US Player Ratings: Alejandro Bedoya leads the pack vs. Nicaragua

It certainly wasn’t the prettiest effort, but the US national team squeaked past Panama to take the CONCACAF Gold Cup’s Group B with a 3-0 defeat of Nicaragua on Saturday night.

Despite a disappointing first-half display and two squandered penalty kicks, the home side got the three-goal win they needed when Matt Miazga buried a late restart header.

Bill Hamid (6.5) – The D.C. United netminder didn’t have much to do in his first US start since 2014, but he made the two saves he had to make.

Graham Zusi (6) – It was a rough first half for the converted right back, who put his defense under stress with a couple of poor early mishandles in and around the box. Zusi eventually improved, largely by supporting possession, and came through with a perfectly weighted free-kick assist on the late, group-clinching goal. 

Matt Miazga (7) – The young defender wasn’t tested much on the ground, but handled the air game well. Obviously, Miazga’s big moment came when he raced around the far side of Nicaragua’s defense to nod home the important US third from Zusi’s restart.

Matt Besler (6) – Like Miazga, the Sporting KC veteran dealt well with Nicaragua’s long balls. His grade dropped a little when he was AWOL on a dangerous late cross into the US box.

Jorge Villafaña

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