With its most stylish set of haircuts since the 1990s, the United States took back the Gold Cup Sunday night. It was a pro job with no truly outstanding performances, but that's what it took, as I hope you'll see reflected here.
Gutted doesn't begin to describe what I feel for Stuart Holden right now.
Nick Rimando, 7 -- Didn't have much to do, which is a good sign on his part. His distribution was class and helped maintained invaluable possession.
Michael Parkhurst, 6 -- Struggled with Alberto Quintero and wasn't stellar going forward. Still his overlapping run did open up space for the game-winner. That's good enough to pass for me.
Matt Besler, 7 -- Best defender on the field when there were four plenty-qualified center backs out there. When he was pressed it was mostly no-nonsense clearances, but that's what the game needed at that point.
Clarence Goodson, 7 -- Dominant in the air and he had to be. Didn't hesitate to carry the ball through midfield either, even drawing a foul from Blas Perez in the second half. At this level, there's not much he can't handle. Helped the defense fan out well when playing out of the back.
DaMarcus Beasley, 7.5 -- He gets a little bit of a boost for winning with the armband, but this was a captain's game and when he picked his spots, Beasley was terrifying on the overlap. That extra thrust is what cracked the game open.
Alejandro Bedoya, 6.5 -- Bedoya was active but not particularly effective. His positioning was good, but his cross often left something to be desired. That said, he did set up the game's only goal and tracked back well.
Stuart Holden, :( -- Earned about a 7 for his 18 minutes on the field. His injury luck is enough to make anyone an atheist.
Kyle Beckerman, 7.5 -- The man knows his role and plays it very well at this level. Most importantly, he got the ball off his feet quickly after he won possession.
Joe Corona, 6 -- Looked understandably frustrated to come off. He tried to take men on early, it just didn't work. Otherwise, played a very clean game.
Landon Donovan, 6.5 -- This was a quiet game from Donovan in what was otherwise a deafening tournament-long performance. His presence alone though altered the Panamanian defense and he even looked smooth whiffing for the game-winning assist.
Eddie Johnson, 5 -- Took himself out of the game too much retreating to the wings. That would've been fine, allowing Donovan to surge forward, but he hardly ever got the ball back in from the wings. His 84th minute miss was horrendous.
Mix Diskerud, 8 -- Just ran around unlocking the edges of Panama's bunker and tracked back hard and effectively. He's a class player and showed as much.
Brek Shea, 7 -- He won't get enough credit for his positioning on the goal, but it made a trophy's worth of difference and his willingness and unmarkability taking defenders on one-on-one opened up the left flank for good. Would've been sent off if the final whistle didn't blow when it did, but he wasn't.
Omar Gonzalez, 6 -- Came on, won headers. Nothing more, nothing less. That was his job.
- Jacob Klinger