Brooks' errors, Zardes' hesitancy hamper U.S. against Jamaica
Two first-half set-piece goals saw the United States fall to Jamaica in the semifinals of the Gold Cup on Wednesday night in Atlanta. Not only did the USMNT crash out before the final, but the loss to a Caribbean nation was the Americans' first on U.S. soil in more than four decades.
Poor marking, a simple mistake by goalkeeper Brad Guzan, and an inability to create chances in the attacking third ultimately did the U.S. in.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Brad Guzan, 5 -- Didn't look decisive on the opening goal, and made the mistake that led to Jamaica's second goal by throwing the ball outside of the box.
DF Brad Evans, 5 -- Did nothing of real note on the day. Per usual, good on the ball, but didn't provide much in the attacking end.
DF Ventura Alvarado, 5 -- Better than his previous Gold Cup performances, but lost marks and made questionable decisions stepping up to take on Jamaican attackers.
DF John Brooks, 4 -- Slow, turned the ball over, and lost his mark on Jamaica's opening goal. With the U.S. pushing for the equalizer in the second half, struggled to deal with high Jamaican pressure.
DF Fabian Johnson, 5.5 -- Much more positive in the first half than the second, when he disappeared in the attacking end. Handled one-on-one defending well.
MF Kyle Beckerman, 5 -- Took a lot of the heat for the poor final 10 minutes of the first half, and was pulled out of position several times. Looked a step slow. Improved in the second half before coming off.
MF Michael Bradley, 5.5 -- Turned it on down the stretch with the Americans in desperate straits. Scored the only American goal, tested Jamaican goalkeeper Ryan Thompson.
MF Gyasi Zardes, 4.5 -- Did well enough to put himself in space, but failed with his decisiveness. Speed of thought a beat too slow, and didn't make up for it with good service.
MF Clint Dempsey, 5.5 -- Not nearly as influential as the U.S. needed him to be. Attacked the rebound that led to Bradley's goal, but otherwise struggled to find space to create shots. Danced away the ball on a few occasions.
MF Alejandro Bedoya, 6.5 -- Industrious up the wing. Played handful of dangerous crosses and won set-piece opportunities when the U.S. needed something positive.
FW Aron Johannsson, 6.5 -- Often hesitated to make a decision with the ball at his feet, but also provided the U.S. energy going forward. Created Bradley's goal with a turn and shot that turned into a rebound.
MF Mix Diskerud, 5 -- Replaced Beckerman in the 67th minute. Questionable sub who didn't do much other than break up a Jamaica counter in the late stages.
FW Alan Gordon, NR -- Came on for Johannsson in the 73rd minute. Did his job, if his job was to serve as a target for long balls that were off-target. Hit a number of flick-on headers that didn't turn into real chances, through no fault of his own.
MF DeAndre Yedlin, NR -- Was substituted on for Bedoya in the 78th minute. Lacked the guile to make anything happen late in the game, despite the space available.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.