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U.S. player ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, March 30th, 2011 2:25AM

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TAGS:  men's national team

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[USA-PARAGUAY REPORT CARD] Solid games by several players while amassing a 13-5 edge in shots weren’t enough for the USA against Paraguay in Nashville. Tim Ream, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Juan Agudelo earned the highest marks. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players' performances.

U.S. Starters
Rating Player (Club/Country) Caps/Goals
5 Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves/England) 9/0

Came up with a double save late in the first half, blocking a fierce low shot and then catching a long-range follow-up. Otherwise, he handled mostly routine stuff cleanly.

6 Tim Chandler (FC Nuremberg/Germany) 2/0
Showed attacking chops at right back and right mid while going the full 90 minutes. Zipped past opponents on several occasions and served an excellent cross that Dempsey headed over the bar. Drew foul just outside the box with aggressive dribble. Before moving up to midfield he was burned twice in the second half, thus repeating occasional positional glitches that marred his debut against Argentina.

7 Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) 2/0
Manned his centerback slot well and absolutely pinged accurate balls out of the back. Appears rugged enough to handle the demands of international attackers, yet was jostled off-balance and couldn’t make the play when Paraguay scored on a corner kick. Gives the USA a left-footed option on free kicks. Oh, and he’s got good wheels, too.

5 Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps) 25/0
Slowed by a groin strain that forced him off just before halftime. Might have got his head to the corner kick that produced the goal but didn’t react quickly enough. Played a reasonably solid game and made himself available as a safe passing option with the U.S. in possession. Headed a Donovan free kick over the bar and came up limping.

5 Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres) 37/2
Overpowered by Hernan Perez on an early cross that the Paraguayan headed wide, and utterly botched excellent crossing opportunity a few minutes later. Stopped Hernan Perez one-v-one with a poke tackle to concede the corner on which Paraguay scored. Hit low cross from a good position in the second half that the goalkeeper easily smothered.

7 Michael Bradley (Aston Villa/England) 52/8
Glided diagonally through the middle to play a left-wing ball that Bornstein crossed low into the box, and smashed a 25-yard shot in the final minutes that forced a top-class, top-corner save by Ricardo Villar. Played out of pressure with more aplomb than against Argentina, moved the ball smartly, held his position defensively.

5 Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers/Scotland) 21/1
Played as a pivot off Bradley as Dempsey and Donovan slid often into the middle, and did some effective work as a decoy until Paraguay figured out he wasn’t likely to get the ball. He closed down Paraguay’s attempts to play through midfield and while not getting possession made space for others.

6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 130/45
Bad touch under slight pressure gave away early free kick that Paraguay squandered and he gave away a few balls in bad spots.. On the other hand, he knifed through the middle to play incisive passes and beat opponents often on the dribble. Lofted a threatening free kick to the back post that DeMerit headed over the top. Squandered his best scoring chance when a long throw reached him at the back post and he blasted a shot off the back support of the goal.

7 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/England) 70/19
Busy, active, and dangerous for most of the match but betrayed by uncharacteristically tepid shooting. In the first half, he headed over the bar, hit a looping shot from distance that was saved, and triggered a promising attacks with penetrating central balls to Donovan and Agudelo. He evaded tackles fluidly and operated efficiently in the middle but tired perceptibly near the end.

4 Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor/Turkey) 34/10
Didn’t have the strength and stamina to withstand challenges and win free kicks as he had against Argentina, and touch was worse than usual. Yes, he and Agudelo are newly acquainted but of the two, the latter looked far more poised and confident. Altidore didn’t link up well with his other teammates, either.

7 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) 4/2
Sharp, quick and lively, he led the Paraguayans on a futile chase for much of the game. First touches were usually crisp, he’s not shy about dribbling in tight spaces, and he can cut on a peso. Tried an early shot from distance that was blocked yet kept pressing and tormented the opposition. Occasional over-dribbles can be corrected.

U.S. Substitutes
5 Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne/France) 87/12
Reasonably solid defensive play, yet gave away a corner kick and throw-win with powerful but careless headed clearances. Played on the right side of central defense rather than his customary left slot.

5 David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg/Germany) 1/0
Played a quiet second half, collecting a few crosses and coming out to collect aimless balls without pressure. Stretched full-length to no avail for Marcelo Estigarribia’s 30-yard blast that clanged off the outside of the post.

6 Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany) 4/0
Raised the level of pace and intensity as a halftime sub for Edu. Very strong in the tackle, quick to close down opponents, and only a few ragged passes marred his performance.

6 Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa/England) 3/0
Replaced Chandler at right back and while not as fast, is at this point a smarter and safer defender. Hurled a few long throws that caused Paraguay problems and also surprised the opponent by overlapping the quicker Chandler to test the back line.

5 Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium) 26/4
Drifted to the left wing as a 77th minute sub and played a few nice short balls. Delivered a right-footed cross that Donovan couldn’t quite head on frame.

