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.