U.S. Player Ratings: Jones strike highlights thriller with Portugal

By Mike Woitalla

The USA's performance in a 2-2 tie with Portugal was marked by blunders and brilliance, starting with a gifted goal in the fifth minute and featuring a Jermaine Jones equalizer that rates among the tournament's best goals.

Clint Dempsey scored in his second straight game. This time bumping the ball into the goal off his belly. That 2-1 lead lasted until the final minute of stoppage time when Michael Bradley lost the ball in midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross found the head Silvestre Varela, who should have been blanketed by the three central defenders the USA had on the field.

6 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), 102/0.
Was on the ground before Nani pulled the trigger on the 1-0 shot. After misjudging Nani’s 19-yard shot that hit the post made spectacular save on Eder’s rebound effort. Stopped a couple hard long-range shots. Blocked a close-range a rocket from Raul Meireles in the second half. Ronaldo’s perfect cross for 2-2 looked unreachable.

7 Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER), 24/1.
Right back often looked like a midfielder. Sparked USA’s first attack after giving up the first goal and several others. Also solid on defending the flank, as when he stripped Silvestre Varela in the 70th minute.

6 Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 19/0.
Central defender intercepted passes with head and feet.

3 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 29/1.
Totally whiffed on a Miguel Veloso’s pass, deflecting it to Nani for a 5-yard finish in nightmare start. Let Varela cruise through when he headed home the stunning stoppage-time equalizer.

5 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX), 118/17.
The left back kept Portugal fairly quiet on the right wing. He limited to Nani to long shots (besides the goal gifted by Cameron’s mis-play). 

6 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) 39/1.
Swept in front of central defenders and helped cover for outside backs when they attacked.

8 Jermaine Jones (Besiktas/TUR), 44/3.
Scored one of this World Cup’s best goals with his curving rocket from 25 yards. Toiled defensively too and also carried ball forward.

5 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 88/12.
Squandered a golden opportunity when his shot from six yards went straight Ricardo Costa on the goal line. Helped create 2-1 goal with a shot that produced a favorable rebound. Linked midfielders better than in his Ghana performance but lost ball to Eder on the sequence that led to Portugal’s 2-2.

6 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 25/3.
Nicely served up Dempsey on the 2-1 and combined well with Johnson on the right flank.

4 Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), 30/1.
Saw little of the ball, didn’t create anything threatening from his wing, and hit a poor cross shortly before being subbed in 72nd minute.

7 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), 107/39.
Forced two first-half Beto saves with shots from narrow angles and shot just high over cross bar on free kick. Less active in the second half when he scored with his stomach for the 2-1.

6 DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), 5/0.
Arrived in the 72nd minute to bring speed to the flank and delivered the ball that led to the USA’s 2-1.

NR Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 21/9.
Replaced Dempsey in the 87th minute to pressure Portuguese defenders.

NR Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), 21/0.
Entered in stoppage time to serve as a third central defender but wasn’t there when Portugal scored.

(1=low; 5=average; 10=high)
37 comments about "U.S. Player Ratings: Jones strike highlights thriller with Portugal".
  1. stewart hayes, June 22, 2014 at 10:35 p.m.

    I cringed when coach made the last sub and was perplexed by his waving players forward with seconds to go providing the space for an easy counterattack. Coach made some blunders at the end.

  2. James Madison, June 22, 2014 at 10:45 p.m.

    I cannot disagree greatly, given that Jones and Dempsey are entitled to bonus points for their goals. Howwever, Bradley should have been marked down for tiring so badly in the last 20-25 minutes that he was essentially useless and, as noted, gave away the ball that Cameron allowed Varela to score from Ronaldo's cross.

  3. j bapper, June 22, 2014 at 10:55 p.m.

    Very disappointed in M Bradley's performance the first two games and Cameron was awful today. On the bright side, Jones is having a great World Cup and I thought Fabian was outstanding again.

