T&T-USA World Cup 2018 Qualifying Player Ratings

Nov. 17 in Port of Spain
Trinidad & Tobago 0 USA 0.
The USA emerged with a point in its first road game of the semifinal World Cup 2018 qualifying round by tying Trinidad & Tobago, 0-0, Tuesday in Port of Spain.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made two changes, both in defense, from the team that thrashed St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Tim Howard took over in goal and Michael Orozco toiled at right back in a confident, resilient effort that blunted most of the attacks launched by T&T.

Both the U.S. and T&T have four points from their first two games. The semifinal round resumes in March.
U.S. Player Ratings
6 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 106/0.
No problems dealing with the few shots and crosses that came his way.

5 Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX) 19/3.

Did a fairly good job against Joevin Jones before he moved to the opposite side, and worked a few combinations with Yedlin that forced back the opposition.

6 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG) 37/3.

Very strong throughout the match in containing Kenwyne Jones and Mekell Williams. Lofted a cross that Altidore did well to nod down and hit another keeper Jan-Michael Williams  claimed at full stretch.

6 Matt Besler (Sporting KC) 28/0.

A bit late to close down a ball played between him and Ream but he took away a clean shooting angle from Cordell Cato. Reacted well to many situations and vital touch in the box robbed Kenwyne Jones of a good opportunity. Shot wide on a corner kick. Gave a chance to Zardes with a long throw-in.

4 Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG) 20/0.

Looked composed and solid in the first half containing  Cato, and played good passes up the left flank, but was scorched several times by Joevin Jones. Picked up an injury in a collision and came off midway through the second half.

6 Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution) 56/3.

Belted a shot from distance that Jan-Michael Williams touched onto the crossbar, thwarted T&T’s attacks through the middle, raced back in the final minutes and stayed on his feet to force substitute Trevin Caesar to pass rather than shoot. Cautioned, of course, for late challenge on Khaleem Hyland.

5 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) 109/15.

Plagued by giveaways in the first half, improved his passing in the second half. Swerved a sharp corner kick that put the T&T keeper under pressure and lofted a cross from the right wing that Altidore couldn’t quite reach. Squelched T&T in the middle many times.

4 DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/ENG) 29/0.
Found space occasionally on the right flank but seldom beat anyone on the dribble. Hit one good cross, others were flat. Nice wide ball to Altidore yielded a prime opportunity. Took a careless caution by losing the ball and chasing back to clip Joevin Jones.

6 Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER) 42/2.
Very active and efficient while starting the game at left mid and finishing at left back. Dropped deep to dispossess the Joneses, Joevin and Kenwyne. Swung over a couple of good corner kicks and fired a shot from distance that skipped to the keeper. Also nailed a shot that knocked the wind out of Daniel Cyrus.

4 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) 19/3.
Badly scuffed a volley with time and space to connect. Won a few balls with his strength but dribbling wasn’t crisp. Reacted late to an Altidore pass that could have been a clean chance and squandered a great ball by heading against the bar.

6 Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) 89/31.
Hit two of the best crosses of the game that Zardes couldn’t convert. Held up a lot of balls and played them to teammates. Off-balance jump knocked down a Cameron cross into the danger zone. Won a corner kick in stoppage time with a clever move.
4 Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) 2/0.
Overhit pass to Yedlin right after coming into the game, turned inside to hit a shot that was easily blocked, tracked back to cut off a ball in a dangerous spot, fluffed a good opportunity in the final minute with a poor pass that was easily intercepted.

5 Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER).
Brought some energy and a few good touches without conjuring up a special moment.
TRIVIA. The game was played in the same Hasely Crawford Stadium two days before the 26th anniversary of a 1-0 U.S. victory (goal by Paul Caligiuri) that clinched a spot in the 1990 World Cup and ended a 40-year absence.
Nov. 17 in Port of Spain
Trinidad & Tobago 0 USA 0.
Trinidad & Tobago -- J.-M. Williams; Joevin Jones, Bateau, Cyrus, Abu Bakr, Boucaud (Cummings 82) , Hyland, George, M.Williams (Hoyte, 76), Cato (Caesar, 85), K.Jones.
USA – Howard; Orozco, Cameron, Besler, Ream (Nagbe, 68), Yedlin, Jermaine Jones, Bradley, Johnson, Zardes (Wood, 75), Altidore.
Yellow cards: USA -- Yedlin 45, Jones 49.
Referee: Cesar Ramos (Mexico).
22 comments about "T&T-USA World Cup 2018 Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. Miguel Dedo, November 17, 2015 at 10:28 p.m.

