USA-Cuba International Friendly Player Ratings

Hot conditions and a bumpy, dry field produced a rather tepid U.S. effort, but substitute Chris Wondolowski’s goal and assist etched a 2-0 victory in the first of two friendlies serving as preparation for the start of Hexagonal play in November.

Julian Green threatened throughout the match and after his shot rebounded for Wondolowski to put away he arrived at the back post in time to score a second U.S. goal and his first since the 2014 World Cup.

The U.S. plays as a second pre-Hexagonal friendly Tuesday against New Zealand at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Oct. 7 in Havana
Cuba 0 USA 2. Goals: Wondolowski 62, Green 71.
USA Player Ratings:
6 Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR), 1/0.
Handled the few shots he faced and the rare cross cleanly, and probably would have been beaten at least once by the two Cuban shots that came off the posts. Very sharp distribution prompted a few attacks.

5 DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG), 41/0.
Not active offensively and a step behind a few Cuban attacks. Tucked inside to shut off Caballero late in the first half to snuff a threat.

5 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 49/4.
Caught ball-watching and wasn’t quite quick enough to close down shots that Horvath saved. Played several good balls out of the back when given time and space and sharpened up his reactions in the second half.

4 John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), 27/3.
Like many teammates in a tepid first half, he looked out of sync. Won a couple of balls in the air, questioned a foul call that gave Cuba a free kick in the attacking third. Probably rusty from lack of playing time at Hertha.

4 Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchchengladbach/GER), 51/2.
Some good work offensively to push into the attacking half and support Green but caught upfield too often, such as on the Cuban foray during which Reyes blasted a shot off the base of the post.

5 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 123/15.
Fired his one shot about a yard wide, played many crisp passes in the middle third, had some trouble holding the middle secure against Arichel Hernandez and Alberto Gomez.

4 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 9/3.
Looked lost on the right side and grappled with the appalling surface. Clicked very few times on combinations, just failed to reach a good diagonal ball from Kljestan.

7 Julian Green (Bayern Munich/GER), 7/2.
Tested the Cuban backline twice in the first half by cutting inside to shoot on frame, drilled another shot on goal that keeper Sandy Sanchez parried at Wondolowski for him to score first goal, and got his just reward by tapping home Wondolowski’s square ball. Also took a lot of the corner kicks on a very busy day.

5 Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), 49/6.
Hit quite a few good balls out wide for Green, Chandler and Wondolowski, through balls and final passes weren’t quite as crisp. Still, his eye and sense of space are considerable assets.

4 Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER), 27/7.
Couldn’t quite get all of a point-blank setup from Altidore and headed a great chance right to keeper Sanchez. Put in his usual share of work without much impact.

5 Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), 96/37.
Got to his head to a lot of balls that didn’t drop for teammates, though Wood should have finished the Green cross that Altidore nodded to him early in the second half.
7 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 36/11.
Flubbed a return ball to Morris that was a half-step off, but first-timed a rebound for the first goal and held his run perfectly to chase down the Chandler feed he squared for Green.

5 Tim Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), 27/1).
Clipped a great ball over the top for Wondolowski to set up the second goal but where was his back-post marking when Roberney Caballero’s wide-open shot hit the post?

5 Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), 9/1.
Deflected the follow-up of a shot off the post and was doing pretty well until a kung-fu kick slashed open his forehead. Ah, Concacaf!

5 Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 12/1.
Narrowly failed to connect on a one-two with Wondolowski but worked off the ball on the two U.S. goals.

5 Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX), 3/2.
Very limited time in attacking role as he dropped back to cover the right flank when Chandler slid inside to take over for Birnbaum.

5 Danny Williams (Reading/ENG), 18/1.
Won a few tackles, called for an aggressive foul well inside the Cuban half.

(Ratings: 1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)

TRIVIA. The only Cuban win in this series -- USA leads it 10-1-1 -- occurred in the last American trip to Havana for a friendly in 1947, when Cuba prevailed, 5-2.
Oct. 7 in Havana
Cuba 0, USA 2. Goals: Wondolowski 62, Green 71.
Cuba – Sanchez; Piedra, Lopez, Francisco, Napoles, Saez (Branco, 74), Cabellero (Pereza, 76), Hernandez, Gomez (Espinoza, 66), Urgelles, Reyes.
USA – Horvath; Yedlin (Chandler, 46), Cameron, Brooks (Birnbaum, 46), Johnson, Bradley, Pulisic (Wondolowski, 46), Green, Kljestan (Williams, 69), Wood (Morris, 60), Altidore (Arriola, 69).
Ref: Jafeth Perea (Panama).

6 comments about "USA-Cuba International Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Wooden Ships, October 7, 2016 at 10 p.m.

    Not going to quibble with the ratings. Heard Twellman PC the decision to play there, McBride less so at half. Personally, this was a lousy USSF and/or Klinsmann choice to play Cuba and more to play them there. Was this some diplomatic gesture, how reckless this was on behalf of our national team. What the heck did anybody learn from this game? Sure relieved that MB played the whole 90. And, thanks too for playing Fabian again at LB as if we need to see him there to evaluate. He's a darn midfielder. Ridiculous waste of time and resources. The only good thing was not losing a player.

  2. beautiful game replied, October 7, 2016 at 11:57 p.m.

    Exactly W.S.; no doubt it was a diplomatic gesture. These friendly's against minnow squads does nothing for the player experience.

  3. James Madison, October 7, 2016 at 10:48 p.m.

    Pretty accurate ratings all around for a change. Not that much of a game or a performance.

  4. Chris Sapien , October 8, 2016 at 12:48 p.m.

    I'm still deciding which was worse: The decision to play this failing State, the dismal conditions or our disinteresting play?

  5. Miguel Dedo, October 8, 2016 at 2:47 p.m.

    Likewise. An intra-squad match would have been more interesting. With college vs. without college? Europe-based vs America-based? Over 70 kilos vs under 70? Yearly earnings over $100,000 vs. under $100,000?

  6. Bob Ashpole, October 9, 2016 at 4:45 a.m.

    Just because no one was carried off the field does not mean that everyone that played on the field is not dealing with sore ankles right now. The field conditions were worse than the 2013 Blizzard game against Costa Rica. Both games were instances where the federations wanted the games played regardless of field conditions.

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