USMNT vs. Germany Player Ratings
Another USMNT match, another fantastic showing by the boys in red, white, and blue. The USMNT took to the road for the second time in 5 days and shocked another top ranked side beating Germany by a score of 2-1. They used a balanced attack in addition to long, patient passing sequences to create scoring opportunities. This proved to be the right method with both Mix Diskerud and Bobby Wood tallying goals for the USMNT.
This meeting between the No.1 and No. 27 ranked teams was slated to be a battle from the minute a deal was struck. The Americans showed up ready to play and for stretches of the first half and a majority of the second half they imposed their will upon the Germans. Let’s get to the ratings and see how Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s side fared against his former country.
Player Ratings: scale of 1-10
Brad Guzan (8.5)
Guzan made some brilliant saves this night and again did everything within his power to keep his side in the match. There were multiple occasions, especially late in the second half, where a lesser goaltender would have conceded but not Guzan. Early in the first half, the German attack looked very dangerous volleying ball after ball towards net but Guzan held strong. He did allow a single goal, which anyone who watched the game would not place blame solely on him, but more so on the defenders in front of him. They were a step late and out of position. He is a strong piece to build around as we now shift focus towards the 2015 Gold Cup which kicks off in less than a month.
Fabian Johnson (6.5)
A not-so-special rating due to the fact that he only received 45 minutes of action tonight and in that time made little impression. He was aligned at the left back position from the start instead of the midfield as he was against the Dutch. Fabian didn’t make any mistakes, but also didn’t shine. I chalk this performance up to Coach Klinnsman trying to work the majority of his players into the rotation before sending them back to their respective clubs.
John Anthony Brooks (8.0)
A vastly improved performance from the Hertha Berlin man who has had trouble translating club success into country success. Brooks looked and played flat-footed at times throughout the first half, but came out reassured and confident in the second half putting together a much more cohesive shift with center back partner, Ventura Alvarado. This was the outing Brooks needed before the Gold Cup to inspire confidence in the fans and more importantly the coaching staff, before we enter an important stretch in the yearly schedule.
Ventura Alvarado (6.0)
Very similar to the assessment given to Brooks, but without the added confidence. Alvarado often plays timid and makes passes that look as though his nerves are getting the best of him. He wanders from his post and is caught chasing after players he should easily be marking. He did not make blundering mistakes this match and that is an improvement. Can he be better? Certainly. Could he have played worse? Undoubtedly. Overall I am encouraged by this outing despite giving him a middling grade.
Timmy Chandler (4.5)
I cannot for the life of me figure out why he is getting the lion’s share of minutes at the right back position. If he cannot reproduce any of the skill he displays during club matches, there should be no place for him on the field with the national team. He was a big reason why Mario Gotze was so incredibly wide open for the easy tap in goal early in the first half. This position is not necessarily a weakness for the USMNT, but I do believe it is one that needs to be addressed as we move forward.
Danny Williams (5.5)
Nothing special from Williams tonight as he earned the start, but only played the first 45 minutes. Before the game we received word that Williams would not be a part of the 35-man provisional Gold Cup roster. This left a lot of fans and critics why on earth Williams received the start tonight if that was the case. This decision perplexes me, as I’m sure it does many others. However, a U.S. Soccer spokesman stated post-game that Williams is battling chronic knee pain and will be shut down for a short period of time to prepare for league play in the coming months. After a delightful performance against the Dutch this was somewhat of a let down and still feels a bit deflating.
Mix Diskerud (7.5)
A very impressive match by the NYCFC midfielder who scored the game’s second goal and equalized for the USMNT right before half. Mix played wide in the midfield tonight against one of the world’s most talented teams and held his own starring as he chopped the ball out of the air passed the German goalie off a beautifully placed ball by Michael Bradley. Diskerud, though he needs to improve against being dispossessed by stronger players muscling him off the ball, turned in a largely positive performance. He was involved in runs up the field, he tracked back effectively assisting in defense, and altogether looked comfortable in the midfield with Bradley, Williams, and Zardes. This is a big step forward for Mix, who hasn’t had much to write home about in the last month or so playing for New York. I hope he takes this experience and uses it to lead to even better outings in the Gold Cup should he make the 23-man final roster.
Michael Bradley (9.0)
Consistency put on another dazzling show playing against a midfield highlighted by some of the biggest names in worldwide soccer. Bradley was all over the field as is the norm for him and he never once looked tired. He made successful runs and was dangerous in the final third putting a few shots on net, including one he wished he had back. After a few nice passes freed DeAndre Yedlin down the right flank, a cross into the box found the foot of Bradley, but unfortunately his shot was a foot to narrow and Zieler, the German goaltender, was able to deflect the ball out of traffic. Though it was a great opportunity, it does not take away from another classic Bradley outing. Much like Guzan, he is a player the USMNT can build around for the Gold Cup.
Gyasi Zardes (7.0)
One of the players benefitting the most from these past two games is Gyasi Zardes. As multiple people viewing the game and commented on it throughout stated, Zardes is growing up before our eyes. He is quickly realizing he can compete with top level international talent and it shows in his fluidity and confidence on the field. His one fatal flaw is a lack of a first touch. He need to hone this in to take the next step but the improvements in other areas of his game are noteworthy. I like where is projecting as a player and I believe, if he continues on this path, he could become a nice complimentary fixture at this level for the U.S.
