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U.S. Player Ratings: Howard, Holden and Jones head class
by Ridge Mahoney, October 11th, 2010 12:53AM

TAGS:  men's national team


[USA-POLAND REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades and critiques the U.S. players' performances in their 2-2 tie with Poland on Saturday.

Jermaine Jones debuted impressively for the United States in a 2-2 with Poland Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bundesliga veteran assisted on the first U.S. goal. Jones, Tim Howard and Stuart Holden were the top contributors against the Euro 2012 co-host.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

7 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 56/0
Stoned Robert Lewandowski one-v-one with terrific save, controlled the box well, yet didn’t come out to handle dropping ball that Poland eventually turned into its first goal.

6 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 65/2
As is often the case, he was smooth and secure on the ball, found time and space to hit good crosses, and held solid on his corner. Also proved his toughness, again, by shaking off a fierce hit he suffered in the fourth minute.

5 Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/ITALY) 57/6
Powerful header on corner kick produced second U.S. goal, but his tackling and tracking were hit-and-miss, and an atrocious defensive header gave Poland possession to score its first goal. Passes were simple and usually accurate.

5 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO) 17/1
Positioning and decision-making suffered with a move to central defense, and he lost connection to his teammates on occasion. Yet his speed and touch were valuable assets, he marked tightly, and he hit a couple of good balls out of the back. Burned by Lewandowski on through ball but Howard rescued him.

4 Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne/FRA) 84/12
Jakub Blaszczykowski gave him a tough time and while Bocanegra should have done better, the U.S. as a group didn’t move and cover well in certain spots. He didn’t seem assured of what his teammates up the left side and in the middle were doing, and his one-v-one defending has to be sharper.

7 Stuart Holden (BOLTON/ENG) 16/2
Active and dangerous on and off the ball, he slid inside to find space but was also very effective out wide. Started brightly with an early through ball that nearly put Jozy Altidore into the clear. Holden’s corner kick produced the second U.S. goal and he served a few more good balls. A fluffed clearance gave Poland second life on its first goal, and a couple of other gaffes could have been costly.

5 Michael Bradley
(Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 48/8
He didn’t contribute much to the attack and while playing a capable defensive game wasn’t keen enough to disrupt the linking play of Ludovic Obraniak, Adam Matuszczyk , and Blaszczykowski.

7 Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER) 1/0
Hit several excellent balls out of the back, including left-footed slice up the middle that produced first U.S. goal. Botched touch led to second Polish goal. Strong presence in the middle, moved smartly, displayed good vision and excellent touch.

4 Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/DEN) 36/2
Lukewarm performance as a starter belied good performances as a sub during the World Cup. Not much impetus going forward and seldom helpful defensively, he might prefer to play in the middle, but who doesn’t?

6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 67/19
Clever and creative touches went unrewarded, he also scraped through tackles and double-teams fearlessly. When denied space by the Polish defenders he worked the fringes of the attacking quadrant. He started up front as the second forward in a 4-4-2, and shifted to midfield in the second half.

5 Jozy Altidore (Villarreal/SPAIN) 31/10
Finished off first opportunity with crisp low, shot, and he nearly scored again with rising shot off the crossbar. Squandered a great opportunity when he failed to beat the keeper one-v-one, but if he’s to be the man in 2014, he’s got to play for his, period, full stop.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

3 Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro/SWE) 3/0
Stayed tight to the touchline and with his few possessions either lost the ball or failed to sustain momentum.

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

  1. Paolo Jacobs
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 5:17 a.m.
    Sloppy defending... Bad Clearances will lead to easy goals to any half-clever striker... Lets be honest here,, Stuart Holden was #1 Fault with that mis-hit that led to the first goal... US makes too many critical errors in the back....Where's Eddie Pope when u need him

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 7:40 a.m.
    Ridge how can you rate Bradley 5? He was 4 at best the same as Bocanegra. How can he get 5 the same as Onyewu and Altidore the two goal scores although both of them had enough errors? Why is Bradley still handled with "gloves"?

  1. Carl Walther
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 10:50 a.m.
    Not exactly the "beautiful game" now, was it?

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.
    Mr. Ragin' Ridge, were yuou watching the same game as us? Antonio F. put it best, as I feel that once again, you seem to have annointed yourself as being the apologist for the woes that prevail over the mnt. I saw Holden and Bradley make kids-soccer mistakes certainly NOT befitting their call up to the senior team. As for Bocanegra, he's played much better and it is quite conceievable that he just had an awful "Saturday Night Live (pun intended!" game. As for Bedoya, for crying out loud, how can you properly evaluate the guy when he was only given scant minutes? Don't you think that it wise to evaluate a player after a full 90 minutes of playing time? Fortunately I was able to switch channels and watch the other kind of football game and was spared the agony, still the times I switched back to the "real" futbol game, I was dismayed. Oh well, here we go again, much of same old-same old!

  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 12:03 p.m.
    Jones proved he should get more time, as did Holden. Sure he made some gaffs, but his other skills outweigh those, and he'll learn. This is why we have exhibitions. Bocanegra needs to retire. He's not successful as a left back and I'd attack him constantly if I were a coach playing the U.S. with him there. Cherundolo is solid.

  1. Steven&linda Pedlow
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 12:46 p.m.
    I fault Onyewu more for the first goal than Holden. Holden moved to intercept the ball and didn't clear it well, but Onyewu had an easy clearance and just gave it away. Agree that Jones was guilty for the second goal and that it was his only mistake of the game. Unacceptable to gift two goals that would have been a comfortable shutout victory otherwise. Howard didn't dive to stop either goal when it looked like he might have been able to reach them.

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.
    I thank God Stuart Holden is playing for the U.S. and not Scotland. His presence on the field gives projects confidence about the USMNT. This was the first time I saw J. Jones play. I didn't know he was that tall. We still don't have that "dangerous" striker up front. Dempsey is used to playing with a holding center forward that will look to set up the mids. Passing the ball to Altidore is like passing into a black hole, it seldom comes back. Onyewu is still trying to find his form. Left back remains a problem. I don't blame Edu. It's not his natural position, but the USMNT needs to develop someone to fill that position. Apparently, Bornstein was not the answer.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 4:20 p.m.
    Needless to say, MLS Bob gets another '0' rating for yet another failed effort.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 4:34 p.m.
    REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC HAS BEGUN. Did BB really play Edu as central defender and Feihaber on the outside?? Glad I didn't bother to watch.

  1. Dan Phillips
    commented on: October 11, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.
    Well what did you expect with boring Bob Bradley as coach? Another blown win. And look at the low attendance. Fans are pissed with Gulati's rehiring of that clown Bradley. They will not go. USSF underestimated the fan backlash at not hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann. Now they have 4 years to live with their stupid decision!

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