It's been a tale of two different World Cups for American midfielders Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley. (AP Photo)
Last Modified: Sunday, June 29, 2014 1:06 AM
So, the United States did it. They got out of the “Group of Death” and will play Belgium Tuesday at 3 p.m. in the World Cup’s Round of 16.
But, before looking ahead let’s look back to the first three games and the individual performances.
What I’ll try to do is simple. I’ll grade each player on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best possible score, and try to account for their contribution to the team during the group stage.
That could mean Uncle Warren disagreeing with some assessments, but this is one man’s opinion and I do encourage feed back in the comments section.
Tim Howard (7.5): Howard has done a great job of manning the goal for the United States in the group stage. While he did concede four goals, you can argue that three were because of defensive lapses in front of him and the last was a great strike off of a rebound. He’s been one of the better players for the U.S. so far.
DaMarcus Beasley (7): Beasley has never been a natural left back but has taken to the position well under Klinsmann. He’s been caught out of position some during this tournament, but has been very solid defensively overall. His score takes a bit of a knock because he hasn’t given much offensively.
Fabian Johnson (7): The U.S. right back has done a great job going forward but has given some defensively in exchange. He’s basically been the inverse of Beasley, which speaks to their identical scores.
Matt Besler (7.5): The most consistent U.S. defender in this World Cup. Wasn’t great in the half he played against Ghana, stepped up against Portugal and took a back seat to Omar Gonzalez’s play against Germany. He’s ranged from above average to tremendous and that’s enough to garner a strong passing grade.
John Brooks (7): Has only played a half of soccer in this tournament, but was solid in it. He’s scored the most famous U.S. goal of this tournament so far and I’d be interested to see him against Belgium.
Omar Gonzalez (7): I’ll admit to thinking we were doomed when Gonzalez started against Germany. But he was very good. He manned the box well. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him start against Belgium.
Geoff Cameron (5): One of the worst players for the U.S. so far. He’s been solid in spots and has made crucial mistakes on others.
Kyle Beckerman (8): Underrated and unsung hero for the U.S. His defensive contributions have been great and he’s moved the ball to more capable offensive players with smart passes. You need those types in a team.
Michael Bradley (5): Has been a massive disappointment. If you’re given a role where you’re asked to boss the midfield you’re expected to ball. Bradley hasn’t.
Jermaine Jones (9.5): The U.S. star of this World Cup. Everything he’s done has been near perfect. Has been an excellent defender, been dangerous in attack as well. He’s scored the prettiest U.S. goal I’ve ever seen and definitely made himself desirable for a European team looking for help in the midfield for next season.
Alejandro Bedoya (6.5): Nothing special, nothing awful. Has done a fine job on the wings for the U.S. but hasn’t been relied upon for offensive gusto so far. Perhaps his grade would be higher had he contributed more there.
Graham Zusi (7): Solid, hard-working ... a great head of hair. Zusi has been everything I expected him to be in this World Cup. Pretty good, not great ... definitely useful and a probable starter against Belgium.
DeAndre Yedlin (7.5): Has stepped into the super-sub role for the U.S. He’s been fun to watch and fearless in his two appearances. Not without mistakes, but he’s been asked to be the spark plug and I think he’s done that perfectly.
Clint Dempsey (8.5): Captain America’s heart has been a big part of this run. His goal against Ghana was great, as was his gutsy effort against Portugal. The best U.S. attacker not named Jones in this tournament.
Aron Johansson (6.5): Solid, not great against Ghana. Hasn’t made an appearance since. Worked hard in that game and was useful.
Chris Wondolowski (6): Had a short appearance and didn’t do anything special.
Brad Davis (4.5): Sub-par against Germany. Hardly noticeable and that’s hard to do in such an offensive spot on the field.
Jozy Altidore (IC): Hamstring injury has limited his World Cup time to only 21 minutes. In that regard, it’s been disappointing but it’s far from enough to grade him on.
Posted By: Uncle Warren On: 6/29/2014
Title: DaMarcus Beasley
deserves a 27!