Tim Howard, 5 - Actually made a number of top-notch saves. He was forced into too many though, and didn't make enough for the team to win. Howard should've come off his line on the second goal.
Michael Orozco-Fiscal, 3.5 - He played like a right back who isn't a right back, which is to say, not very well. The best defending down his side came from Omar Gonzalez covering for him. Some OK runs upfield spare him a more shattering grade. But he did not do his job.
Omar Gonzalez, 4.5 - Covered fairly well considering the absolute lack of defense around him in the early going. He wasn't directly responsible for any of the goals, but his back line was bad when it needed to be decent.
Matt Besler, 4 - Yeah, no one on defense is getting a passing grade tonight. He was crisply burnt for the game-ending goal. And while his distribution and confidence going forward seem to have improved, his ability to help organize a defense in crunch qualifiers has not.
DaMarcus Beasley, 4 - Looked lively going forward, but he didn't cover the near post on the first goal and he was badly beaten for the second. Now, as a 5-foot-7 left midfielder, he was in no position to succeed. Defensively, he didn't.
Jermaine Jones, 4 - Just awful on the second goal, trotting back and marking space instead of the open man and ultimate goalscorer, Borges. However unjustified his confidence may be at times, though, it did help the U.S. get back in the game. As a not terribly creative two-way midfielder, his usefulness as was badly diminished by the early 2-0 hole.
Geoff Cameron, 5 - He was as much of a turnover machine as anyone early on, but actually impressed with his ball-winning and composure late in the game. That was too little, too late though, and his coming in cold was costly.
Graham Zusi, 5.5 - The chip over the defense from 35 yards out that created the penalty was beautiful. That said, he looked as lost as anyone early on and had to be subbed off in a game of this tempo. A deeper, central role might have suited him better.
Landon Donovan, 7 - Donovan was certainly the No. 10 tonight. As pretty much the sole source of creativity, his dropping back and wide gave the U.S. attack the best chance to succeed. Unfortunately for Donovan, he was crossing to an out-of-form hybrid striker for much of that time.
Fabian Johnson, 6 - Fab was all too quiet in the first half and almost the best player on the field in the second, just by playing simple, well-positioned soccer. He nearly scored in the 27th minute off a hammered strike.
Clint Dempsey, 6.5 - He played the kind of tireless back-to-goal soccer that endeared him to Fulham fans when Brian McBride was still active, and hurt. Clearly short for fitness, he lacked the edge that makes him one of the best but still nearly equalized in the 57th minute. Like any striker would, he benefited from Donovan's presence.
Eddie Johnson, 5 - The potential that comes with his being on the field outweighed the reality of his inability to combine in transition. And that was a massive buzzkill to an attack already short for ideas and execution.
Jozy Altidore, 4.5 - He did less than EJ and picked up a pointless yellow card along the way.
Aron Johansson, NR - The Iceman is now the answer to the trivia question, "Who did Clint Dempsey sub off for in his 100th cap?"
Jurgen Klinsmann, 5 - Orozco-Fiscal at right back didn't work. Eventually the team responded, but without having played basic defense in the opening 10 minutes, the players had tied Klinsmann's hands somewhat. Even with a short bench, it's hard to say he gave his squad the best chance to succeed. None of the subs really worked.
- Jacob Klinger