DeAndre Yedlin stands out on tough night for U.S. vs. Venezuela
On a night that was as much about adjusting to altitude as anything else, the United States could manage only a 1-1 draw against a young Venezuelan team at Rio Tinto in Sandy, Utah.
Besides Christian Pulisic's deft touch and clever finish through traffic, there's very little to point to as a positive on the night. If we're stretching, DeAndre Yedlin provided some danger going forward, and the four center-backs managed to avoid any major mistakes. Tim Howard also proved that he is still the choice in goal with a pair of stellar first-half saves.
John Brooks' exit with an apparent injury stands out as a potential problem going into the qualifiers. Slowness of play and lack of decisiveness characterized the U.S. effort overall. Set pieces were poor at both ends of the field, with the defensive side a particular problem.
Manager rating out of 10
4.5 -- Whether it was Bruce Arena's doing, the Americans didn't look bright enough to give fans confidence ahead of a pair of crucial World Cup qualifiers. Arena might not put much stock in the result, but there is at least some concern that the disappointing draw will carry over against Trinidad & Tobago. The question is whether the U.S. boss got the value he was looking for out of the friendly.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Tim Howard, 7.5 -- Made two massive saves when it looked like Venezuela was going to grab control of the game. Cemented his status as the No. 1 going forward.
DF DeAndre Yedlin, 7.5 -- Probably the Americans' most consistent player going forward on the night.
DF Geoff Cameron, 7 -- Defended competently for more than a half, stepped into available space ahead of him and provided some quality passing.
DF John Brooks, 6.5 -- Forced off due to injury early in the second half. Committed few obvious errors during run of play but was caught flat-footed on Venezuela's goal.
DF Jorge Villafana, 6.5 -- Pushed into the attack to good effect. Accurate with crosses and recovered defensively well enough to raise his stock for competitive matches.
MF Michael Bradley, 5 -- Served as a lone holding midfielder for the first hour or so and endured an up-and-down game. Turnovers were an issue, and his speed of play held the U.S. back.
MF Christian Pulisic, 7.5 -- Far from sharp, he put himself in a good spot at the top of the box before shifting to his left and finishing.
MF Darlington Nagbe, 5.5 -- Used his ability to dribble out of pressure on a handful of occasions but was too anonymous going forward.
MF Fabian Johnson, 4.5 -- His touch was off and energy was lacking for most of his hour on the field. Lost his marker on Venezuela's goal.
FW Clint Dempsey, 5.5 -- Had a limited impact on the game before being substituted. Fired off a couple toothless shots and came close to a dangerous final touch once or twice.
FW Bobby Wood, 6 -- Stretched the Venezuelan back line and provided good hold-up play in a full shift. Never found his spot to threaten on goal but tracked back well.
DF Omar Gonzalez, 6 -- Let a marker slip in behind on one occasion but recovered. A mistake with a defensive header luckily wasn't punished by Venezuela. Otherwise, he was good.
DF Matt Hedges, 6 -- Enjoyed a strong 35 minutes after coming on for Brooks. Made no significant errors and was comfortable with the ball at his feet.
DF Tim Ream, NR -- Handled his opportunity fairly as part of a three-man back line after substituting for Johnson. Missed a chance at the back post on a U.S. set piece.
MF Kelyn Acosta, NR -- Never looked out of place but was guilty of one or two lapses in concentration. Covered ground and passed well.
FW Jordan Morris, NR -- His energy was there, but the Seattle Sounders attacker didn't make the best decisions in the box during his appearance.
DF Graham Zusi, NR -- The Sporting Kansas City man earned a cameo in the final minutes.
Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.