This was about as straightforward and simple victory for The US as could be expected. They scored early through Clint Dempsey heading in a Timothy Chandler cross. By the 15th minute they doubled their lead with Zardes getting an easy tap-in from a free kick. The US would extend the lead to 4 by halftime getting a nice lob goal from Aron Johannsson and a loose ball poked home by Omar Gonzalez off of a corner. US finished the scoring with two more Dempsey goals. The first of those was from a penalty when Aron Johannsson was taken down in the box. The last came when a poor Cuban pass was stolen by Bradley who set up Dempsey for an easy finish. It is hard to read too much into the performance given the poor Cuban performance, but maybe the goals will help get the attack connecting as they face a much tougher test in Jamaica in the semifinals.
Here are my player ratings.
He had nothing to do, but didn’t make any mistakes.
He put in a great cross for the opening goal, but gave away a number of silly fouls outside the box near the end of the first half. He was subbed at halftime.
He did well with his finishing and was composed in his defending in the rare moments he was asked to defend.
He made a number of poor passes that led to some opportunities to Cuba. His marking a couple times was a bit slack.
He pushed up into attack well and covered well defensively. He was rested towards the end of the game.
His finish was tidy and he did a good job getting behind the backline. His decision making in the box could be improved.
He controlled the game very well, but frankly wasn’t tested much by the Cuban midfield.
His composure and work rate in midfield has improved the balance of the midfield. His ability to get forward and defend have been crucial.
His setup of Dempsey was unselfish and he found lots of space to operate and distribute the ball. He will hope to replicate this performance against the tougher teams.
His finishes were all nice and with some better service, he could have had a couple more goals. He and Johannsson showed good understanding in their movements.
His goal was the nicest of the bunch. He is occasionally too slow getting rid of the ball, but this was one of his most complete performances for the US.
He was tested much and did his defensive duties admirably as the team just wanted to see the game out in the second half.
He replaced Beckerman and did well covering. His distribution is more ambitious but less steady, but was more than adequate in finishing the game off.
His speed is such a game changer and he boosted the US attack once he came on in the second half.