Player Ratings: Howard, Gonzalez lead defensive effort for USA vs. Panama

The U.S. national team earned a hard-fought point on the road against Panama in World Cup qualifying.

Four days after the attack took center stage in a blowout of Honduras, it was a couple of defensive stalwarts who stood out in the U.S. national team's draw with Panama.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard and center back Omar Gonzalez were particularly immense as the Americans earned a 1-1 result in Panama City, delivering the type of gritty effort on the road that's necessary to secure World Cup qualification in CONCACAF.

Dempsey nets in hard-fought draw​

It also was another impressive evening from 18-year-old star Christian Pulisic, whose status as the U.S. squad's attacking talisman becomes more clear cut with every game.

Here are Goal's full player ratings from the Americans' draw against Panama on Tuesday:

GK TIM HOWARD, 7: The 38-year-old wasn't exactly peppered with shots but stepped up big time when he needed to. His unconventional stop on Luis Tejada preserved the point, and he did very well to contain the rebound on a stinging effort from Anibal Godoy.

D GRAHAM ZUSI, 5: Didn't look too comfortable in distribution and was exposed a couple times defensively but also won his fair share of battles with Alberto Quintero. Not a bad shift considering his recent switch to right back.

D OMAR GONZALEZ, 7: Provided a commanding presence for a makeshift back line and was solid on the ball as well. His aerial dominance was particularly key with John Brooks sidelined.

D TIM REAM, 6: It was an up-and-down performance from the Fulham defender. Ream hit some impressive balls out of the back and made numerous last-gasp interventions, but he also was culpable on the goal and caused a couple of fires he then put out.

D JORGE VILLAFANA, 6: Got the job done at left back and hit one pinpoint cross that Pulisic nearly converted. Never looked out of his element, despite his lack of experience on the international stage.

M CHRISTIAN PULISIC, 7: Created Dempsey's strike with work ethic, toughness and no small amount of skill. His ability to run at defenders was the primary source of danger for the U.S. throughout the evening.

M JERMAINE JONES, 4: Offered his usual heart and aggression, along with some questionable challenges. Could have been cleaner on the ball.

M MICHAEL BRADLEY, 6: Was a calming influence at times in a sloppy game, drifting deep to dictate the tempo and winning some key battles. Had a few rough turnovers but also dropped some ambitious balls on a dime.

M DARLINGTON NAGBE, 6: Quietly helped the U.S. keep up in possession by pouncing on loose balls and providing tidy distribution. He opened up Panama on the dribble as well, even if he couldn't find the final pass.

F CLINT DEMPSEY, 6: Put himself in the right spot to fire home Pulisic's feed and come within one goal of Landon Donovan's all-time U.S. record. Not much else to report aside from that moment, though.

F JOZY ALTIDORE, 4: Worked hard to press the Panama back line but never managed to find a rhythm in the attack.


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M ALEJANDRO BEDOYA, 5: Was a reliable option off the bench, even if one turnover did lead to a Panama counterattack.

M KELLYN ACOSTA, 6: Brought a little forward-thinking drive in central midfield.

M PAUL ARRIOLA, 4: Lacked the end product, but he did offer energy in his late cameo.