US Men's National team defeated Canada 1-0 on a goal in the 89th minute by Jozy Altidore. The USMNT has started the year off right by going 2-0 in their first two friendlies. Next up is the start of the World Cup Qualifying against Guatemala and the US and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann still have a lot to figure out.
USMNT Player Ratings (out of 10):
David Bingham, 7 - Bingham earned his first cap for the USMNT and showed confidence in goal. His job was made a lot easier as he never had to face a single shot on target however. He showed the ability to come off the line when needed and made solid catches on crosses. Good performance from the young San Jose Earthquake keeper.
Kellyn Acosta, 5 (off 45') - Making his second appearance, Acosta committed an error by giving away the ball in the box early in the game but Canada could not capitalize. Acosta plays mostly midfield for FC Dallas, practiced at RB during US January camp so it makes sense he would play LB during the games. He did make some nice interceptions to end the Canada attack. Came off at half due to hamstring tightness.
Matt Belser, 6.5 - Not really challenged much by Canada but overall much better than the Iceland game. He needs to stop giving away pointless yellows.
Jermaine Jones, 5 - It is like bad Deja Vu, Jones staring at CB was a failed experiment but back at it again for this game. Gave up free corner, got split on a run that luckily Akindele could not produce a shot on goal, should have giving Cyle Larin and Canada a Penalty Kick on a wreckless challenge in the box. He settled down in the second have, showed energy and willingness to push the ball forward as the center back but overall not much can be gained from him starting at CB with a back line in such flux.
Steve Birnbaum, 6.5 - Started at RB for this game and again showed how dangerous he is in the air with a header on target from a corner. Unfortunately it was an easy save for the Canadian keeper. Really not sure he has the pace to be a fullback, multiple Canadian players made him look very slow at times but overall good game.
Lee Nguyen, 6 (off 61') - Rumors of a very solid camp for Nguyen are a good sign but still is lacking and searching in the final third. Finds space and is around the ball which is good moving forward for Nguyen. Subbed off for Nagbe who arguably showed better than Nguyen in less time.
Mix Diskerud, 6 (off 77') - Did not really feature much in the first half. Great ball to Jozy for the header he put just wide of goal. Like the other midfielders in the game just could not find the final ball throughout.
Michael Bradley, 6 - His corners were a mix of good and bad, decent shot from long range with his off foot. Could just not produce the leading ball to find the goal. Decent game from the captain but left with the feeling of expecting more.
Gyasi Zardes (off 61'), 5 - Active first 45 minutes as he moved back to RM for this game. Earned a corner after 15 seconds and was active down the wing. Had a decent look at goal but hit it right at the keeper with Jozy open at the far post. Zardes did make a nice through ball to Jozy who hit the post. Docked his score really because at this level you want to see better crosses than always straight on the ground and some more willingness to go 1v1. His first touch continues to give away the ball at times but was not as bad as vs Iceland.
Jordan Morris (off 88'), 6 - Actually ended up being great that he was subbed off in the 88' making way for Finlay to set up the game winner. The young Stanford product showed energy and vision. It is evident he is trying to work on his hold up play but did give the ball away several times. Should have been able to get some type of shot off from just outside the 6 yard box but could not find space. He acts like a gnat and constant annoyance for the opposing back line. Probably should have been there at the back post to knock home a Jozy header.
Jozy Altidore (off 90+2'), 8 - Scored the winner on a header in the 89' on a great setup by Finlay. Had multiple chances through including being unlucky to score early by hitting the post, off the diving keeper's head then off the post again. Had a wind open run and tried to chip the goalie which almost worked to perfection except for a diving save at the line. He showed vision with his chip pass to Morris who could not finish. Good start to 2016 for Altidore.
Brandon Vincent (on 45'), 6.5 - Making his USMNT debut, Vincent had a nervous beginning but settled nicely. Looked to get forward and put a dangerous shot near post that was just saved. Maybe he should have crossed it but have to be alright with a shot on goal there with goalie cheating far post.
Darlington Nagbe (on 61'), 7 - Keeps shifting to CM no matter where he is stationed. Able to find some space and made some nice runs throughout. Solid showing from the Timer mid.
Jerome Kiesewetter (on 61'), 6 - Constantly willing to go 1v1 and proves to be dangerous. He did give up the ball multiple times trying but this asset of the game is sorely missed at the US national level right now. Did not have as much impact as Iceland but still had several nice crosses
Will Trapp (on 77'), 6 - Did not see much of the ball and played deeper than Mix. Quiet 13 minutes really.
Ethan Finlay (on 88'), 10 - Not sure how to give him anything else when you set up with winning goal after a minute on the field. Finlay showed how dangerous of a crosser he can be by finding Jozy for the goal.
