Who said soccer was boring, eh, sports fans?! The United States of America were some thirty seconds away from the World Cup knockout stages and a stranglehold on the Group of Death, but a Cristiano Ronaldo cross, headed in by Silvestre Varela, broke American hearts.
Here are the player ratings.
Tim Howard, 9: Save for one strange moment on Nani’s late first-half screamer, Howard was unspeakably good. He had multiple jaw-dropping saves, and continues to be the United States’ best and most reliable player.
DeMarcus Beasley, 9: Vastly underappreciated by the majority of fans and pundits, Beasley was terrific. He was perfect in defense. Smart, quick, assured. This was a massive improvement over his performance against Ghana.
Geoff Cameron, 3: Cameron had a very tough night. His howler let in Nani for the first goal, and he was the man who lost Varela on the equalizer. He got away with a yellow-card worthy tackle on Ronaldo at the end of the first half, and was a weak-link in the defense.
Matt Besler, 7: Besler had a very good game, playing with confidence and making huge tackles up the field consistently. Had a brush with injury late, but thankfully shook it off. The US will need him against Germany.
Fabian Johnson, 6: Johnson was terrific in getting forward all night, a presence that the US missed against Ghana. His final product wasn’t there, but he was dangerous and competent in defense.
Jermaine Jones, 9: What more can you say about this guy? His screamer of a goal to tie the game was one of the best in the tournament, and certainly the best in his career, but his work-rate and pressure in all positions on the field was remarkable. He tired at the end, but has been sensational throughout the tournament.
Kyle Beckerman, 6: Beckerman was almost silently solid again, but he didn’t have the impact he did against Ghana. Still, the dreadlocked midfielder never gave the ball away, and he has become an integral part of this team.
Michael Bradley, 6: This was a vastly improved performance from Bradley, even if he lacked the spark he has at his best. But his giveaway late led to the game-tying goal, and he missed his big chance. He needs to be even better moving on.
Alejandro Bedoya, 4: Bedoya didn’t do anything in particular wrong, but he was almost totally anonymous all night. Landon Donovan, anyone?
Graham Zusi, 6: Zusi was active on the ball and did a lot of good things, and his assist to Dempsey was perfection. Zusi probably won a starting place over Bedoya or a second forward against Germany, even if he didn’t play the cleanest game.
Clint Dempsey, 8: Dempsey was put in a nearly impossible position. A natural second forward or attacking midfielder, he was alone up top and apart from the first half hour, didn’t see much of the ball. But he scored – he always does in the World Cup.
DeAndre Yedlin, 7: Yedlin, believe it or not, did exactly what he was brought on to do: Use his speed and cover a ton of ground.
Chris Wondolowski, 7: Wondo also did exactly what he was brought on to do: Make himself useful up top and waste time.
Omar Gonzalez, 5: Gonzalez was on the field for some four minutes, but he was around the gaggle that failed to pick up Varela in the box.
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