Jamaica vs. USA: Rating the USMNT Players in World Cup Qualifier

John D. Halloran@JohnDHalloranContributor IISeptember 8, 2012

Jamaica vs. USA: Rating the USMNT Players in World Cup Qualifier

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    The United States Men’s National Team was defeated 2-1 Friday evening by Jamaica in World Cup qualifying.

    The game represents a potentially serious setback for the U.S. and could put the Americans in a deadlock with Guatemala for second place in Group A should Guatemala beat Antigua and Barbuda, as many expect.

    Here are the ratings for the USMNT players in the game.

Tim Howard

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    With Carlos Bocanegra on the bench, Howard took the armband for the match and despite giving up two goals, played a fairly strong match.

    Howard was beaten by two dead balls in the game, but neither were stoppable. The first was a hard, low-driven shot that deflected off Kyle Beckerman and the second was a world-class strike that went over the wall, off the post and in.

    Early in the second half, Howard came off with two big stops, including a good save with a great parry of a dangerous in-swinging service in the 49th minute. In the 53rd minute, Howard came out to clear a ball over the top, taking a knock from the Jamaican forward for his troubles.

    Rating - 7

Michael Parkhurst

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    Parkhurst was given a surprise start on Friday night after it was reported that Steve Cherundolo picked up a calf injury.

    After Parkhurst’s poor performances this summer, this seemed to be an especially risky decision against the speedy Jamaicans, but Parkhurst did well to keep the game in front of him. Parkhurst was not clearly beaten a single time in the match and couldn’t have done anything to have prevented either goal.

    Parkhurst even got forward on a couple of occasions to help the attack, getting forward in the eighth minute to get off a service and connected nicely with Jozy Altidore in the 44th minute to get a service off that Dempsey almost converted for the second U.S. goal.

    Rating - 6

Clarence Goodson

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    Other than one bad giveaway in the 38th minute, Goodson was fine.

    Seeing his name in the starting XI against the speedy Jamaicans surely scared many USMNT fans, but Goodson kept the game in front of him all night long and couldn’t have done anything to prevent either of the goals against the U.S.

    Unfortunately for the U.S., the Americans didn’t win enough corner kicks or wide dead-ball opportunities to use Goodson’s attacking prowess in the air.

    Rating - 6

Geoff Cameron

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    Cameron had a terrible clearance in the 52nd minute, but other than that, put in a solid shift. Like Goodson and Parkhurst, Cameron couldn’t do anything to prevent either goal and didn’t let the Jamaicans get in behind him. He did his job on the night.

    Rating - 6

Fabian Johnson

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    Anyone who has seen the U.S. play regularly over the past year knows the quality Johnson has brought to the side. However, on Friday night, he had an uncharacteristically poor performance.

    Early in the first half, Johnson got away with a couple of dicey right-footed clearances and was beat in the air in the 19th minute which resulted in a dangerous ball dropping into the six.

    In the 40th minute, Johnson wasted possession on a promising U.S. attack and capped his night off in the 92nd minute with a shot that would have gone over three goals stacked on top of one another.

    Rating - 4

Kyle Beckerman

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    On Friday night, Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones seemed to be having a competition to see who could play worse.

    Beckerman was poor for most of the night, giving away possession and getting beat on the dribble repeatedly.

    In the 22nd minute, Beckerman was beat and forced to foul. The resulting free-kick went off the inside of Beckerman’s right leg and wrong-footed Tim Howard, resulting in Jamaica’s first goal of the night.

    Beckerman was beaten again for an open shot in the 27th minute and again in the 56th minute. He was mercifully replaced in the 61st minute.

    It is difficult as a fan to be so hard on players who repeatedly answer their nation’s call-ups. The fault with Beckerman’s selection lies firmly with USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann needs to be seriously questioned if Beckerman dons the USMNT jersey again.

