Energy. The US Men's National Team finally showed some energy in their dominating 4-0 win over Guatemala. The win saves the USMNT from essentially being mathematically eliminated from World Cup contention. After a complete lackluster performance just four days prior in Guatemala, the US team dominated the game from beginning to end.
Clint Dempsey opened the scoring in the 12th minute when a long ball from Cameron went off a streaking Zardes shoulder and fell perfectly to Dempsey who hammered it home. Geoff Cameron headed home the second goal in the 35th minute on a Michael Bradley free kick. Last minute call-up Graham Zusi gave the US a third goal just after half in the 46th minute and Jozy Altidore added one for good measure in the 89th minute to give the US the 4-0 win.
Much happier grading this game, pretty solid scores all around.
USMNT Player Ratings (out of 10):
Brad Guzan, 8 - Not much to go on as he was not called into action much all night. Made one diving save, securing the ball to not allow a rebound and knocked the ball away on a potentially dangerous cross.
DeAndre Yedlin, 7.5 - Yedlin showed off his speed all night offensively and defensively. Seemed comfortable at right back. Set Zardes free on the lead up to the third goal.
Steve Birnbaum, 7 - Did not have much action but was solid when called upon.
Geoff Cameron, 9 - Great header for the second goal and was a rock in the backline. Knocked away a dangerous cross near the mouth of the goal but mainly was just what the US desperately needed which is stability at the back.
Edgar Castillo, 6 - Shaky at times on the ball and on defense but did disrupt a few counter attacks.
Kyle Beckerman, 8 - The RSL mid was like a fly that will not go away. Beckerman was all over the place. Sure he missed a tackle or two but overall a really solid game.
Michael Bradley, 7 - Jekyll and Hyde performances continue for the captain. Much better for Bradley. Great free kick to set up the second goal by Cameron. The negative has to be his finishing though, just not good enough at all. Still shacking my head on a chip shot from outside the 18 with the keeper still inside the 6 yard box.
Graham Zusi, 7 (off 81) - His free kick expertise was not on target for the night but provided the team with a lot of energy and effort. Nice finish on the loose ball in the box.
Gyasi Zardes, 5.5 (off 71) - Technically had two assists on the night. One was off the shoulder and one was a misdribble off his own but that dropped to Zusi. Provides energy and speed but his first touch is atrocious. At one point a simple trap turned into a 10 yard back pass to a Guatemalan attacker to start a counter.
Clint Dempsey, 8 - Much better from Dempsey. Took the first goal really well and was dangerous all night.
Bobby Wood, 6.5 (off 66) - Tried hard all night but points deducted for not being able to finish at point blank range on a lob pass from Bradley. Still not sure what happened.
Jozy Altidore, 7 (on 66) - Quiet night except for his one shot which turned into the fourth US goal.
Ethan Finlay, 7 (on 71) - Lively action and was robbed of a goal by a faulty offsides call.
Christian Pulisic, 6.5 (on 81) - The 17 year old Borussia Dortmund wing made his USMNT team debut. Not a bad 10 minutes for the teenager. Showed aggressiveness and no fear to take on defenders.