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.