JAMIE HILL - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The US avenged their mishap in Kingston with a 1-0 win over Jamaica.
Athough the scoreline could have been a lot bigger if not for the right post, left post, crossbar, and the efforts of Jamaican ‘keeper Dwayne Miller, who made some acrobatic stops.
Below are player ratings for the match.
Tim Howard - 6 - Did everything has was called upon to do and was rarely challenged until later in the second half when Jamaica played with a sense of urgency and gave the Americans a few nervy moments. However, the most dangerous attack that Jamaica could muster was a header off a cross from the right flank that forward Ryan Johnson misfired wide.
Fabian Johnson - 7.5 - The Hoffenheim defender has fit in to the US team so well that it is difficult to believe he still has won fewer than 10 caps for the National Team. Johnson was all that American fans have been hoping for in a left back; solid at the back and effective going forward. Johnson's contributions to the attack were hindered only by lackluster offensive performances by Jose Torres and Brek Shea, upfield.
Carlos Bocanegra - 6.5 - The veteran US captain stepped in to provide the stout defensive performance that fans have come to expect from him. Bocanegra's reliability brings a calming presence to the backline that can be lacking with Clarence Goodson. However, the defender can never seem to resist the launch a few long balls to nowhere, even against a bunkering Jamaican squad that offered little resistance or pressure upfield in the first half.
Geoff Cameron - 7 - It has been quite a summer for Cameron, having staked a claim to a starting role both for the US National Team and for Stoke City. The former Houston Dynamo defender had another solid game, indicating that he will not be relinquishing his place in the starting lineup anytime soon. Although he did have one hiccup, getting turned on a Jamaican counter-attack in the second half, Cameron defended well and was strong on the ball.
Steve Cherundolo - 7.5 - The ever-reliable right back was a welcome sight after sitting out the match in Kingston. Cherundolo spent the night racing up and down the right flank, combining well with Graham Zusi offensively and making key interceptions defensively. At 33, fans have been predicting Cherundolo's demise for several years, but the consistently reliable Hannover man did not show any signs of slowing down tonight, even against a speedy team like Jamaica.
Danny Williams - 8 - When finally given an opportunity to start in his natural position, Williams turned in a commanding performance. He was quick to cut out passes and was strong defensively, but the Hoffenheim midfielder was also impressively deft on the ball and tidy in possession. Williams does not have the instincts to generate offense on the flanks, but he showed passing range and vision from a deep-lying position. The sole blemish on his performance was that he tired down the stretch and his influence on the match was reduced.
Jermaine Jones - 5.5 - Always active, Jones' greatest enemy is usually himself. He is always able to cover a lot of ground, but he can be reckless on the offensive side of the ball. He improved his turnover rate from his abysmal performance on Thursday, but his contributions will always lack the composure provided by Michael Bradley in a similar role. Jones is an agent for chaos, with all the good and bad that that entails.
Graham Zusi - 6.5 - This match represented Zusi's best chance to impress and the midfielder made the most of it. While he makes his home in the center of the park at Sporting Kansas City, Zusi did well on the right and was an important piece of the USA's dominant possession. Zusi is not a true winger and at times that showed, but he was able to link the deep-lying midfielders to forwards with good movement and a pleasingly quick speed of thought. He was unlucky not to score on two occasions.
Jose Torres - 5 - A surprisingly anonymous game for Torres considering the amount of possession for the US. Torres was again miscast as a wide midfielder, a position that does not make the most of his strengths and exposes some of his weaknesses. In tonight's match, Torres kept the ball well, but was not always able to move the ball forward, a problem that can be chalked up to his lack of familiarity with flank play. Still, he worked hard and was able to open channels for Fabian Johnson.
Clint Dempsey - 5.5 - After sitting out at Fulham for a month before his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, nobody expected Dempsey to play 180 minutes during the September World Cup qualifiers. Nonetheless, "Deuce" managed to make it through the two matches without being substituted by Jurgen Klinsmann. Nonetheless, his lack of match fitness showed tonight; his second half contributions were understandably limited by his energy level. Also,, his touch was not up to his usual standards.
Herculez Gomez - 6.5 - A hard-working performance. Gomez got the crucial goal, scoring off of a free kick - which must have been satisfying to the US after Thursday's match. Oddly, Gomez's effort was not among the strongest of the night for the US. However, after several first-half stellar saves, Miller's goalkeeping clinic abruptly reached a conclusion, although he still managed to get his fingers on the ball.
Brek Shea - 4 - The decision to bring Shea on for Torres made sense at the time, but the young winger failed to execute against the speedy Jamaicans. Shea was indecisive in key moments and failed to do much to rejuvenate the American attack, which was flagging at the time of his introduction.
Maurice Edu - 6 - Edu was brought on to strengthen the center of the park, which had weakened somewhat as Williams began to tire. He covered ground as tenaciously as ever and helped solidify the team's defense, but still had a few of the maddening simple giveaways that have long prevented Edu from being a considered an elite US player.
Jozy Altidore - 4.5 - Altidore was brought on to help the kill the game, but instead provided a series of giveaways. Jozy did not look especially sharp; it was not a performance to remember for the AZ Alkmaar striker.