On the same night Mexico’s non-European based players drilled Bolivia 5-0 in San Francisco, the US bubble boys struggled to put away a depleted El Salvador side. The dreary match conditions eventually took their toll on Los Cuscatlecos; after taking the lead in the 59th minute the ever-flagging visitors conceded two, the latter coming in stoppage time.
Rimando: 5. Not much to do. Unlucky to be undone by Evans’ poor back pass. Like to see better clearances with ball at feet.
Pearce: 6.5. Looked good coming forward: half-mooned one defender, turned another inside-out. Great run, driven cross on tying goal. Undeserved yellow for solid tackle. This is the Pearce we like to see.
Bornstein: 5.5. Good positioning and vision. Stepped into opposing play well. Never looked uneasy. Had little to do with ES being so disjunct.
Goodson: 6. Very good composure and strong cover. Never looked like being broken down. See JB: easy read on game with ES not connecting MF/FW play. Good tackling, but I much prefer my center backs to have clean shorts, lest I soil mine.
Evans: 3.5. Weak back pass gave up goal. Bad giveaways and poor distribution moving forward. Solid enough cover at the back but was given plenty of support.
Davis (45): 6. Looked to be the only player with real creativity. Dangerous on ball and had good vision. Really looked to break down ES, not just connect passes. Last guy ES wanted to see on the ball.
Sacha: 6.5. Very solid controlling first half. Looked to make threatening passes. Could’ve had more goals; went for placement over power: got neither. Dispossessed uninterested ES defender to earn game winner. Did enough to offset appearance of “Yeah, I’ve been nude on camera, what of it?” mustache.
Beckerman (79): 4. Tried to force play too much. Bad awareness on ball, only saw first option. Heavy touches.
Rogers (86): 4.5. Applied good pressure off ball and good work rate. Loses possession too easily with hopeful/nervy passing. Dribbles for sake of dribbling: sometimes it works; more often ends up limiting options.
Casey (45): 3.5. Last we’ll see of him? Wandered offside twice. Poor composure. Too slow getting the ball out from under his feet. Never threatening.
Findley (68): 4. Fast. Looked to turn but still can’t hold off defenders. Speedy. Some good close-control one-touch passing. Quick. Umm… Road Runner-esque. We could still stand to see more football out of him. Still fast.
Gaven (46): 6. Instant impact. Looked menacing on the dribble 1v1: beating D’s and working into good positions. Calm on ball, saw the field well.
Ching (46): 7.5. Best moment was turning half-chance into half-volley forcing solid save. Yes, scored goal on unmarked header from 6-yard-box and assisted on simple 2v1 play, but even better was forcing backline to bend and an improvised ball over the top setting Gaven free on goal.
Cunningham (69): 3.5. Needed a cooler head. Could have done more with his chances.
Dax (80): NR. Came in and gave chase to no real avail. 2014 will be his time.
Cameron (87): NR. Earned first cap and laced one over the bar.
Man of the Match
Brian Ching – No surprise here: when you net the equalizer and set up the winner, you’re gonna get the plaudits. But even better than the big Hawaiian’s boot-print on the score line was his usual Ching-like job stretching the defense. Simply, he looked like a man amongst boys. What I’ve been asking to push him to the next level is that he put half-chances on frame and connects with guys running out of the midfield. Done and Done. This was easily his finest performance for the Yanks.
Doug Beard is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.