  4. Charles Stamos, June 22, 2014 at 10:59 p.m.

    Most of the ratings are accurate. Also, remember the tough conditions that all but the end game subs had to endure. A difficult physical game for all, including JK. He made some good moves and some questionable ones. Ronaldo was affected like everyone else. He only offerred the final assist. Take the 1 point and move on. Good luck against Germany, Get a tie (a win is not likely) or hope for a Ghana-Portugal tie.

  5. Kent James, June 22, 2014 at 11:11 p.m.

    Very accurate ratings. Yedlin really created a spark, so maybe deserves a 7 (did so much in so little time). I've never been a fan of Jones, but he has been our best player so far (and he actually did not deserve the yellow card he got). Even his passing has been tremendous. Bradley has not played well; we'll need him to get it together if we hope to advance on our own merits.

  6. soccer talk, June 22, 2014 at 11:34 p.m.

    Agree, ratings fair. Unfortunately two bad goofs
    Killed a good game by Cameron. Bradley played
    Well and never disappeared. He helped US posses ball instead of a long ball affair. Victim
    Of no communication when he got picked in
    Final minute.
    Rating zero for 4th official. 5 mins stop. time
    What a joke!

  7. Alfred Krist, June 22, 2014 at 11:35 p.m.

    Michael Bradley gets 5 points??? What a joke. He missed an open goal and lost the ball in mid-field that gave them their second goal. Most of the game he was walking around. No hustle. No determination. Terrible.

  8. Emilio Tellini, June 22, 2014 at 11:40 p.m.

    Ratings are pretty much accurate. I thought that Beasley deserve a little more than 5 for his support on the left flank. Zusy and Johnson played well on the right. I think if you give Johnson a 7 you should give a 7 also to Zusy.

  9. John Czach, June 22, 2014 at 11:42 p.m.

    Agree that Bradley is overrated. He had 2 good opportunities (squandered), gave the ball away 1/2 dozen critical times (including the tying score), and looked lifeless in the last 30 minutes. I think he should have been subbed, but that's JK's decision to live with. But I'd give serious consideration to whether Bradley should start next game....he's disappointed so far and not shown the ability that got him on the team in this World Cup final.

  10. Emilio Tellini, June 22, 2014 at 11:45 p.m.

    I think Bradley feels the World Cup pressure a little too much. He played better today than against Ghana but I would like to see him play like he was doing with Roma in Italy. Hopefully he will shake the pressure off and play a solid game against Germany. We will need that!

  11. James Froehlich, June 22, 2014 at 11:52 p.m.

    Totally agree with John C! MB was a definite 4. Several of his "completed" passes were nothing but "hospital balls". We need the old MB back in top form for Germany.

  12. BJ Genovese, June 22, 2014 at 11:58 p.m.

    Bradley is a very serious person, a product of over development in high pressure environents since he was a kid. When he talks he is so serious. Lighten up and relax, enjoy the moment and stop looking like your father, pensive and stone cold. I can only imagine this World Cup is giving him ulcers. JK needs to chill him out and let him know that its a game that is supposed to be played relaxed. Sure its taken serious but its a game and he seems to have lost sight of the joy of playing.

  13. Emilio Tellini, June 23, 2014 at 12:06 a.m.

    BJ Genovese is right. He use to be more relaxed and smile a lot when he was trying to teach English to Totti in Rome and he was playing really well. Maybe we need to convince Totti to talk to him and make him smile again.

  14. R2 Dad, June 23, 2014 at 12:20 a.m.

    Michael Bradley is feeling the pressure because he's being played out of position. This is back to the bad old days of Bob Bradley. For gawdsake, he's not an attacking mid! He was good with Roma because he was the box-to-box dmid and should be back in that position alongside Jones. If we need an CAM use Mix or put one in the squad but MB isn't it and we just flail with him up there. Doesn't JK see this?

  15. Emilio Tellini, June 23, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.

    That's true. When MB and Jones are playing side by side is great soccer.

  16. cisco martinez, June 23, 2014 at 12:36 a.m.

