The US won their first game under Klinsmann on Saturday
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Sunday, October 9, 2011
The US national team defeated Honduras on Saturday night by a narrow 1-0 scoreline for Jurgen Klinsmann's first win as their coach.

The game had positive moments but it further highlighted that the US national team is still a work in progress.

For the positives, left back is not a weakness at the moment as Chandler was significantly improved from the Belgium game at his new position. Also Jozy Altidore was constantly dangerous and Clint Dempsey shined as the number 10.

Brek Shea has earned the right to be in the starting 11 for the national team and Danny Williams played out of position on the right but he clearly has talent to be a big part of the team moving forward.

As for the weaknesses, the most obvious right now is in central defense. Michael Orozco Fiscal looked lost again and it should only be a matter of time before Klinsmann explores other options like Omar Gonzalez and George John. Oguchi Onyewu's return was promising but he still needs more games before he is back to his old self.

There was also problems in central midfield as Maurice Edu's passing game was ineffective and Beckerman struggled with containing Honduran attackers.

From central midfield to central defense, the entire middle of the field was a problem for the US team and most of the offense had to come from the wings. The best solution for the upcoming game against Ecuador would be to start Michael Bradley in the middle of the field along with Danny Williams who is naturally a central midfielder.

USMNT player ratings


Tim Howard - 8 - Man of the Match Outstanding performance. He made four impressive saves that kept the US in the game. His best was a one on one against Jerry Bengston in the 19th minute.

Steve Cherundolo - 6 - A solid performance from the long time vet as he continues to show why he is still the team's right back.

Michael Orozco Fiscal - 4 - This game was an important test for Orozco as he needed a strong performance to show he belongs on the US national team. Unfortunately he came up short and was beaten numerous times by Honduras.

Carlos Bocanegra - 5 - It wasn't the best game for the US national team captain. He was better than Orozco positionally but his distribution out of the back was lacking.

Timothy Chandler - 6.5 - Chandler's second game at left back was much better than his first last month against Belgium. His combination play with Brek Shea created numerous opportunities. Still, he must improve his passing with his left foot.

Kyle Beckerman - 5 - Beckerman had a decent game in defensive midfield against Honduras but he will struggle as the competition gets stronger.

Danny Williams - 6 - It was a very solid debut for the German-born Williams who was not at all familiar with the US national team prior to camp. He was comfortable on the ball and his defense was also effective. Normally a central midfielder, Williams was out of position at right midfield but he looked like he will help the team moving forward.

Maurice Edu - 4.5 - Edu had an off night for the US team against Honduras as he struggled with his passing game and was not effective moving the ball forward into the final third.

Brek Shea - 7 - Shea was a handful for the Honduran defense all night on the left and he was a key part of the scoring opportunities for the US team. He missed a sitter in the second half but he still had a very strong performance and his combination play with Chandler is developing well.

Clint Dempsey - 7.5 - Dempsey showed that he is the probably the best US player at the moment as Honduras struggled to contain him all game. His goal showed an incredible amount of skill and he should have had a second but the goal was called back after he was incorrectly whistled for a foul.

Jozy Altidore - 6.5 - After a disappointing performance against Belgium in the last US game, Altidore played with more purpose and had his hand in numerous scoring opportunities. It's only a matter of time before he breaks out under Klinsmann's system.


Oguchi Onyewu - 5.5 - It was Onyewu's first cap under Klinsmann and he improved the defense in the second half. He still has a way to go to return to the level he was at before his knee injury two years ago but he now appears to be on the right track.

DaMarcus Beasley - 6.5 - Beasley's speed and craftiness helped the US regain control of the match after Honduras was pressing for an equalizer. He stretched the defense and was part of several scoring chances.

Michael Bradley - 6 - After missing last two US games, Bradley showed that he is still an important part of the US team as his minutes. He was calm on the ball and in control of the midfield. He should clearly start for the US team.

Jonathan Spector - 6 - When Spector came on for Timothy Chandler he had a positive impact on the match. While he has struggled the past few years with the US national team, Spector looked comfortable and he had a beautiful cross that found Dempsey. Dempsey scored but the goal was incorrectly disallowed for a phantom foul.

Juan Agudelo -5.5 - Agudelo did not have much of an opportunity to make an impact but he looked decent in his performance. He has talent but is still a work in progress.