Juan Agudelo (4.5)
There is not much to say about Agudelo as it was easy to forget he was even on the field for the entire first half. I am happy he received his chance and is back in the mix for the national team but he did not do much with his minutes tonight. He needs to find better form the next time he features for the team.
Aron Johannsson (7.0)
Another match in which Johannsson did not find the back of the net, but still made contributions in other ways. His runs were dangerous and created opportunities to get the ball on net. He can affect the game even when the ball is not at his feet, which is the mark of a valuable player and one you definitely want at your disposal. He played well enough to earn himself a spot on the Gold Cup roster and he should feature during the tournament for the USMNT
DeAndre Yedlin (8.0)
For the second straight game, Yedlin was used as a sort of “super sub” coming in and providing a spark like only he can with his blistering pace. Yedlin has a gear that no one else in the entire USMNT player pool possesses. Many individuals watching the game were upset that DeAndre did not get the start after how well he played against the Dutch. It was apparent that Coach Klinsmann had a plan and he was sticking to it. To his credit and for a second time, it worked to perfection. Quite simply, Yedlin is a game changer. He is a very important player who the USMNT needs to see develop further during this World Cup cycle.
Kyle Beckerman (8.5)
Another gutsy performance by Beckerman, whose mere presence on the field seems to give the American side the confidence they need to push forward and play a more proactive style of soccer. At 33 years old, many people have written him or considered him as on the outside looking in. His form has not been great in MLS play and there are younger, more athletic options arising at the CDM position. Yet, he is challenging every runner and providing a solid backbone for a dynamic U.S. attack against some of the world’s best. He not only solidified the notion that he deserves a spot on the Gold Cup roster, but he should be starting in the Gold Cup at this point.
Brad Evans (7.0)
Evans came on at the start of the second half for Fabian Johnson, pushing Timmy Chandler over to the left back position. Evans put in a tactical second half highlighted by his beautiful through ball finding Bobby Wood in the 87th minute for the game-winning goal. He made multiple nice slide tackles in the run of play and did not get beat or play out of position. He even got a little fancy nutmegging one of the German defenders on an attack outside of the German eighteen. Another player, who has been all but written off in terms of country standing, has now resurrected his stock. It looks like he may be a serviceable option for this Summer’s tournament.
Alfredo Morales (6.5)
Morales came on late a little over midway in the second half to replace Mix Diskerud, who turned in a strong performance. He fits well into the USMNT ’s construct with his scrappy playing style and nose for the ball. He shows flashes of brilliance and is very sure of himself with the ball at his feet. What I would like to see from him going forward is a little more creativity and awareness on the wing, so that he and Bradley will mesh a little bit more to create chance up the left side. At times it seemed once DeAndre Yedlin entered the game, the USMNT favored his side as he advanced up the flank at will. This left Morales playing in a more defensive role, which is not an issue as he has a natural predilection for the CDM role as is, but it takes away from his creating ability in the final third. Look for Alfredo to have a big impact during the 2015 Gold Cup. He is primed for a nice run here in the next month.
Jordan Morris (7.5)
Another short stint from the 20-year-old college junior and he gave another masterful performance. Words can only take you so far in describing the impact this young players is having on US Soccer’s senior team. It’s as if every time he steps on the field, he just instantly creates chances. The dummy run he displayed as the ball went through to Bobby Wood for the game-winning goal was absolute class. He is obviously coachable, he’s hungry to score, he has pace, and he’s young enough to make an impact on this team for at least the next two World Cup cycles. He will soon have to make some difficult decisions as teams will undoubtedly be knocking at his door offering a whole lot of money to convince him to leave college and play professionally. It’s up in the air if he will make it, but he should be included in the final 23-man roster for the Gold Cup. All the credit for his discovery and growth goes to Coach Klinsmann, the US Soccer staff, and Stanford University; Morris shouldn’t be left behind when the stakes are even higher.
Bobby Wood (9.5)
The man. The myth. The legend. Bobby Wood. Who would’ve thought it possible that this young player, recently relegated to the 3rd division of the Bundesliga would spearhead 2 American victories over world powerhouses. Wood came up huge late in the second half when he received a well placed through ball from Brad Evans. He gathered it, played the ball to his left, and let loose a shot no goaltender could have saved. A perfectly aimed ball found the bottom right corner of the net and just like that the USMNT found themselves up 2-1 on the Germans. Oddly enough, Wood was left off of the 35 man provisional roster for the Gold Cup. Hopefully, he will use this time to figure out his club situation. Given his performances these last two USMNT friendlies, Wood should have no trouble finding a new home.
People may argue that “this was not the German’s A team” or “they didn’t take this match seriously” or “the USMNT beat a team without their top goalie and best forward”, but when it comes down to it and you take this win for what it really symbolizes in terms of US Soccer and its development. This victory should mean the world to all of us. Yes they didn’t play Neuer or Muller, and some of their key guys only played 45 minutes or just over, but look at their lineup and you saw names like Ozil, Khedira, Hermman, Podolski, world class players who were out there busting tail to match the USMNT. They were not just volleying the ball around like they knew they were the superior team. They were playing hard and it was evident in the pace of play.
The USMNT has done many things during Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure that they could never accomplish before his time. I, for one, am proud of this accomplishment and view it as a huge energy and confidence boost as they now zero in on another big task, winning the 2015 Gold Cup and locking up a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Our head coach believes, our players believe, and we as fans believe. What else could one ask for?