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U.S. Player Ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, June 26th, 2010 7:19PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup


[USA-GHANA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players after the USA's 2-1 loss to Ghana in Rustenburg on Saturday.

USA
SUBS:

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
6 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 55/0
Great right-hand stop denied Kwando Asamoah, controlled the box well, a shade off his angle on the first goal, overpowered by the second.

5  Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 64/2
Good work on the flank but crossing wasn’t as precise enough to test Ghana very often.

4 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 23/0
Didn’t step to Asamoah Gyan on first U.S. goal, won a lot of balls in the air, drove a couple of accurate passes out of the back.

4 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 78/12
Beaten by Gyan on winning goal, delivered a few punishing tackles.

5 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 34/2
Sharp on the ball going forward, passed well, very exposed on several Ghana attacks.

6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 127/45
A bit sluggish compared to group performances, not crisp and sharp in traffic, decent deliveries on set plays, converted penalty nicely, served a few crosses that narrowly failed to produce a chance.

3 Ricardo Clark (Ein. Frankfurt/GER) 30/2
Lost ball in midfield to start sequence on first Ghana goal, cautioned for late tackle, never got up to the pace of the match.

6 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 47/8
Active and effective in the attack, glanced a header wide, won a fair share of rugged battles, put low shot on frame Kingson saved, couldn’t regain foothold in midfield after Ghana’s overtime goal.

7 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 66/19
Absorbed a number of fierce hits, plugged on bravely, taken down to earn penalty kick, just a step slow several times going for the final pass.

4 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) 9/0
A couple of good touches during buildup play, early shot forced kick save by Kingson, otherwise seldom got in behind Ghana’s back line.

5 Jozy Altidore (Hull/Eng) 29/9
Started well, mixed it up in the goalmouth, forced excellent save from Richard Kingson, set up a good chance for Benny Feilhaber, lost momentum in second half.

SUBS:
Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

6 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO) 16/1
Added steel and bite in midfield, matched Ghana’s aggression and strength.

6 Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/DEN) 35/2
Covered a lot of ground on the left side and in the middle, won balls, prompted attacks with nice touches, got in close at the end of slick move for shot that Kingson saved.

4 Herculez Gomez (Puebla/MEX) 7/2
Not much to show for a half hour of very hard work.

(Ratings: 1=terrible; 5=average; 10=brilliant.)
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How do you feel the U.S. players did against Ghana? Agree with our ratings? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.



0 comments
  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 8:46 p.m.
    I agree with your assessments.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
    Here we go again, Ridge: RIDGE, RIDGE, RIDGE!!! Your rating for your reporting: 2. Not enough objectivity or balanced ratings. You give Bocanegra, Findley, and DeMerit a 4 for playing iether the entire game or part of game, and yet, you give Gomez a 4 and say "not much to show for a half hour of very hard work." Good heavens to betsy. Just what in same heaven do you expect of the guy, Ridge? Findley and Clark are just NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME. Proof's in the pudding with these two guys! And yet you give Banal Bob's kid a 6! PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK!!! I made a bet with a friend that you'd give Gomez a low score, and lo and behold, I am going to collect a nice dinner. And BTW, didn't Gomez get picked up by Pachuca? Shows how much you're informed here! Overall, your ratings are par for the course, although me thinks you listened very carefully and hung on to Lalas' words in the post-game commentary as he said the same thing about Howard cheating a bit to the far post on the first goal, and what about Bocanegra seemingly giving up on the second Ghanian goal, thinking DeMerit was somehow going to stop the attack, did you note his slwoing down after he was beat, as if he said, "Oh-Oh???"

  1. David Hardt
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 9:09 p.m.
    After the tying goal way too much long ball, basically long passes to Ghana. Before that we worked the ball in nicely. Why the change? Believe the mental fatigue of having to come from behind in group play finally caught up with us. You can't do that for ever and be successful. And are we ever going to score from the front line at a World Cup? No forward goals since 2002 and counting! Hope we can change that in 2014. A 12 year drought should be enough!!!

