Who's ready for World Cup qualifying? Breaking down the U.S. performances vs. Venezuela

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Christian Pulisic, Tim Howard and Jorge Villafana were among the standout performers in the Americans' 1-1 draw with Venezuela

We're now six months and five matches into Bruce Arena's second stint as U.S. national team coach, but the Americans' friendly against Venezuela represented his first opportunity to evaluate and experiment with a full complement of players.

After being limited to an MLS-heavy roster for the January friendlies and seeing injuries cripple his squad for the World Cup qualifiers in March, Arena got to observe a group at Rio Tinto Stadium that looks a whole lot like a first-choice squad.

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So who stood out ahead of upcoming qualifiers against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico? Take a look at Goal 's player ratings from the Americans' 1-1 draw with Venezuela on Saturday:

GK TIM HOWARD, 7: Stepped up with some impressive stops to limit the damage before halftime, reaching back to tip a shot off the post on one particularly stunning save.

D DEANDRE YEDLIN, 6: Was a menace getting up and down the flank at right back, working well with Johnson to cause problems for Venezuela. Can still be a bit unwieldy at times, though.

D GEOFF CAMERON, 7: Made some key defensive interventions early and was confident on the ball over 45 minutes. Should be influential in the qualifiers, whether playing center back or defensive midfield.

D JOHN BROOKS, 5: Was caught ball-watching on the goal, though he did offer some solid one-on-one defending. Exited early in the second half with an apparent leg injury.

D JORGE VILLAFANA, 7: Continued to stake his claim to a starting spot at left back. Didn't hesitate to run at defenders and served in numerous dangerous balls, creating a game-high three scoring chances.

M MICHAEL BRADLEY, 6: It was a routine shift for the U.S. captain, who was clean enough on the ball and won his fair share of battles. Did nearly see his man score when Venezuela struck the post.

M FABIAN JOHNSON, 6: Appeared to lose his man on the goal conceded but made up for that miscue by teeing up Pulisic's equalizer. Often played at fullback under Jurgen Klinsmann, he looked comfortable on both sides of the ball as a winger.

M DARLINGTON NAGBE, 6: Made things happen on the dribble with his control and technical quality, even if the end product didn't develop.

M CHRISTIAN PULISIC, 7: Turned in the type of game-changing performance that is quickly becoming routine. Scored his goal with poise, used his pace to beat countless defenders, connected on 53 of 56 passes, and won a game-high nine duels.

F CLINT DEMPSEY, 4: It wasn't the 34-year-old's finest evening, as he failed to bury his chances and also was responsible for the half-clearance that led to Venezuela's goal.

F BOBBY WOOD, 4: Offered an admirable engine but generally struggled to get on the ball and threaten in the final third.

Substitutes

D OMAR GONZALEZ, 6: Wasn't tested too much as the U.S. seized control after halftime, but he did get the job done in defense.

D MATT HEDGES, 6: Earned his first extensive audition in a U.S. uniform and looked plenty comfortable anchoring a three-man back line.

D TIM REAM, 6: Provided the distribution and defensive range necessary at left center back once Arena switched to a 3-5-2.

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M KELLYN ACOSTA, 6: Offered energy alongside Bradley in central midfield, creating a couple chances in his 27-minute appearance.

F JORDAN MORRIS, 5: Played with aggression over the final 20 minutes, nearly getting on the end of some enticing opportunities.

D GRAHAM ZUSI, 5: Made a late cameo at right wing back.

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