    About right. I would take one point from Zardes, give it to Josie.

  2. Allan Lindh, November 18, 2015 at 1:10 a.m.

    We got no creativity in the mid, and no brilliance up front. Other than that we a decent ordinary team. Schedule some friendlies, doesn't matter against whom, and try Dax and Mix in the middle, and Morris and Wood up front. And in case no one has noticed, our best attacking mid-fielder is often Geoff Cameron running through. If we had another center-back, he could replace Bradley or Jones. Or at least prevent Beckerman coming back. Cameron afterall was an attacking mid-fielder for Houston at times, and a good one. He at least understands that it's considered good form to pass the ball to the guys on your own team.

  3. Lonaka K, November 18, 2015 at 2:23 a.m.

    I think the ratings are a point too high for the entire team, except Howard. T and B players looked so comfortable with the ball and knew exactly how to attack with it. Also the pace of their game mentally was at least twice as fast as the USA. If we played as fast as they did I guarantee we would have given up the ball a lot more. Many USA players think for the moment and have know idea about the future passes and attacking scheme. That is because we train ROBOTS from the tender age of 5. That is why we have no creativity.

  4. Edgar Soudek, November 18, 2015 at 4:39 a.m.

    Where is Landon Donovan when we need him?
    Klinsmann's irrational hatred and vindictiveness, and yes, jealousy, kept the best U.S. player EVER out of the
    World Cup last year, and since then the
    Men's National Team has looked mostly pathetic...

  5. David Mont replied, November 18, 2015 at 10:56 a.m.

    You forget that we have lots of creative, attacking players who just a year ago were ahead of Donovan. If you don't believe me, just ask Klinsmann.

  6. Wooden Ships, November 18, 2015 at 5:35 a.m.

    Didn't get to view the game due to the obscure channels it was broadcast on. Inexplicable to me when trying to grow the fan base. ESPN FC had us with more possession? Is it true JA had no shots? Definitely agree with Allan on changing the forwards and central mids, didn't have to see the game for that observation.

    JK jealous of LD? Doubt it. For some, leaving Landon off the roster for Brazil was unforgivable and cost us the World Cup. Wait, never mind. For me, its always been about the player meeting and excepting club expectations. Did they have some history and personality differences, sure, but to claim, he didn't force JK's hand is not recognizing the team dynamic. Also, is it a US thing for players to take sabbaticals, TH and LD? Never heard of other countries dealing with that.

  7. Vince Leone replied, November 18, 2015 at 11:58 a.m.

    I think BeIN Sports is available on all the major cable/satellite providers. I highly recommend the channel for its coverage of La Liga and because it uses the incomparable Ray Hudson as an announcer.

  8. Kent James, November 18, 2015 at 8:28 a.m.

    T&T can be a dangerous opponent, especially on their turf, so not losing was a solid result. T&T had good speed, was very physical and direct, and we did not let them score. First half, T&T looked marginally better than us, but we wore them down and the second half was primarily the US. Altidore was solid up front, Zardes was the weak link there (he was given the best chances of the game and missed them). The problem with playing MB and Jones as defensive center mids, is we had no one running the attack, so it was Altidore and Zardes against their 4 backs. We got nothing from the flanks (though we conceded nothing on the flanks either). I thought we should have changed the formation in the 2nd half to have an offensive CM (maybe a 4-5-1, or 4-3-3, with a three CM, two wingers and a center forward). We need someone like Feilhaber running the attack. Zardes is a work in progress, but Wood should have replaced him earlier.

  9. John Munnell, November 18, 2015 at 9 a.m.

    Lona K may be right --- perhaps the whole team should be marked down a point, because it seemed no one could take a clean first touch...this problem seemed worse than usual.
    Bradley worked hard, but was truly awful, especially in the 1st half (3-4) Howard had nothing to do. (5) Yedlin appeared completely naive offensively and defensively --- should have been replaced. (3) Ream was a different player after the collusion with Jones, so marking him down is not entirely fair. I think he has shown that he deserves future call-ups.

