This was the kind of performance U.S. Soccer was hoping for on a regular basis when it hired Jurgen Klinsmann as Bob Bradley's replacement. The U.S. Men's National Team thumped Scotland, 5-1, on Saturday night in Jacksonville thanks for Landon Donovan's hat-trick and a dominate performance in the midfield.
Here's how the U.S. players rated on the night (1-10, 10 being the best and 1 being the worst)
Tim Howard (6): The lone goal Scotland scored was an own goal that Howard had no chance of saving. He was solid when he needed to be, but his distribution out of the back still needs work for a top-caliber goalkeeper. At times, Howard tried to play the ball out on the ground, but made poor decisions with where and how was getting the pass there.
Steve Cherundolo (6.5): Cherundolo doesn't look a day over 24; too bad for Klinsmann the 33-year-old defender is long past 24 because he is still the best option the U.S. has at right back. His game was solid, but not outstanding. His overlapping was great and his defense sturdy, but he struggled at times in his own half with clearances.
Geoff Cameron (5.5): The own goal tarnishes what was an otherwise very good performance from Cameron. The center back needed to stay closer to Kenny Miller when the cross came in that lead to the own goal. Cameron can't get away with leaving his mark at all on the international stage; otherwise, more goals will come.
Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (6.): Again, there wasn't any trouble with Bocanegra's game. The defense did what it was supposed to and held Scotland toothless save the one goal, but Bocanegra's passing still isn't his strong suit of the back. If Klinsmann wants this revolution of attacking, eye-pleasing soccer to grow, he needs his defense to be sure of their feet on the ball and work it out of the back better.
Fabian Johnson (7): Johnson has solidified himself as the USMNT first-choice left back, which isn't saying much because the depth there is slim to say the least.The converted midfield had another solid game getting up-and-down the left flank. He took advantage of Jose Torres' movement inside and found plenty of space to get forward and push Scotland's midfielders deep. Now the real test comes against Brazil on Wednesday; let's see how he fairs coming off a solid game.
Maurice Edu (5.5): Edu made some great tackles and was tight in the midfield as the anchor, but he was sloppy in possession more than once, and that can't happen against better opponents.
Michael Bradley (8): Bradley was the engine and the creator in the midfield three. His positioning and passing were superb. Moving to play in Serie A has been a blessing for the midfielder as his game has stepped up to a new level since the move to Chievo.
Jermaine Jones (6): If it weren't for a lenient referee, Jones could have seen himself to the exit, or at least picked up a card and had to be substituted. Jones was all action and scored a wonderful goal, but his chippy play can be costly in big games. He needs to know when to tone it down and when to turn it on still. He also needs to learn to speed the game up in the attacking-third, not slow it down. Klinsmann wants one or two touches on the ball; too often, Jones stepped on the ball and slowed the game down so much that his teammates stood around watching.
Landon Donovan (7.5): Yes, he scored three goals and had an assist, but Donovan's game wasn't his best in a U.S. jersey by far. Scotland had no answer to his pace on the break, and it showed because he was the catalyst to the counter-attacks, but his play in possession and even his movement off the ball at times was stagnant. Donovan is the prototypical counter-attacking player, and sometimes, like in this game when the U.S. enjoyed good spells of possession, that goes against him because he stands around waiting for the ball. With that said, he tracked back well and finished his three chances with class.
Terrence Boyd (7): There is a lot of raw talent in Boyd; now it's time he starts to refine it. Boyd played as a lone forward up top and did his best to hold up play and distribute. His pressure, along with Torres, lead to the Scotland giveaway that led to the opening goal of the game. But Boyd lacked the know-how and patience to score when his chances came. Over time, that will come. For now, Boyd is still learning, and he continues to show positive signs.
Jose Torres (8): Torres touches were quick and precise. He looked more comfortable in the more forward role and with less defensive responsibilities; he tracked back well, though. He played the way Klinsmann wants, with quick touches, forward movement and vision. Torres laid off passes and operated with with precision. It looks like he has found a more comfortable role further up the field.
Joe Corona (68th minute for Jose Torres) (5.5): It was Corona's debut for the senior national team, and he looked a bit nervous out there. He had some nice touches and played in his space well, but he didn't break out and show that he is 100 percent ready for this level.
Herculez Gomez (64th minute for Terrence Boyd) (5.5): Gomez's valiant touch under pressure freed up Donovan for the cross to set up Jones' goal, but other than that, Gomez was invisible. He didn't get in the game and prove he deserves another look-in. He will need to do better in his next chance.
Kyle Beckerman (64the minute for Maurice Edu) (6): Beckerman came in when the game was already in hand and the U.S. was playing off of Scotland. He did his job and held down the space between the defense and the midfield, but he didn't do anything to set himself apart, which was more to the condition of the game.
Edgar Castillo (73rd minute for Fabian Johnson) (6): Castillo provided good cover after replacing Johnson and did well with Corona on the left to stop any Scotland attack down that flank.
Oguchi Onyewu (63rd minute for Carlos Bocanegra) (6.5): Onyewu is still the strongest center back the U.S. has in the air. He is still a bit raw with the ball on the ground, but he is showing improvements there. It was good to see him out there and healthy again after all his injury problems in the past few years.
Brad Guzan (71st minute for Tim Howard) (6.5): It's hard to even give Guzan a rating, he barely had to do anything. Guzan was barely busy as Scotland wasn't able to break down the U.S. midfield, never mind its defense after he replaced Howard.
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