    Rating - 2

Jermaine Jones

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    It would be tough for anyone to argue that this wasn’t Jermaine Jones' worst performance ever for the USMNT. Jones spend the entirety of the match losing the ball, lying on the ground “hurt,” yelling at the ref, creating unnecessary fouls and losing 50/50 battles.

    By my count, Jones had seven turnovers and five fouls—not a banner evening. Jones was also cautioned in the 77th minute and remains a perpetual red-card risk.

    Rating - 2

Maurice Edu

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    Edu’s game on Friday was a bit all over the place.

    In the first half, Edu’s through ball created the chance that resulted in the U.S.’ goal in the first minute of the match. Then, late in the first half, Edu combined nicely with Jozy Altidore and Michael Parkhurst to create a dangerous chance.

    However, for much the rest of the match, Edu was invisible. He didn’t control the middle and was uninvolved in the play for long stretches. He seemed to be out of place playing further up the pitch and it was his foul in the 61st minute that resulted in Jamaica’s second goal.

    He was replaced in the 71st  minute.

    Rating – 3

Clint Dempsey

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    Despite the loss, Dempsey had a pretty good game, especially considering he hasn’t played a competitive match in nearly three months.

    Surprisingly, he went the full 90 minutes.

    Dempsey scored the U.S.’ opening goal in the first minute with a classic “being in the right place” finish.

    Dempsey’s holdup play was solid as he was able to repeatedly work out of tight spaces to allow the midfield to get up the pitch. He also nearly scored a second goal with a nice half-chance in the 44th minute.

    Sure, he didn’t look his world-class self and looked a little leggy near the end, but Dempsey was the only player in the U.S. attack who produced anything of note.

    Rating – 7

Herculez Gomez

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    Gomez started the game off strong, beating his defender and creating the shot that resulted in the U.S.’ first goal. He also had a nice flick to Jermaine Jones in the ninth minute and a neat chipped pass attempt to Dempsey in the second half.

    However, creating three decent plays in 90 minutes of work clearly isn’t good enough. Maybe it was a result of Klinsmann’s tactics, but USMNT fans have come to expect more from Gomez.

    Rating – 4

Jozy Altidore

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    Altidore seemed to be doing his “Invisible Man” routine on Friday, rarely touching the ball or getting involved in the play.

    He had a nice one-two combination with Clint Dempsey in the 41st minute and a nice pass to Michael Parkhurst in the 44th which resulted in a chance for the U.S., but did little else.

    He was replaced in the 71st minute.

    Rating – 3

Danny Williams

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    Williams was a second-half substitute on Friday night, replacing Kyle Beckerman in the 58th minute.

    The exciting part of Williams' entry into the game was that Klinsmann finally gave Williams the opportunity to play his preferred holding midfield role after a number of failed experiments with him on the wing.

    And, while the game calmed down once Williams entered the match, it had much more to do with Jamaica taking the lead in the 62nd minute than anything Williams did.

    Williams certainly did more than Beckerman to recycle possession for the U.S., but wasn’t the type of deep-lying playmaker the U.S. so desperately needed.

    Rating – 4

Brek Shea

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    After another lightning-off-the-bench performance against Mexico last month in a friendly, Shea entered the match in the 71st minute looking to ignite the U.S. attack.

    He battled well, if ineffectively, on the left wing in his limited playing time. He had a nice back-post service in the 82nd minute which Clint Dempsey was unable to finish, but also lost possession on a number of occasions late in the game when the U.S. needed to hold the ball long enough to create quality chances.

    Rating – 4

Terrence Boyd

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    Boyd entered the match with Shea in the 71st minute replacing Jozy Altidore. Like Shea, Boyd would have liked to have been able to spark the U.S. attack.

    Unfortunately, Boyd was just as ineffective as the man he replaced. Maybe he didn’t have enough time to impact the game, but nonetheless, he didn’t create any significant chances for himself or his teammates when it was needed.

    Rating – 3

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