USA -T&T World Cup 2018 Qualifying Player Ratings

Two more goals by teenager Christian Pulisic and several solid performances enabled the USA to beat Trinidad & Tobago, 2-0, on Thursday.

USA-Trinidad & Tobago: Highlights

Right back DeAndre Yedlin and forward Jozy Altidore earned assists on the goals by Pulisic, who has scored seven in just 15 international appearances.

The Americans survived a header off the crossbar by Kenwyne Jones and benefited from a tight offside decision that nullified a goal by Nathan Smith shortly after they’d taken the lead.
June 8 in Commerce City, Colo.
USA 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0. Goals: Pulisic 52, 62.
Att.: 19,188.
USA Player Ratings

6 Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), 115/0.
Responded with sharp save when tested by Khaleem Hyland shot from distance in first half and handled just about everything cleanly. Very accurate on short- and mid-range deliveries.

6 De Andre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG), 45/0.
Great low ball to far post set up first goal, simple ball to Altidore led to the second. Showed some hops to head a ball clear. Exploited occasionally by Nathan Smith in the first half and schooled by Joevin Jones when he served low ball that glanced just wide.

5 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 52/4.
Gets credit for physical toughness yet fortunate not to be cautioned for severity of his fouls. Racked up a dozen recoveries, but played a lot of balls that were picked off. Drilled shot that required a save.

5 John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), 32/3.
Nowhere to be found when Kenwyne Jones boomed a header off the crossbar. Hit some bad passes in his own half. Cleared several balls during scrambles, made a couple of good blocks.

5 Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna/MEX), 6/0.
Struggled to contain Carlos Edwards in first half. Drilled a shot from distance that forced a good save then collected a pass to hit a cross Altidore headed on frame.
5 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 132/17.
In first half, great diagonal ball wide to Villafana led to Dempsey shot. He was too late to close down the service of chipped ball Kenwyne Jones headed onto the bar. Played good ball for Cameron to strike on frame.

6 Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 17/1.
Shimmied through a challenge to clip a cross that Jozy Altidore headed over the bar. Slalomed through midfield to relieve pressure. Pushed the ball forward and relayed it to Yedlin in lead-up to first USA goal. Bludgeoned a few balls into bad spots.

7 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), 15/7.
The main danger man during the 90 minutes tucked away a grasscutter from Yedlin to break the deadlock and struck again from a sharp angle. His corners were poor and he mishit a couple of passes but did everything else very well.

5 Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), 57/2.
Volleyed a partially cleared corner kick well over the bar. Controlled a ball from Villafana and escaped pressure to set up Dempsey, hit ball wide to Villafana and nearly connected with a return cross. Headed down a cross for Pulisic to fire a deflected shot. Defensively he was a bit off the pace.

5 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), 133/56.
Nearly tied Landon Donovan’s all-time record in the first half when he fired a Bradley feed just over the bar. Collected rebound of saved shot and sent it to Villafana to create chance. First-time ball back to Nagbe led to first U.S. goal, clipped another pass that deflected to Altidore for a point-blank shot.

6 Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), 103/37.
Tested Williams with a strong header in the first half, barreled into the penalty area to force the keeper into action again after halftime. Perfect first-time pass played in Pulisic for second goal.

5 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), 7/0.
Hit a free kick from a long way out that the keeper batted away from the top corner.

5 Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), 61/2.
Dug into a few tackles, took a caution, set up a chance.

NR Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER), 31/8.
Rattled a shot off the post during short stint.

TRIVIA. USA shut out Trinidad & Tobago for the fifth consecutive game. T&T last scored on the USA when it won a semifinal round qualifier for the 2010 World Cup, 2-1, in 2008.

June 8 in Commerce City, Colo.

USA 2 Trinidad & Tobago 0. Goal: Pulisic 52, 62.
USA -- Howard; Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Villafana; Bradley, Johnson (Bedoya 74), Pulisic, Nagbe, Dempsey (Acosta 61), Altidore (Wood 83).
Trinidad & Tobago -- J.-M. Williams; Edwards, Bateau, M.Williams, Cyrus; Molino, George, Hyland (Paul 76), J.Jones (Winchester 68); Lewis, Jones (Boatswain 82).
Yellow Cards: USA -- Bedoya 76; Trin. & Tobago -- Paul 76.
Referee: Oscar Moncada (Honduras).
Att.: 19,188.
11 comments about "USA -T&T World Cup 2018 Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. Thomas Brannan, June 9, 2017 at 2:02 a.m.

    That looked bad. End of story.

  2. Anthony Petgrave, June 9, 2017 at 8:26 a.m.

    ... other than for his experience, I can't understand why Bradley is still on the team?

  3. Joe Linzner, June 9, 2017 at 9:32 a.m.

    Get rid of Altidore, apparently, Mr Mahoney watched a different game!

  4. K Michael replied, June 9, 2017 at 11:14 a.m.

    As did you, apparently. Solid, if not spectacular, hold-up play, dangerous runs near the six; and a class one-time assist to Pulisic. But, hey, opinions are like a@#holes, everybody's got one!

  5. Matt D replied, June 9, 2017 at 2:59 p.m.

    Agreed K Michael. I'm not a big Jozy fan but he works hard and is great at hold up play. His shot accuracy isn't the best but he does seem to be getting better at passing and gets the job done for now. The 6 rating is fair for this game. If he had a more clinical finishing capability he could have had a goal or two.

  6. Kent James replied, June 9, 2017 at 5:17 p.m.

    K Michel and Matt D, agreed. Jozy will never be my ideal forward, but his passing has really improved, and he's always been able to withstand physical challenges, so while there may be times when we don't need a guy like him, he certainly justified his selection against T&T.

  7. Charles Stamos, June 9, 2017 at 12:10 p.m.

    Ridge's numbers are fairly accurate, IMO. Howard is regaining his world class form. He could have directly punched out the first challenge, but that would have led to a jarring collision early in the game. Some of the field defenders deserve a lower rating as T&T did get several quality shots and should have scored on some of them. Bradley played a solid game; with Pulisic as attacking middie he can stay back and initiate the early attack as he did on one of the goals. Whom do you replace him with? I see that Wood will be starting over Dempsey soon. Acosta may be in the future starting l/u soon also. Vilafana has promise. Our left back debacle may be over as his game matures. Yedlin and Nagbe provide risk/reward almost every time they touches the ball. Tis core 15 may be our best in years. They do need to play together for the next five qualifiers to give us hope going forward. I am happy to see Arena making some solid choices ` definitely a step up from JK!

  8. Charles Stamos replied, June 9, 2017 at 12:13 p.m.

    they touch the ball
    This core 15

  9. Miguel Dedo replied, June 9, 2017 at 2:29 p.m.

    Nice summary. I agree particularly on Villafaña, he might might have deserved an additional point. By the way, Soccer America continues to write “Villafana.” The Club Santos Laguna website lists “Villafaña” so I assume that is the correct spelling. “Ridge Mahoney” – or is it “Ridge Maloney”? should have the courtesy to spell the person’s name correctly.

  10. Ginger Peeler replied, June 10, 2017 at 11:53 a.m.

    Miguel, his keyboard probanly doesn't have a tilde on it. For instance, I DO have a tilde on my smartphone keyboard; I DO NOT have a tilde on my computer keyboard. You can't type it if it isn't there.

  11. James Madison, June 9, 2017 at 10:13 p.m.

    The closest I have come in a long while to agreeing with Mahoney's ratings. The players still seem on the lethargic side, and the team would benefit from Nagbe learning about team play.

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