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Kljestan and Beasley disappoint the most
by Ridge Mahoney, June 19th, 2009 7AM

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[BRAZIL-USA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players and comments on their performance in Thursday's 3-0 loss to Brazil at the Confederations Cup.

BRAZIL-USA [3-0]
U.S. PLAYER RATINGS
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G

Starters
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 42/0
Made no move to punch free kick on first goal; ball swerved, yet dropped well inside the six-yard box. Stranded himself in no-man's land on second goal, should have pressured Robinho by finishing his challenge. Was beaten on deflected shot for third goal. Solid save on Luis Fabiano in first half and collected at his feet and saved well from Kaka in the second half.
4 Jonathan Spector (West Ham/ENG) 15/1
Overpowered in the air by Felipe Melo on first goal and by Gilberto Silva on header blazed over the top. Chased down Kaka near corner flag and stripped him of the ball. Got forward on overlaps but crossed poorly except for diagonal ball that Benny Feilhaber slammed off the crossbar. Left his corner exposed on switched ball that Robinho shot on frame.
5 Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege/BEL) 44/5
Cautioned for hard tackle on Felipe Melo midway through the first half. Tough in the air, and rescued his team numerous times. Do-or-die slide tackle deprived Nilmar of a tap-in late in the match.
5 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 12/0
Presented Maicon with a great chance with a weak clearance. Nicked ball away from Robinho one-v-one in the penalty area late in the match. Tough, decisive tackling and intelligent anticipation marked a creditable performance.
4 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 17/1
Marooned himself with poor decision on second goal; rather than drop immediately or stop the ball, legally or otherwise, he left Spector stranded one-v-two. Let Maicon escape to score third goal yet received no help, especially on the deflection. Fought courageously, on one occasion accidentally knocked heads with Maicon trying to win a ball.
3 DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 89/17
Flubbed trap on short corner prompted Brazil attack for second goal and he did little before or after to aid the U.S. effort. Dull of touch and laggard of mind, couldn't beat opponents on the dribble and only occasionally helped out defensively. He endured a barren 45 minutes before being replaced.
6 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'gladbach/GER) 31/5
Over-hit a few diagonal balls that Spector couldn't catch up to, but set up opportunities with several crisp, medium-distance passes and stifled attacks with solid tackles. Surrounded by talented players and confronted with tricky situations, he broke up plays. Great recovery, sprinting back 60 yards, to block shot by Julio Baptista.
2 Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA) 19/3
Sent off for late, two-footed challenge on Ramires after getting away with poor tackle in the first half and on another occasion, tackling so late and so slow the Brazilian player evaded him easily. Giveaway presented Brazil with a good scoring chance shortly before his ejection.
3 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 53/13
Headed over the crossbar on a great chip from Bornstein and gave him no help on their flank when Brazil scored its third goal. Also headed badly wide when Landon Donovan curled a corner kick into his range. Fancy behind-the-foot pass went right to an opponent. Stepover won a free kick in the final minutes, ballooned the ball over the bar with the last touch in a very typical conclusion.
6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles) 112/40
Whipped in a free kick that Bradley just failed to reach at the back post, excellent inswinger to the near post gave Conor Casey a good look, curled a corner that Dempsey headed well wide. Nice short ball released Spector for second one-two near the byline and a diagonal ball that nearly produced a goal.
4 Jozy Altidore (Xerez/SPAIN) 13/6
Workrate and touch faded after he fired a good opportunity over the crossbar, but plugged along nearly alone in a frustrating first half. Often marooned without timely support.
Substitutes
5 Conor Casey 5 (Colorado) 11/0
Lacked the polish to trouble Brazilian defenders and workrate tapered off much too drastically. Deft first-time touch on one-two set up Altidore for good opportunity, glancing header on free kick hit the crossbar.
5 Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus/DEN) 20/2
Nailed first-time shot off the crossbar, played a few good passes as attack livened up somewhat after his arrival.

 



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