The dust has finally settled from the parties and excitement of last night’s 2-1 win of Ghana. It would not be an American victory if it was not dramatic. As John Brooks ran to the sideline to lay on the ground, the voice of Al Michaels rang in my head, “Do you believe in miracles?!” That moment will forever be remembered by USMNT fans, regardless of their views on soccer.
The American Pitch has our official player ratings from last night’s match. We saw the rise and fall of a lot of players last night. While many fans were excited about the play of Tim Howard, others were worried about the lack of production from midfielder Michael Bradley. With two games still to play for the USMNT in their group, Bradley and other players have plenty of time to catch-up and find their form.
Here is how The American Pitch thought the USMNT players did last night.
Tim Howard- (8) Without his fantastic goal saving abilities, the USMNT could have lost by a substantial amount last night. The only strike against Howard was the one goal scored against him. He was in place to make the save, but leaned the wrong way and left the goal open for the shot.
Michael Bradley- (5) This game was the biggest match the USMNT will encounter this tournament and unfortunately for them, Bradley did not really show-up. There is plenty of time though for him to work back to his level of play that fans have come to expect from him.
Matt Besler-(6) Even though he left the match at halftime with tightness in his leg, Besler still played exceptionally well in his first World Cup match. His rating would have been higher if he would have played the entire match.
Clint Dempsey-(7) The Captain showed just why he wears the armband last night, by scoring a goal 34 seconds into the match. After that goal, Dempsey would not be heard much from, resulting in a decline in offensive production. His goal and overall first half performance was enough to help lead the USMNT into half with a 1-0 lead.
Alejandro Bedoya-(6) USMNT fans were incredibly surprised with the play of the young outside midfielder. Bedoya showed great promise and certainly gave Jurgen Klinsmann confidence to start him against Portugal and Germany.
Jermaine Jones-(7) The true workhorse of the match last night. Jones played a great game for all standards. At times he was a little distant, but his overall play was refreshing for many fans who were doubting his abilities before the World Cup.
Kyle Beckerman-(5) The Real Salt Lake player did a good job of holding down the back of the midfielder diamond. At times though, he appeared to not know where to move and almost opened the door for several scoring opportunities for Ghana.
Jozy Altidore-(3) Before Altidore was unfortunately injured in the 23rd minute, his presence on the field was non-excistent.
Geoff Cameron-(5) His level of play for his first World Cup match was encouraging, but there still is much room for improvement.
Fabian Johnson-(6) Johnson did not get the chance to get up the field much, but when he did, there was little bursts of magic.
John Brooks-(6.5) His game-winning goal was truly amazing on all accounts. His level of defensive play before that goal was a bit disappointing, but he made up for it after his goal was scored. Will he get the start this Sunday against Portugal? That is a question only Klinsmann can answer.
Graham Zusi-(6) His impact was minimal until he delivered the game winning assist to Brooks. Zusi did exactly what he was suppose to, make an impact in the game.
Aron Johannsson-(4) Frankly, there was not much of Johannsson’s play last night that really wowed anyone. Many fans thought that Chris Wondolowski would be the man off the bench to replace Altidore, but Klinsmann had other ideas. If Altidore does miss the match Sunday, Johannsson has a second chance to prove his worth to his country.