – Minuscule impact in a game that wasn’t set up for him to succeed anyway.
Maykel Reyes, 4 – Never saw any of the ball, and couldn’t get himself involved in any aspect of the game.
Yasmani Lopez, 3 – Irrelevant second half sub.
Felix Guerra, 3 – Struggled to acclimate to the game, luckily for him, the Americans had taken their foot off the gas slightly by the time he was added to the mix.
Armando Coroneaux, 4 – Mostly anonymous after coming into midfield. Extra points for a terrific name.