Gold Cup: US Player Ratings in victory over Canada

Americans put it all together in Detroit, burying Spain performance

Donovan Dempsey

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The United States national team closeted Jekyll to re-introduce Hyde on
Tuesday night, rallying from bad weekend reviews in some style to top
Gold Cup opening night foe Canada.

The Americans were in control throughout, winning with a solid
halftime lead/insurance tally/clean sheet trifecta for the first time in
30 games.

What's more, the hosts played tribute to Detroit by motoring around
the pitch in free-flowing attack mind set for much of the night. In
particular, the US midfield dominated against Canada's most talented
line. Here are the ratings for the US' 2-0 win:

Tim Howard (7.5) - Suddenly being called upon after
watching from afar can be tricky for a goalkeeper. This was no problem
for Howard, though, who clawed an Ali Gerba shot over the crossbar in
the 70th minute. Near time, the Everton star nullified any chance of a
nervous finish with consecutive primetime stops — one up high and one
down low.

Steve Cherundolo (7) - The Hannover 96 captain was
only bested by fellow former Portland Pilot Josh Simpson once, spending
most of the evening directly in the winger's face. Cherundolo took every
occasion to aid the attack up his flank, but none of his final balls
provided danger.

Clarence Goodson (7) - There was one bad pass out
of his end at the half hour, but other than that, Goodson was tidy. He
rejected all comers and cleanly dealt with five crosses of varying
heights.
 
Tim Ream (6.5) - Despite being nutmegged in the area,
it was a rebound night overall for the Red Bulls prodigy. His
positioning, in particular, was greatly improved over the weekend
outing.

Carlos Bocanegra (6.5) - The skipper was solid if
unspectacular in a showing reminiscent of his Saint-Étienne work at left
back this past season. There were a couple of hairy moments, including
on the late scramble that necessitated Howard's big double save.

Michael Bradley (8) - Many US fans moaned at his
inactivity with Aston Villa, but the truth is, he probably needed a
break. Bradley kicked off his fifth consecutive summer playing a tourney
with a fresh legs showing. He was seemingly everywhere, distributed
efficiently and took a few hard cracks at goal.

Jermaine Jones (7) - Another comeback kid after the
Spain debacle, Jones started this contest slowly. He got better as the
night wore on, however, frequently sparking the team forward from forced
turnovers.

Landon Donovan (7.5) - Like Bradley, the No. 10
short was practically ubiquitous. Though a bit indecisive at the attack
moment of truth, Donovan spent the entire game driving the US up field.
His right-corner outswingers were also better than usual.

Clint Dempsey (7) - Nearly invisible in the first
half, Deuce revved it up for the Motor City after intermission. Just
after having a devilishly acrobatic flick shot cruelly blocked, Dempsey
got his goal on the slide to give the home side insurance. In the end,
it was a typical dirty shirt performance from the Fulham ace.

Juan Agudelo (7) - The youngster played a strong,
mature game before being lifted on 64 minutes. Though he misfired on a
decent chance, Agudelo made a real pest of himself in a number of ways.

Jozy Altidore (7.5) - Leaving his detractors
speechless for a night, the young striker pulled out just about every
tool in the box against Canada. Despite the Lars Hirschfield howler, his
goal was a pure power forward play. To top it off, one of several good
centering feeds set up Dempsey for the second.

Coach Bob Bradley (7) - A critic could easily try
to wave off the turnabout from Saturday by insisting the "A" players
made the difference, but that group is also Bradley's. The boss didn't
just have the team put the Spain loss behind them, he had them doing it
with the most stylish soccer seen from the US in a long while.

Substitutes:

Chris Wondolowski (5.5) - His off-the-ball runs again plowed road, but the Quakes forward made no other impact.

Sacha Kljestan (6) - It was a nice short shift for the Anderlecht man, who was another player erasing bad weekend memories.

Maurice Edu (5.5) - The Rangers stalwart hinted at getting into trouble a couple of times, but managed to avoid it.