    Bradley in not a creative midfielder, and yes he is feeling the pressure. Look at his play against Muntari or even his chance to play balls behind the back four of Portugal. Cameron had a tough day, and defensively gave to much space on the wings.

  17. Mike Terich, June 23, 2014 at 1:36 a.m.

    Zusi was terrible! He did nothing outside of 1 decent cross that led to Dempsey's goal. He was poor in possession, did not defend his position, was subpar on crosses & set pieces. He was a 4 even with the assist to Deuce. Bedoya did not do much in terms of attack, but was far superior to Zusi in overall play. The idea that not being on the ball makes you ineffective is ridiculous. However , Cameron was atrocious! His night was bookended by shocking errors that cost us 2 pts, but nearly cost us 3. JJ has been far & away the best player in a US kit this tourney. Let all light some candles and pray for Thursday!

  18. Gus Keri, June 23, 2014 at 7:22 a.m.

    A few seconds before Bradley lost the ball at the end, I was yelling at Yedlin: "leave the ball alone and let it go out." He was at the other corner and the ball was going out for a throw in for the US. This would've been an opportunity for US to waste 30 second and get help to keep the ball at their corner one minute before the final whistle. It started the sequence of unfortunate events that led to the Portugal goal. It showed lack of experience and immaturity of Yedlin who thought he could have held it there. And when you see so many players making mistakes in less than a minute, you should know that destiny has something to do with it. US should be happy with the draw and move on.

  19. Daniel Clifton, June 23, 2014 at 8:40 a.m.

    Jones was incredible in this game. This guy is playing lights out. How does Bradley not score on the gimme with the goalie lying on the ground out of sight. He kicked the ball right to Costa. He is feeling the pressure. I agree with those who think Klinsmann maybe should start him on the bench this next game. That might get his juices flowing. I liked what Yedlin brought to the table at right midfield. Start him in the next game and see what happens to Germany's left side of defense with Johnson and Yedlin raiding down that flank. How does no one body up on Varela in front of the goal for that cross. It looked like Cameron was right there but he appeared to be ball watching. Two goals that could have easily never happened. I am thinking Klinsman will be looking at possibly starting Brooks alongside Besler. Brooks plays against alot if these Germans in the Bundesliga. Bedoya disappeared on the offensive end. I think someone else such as Yedlin or maybe Davis should start in his place this next game.

  20. Jim Hogue, June 23, 2014 at 8:43 a.m.

    I thought Beasley had his best game at left back. He played with a lot of energy at both ends of the field and no defensive gaffs. 5 was low.

  21. New WorldOrder, June 23, 2014 at 9:57 a.m.

    Has this team done more than expected as far as points are concerned?? Yes!! Have we played or advanced to a more attacking style of play as promised?? Hell No!!! Have we shown improvement in play and player development?? Hell No!! Does anyone here believe we have any chance of EVER winning a world cup playing this style of soccer?? We were lucky to win game 1 as Ghana showed vs Germany. And Germany will show USA exactly where we are at as far as level goes.

  22. Philippe Fontanelli, June 23, 2014 at 10:02 a.m.

    JK made a major mistake bringing in Gonzale a defender when the pressure was on. What is the saying? The Best Defense is Attack! With a defender coming in, the field and the play (attack) were submitted totally to Portugal. We had no one holding the ball up front.
    Don't mean to harp on the JK's selection, but leaving Donovan and Eddie Johnson out for Wondo and Bedoya....give me a break. It's is absurd. Not to mention the Torres, H.Gomez and rest of the Latino connection would have been a great addition. As it is now the US has the worse defense ever. In addition Bradley and Dempsey plays much better with Donovan on the team. ALAS!