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.
    Bob blew it by experimenting with the line up. I will admit, I wasn't thrilled with Bornstien starting in the backline, but starting Finley and Clark after they have been sitting the bench for two game was insane. I thought Bradley Jr. played well. Donovan was either out of position most of the game or Ghana defended him well because he was not able to get many one-on-one chances. Bottom line is the U.S. played to their potential. The U.S. doesn't have enough talent to take it any further than it did.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 9:52 p.m.
    Back to the game. Bradley senior is a stubborn idiot. Notice I didn't call him a coach as he is not he is a moron to soccer tactics. Why start Clark and Findley didn't he watch the previous games and their less than poor performance? Starting those two eliminated some much needed and vital substitutions. Torres was needed to balance the midfield's defensive chores. Why he only subbed Clark? Immediate changes were needed in the midfield and Bradley should have been subbed also. Furthermore the duo on the front were not at their best. More to come.....

  1. Joseph Krantz
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 10:13 p.m.
    What did Findley accomplish in the cup other than leading the team in yellow cards? HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! Clark, a good athlete, NOT A SOCCER PLAYER. Let us rate the coach. I give him a three.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 10:23 p.m.
    I have mentioned in many of my comments (some of you may remember); 1. Bradley doesn't understand the game, if he wins it is by the seat of his pants and purely by the heroics and excelent performance of some of our key players. 2. Bradley's "non"-system is too rigid a basic college game tactics. 3. The team line up, format and the position that some players are playing are not condusive to winning. 4. Donovan should play right behind the two strikers (in a triangle format) to "distribute" push and lead the attack as it is his specialty. Then you would be needing a competent defensive midfielder (i.e.Torres)front of the back four. This format probably (God forbid)would leave his son out as the coach of Slovakia did (leaving his son out)beating Italy. 5. Young Bradley with a different coach without the pressure of the nepotism would be selected purely on performance probably will play better, he is still young. And hopefully he will mature under a "coach" that understands the game. 6. BTW I have been writing the above comments several times for the last couple of years not just recently. Finally if most of you remember on my comment a week ago or so, where I have said that we will not advance with Bradley. He is subborn does not listen to ones that understand the game (today's line up just reiterates it). He surrounds himself with "mediocre at best, yes man" ie. Sorber and etc. As I have said this is THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO US....LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW PROFESSIONAL COACH, BECAUSE WE HAVE THE TALENT at the present and future.

  1. John h Borja
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 10:25 p.m.
    I sorry by Altidore was spent by the 30th minute in regular time. He was sluggish. He was a step to a ste and a half slow to crosses and plays in the box. And he didn't contribute below the half-way line. He should have been subbed out, at least, by the 1st half of the regular game. And the most egregious error was committed by Bocanegra in overtime on the 2nd Ghana goal. He raised his hands to indicate that he had given up at just the point he should have given one last effort to thwart that shot.

  1. Steve Cardona
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.
    Bradley definitely needs to move on. When you tell yourself that your son is one of the 3 or 4 best midfielders in the country you have a reality problem. M.Bradley is too green. The defense has always been shaky. If you watch all the goals scored against US (including qualifiers) you will always see the same players trotting instead of having a sense of urgency to win the ball back. Altidore didnt do crap. Why do other teams have strikers that make goals off the same plays that US forwards cant. I thought Findley and Bradley play/ train for soccer year-round? How the hell did they both miss those beautiful passes placed to them in the box??

  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: June 26, 2010 at 11:26 p.m.
    There isn't anyone questioning this team's heart. Is it too much to ask for one complete game? I don't care how well you train, if you don't have a history in matches that is positive, how do you still get to start? Clark has not played well leading up to this and he has a tendancy for cards. Findley did not belong. Bradley really handicapped this team in this match. At halftime I said those subs were necessary, but would come back to haunt them if they got into overtime. If he had chose the right eleven to start, they might have had a chance.

  1. Barry Ruderman
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 1:14 a.m.
    MB gets tarred for the collective angst directed toward BB. Neutral comments in the European football rags generally point to him as being consistently our best 2 way player during the WC, the final game being no exception.

  1. Brian Herbert
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 3:01 a.m.
    Within the first 5-10 minutes, I texted a friend and said, "why did he start Clark and Altidore?" While lots of people here agree that Clark should not have started, for some reason Altidore gets a "free pass" in the lineup, sorry but the only free passes in my book are Donovan, Dempsey, Bocanegra, and Howard. I think it's because people like that he's big and strong, even soccer coaches think they need NFL type physiques, stupidity! How big is David Villa? Tevez? Higuain? Do they finish on goal? YES! If Findley, Buddle, or Gomez had been pampered and groomed to be THE striker like Altidore has been for the last couple years (yes, there's also Davies), what could they have done???

