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High marks for subs who sparked comeback
by Ridge Mahoney, March 30th, 2009 7AM



[EL SALVADOR-USA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players and comments on their performance in Saturday's 2-2 tie with El Salvador. ...


6 Brad Guzan
(Aston Villa/ENG) 12/0
Faultless on both goals, handled decently, excellent save on low shot in the first half.
6 Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew) 83/7
Lost a vital dual with Cristian Castillo but a goal and an assist rewarded his unquenchable spirit that didn't falter even after second Salvadoran goal.
4 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 64/10
Ill-timed lunge opened space on first goal, caught stranded on the second, blocked out a couple of opponents during scramble on second U.S. goal.
4 Dan Califf (Midtjylland/DEN) 23/1
Strong in the air but not quick or clever enough to dispossess opponents on the dribble.
3 Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock/GER) 23/0
Chased shadows as Salvadorans outwitted and outpaced him repeatedly, no impact coming forward.
5 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 46/13
Played vital role on first goal by heading ball to Ching and then making two dummy runs. Got a fair look at goal in the opening seconds. Not great on the ball, but worked hard.
5 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'gladbach/GER) 27/5
Passed the ball well and won his share of tackles but lagged at times dropping deep enough when El Salvador pushed numbers into the attacking third.
4 Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) 15/3
Belted a couple long-distance shots over the bar, played a nice ball wide for Hedjuk on the overlap, didn't break up enough plays defensively or start them in the other direction.
5 DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 83/17
Long diagonal ball led to first U.S. goal. Crosses and corner kicks were fairly good. Didn't track back far enough to help defensively on his side of the field, lost Rodolfo Zayala on second Salvadoran goal.
4 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles) 107/37
Lost the ball with heavy touches at critical moments, free kicks weren't dangerous, did draw his share of fouls from nervous opponents.
6 Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo) 36/10
Absorbed his usual allotment of hard fouls, played ball to Hedjuk on first goal, put a hard shot on frame in stoppage time.
7 Jozy Altidore (Xerez/SPAIN) 8/3
Spun into the box and found a good spot to head Hejduk's cross for the first goal, slipped a pass for Ching to shoot on goal in the last minute.
6 Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca/Mex) 3/0
Knifed confidently into tackles, played smartly and coolly on the ball.
NR Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 11/0
Came on as a blood sub in the final seconds when a bloody nose forced out Bradley.
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high)


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