The United States’ World Cup qualification campaign suffered a massive blow on Friday night, as Costa Rica ended the Americans’ fourteen-game unbeaten run under Bruce Arena with a comprehensive 2-0 win at Red Bull Arena. Here are the player ratings.
Tim Howard, 3: The U.S. needed a big performance from its goalkeeper, and Howard didn’t deliver – especially on the first goal. The difference in goalkeeping was the difference in the game.
Jorge Villafaña, 4: Villafaña’s performance won’t assuage anyone who questions whether he’s up to starting against elite competition. Caught out several times in multiple phases of the game.
Tim Ream, 3: Was a somewhat surprising selection considering the availability and experience of Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez, and looked overwhelmed in the first half. Most culpable on the opening goal.
Geoff Cameron, 2: A shocker. So good this year for the U.S., Cameron was in this game so loose on the ball that the killer turnover – which led directly to Ureña’s second goal – felt inevitable.
Graham Zusi, 6: Got forward well from left back and held his own defensively. Didn’t do his stock any harm.
Michael Bradley, 7: Given a mountain of work in the heart of midfield, Bradley was tireless – he pressed, tracked back, and distributed well. Just needed some help.
Darlington Nagbe, 6: Nagbe, as always, was tight on the ball and valuable in transition. But he’s a liability defensively at this level in central midfield. Should have played out wide in Johnson’s place.
Fabian Johnson, 3: Johnson hasn’t started a Bundesliga game all season with Borussia Mönchengladbach, and he looked well off the ferocious pace. Had zero impact and should have been taken off early.
Christian Pulisic, 3: It was a rough night for Pulisic, who appeared to press as the U.S. struggled to generate offense. How will he bounce back from the first real adversity he’s faced on the international stage?
Bobby Wood, 3: Didn’t link up particularly well with Altidore, and didn’t get many looks. Will we see him in Honduras?
Jozy Altidore, 5: Plenty of fight – laudable in the midst of such a tepid performance – but the yellow card that will see him suspended for the Honduras game was needless.
Clint Dempsey, 3: Couldn’t make anything of a great free kick chance just after coming on, and was lucky the referee didn’t take a hardline view of his late elbow.
Jordan Morris, 5: By the time he was able to get onto the field, the game was over. Does he take Altidore’s place on Tuesday?
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