  1. Corey Zimmerman
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 7:58 a.m.
    Ridge, if you passed out ratings for the coach, Bob Bradley would get a 1 at best. Clark and Findley? What exactly did he see from these two in their earlier matches that they were chosen over Edu, Gomez, Feilhaber, and/or Buddle? Bradley gets a 1 only b/c he had the courage to admit he was dead wrong and sub Clark after just 30 minutes, something that never happens in soccer absent an injury. KL is right that the early subs were necessary but would kill us if game went to extra time. Bottom line, US soccer is to the point where a truly experienced, knowledgable coach is needed to lead the team to better results. The only thing I wont blame Bradley for is USA's lack of a quality finisher in the tournament. We had one, Charlie Davies, and he truly damaged the USA's chances when he broke curfew and recklessly got involved in a tragic and senseless incident. With Davies in the lineup, Altidore is better and Bradley would not have been in a position to even contemplate starting a guy like Findley who is completely lacking in confidence around the goal. The fact that he still chose Findley over a proven goalscorer like Gomez is an unpardonable crime.

  1. Tyler Miyashiro
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 11:12 a.m.
    Antonio, how can u honestly say Torres deserved to be in there? Yes Clark is horrible and yes Bradley shouldn't have put him in, but Feilhaber is a much better choice than Torres. I'll admit, i was excited about Torres after the senf off series, but he just didn't produce on the big stage. Do u remember when Torres started in the WC? He wasn't sharp and didn't have good touches, it was a disaster.

  1. Brian Herbert
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 12:50 p.m.
    Ridge's player comments for the rating for Benny Feilhaber included "won balls, prompted attacks with nice touches." If the whole team "won balls", attacked, and had consistently good touches, we would have won, correct? Yet he gave him a 6??? Is that because Benny doesn't have the PR machine behind him like other players? I think the 6 years of childhood that Benny spent in Brazil must have got in his blood, because I'd take 10 Feilhaber's on the pitch against anyone.

  1. Tom Fazekas
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 12:51 p.m.
    USA lost because Ghana had 11 players playing there heart out. USA had maybe 8 players playing hard the entire game. Because Donovan,Dempsey,and Altidore did not do anything, mostly pedestrian type performances for these three. Nobody can tell me different. Play till you can't run no more, lot more effort from these 3 and USA could have advanced

  1. Tyler Miyashiro
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 1 p.m.
    I agree with Brian, I don't see how he didn't get a start against Ghana, everytime i've seen him play, he does extremely well.

  1. Tyler Miyashiro
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 1:01 p.m.
    Another thing I don't get is why wasn't Ching selected? What was Bradley thinking?

  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.
    You got 'em right Ridge, though maybe a bit generous to Howard (who I thought should have had a chance on the first goal).

  1. Steven SIegel
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.
    Dempsey rating too low. He made two superstar moves to earn the penalty. His rugged play and ability to bounce off hits caused other problems for Ghana as well.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 6:44 p.m.
    These ranking are off, Clark should have received a '0' after his give-away and then subsequent clumsy earning of a yellow card. Findley deserved a '1' after being so much wasted space in creating 1 good opportunity that he promptly squandered, the man cannot finish to save his life. Banal Bob should have received a '1' for his starting line-up inclusion of Red-cardo Clark and No-Finish Findley. I would hope we never have to see any of these three associated with our national team program again.

  1. Steven SIegel
    commented on: June 27, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
    So much vitriol from David Huff. The USA advances top of its group and although I would not have played Findley, I heard many positive comments on FSC that his speed forced the English defensive line to play further back then they normally would after their goal. This gave the mids more room to maneuver.

  1. Brian Totten
    commented on: June 28, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
    Couldn't agree more that the starting lineup was a huge handicap. Benny was a real difference maker and should have got the starting nod. Altidore, I thought, was too lethargic and poor in and around the box -- was he hurt...he appeared to pull up strangely in the early portion of the game. Dempsey was in a class of his own this last game. He did a great job holding posession while teammates were launching desparation longballs. Tactically, I thought the US gave way too much space to Ghana in the opening half.

  1. Mike Gaire
    commented on: June 28, 2010 at 10:42 a.m.
    Still cannot understand why Stuart Holden did not at least get a chance to come off the bench. I would have started him in preference to Ricardo Clark. I still don't like the fact that no matter how often he runs out of gas Michael Bradley is never substituted out. That needs to change.


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