  10. Wooden Ships, November 18, 2015 at 9:03 a.m.

    Kent, appreciate your views as I didn't see the game. A few questions though. Did Jozy not get a shot off? He's not the answer for me up top, going further in the qualifying. Does anybody know why Feilhaber isn't playing? Figure it out JK as he is our only true #10 and to Kent's point everyone needs at east one play making midfielder. Did Fabian not create opportunities at left mid? Zardes is a work in progress, but I see him as a winger/flank mid. I feel like we are in jeopardy, to see Russian soil, continuing as we are. Having a couple of smart-more traditional (for lack of a better word) forwards, with two creative-skilled center mids is needed. The more experienced nations have and will shut down JA.

  11. Kent James replied, November 18, 2015 at 10:03 a.m.

    Jozy hit a dipping shot from about 25-30 yds out (that actually might have scored had he shot it from 3 or 4 yds farther out). While Jozy is not a world-class forward by any stretch, he's better than a lot of people give him credit for. He had a good game last night (better than most). Completely agree with your comments on Zardes (out on the flank is speed is more of an asset and his lack of a great first touch is less of a problem). He needs more experience. I hoped Wood would light it up when he came on, but he didn't have much of an impact (though I'm not sure it was his fault; he just didn't get the ball much). I like Fabian Johnson but thought he had a subdued game last night.

  12. Miguel Dedo, November 18, 2015 at 10:10 a.m.

    A cheer for Jermaine Jones. Without him the team would have no grit. He got whacked several times by fouls that should have earned cards but did not. He was left to protect himself.

  13. Joe Linzner replied, November 18, 2015 at 1:42 p.m.

    Miguel, good post....

  14. Joe Linzner, November 18, 2015 at 11:11 a.m.

    Nagbe's short contribution under-rated. Altidore still ahs lead feet, had more bad passes than good ones and reverted to strolling back in the last 20 minutes. He should have been pulled in lieu of Zardes. We work much better with two active forwards not single entitled ones. I am encouraged by having Nagbe on the field.

  15. Kevin Leahy, November 18, 2015 at 11:57 a.m.

    Ridge, did you watch the game? Fabian Johnson finished @ left back. Bradley was pretty terrible. His turnovers put the team on the back foot a couple of times. Most decent teams have 2 players that can play make. This team does not have 1. Zardes does need more experience but, he will only get it playing. He keeps turning up in the right place. Now, he needs to close the deal.

  16. beautiful game, November 18, 2015 at 1:25 p.m.

    Samo performance & samo-critiques...we need more fresh and younger faces. Nagbe will be one of a few players who make things happen.

  17. Chris Sapien , November 18, 2015 at 3:08 p.m.

    Ugh, Yedlin was a horrible 2, and Zardes a slightly better 3 in my book. Must of been real cold in TnT for those first touches to bounce so far away from the above Nats. What is even worse is the dozens of times after passing the ball around through our backs and CDMs, we still are only left with a ball over the top option as a 50-50 chance at best.......No connections through the REAL middle of the field what-so-ever, geez, and fyi,that was my "glass half-full" post.

  18. Ric Fonseca, November 18, 2015 at 3:21 p.m.

    Kevin Leahy, excellent comment! I must say though, that I most certainly felt very comfortable with Tim Howard in goal, as it seems to me that his presence gave the FB's confidence. Bradley was just out to lunch, and he almost gave away the ball that could've resulted in a TnT goal. Thanks again Kevin L!!!

  19. beautiful game, November 18, 2015 at 3:37 p.m.

    Wondering how u fellas rate the overall USMNT soccer IQ on a scale of 1-10 (10-being the highest). Base this on the performance against T&T.

  20. Wooden Ships, November 18, 2015 at 4:01 p.m.

    Didn't see T&T, but in general I'd give a 5. However, that's a tough question in that IQ traditionally doesn't measure creativity and risk r recklessness for that matter. Nor instinct. 5 is really a safe and non answer. Damn, I W, I'm a little stumped. I see Ream, Cameron usually, Bradley mostly, Howard, Fabian, Brad Davis, Bedoya, Besler, Morris (not because of Standford), Aaron and Wood in the upper range of IQ. I prefer the quality of touches scale and instinct. We are rather woeful in that realm, as a team.

  21. Kevin Leahy, November 19, 2015 at 6:53 a.m.

    The team soccer IQ is low but, so is the first touch. Soccer IQ falls to instinct & knowledge. The team total is part of the reason the USMNT struggles. I would give them a 3.

  22. beautiful game, November 19, 2015 at 11:33 a.m.

    As for me, soccer IQ embodies the total picture, technical, instinctive, efficacy, and making things happen.
    Kevin L, your score is in line with mine.

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