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Four exceed the average mark
by Ridge Mahoney, June 16th, 2009 6:45AM

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[ITALY-USA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players and comments on their performance in Monday's 3-1 loss to Italy at the Confederations Cup.

ITALY-USA [3-1]
U.S. PLAYER RATINGS
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
Starters

6 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 41/0
Two great saves kept the score at 2-1 until late into stoppage time. No chance to stop the first and third goals, and had to deal with obstructions and distractions on the second one. Managed to block tricky Andreas Pirlo free kick that short-hopped the keeper.
6 Jonathan Spector (West Ham/ENG) 14/1
Forced to battle with Fabio Grosso numerous times when he came up on overlaps, also tested by Andreas Pirlo and Vincenzo Iaquinta on occasion. Pushed forward to apply attacking pressure on the flanks.
5 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 11/0
Won tackles one-v-one in the middle, stepped up to cut out passes. Gave ball away to Grosso late in first half. Tired badly in the final minutes, when beaten by a through ball and skinned by Pirlo leading up to the last goal.
6 Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege/BEL) 43/5
Thwarted Italian counterattack with excellent tackle after U.S. midfield giveaway. As usual won his duels in the air. Put Clark in a bad situation with an ill-advised return pass. Seldom allowed Iaquinta or Alberto Gilardino much room.
5 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 16/1
Cautioned unjustly for foul on Mauro Camoranesi in the 20th minute yet defended doggedly. Recovering speed gave U.S. numbers to slow down Italian attacks triggered by turnovers when down a man, but he let a long cross float over his head to Camoranesi, who shot into the side netting.
4 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 52/13
Got back a few times to help out defensively. Shanked shot on ball played to him from free kick. Unable to provide effective crosses from the wing and not dangerous enough within the final third. Hit a long shot from distance that floated to keeper Gianluigi Buffon, whose bobble was a product of inattention.
4 Ricardo Clark (Houston) 20/1
Won numerous tackles, connected with his passes, and covered a lot of ground, but eventually paid a high price for his error-prone first touch. Cleared a ball Onyewu shouldn't have played to him. Defused a threat with two strong tackles in rapid succession. Got himself into trouble and compounded the error by kicking Gennaro Gattuso on the knee as Italian took the ball away for a red card.
4 Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus/DEN) 19/2
Labored reasonably well on the right side, added attacking impetus when moved into the middle and hit long ball to Jozy Altidore that resulted in U.S. penalty kick. Caught in possession twice, most notably when Guiseppe Rossi stripped him and belted first Italian goal from 25 yards out.
5 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'gladbach/GER) 30/5
Set up an early scoring opportunity with midfield steal and run forward but left-footed effort didn't trouble keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Nice chip to Sacha Kljestan set up a chance in the 88th minute and ball to right-wing corner dropped perfectly for Charlie Davies. Soft challenge allowed Pirlo space to shoot from distance midway through the second half, and wasn't providing support when Rossi dispossessed Feilhaber.
6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles) 111/40
Ran at opponents often with the ball and set up Altidore on a counter with a dribble and well-weighted pass. Hit a free kick over the bar from a good position, neatly converted his penalty kick with hard, low shot. Took over at right mid after Clark's red card and drove team forward.
5 Jozy Altidore (Xerez/SPAIN) 12/6
Collected long ball and drew foul for U.S. penalty kick. Strength and determination tested Italian defenders, but touches weren't sharp and clean enough to exploit shooting opportunities. Muffed a good opportunity in the first half when he and Donovan broke free on a counterattack.
SUBSTITUTES
4 Charlie Davies (Hammarby/SWE) 7/1
Improved after slow start. Headed over the bar on a good chance from a corner kick, too slow to chase down ball played out of the back to the right flank.
4 DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 88/17
Got forward in the final minute to win a corner kick, overlapped as Sacha Kljestan shot from distance. Otherwise not much of a factor.
NR Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) 18/3
Curved a long-distance shot just over the crossbar in 10-minute stint.
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high)


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