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Player Ratings

Brutal U.S. Performances Led to Hexagonal Loss

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann won't be happy with his team's 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, and he really won't be happy with some of the shoddy individual performances he saw. Here are our Player Ratings.

BY Blake Thomsen Posted
September 07, 2013
1:19 AM

STARTERS

Tim Howard: Howard was blameless on Johnny Acosta’s second-minute opener, but questions must be asked about the next two. His effort to save Celso Borges’ header—which made it 2-0 to the Ticos—was strangely passive. And Howard somehow remained firmly rooted to his line instead of dealing with Costa Rica’s hopeful ball over the top which led to the Ticos’ third goal. He was beaten far too easily by Joel Campbell’s tame shot as well. Not his best night. Rating: 4.5

Michael Orozco: Orozco struggled mightily to deal with the advances of Christian Bolaños and Bryan Ruiz on the Ticos’ left. He was caught out again and again in the first 25 minutes as Costa Rica poured forward. His attacking play wasn’t much better. The issue at right back remains unresolved. Rating: 4

Matt Besler: Besler had his moments but failed to perform up to his usually high standard. He was absent from the box for Costa Rica’s second—leaving DaMarcus Beasley horribly exposed—and will be kicking himself for allowing Joel Campbell in behind him on Costa Rica’s third. Klinsmann will not be happy about his suspension-inducing second half yellow, either. Rating: 5

Omar Gonzalez: Gonzalez was the best U.S. defender on the night, which admittedly isn’t saying much. Still, he did have a solid game and made an excellent last-ditch tackle to keep the game 2-1. Gonzalez’s steady performance will quiet some shouts for John Brooks to move above him on the depth chart. Rating: 5.5

DaMarcus Beasley: As he did at the Azteca in March, the speedy veteran looked overmatched. Celso Borges absolutely destroyed Beasley to head in the Ticos’ second goal, and Beasley also failed to offer much going forward. Is it time to permanently instill Fabian Johnson at left back? Rating: 4.5

Graham Zusi: Like Michael Orozco—who was also stationed on the U.S. right—Zusi had a night to forget. He was uncharacteristically sloppy in possession and failed to offer protection for Orozco. Zusi’s poor showing—his first for the U.S. in a while—will give Klinsmann a lot to think about when he chooses his XI for Mexico. Rating: 4

Geoff Cameron: Cameron improved as the Yanks began to impose themselves in the second half, but his first half performance left much to be desired. He appeared to be struggling with the playing surface and didn’t do enough to shield Costa Rica’s counterattacks in the first half. The unnecessary yellow he picked up in the second half means he won’t get a chance to redeem himself against Mexico. Rating: 4.5

Jermaine Jones: The combative Jones was forced to take on more of a creative burden due to the absence of Michael Bradley. He offered the occasional threat going forward but overall did not make a huge impact on the night’s proceedings. He was on the delivery end of far too many long balls, none of which connected. Rating: 4.5

Fabian Johnson: Johnson was just about the only U.S. player who looked good in the first half. Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas made a terrific stop to keep out Johnson’s sweetly struck half-volley. It was the Yanks’ best chance by far until Johnson drew the penalty that Clint Dempsey converted. Despite fading a bit in the second half, Johnson may still have been the best American on the field. Rating: 6.5

Landon Donovan: Donovan didn’t sparkle in his A-team return, but he was involved in most of the Yanks’ good moves forward. He couldn’t quite break down the Ticos’ resolute backline, though. Donovan’s clever chipped pass to Dempsey early in the second half was his finest moment in a night of limited creativity for the Yanks. Rating: 5.5

Clint Dempsey: Playing out of position as a lone striker, Dempsey worked hard and delivered some quality touches and passes throughout the game. He created a great second-half scoring chance on the strength of some nifty footwork and a well-placed left-footed shot, but he was stopped by the upright. Keylor Navas probably should have saved Deuce’s tame penalty, but a goal is a goal. Rating: 6.5

SUBSTITUTES

Eddie Johnson: Johnson gave an honest effort—and was involved in a brutal collision—during his 33 minutes on the field. He was brought on before Aron Johannsson, which likely means he is still ahead of the Icelander on Klinsmann’s depth chart. We’ll be paying close attention to anything coming out of the U.S. camp regarding this competition in the next few days. Rating: 5

Jozy Altidore: An extremely rare off night for Altidore. He didn’t make much of an impact on the game and picked up a foolish—beyond foolish, really—yellow card in stoppage time, leaving the Yanks even more shorthanded for the September 10th match against Mexico. Rating: 3.5

Aron Johannsson: ArJo came on in garbage time and never made an impact on the match. Rating: Incomplete

THE COACH

Jurgen Klinsmann: It was always going to be tough for Klinsmann after Michael Bradley limped off the field after warm-ups. His deployment of Michael Orozco earned some praise before the game, but the surprise move did not pay off. Given the poor performance of some players and suspensions of others, he’ll have some massive decisions to make in the next few days. Rating: 5

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

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