Perry Kitchen (on 90+2'), NA - Spent more time typing this rating than he did on the pitch.
The US Men's National team came from behind to defeat Iceland 3-2 in a friendly to open 2016 with a win.
Player Ratings (out of 10):
Luis Robles, 5 - First US appearance in over 6.5 years, he made one nice save at a shot directly at him. Little he could have done on the deflected shot for Iceland's first goal. Second goal was a bender with his line of sight blocked by US defenders watching the game, maybe a little too close to the near post position wise however.
Brad Evans, 5 (off 45') - Tried to help out the game with being a presence going forward but constantly gave away so much space on the wing that a veteran winger would have eaten him alive.
Michael Orozco, 5 - Given a slight bump because he scored on a free header to tie the game 2-2. Got caught sleeping and out of position on the second goal while Iceland took a quick free kick to start a counter. Started at CB and switched to RB at the 45' marker. Glad he got the goal but gave the ball away too often and not sound defensively.
Matt Besler, 4.5 - Had a couple nice balls forward including one to Acosta, but he started the play on Iceland's first goal by misplaying a header. He could have even been given a handball in the box on the play. Every attack by Iceland was dangerous, even though there were not that many, the entire defensive line has to account for that fact.
Kellyn Acosta, 4 - Possibly a little harsh for a player making his USMNT debut, the young FC Dallas prospect showed that he wanted to get forward and may have been dangerous if balls were properly played to him. He was caught completely ball watching on the first goal and then did not recover well. He again got beat on a winding run by Iceland mid who luckily put it right at Robles otherwise it would have been a third goal.
Jermaine Jones, 6 (off 71') - Showed effort which is more than half of this team could say. Some errant passes but did provide some stability at the back at times.
Michael Bradley, 7 - Congrats on passing Claudio Reyna on the USMNT assist leaderboard. I really Struggled with his overall grade because he did have two assists on the three goals. Just always looking for more out of the captain of an uninspired team. Should have scored on a great set up by Jozy but instead flubbed it into a soft roller straight into a defender. Great vision on setting up Jozy's goal and made solid runs and a couple of nice long balls. But then again, several long balls that were way off the mark and indecisive leading the break. Overall better than the way he finished last year but capable of much more as evident with the two assists.
Ethan Finlay, 5.5 (off 61) - Played as RM which is not completely what he is accustomed to playing with Columbus as he features more as a right wing. Showed willingness to go 1v1 and to let loose on shots but in the end did not account for a shot on target.
Lee Nguyen, 6 - Played half the game as LM and half under the striker. What a wonderful ball to Zardes who should have finished it. Showed a lot of movement and creativity at times but really struggled to find the final ball after Zardes miss withseveral failed opportunities in the final third.
Gyasi Zardes, 4 (off 75') - This was not Gyasi's game. Should have finished a golden opportunity from Nguyen with a header but instead put it in the ground and over the bar. Gave the ball away time and time again by being out muscled our a bad touch. His saving grace was a run that set up Bradley's pass to Jozy for the opener. Started as a 2nd forward and switched to LM at half with Nguyen pushing more to the mid.
Jozy Altidore, 7.5 (off 75') - Nice movement and finish on the opening goal to tie it 1-1. Set up Bradley for a nice shot which he did nothing with. Nice patience and chip into the danger area for the hockey assist on the 2nd goal. Made nice long runs but was unable to get a shot off multiple times. Much better start to 2016 than his 2015 campaign.
Steve Birnbaum, 7 (on 45') - Maybe the 2nd best forward on the team even though he is a CB. Great header for the winning goal and assist on the second goal. Very dangerous in the air. That being said, did not close out on the 2nd Iceland goal. The defensive was very suspect against a very suspect attack.
Darlington Nagbe, 6 (on 61') - From RM to LM but always wandered in the center. Had a nice lunging opportunity that he took with the wrong foot on a run by Kiessewetter. Showed potential, not sure about him staying wide however.
Tony Tchani, 6 (on 71') - Quiet in the game, but maybe that is a good thing from a defensive mid at times. Really almost forgot he was out there.
Jerome Kiessewetter, 8 (on 75') - Maybe that is a bit high for only fifteen minutes of work but that was the most exciting 15 minutes the USMNT has seen since the Netherlands and Germany friendlies of 2015. Showed instant energy and passion to take players on and was continuously dangerous at RM. How is he only on the second team for Stuttgart?
Jordan Morris, 6.5 (on 75') - Showed energy and attempted to link up with Kiessewetter several times but could not get a shot off or was just a step away.