  23. Ginger Peeler, June 23, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.

    I think it was Michael Bradley that started that pinball goal that Dempsey bodied into the net. And I don't think he missed a sitter. As he was gearing up for the shot, the space in front of him was open. The shot was blocked (with a knee) by a defender who managed to get there. Everybody is blaming Bradley for the final Portuguese goal. I had been led to believe that the midfield covers the forwards and the defenders cover the midfield. Well, we had 3 defenders escorting Varela down the field and nobody helping Beasley with Ronaldo. Many years ago, our soccer coach told the kids that almost every goal is the result of a mistake. We had some really tired guys out there who let up on the defense for just a moment. The goal wasn't Bradley's fault. Yes, it started with his lost ball, but the defenders (all three with Varela and whoever was usually there throughout the game covering Ronaldo) made the final mistakes. Hey, that's what soccer is all about! It's exciting and gut-wrenching. It can change in a heartbeat. Remember when so many were saying the US would go three and out? We played an incredible game yesterday. If I'm not mistaken, only one of those goals was on a set piece. That's progress! Try to Believe. Go USA!

  24. Ginger Peeler, June 23, 2014 at 10:19 a.m.

    Oh! And we're doing all this without our linchpin, Jozy Altidore!

  25. Dale Greenley, June 23, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

    Mostly agree with the ratings, although I think Beasley deserves better than a 5. Bradley did do better than the Ghana game but has struggled as arguably the best USMNT player leading up to the Cup. In both games, he's been gassed from 70' on and it would have been nice to get him subbed (for Dixerud). That's one roster problem I think now have in that in playing 3 central midefielders, our options off the bench for replacing one of those spots are limited. Lastly, watching as a coach, I would ding Fabian Johnson on that last goal for never getting goal side of Varela -- trailing yards behind him for the entire sequence from midfield on.

  26. Kevin Leahy, June 23, 2014 at 10:59 a.m.

    Not sure how someone knows from tv whether there was communication on the last minute ball Bradley lost, but his job in that situation is to NOT turn it over. With his back to the defense a pass should have been made instantly and he had options. He has been the biggest disappointment so far. The team in general is performing but, you need more from his position then you are getting right now.

  27. Chris Sapien , June 23, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.

    Worldorder gets the bozo award as usual...

  28. cisco martinez, June 23, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.

    Stewart, I respectfully disagree, we gave Portugal too much space on the wings and in the midfield and packed it in too deep, Klinsmann's end of the game approach was spot on, my only gripe was we didn't pressure when we took the ball to the corner and didn't pin them in. Moreover, alot of midfield giveaways doesn't help either, that's called lack of mental toughness and game management. We need to start a fight, foul more at the end, etc.

  29. Greg Morris, June 23, 2014 at 3:40 p.m.

    Bradley looked physically and mentally broken the final 30 minutes of that game. Go back and watch the second half. Numerous giveaways, no effort to even get in position defensively. In fact he did one of the things I hate most - several times he would suddenly decide to press a Portuguese defender who was 20 yards a way and he had no chance to get to. When the ball was passed in behind him he had taken himself out of the play so he didn't have to work on defense. The final turnover had nothing to do with a lack of communication and everything to do with a player not knowing the situation at the end for the 2nd game in a row. Clear it into the stands game over.

  30. Bill Watts, June 23, 2014 at 6:21 p.m.

    Landon Donovan is much better than Michael Bradley in pressure situations. Bradley was a 3 at best. He is MIA so far this World Cup.

  31. soccer talk, June 23, 2014 at 7:02 p.m.

    Goal was not a sitter. It was a low volley that
    had spin carting towards the goalie. Give MB
    a break, it was on goal. Happens all the time.
    Ronaldo had more time, and couldn't put it near
    The frame even being further out. JK should
    Have subbed MB out the last 20 or so b/c he
    Was gassed. He did have a piss poor showing
    Against Ghana (first bad game) but he played
    Well up until he tired. To all those wanting to
    Bench him; please he has been unarguably
    The reason for our success, and the Ghana game
    A give away, by the way was Cameron fault
    As well as Omar's sole late responsibility to
    Spear such assaults; are hasty, ridiculous
    Reasons to screw his start. Hell, all the Brits
    Wanted to scratch Rooney and he proved them wrong and shut their coach potato mouths.
    At 1/2 time most would have bartered a draw,
    But b/c it was so close to reality (that's soccer)
    Everyone wants to pin it on Bradley. He prob.
    Is putting too much pressure on himself
    But that is b/c his standard is higher because
    He a very good player that deserves it from
    All he has done and should not be scratched
    B/c of the Ghana game a tired legs. USA in great
    Position from what we had going in so push on
    And support and not bash what has been
    Accomplished. Go USA!!!

