091013_usmex_game_olson_am2e1091 Jeremy Olson for American Soccer Now
Player Ratings

American Stars Step Up in Huge 2-0 Win Over Mexico

On a night when the United States qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Jermaine Jones, Tim Howard, and Landon Donovan all delivered sparkling performances.
BY Blake Thomsen Posted
September 10, 2013
11:13 PM


Tim Howard: It was a huge bounce-back night for Howard who took a lot of heat (from me and others) following Friday’s game at Costa Rica. He produced a pair of excellent saves to thwart Mexico’s dominance in the early stages of the first half. And he didn’t put a foot wrong in the second half either, coolly dealing with crosses, corners, and the occasional Mexican shot from distance. An excellent performance. Rating: 7.5

Fabian Johnson: Johnson looked uncomfortable at right back and was uncharacteristically shaky in both defense and attack for the first half hour. He finally started to show his class towards the end of the first half. A poor night got even worse for Johnson when he exited at halftime with a left hamstring strain. Rating: 4.5

Omar Gonzalez: Gonzalez was an absolutely immense presence at the back for the U.S., especially during Mexico’s early spell of pressure. The L.A. Galaxy man was one of the best players on the pitch, combining his customary imposing aerial presence with a series of strong tackles. His only misstep was allowing Giovani dos Santos in behind on a tricky through ball, but Jermaine Jones recovered beautifully to quell the attack. A great night from Gonzalez, who was one of the few Americans who played well both in Costa Rica and tonight. Rating: 7.5

Clarence Goodson: Goodson filled in admirably for the wrongly suspended Matt Besler and helped show just how much depth the U.S. national team has at the moment. After not even being on the squad in Costa Rica, it was a very impressive showing for the veteran. Along with his solid defensive work, Goodson also cleverly sealed off Eddie Johnson’s man on the Yanks’ opening goal. Rating: 7

DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley started out questionably—highlighted by a failed clearance that needed saving by Tim Howard—but soon gathered himself and had a solid night at left back. He did well in the second half to alleviate Mexico’s pressure by getting into space on the left flank to begin counterattacks. Rating: 6

Kyle Beckerman: Beckerman did exactly what he needed to—shield the back four. His distribution was a little off early—he had some bad giveaways—but he improved as the game went on. It was the type of reliable performance U.S. fans have come to expect from the Real Salt Lake mainstay. Rating: 6

Jermaine Jones: Jones recovered from a poor night in Costa Rica and put in a markedly improved effort. He didn’t offer much going forward but really shined defensively, winning several headers in midfield and delivering some crucial challenges. Can he play like this again once Michael Bradley returns? American supporters dream about this....Rating: 7

Alejandro Bedoya: Bedoya worked hard before being replaced by Graham Zusi late in the match. He didn’t get too much attacking joy on the right wing but certainly deserves some credit for keeping Andres Guardado very quiet. The battle between Zusi and Bedoya for the right midfield spot should be interesting in the months to come. Rating: 6

Clint Dempsey: Dempsey’s night was just about epitomized by his stoppage-time penalty shank. (Or maybe it was a clever ploy to keep the scoreline dos a cero). Either way, it must be said that Landon Donovan probably represents a better option from the penalty spot moving forward. Dempsey didn’t get much support from midfield, but he spent far too much time on the ground after being dispossessed. Certainly an off night for the U.S. captain. Rating: 5

Landon Donovan: The old nemesis of El Tri struck yet again to bury Mexico. He looked dangerous on the counter throughout the match and did his job defensively as well. His perfect corner assisted Johnson’s opener before he was in the right place at the right time to finish Mix Diskerud’s lovely cross. Rating: 7.5

Eddie Johnson: Johnson didn’t contribute too much in terms of holdup play, but he had a few nice runs and touches in the first half, as well as a towering header that foreshadowed his second half goal. In the 49th minute, Johnson bravely rose above Jesus Corona to give the Yanks the lead, a lead that Mexico never seriously threatened. Johnson was substituted early with a head injury. No clowning—he came through with a clutch performance. Rating: 7


Michael Parkhurst: Parkhurst represented an improvement on the out-of-sync Fabian Johnson with his composed second-half display. The Augsburg man didn’t look too rusty—despite seeing little time in the Bundesliga—and likely boosted his stock in the ever-changing right back situation. Rating: 6

Mix Diskerud: Diskerud came on for Eddie Johnson and did his job well, possessing the ball when necessary and picking the right times to attack. He delivered the U.S.’s finest piece of attacking skill, dribbling into space and pushing forward before playing a terrific cross to Donovan to seal the match and deliver yet another 2-0 victory in Columbus. The 22-year-old is steadily building off his impressive Gold Cup. Rating: 7

Graham Zusi: Zusi hardly got a touch of the ball after coming on late for Alejandro Bedoya. Rating: Incomplete


Jurgen Klinsmann: Dealt a tough hand with a mix of injuries and suspensions, Klinsmann led the Yanks to a relatively comfortable win. It was somewhat of a landmark night in showcasing just how much depth the German has brought to the U.S. ranks. Klinsmann has come an awful long way from the 2-1 defeat at Honduras back in February. He deserves all the credit in the world for the job he has done since. Hats off to Klinsmann and the players—see you in Brazil. Rating: 8

OK, these are our ratings. Now we want to see yours. It's easy with our interactive Player Ratings tool. Do it.

Blake Thomsen is an ASN contributor and freelance writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Post a comment