JACOB CHAMBLISS - Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The United States national team overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat Bosnia 4-3 in Sarajevo.
The highlight of the match was certainly the performance of Jozy Altidore, who provided a second half hat trick on top of an assist in one of the best performances by a United States forward in recent memory.
Other bright spots for the U.S. were the debuts of John Brooks, who went the full 90 minutes, and Aaron Johannson, who provided a strong performance after subbing on for Eddie Johnson.
The win extends the USMNT's winning streak to 12 games, and is their first come-from-behind win on European soil.
Here is how the players performed:
Tim Howard, 6: Was hung out to dry on Dzeko's first goal, and could do little about Bosnia's other two. He produced his customary flying save of the match in the second half to deny Edin Visca on what looked like a clear goal.
Brad Evans, 6: Was solid defensively, helping track the runs of Dzeko down the right side along with Cameron. His offensive contribution was spare, but he was tidy in possession.
Geoff Cameron, 6: Overall a decent night for Cameron, who made his first start at center back for the U.S. this year against Bosnia. Cameron was clean in his tackling and distribution. He was beaten in the air on Ibisevic's goal, but in fairness the forward was in a clear offside position.
John Brooks, 5: It doesn't really matter what his name is, Brooks looks a starting center back in the making. An exciting prospect for USMNT fans, his performance was slightly marred by two mistakes borne of inexperience. He was caught ball watching on Edin Dzeko's rebound goal in the first half, and was beaten in the air on Dzeko's second goal. Otherwise Brooks turned in an impressive 90 minutes, displaying good one-on-one defending and solid passing skill.
Fabian Johnson, 5: Didn't get nearly involved enough in the attack during the first half. His play improved immensely in the second half when he was moved to the midfield, as demonstrated by his neat pass for Altidore's first goal.
Alejandro Bedoya, 6: Made one incisive pass early in the first half, but was otherwise rather quiet on the attacking front. Covered plenty of ground to help Brad Evans, however, and was good with his touches. With the paucity of games left for Klinsmann to finalize his roster for the World Cup, Bedoya hasn't yet done enough to start over Graham Zusi or Landon Donovan.
Michael Bradley, 8: Bradley delivered his usual complete performance, providing cover for his defenders in addition to bombing forward to facilitate the attack. After the introduction of Kljestan, Bradley found more space to run at the Bosnian defense, and his two assists to Jozy Altidore showcased Bradley's passing range and his tactical nous to make attacking runs.
Jermaine Jones, 4: Jones still looks to be in preseason mode. He took too many touches on the ball in the midfield, and lost the ball in several dangerous positions. He cut out the mental mistakes as the game wore on, but was deservedly subbed out in the 70th minute.
Mix Diskeruud, 5: Couldn't get much going in the first 20 minutes of the game. He struggled early with the pace and strength of the Bosnian defenders, but settled down after the first half hour and his passing improved as a result. Was unlucky not to draw a penalty.
Eddie Johnson, 4: Sure, he got his goal, but Johnson's turnover that led to Dzeko's goal in the eighth minute was inexcusable. Johnson looked otherwise out of place as a left winger, as he worked himself into several good positions in Bosnia's box but was either unwilling or unable to play the ball with his left foot. Seemed more comfortable at striker in the second half, but couldn't complain about being subbed off for Johannson.
Jozy Altidore, 10 (Man of the Match): Three goals, one assist, and possibly the most complete performance of any USMNT forward in history. Altidore was a menace from the first minute, causing Bosnia's back line numerous problems and drawing an early yellow card. Jozy's work rate was tireless; he made excellent off the ball runs, and closed down any midfielder or defender that took too long on the ball. His first half performance was outshined only by his play in the second, as his pace and conditioning eventually wore down the Bosnian defense. He all but scored Eddie Johnon's goal off a darting run behind the defense, and his three goals-a left-footed finish after turning his defender, a wonderful curling free kick, and a near post shot after a quick pass from Bradley-showcased his expanding skill set. If this performance is a signal of what to expect from him in the Premier League, then his upcoming season with Sunderland should be a fascinating one to watch indeed.
Edgar Castillo, 7: Oddly enough, the player on this roster that seems to have benefitted most from the Gold Cup is Castillo. A stark contrast to the player USMNT fans are accustomed to seeing, Castillo was composed with his passing, and used his pace to neutralize Bosnia's attack down the left flank.
Sacha Kljestan, 6: Kljestan's introduction at the expense of Jermaine Jones brought an immediate improvement to the USMNT's midfield play. His ability to link passes improved the offense, and he seemed to sync better with Michael Bradley than did Jones, allowing Bradley to make more forward runs.
Joe Corona, 5: Klinsmann continues to utilize Corona on the wing, which is clearly not Corona's preferred position. Provided some defensive stability, but was unable to offer a meaningful contribution to the U.S. attack.
Aaron Johannson, 7: Johannson's first minutes for the USMNT were lively, as he looked fast and hungry from the minute he was introduced. Made some good passes and sharp touches in and around the box, but couldn't steer his shots to either side of the goalkeeper.
Michael Parkhurst, 6: Parkhurst didn't have much time to do anything defensively, but came in and was lively in the attack.
Bobby Wood, NR: Entered the match after Jozy's third goal, when the match was all but over.