  32. Ginger Peeler, June 23, 2014 at 7:03 p.m.

    Worldorder, have you been talking to Andy lately?

  33. Bruce Gowan, June 23, 2014 at 8:41 p.m.

    I was ready to not like the ratings but I must admit that they seem fair. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks MB is being played out of position. Put Beckerman on the bench and move MB back to def mid where is good. I also don't think Dempsey is properly played up top by himself. There are options that JK has not used. With regard to the last few minutes the team showed no poise. I fault JK for not preparing his team to "ice" a game when ahead on the score board.

  34. Daniel Clifton, June 23, 2014 at 9:35 p.m.

    I think the criticism of Bradley is over the top. No appears to be talking about Cameron's two gaffes. He was ball watching as the final cross came into his area. He had to know who was coming into his area. He didn't even look.

  35. Kent James, June 23, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.

    It is exceptionally easy to criticize both players and coaches from the stands; we need to take a collective breath. MB was arguably the best player the US has had for the last two years; he's struggled in this WC, but even exceptional players have bad games (ask Ronaldo). And he did not miss a sitter; he directed a sharply struck pass onto goal with power. He did not miss the goal, and 9 times out of 10, the shot he struck would have scored. And don't forget, he got into position to hit that shot. Yes, he "gave the ball away" at the end of the game; he was surrounded by 3 Portuguese defenders (and I think a 4th was approaching from his only passing outlet). Like many excellent center mids, he's often able to get out of such situations, but this time, he couldn't. Yes, in retrospect he should have kicked the ball into the stands; but he was in the middle of the field (not near the sidelines) and almost in the offensive third, so clearing such a ball would be pretty unusual. He should have had somebody to drop it to, but I didn't see anyone (I think the defenders were way back). So it was an error, but the type of error that is made many times a game. It was not like he was the last defender choosing to dribble past an attacker when he has an easy pass. And yes, he tired at the end of the game, but remember, they're playing in the Amazon, and he's covering huge amounts of ground. So talk of benching him is premature.

  36. Kent James, June 23, 2014 at 10:53 p.m.

    MB is also not naturally an offensive CM, but both Beckerman and Jones are playing well (and MB is more offensive than either of them), so he needs to stay at OCM. As for Cameron, horrible error (it looked like the type of shank that happens when the ball takes a bad hop, but maybe he just lost concentration), but he did recover and play quite well (which, in itself is quite a mental feat). On the last play, I'm guessing he was trying to be sure he made contact (to avoid his earlier gaffe), so he didn't come to the ball as hard as he should have, but credit the Portuguese attacker's DIVING HEADER. Maybe Cameron didn't know he was there (which would be a huge error), but more likely, he thought he was there but couldn't conceive of him reaching the ball. As for JK's subs, I think they were quite good (especially Yedlin). Wondo did very well all by himself up top. The Gonzalez sub makes sense (using up the clock while also adding aerial defensive power), but he shouldn't be criticized for not stopping the cross; we had three guys covering one, so that should have been covered. Gonzalez was covering some of the following players (which needed to be done). In short, our guys have probably overachieved in this "group of death" so far, and should get credit for doing so. Germany will obviously be our toughest challenge, but if we play well, we'll have a good chance to get out of the group. Which would be a miracle.

  37. charles davenport, June 24, 2014 at 12:35 a.m.

    The key to stopping the US attack is to stop Bradley; don't expect the Germans to be easier on him; JK needs to figure out a way around this fact; good luck

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