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Rogers produces top performance
by Ridge Mahoney, July 6th, 2009 7AM

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[USA-GRENADA REPORT CARD] There were solid grades all around for the Americans as they dispatched, Grenada, 4-0, with crisp offensive play, a few spectacular moments, and a confident defensive effort in their Gold Cup opener Saturday in Seattle.

Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players and comments on their performance ...

USA-GRENADA (4-0)
U.S. PLAYER RATINGS
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G

STARTERS:
5 Troy Perkins (IK Start) 2/0
Excellent save on sharply bouncing header with score 1-0 proved to be his only major highlight, but he also collected the few balls that came his way and distributed well. Definitely looks sharp after his time in Norway.

6 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 52/2
Reminded everyone of his value going forward with several excellent crosses, well-timed overlaps, and slick combination play with numerous teammates, sometimes in tight spaces. Rarely tested defensively, blunted several crossing attempts.

6 Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew) 5/1
Fell down on cross that Kithson Bain headed on frame early in the match, otherwise usually handled his duties well. Overpowered markers to get his head on a few set plays but couldn't put a shot on frame. Elegant chip out of the back to Pearce set up fourth goal.

6 Clarence Goodson (IK Start) 3/0
Timed his tackles smartly, often jockeying with player on the ball to get him off-balance and then winning the tackle. Nice pass to Pause led to third U.S. goal.

6 Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock/GER) 24/0
Got forward a lot to support Rogers, which often caught Grenada shorthanded in that area of the field. Contained attacks down his flank, not really responsible for cross that produced chance for Bain. Ranged well up the left side to set up Davies' goal with first-time touch of Marshall lob.

7 Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo) 1/1
Only slightly less dangerous than Rogers while running at Grenada with the ball every time he could. Delivered numerous threatening crosses to different spots in the goalmouth. Exploited poor marking to head home Rogers' cross for second U.S. goal. Decent delivery on corner kicks. Intelligent, clean interplay with teammates on right flank tormented Grenada often.

6 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lakes) 4/0
Had few problems containing Grenada in central midfield, though he slipped a couple of times on the surface and on one occasion might have been fouled from behind as Ricky Charles won a ball he belted over the crossbar. Covered a lot of ground in all directions to keep back line and attackers connected.

6 Logan Pause (Chicago Fire) 1/0
Worked well with Beckerman to solve situations and keep the middle balanced, relied on quickness and aggression to win duels against bigger foes. Surprised Grenada late in first half by pushing into the corner to combine with Pearce and Rogers and produce a near-post cross. Superb through ball sent Rogers clear to tuck away third U.S. goal.

8 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) 2/1
Used every thread of the left flank to unhinge Grenada numerous times. Ranged out to the sideline to find space for dribbles and serves, such as the looping ball Holden headed into the net. Also veered inside effectively, as he did to win a ball and push past a defender to play square pass Adu tapped home. Nicely finished off a long ball from Pause to cap an excellent performance. Weak opposition, yes, but still an impressive performance.

7 Freddy Adu (Benfica/POR) 14/2
Opened the scoring with a cool tap-in of Rogers' feed, nearly scored again with a long-range bending shot that hit the corner of the frame, cracked a left-footer over the bar from outside the box. Delivered several accurate corner kicks and free kicks. Dropped into the hole behind Davies to good effect, checked back to connect with teammates, overhit a few balls (effect of turf?) that could have provided chances for Davies.

6 Charlie Davies (Hammarby/SWE) 11/3
Polished off a good night by racing upfield scored fourth U.S. goal on a square ball from Pearce midway through the second half. Did a lot of work off the ball to draw defenders, occasionally missed connections with teammates while often playing alone in the middle and support coming from the wings, but played another spirited, effective game.

SUBS:
5 Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC) 1/0
Cautioned for coming on too soon in a very Concacafesque moment, looked uncertain at right back but got into the game and drew a few cheers from the hometown fans for his play as well as his entrance. Curled a great pass to set up chance for Arnaud.

6 Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards) 3/0
Pesky and effective running at fatigued, dejected opponents. Fought through a tackle to set up a chance, forced a courageous save with a thunderous shot.

5 Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaellands/DEN) 6/0
Kept the back line secure, ranged all the way to the midfield line on one occasion to keep pressure on the ball.



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