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Player Ratings

Bedoya Makes the Grade; Pulisic and Nagbe Shine Too

The Nantes midfielder put his stamp on the game early, creating two first-half goals and helping the U.S. national team put Bolivia away. Here are Brian Sciaretta's player ratings.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 28, 2016
11:50 PM

COMPLETING A SWEEP of its three tune-up friendlies ahead of Copa America Centenario, the U.S. men's national team routed Bolivia 4-0 on Saturday night in Kansas City. The opponent was weak but the U.S. looked confident and just about every player gave a strong performance.

Here's my evaluation of the individual performances.


Brad Guzan: The Aston Villa keeper answered all challenges but nothing was overly difficult. With two straight clean sheets, Guzan should have some confidence heading into Copa America Centenario. Rating: 6

Michael Orozco: With this start, Orozco played in as many U.S. national team games in this week alone as he did Liga MX games in 2016. Tonight he started at right back and played the first half before coming off. He was quiet but untested. When he was called into action, he didn’t stand out but didn’t make any noticeable mistakes either. Rating: 5.5


Geoff Cameron. After missing Wednesday’s game with a sore hamstring, Cameron earned the start and played well. Defensively he was solid and his distribution was a big boost to the team—his pass to Dempsey sparked Gyasi Zardes' first goal of the match. Rating: 6

John Brooks: The Hertha Berlin defender started for the third time in a week and showed that he is ready for the first-team job at Copa America. His goal in the 37th minute came on a well-timed and smart run into the box. Rating: 7

Matt Besler: Earning the start at left back, Besler was a pleasant surprise playing out of position. He logged just 45 minutes, making nice passes into attacking positions and was well-positioned defensively to help stifle the occasional Bolivian attack. Rating: 6

Alejandro Bedoya: The Nantes midfielder was the Man of the Match thanks to his two outstanding assists in the first half that took Bolivia out of the game. He came out in the 63rd minute but not after making a strong case to be starting next week against Colombia—his parents' homeland. Rating: 8

Michael Bradley: The captain put forth a class effort to help the U.S. dominate the midfield. Like he did in the second half against Ecuador, Bradley sat deeper and that seemed to play to his strengths. His passing from this part of the field was superb. Rating: 6.5

Jermaine Jones: The Colorado Rapids midfielder delivered a much-improved performance from Wednesday. He added a physical presence—and took a physical beating. But he was also sharp on the ball as well. An outmatched Bolivia did not have an answer for him in the midfield. Rating: 7

Gyasi Zardes: The Los Angeles Galaxy attacker needed a strong game after a poor performance against Ecuador—and he delivered a two-goal outing. He benefitted from two great assists, the first coming on a one-touch pass from Bedoya and the second on a lovely trap and pass from Bobby Wood. Zardes drifted out of the game occasionally but getting on the scoreboard will likely provide a welcome confidence boost. Rating: 6.5

Clint Dempsey: The 4-3-3 formation does not play to Clint Dempsey’s strengths as the Seattle Sounders forward seems more comfortable in some variation of a 4-4-2. Dempsey had some good moments against Bolivia but was mostly quiet. Rating: 5.5

Bobby Wood: The Hawaii-born Wood looked very dangerous from start to finish. He was always trying to make things happen and early in the second half was rewarded with a fine assist to Zardes. Heading into Copa America, he is looking like a more-than-sufficient replacement for the injured Jozy Altidore. Rating: 7


DeAndre Yedlin: The Sunderland right back replaced Orozco at halftime and gave the U.S. another attacking option—something Orozco couldn't quite deliver. Yedlin was effective using his speed and overall had a good week over the three friendlies. Rating: 6

Fabian Johnson: After a groin injury kept him out for a month, Johnson is slowly getting back into full swing. Klinsmann elected to bring him off the bench and in his 45 minutes of action, Johnson was steady and quiet. Rating: 5.5

Christian Pulisic: The 17-year-old sensation came on for Zardes in the 63rd minute and was once again a dynamic player who always seems to find a way to be dangerous. Six minutes after coming on he scored the first of what will likely be many international goals when he took a nice pass from Darlington Nagbe and casually placed it into the back of the net. Rating: 7.5

Darlington Nagbe: Nagbe was once again fantastic and a true presence in the midfield. He was decisive on the ball and made very few poor decisions. His assist on Pulisic's goal was one of the highlights of the game and Nagbe made an outstanding case to be a starter for this team. Rating: 7.5

Chris Wondolowski: The San Jose Earthquakes forward came on in the 73rd minute and missed an easy chance to score but otherwise did not have much to do as the game was out of reach. Rating: 5

Graham Zusi: The Sporting Kansas City midfielder replaced Bradley in the 73rd minute and tried multiple times to get into dangerous positions and made some dangerous passes. The overall intensity of the game was reduced by the time he came onto the field, making it harder for him to stand out. Rating: 5.5

The Coach

Jurgen Klinsmann: The starting lineup was not the strongest possible combination from his Copa America roster as some players needed a rest and other combinations needed to be given a look. Bolivia was a poor opponent and Klinsmann was able to get away with it but still he deserves credit as the team looks to be confident heading into the all-important opener against Colombia. Rating: 6

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