NR Jonathan Spector (West Ham United/England) 29/0
Played the final 10 minutes in midfield as the Americans finished the game with three in the back.

(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)



0 comments
  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.
    Tim Reams was definately the best players in the game. Adu and Jones shouldn't be apart of this team,they were both terrible for last nights match and the Argentine game. Agudelo and Altidore were both inaffective on the attack, I don't think Agudelo deserves the high rating due to lack of performance, to much standing around , not enough in attack to pressure Paraguay defenders to make mistakes on the pitch. I was glad to see better control on the ball by the US players but they lack the tactical ability to score and technical skills need to be improved greatly by US playes, well except for Tim Reams, he seems to be the only compoised and highly skilled players last night. WE NEED TO GET THE MEXICAN/AMERICANS players back in this game!!!!! What about Wondolowski, BB needs to keep trying different combinations of players to get the team he needs for the Gold Cup and hopefully the Confederate Cup next yr.

  1. Jeffrey Fox
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
    I agree with your assessment of Tim Ream. He was outstanding last night. I also agree that Edu needs to go but so does Altidore - he is useless out there! Where is Jose Torres?

  1. Eric Shinn
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
    A second opinion: Chandler was man-of-the-match for the US. He looked consistently dangerous on his forays forward and was far from a defensive liability. Healthy 'Dolo or not, Chandler should be our starting right back. Ream was a huge step up from Gooch in the back, particularly in his passing. Bradley couldn't link at ALL and gave the ball away FAR too easily. By the end of the game, the word "nepotism" was being thrown around an awful lot in the group I was in. Edu was a liability (and Jones wasn't much better). Agudelo was impressive and earned another chance. Jozy needs to get his act together, 'cause the young kid outplayed him by FAR last night. I still don't think Bradley has a CLUE how best to use him, though, so it's only about 75% on Jozy himself. Clint was Clint and the other "best player" for the US. Donovan looked like he had no interest in being there, and played about as bad a game as I can remember him playing. Bornstein is who he is, so it doesn't make much sense to complain about him sucking, when it's just what he does. Lichaj was ok, I guess, but definitely a step down from Chandler. Overall they played well just about everywhere except the final 3rd. JMHO, so take it for what it's worth.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
    I don't know what Mahoney is smoking to give Bradley 7 rating? The first half alone he had 16 back passes and only 3 long thru and 9 short passes forward. 2 passes were intercepted and 2 were sidelined. Furthermore he was passed over 7 times, at the very first Paraguay shot on goal he was napping and at the goal he was just watching (in attandance, non paying). He should have been subbed at the first half but nepotism prevailed. The second half he fared better but mostly at the end 13 back passes 12 forward (7 short, 5 thru) and a shot on goal. Now the above merits 7? I doubt! But everybody is either afraid to speak up and don't want to rock the boat; "good old boys".... It seems that only Paul Gardner and it seems maybe Eric Wynalda has the balls to speak up against nepotism and non-performance. Mahoney go to h... and insult our intelligence you moron.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
    KERRY, I mean no disrespect, but you have no idea about the game of soccer, players or how to asses a match. EDU (correct spelling), and Jones are starters for a couple top teams in Europe. They are used to playing the defensive mid postion along side an attacking mid, not another defensive mid. Jones had a good game, Edu makes the best of what Bob trys to do in the midfield. These two belong on the team, but michael bradley does not. He rides the pine for Aston Villa ( a team he is loaned to because he's not good enough toplay for his club). bradley constantly retreats with the ball occasionally plays the ball forward. He couldnt' stop and attack if he had barbed wire and a machine gun. I agree that Jozy had an awful game, but AGUDELO???!!! They guy drew more fouls than Messi did Saturday night! He even drew what should have beena penalty in the box on an incredible heal flick to himself. What game were you watching? And to say Tim Ream is the "only composed and highly skilled player" is rediculous! You saw one(1) game from him and he is the most skilled and composed? I saw him live last year for NY and he's not that impressive. He's 24, where has he been if he is so good? IN THE MLS still because ALL OF EUROPE Apperantly don't see what you see. We have mexican/American players, but that is not Bradley's cup of tea. He doesn't even understand that to be competive in Internatinal play you can't always play 2 defensive mids in the middle. It is this kind of assesement that is typical of American soccer fans and apperently US national team coaches. Mahoney is a bradley lover and has know clue what he writes. He takes 2 good plays from michael bradley and rates him a 7. Forgetting that he is worthless the rest of the game. His only playing time in an actual game the past month or so is the past two frendlies. GIVE ME A BREAK PEOPLE, STUDY THE GAME IN EUROPE AND ELSEWHERE BESIDES THE UNITED STATES THEN ASSES THE USMNT!!! KERRY/JEFFERY-DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT INTERNATINAL TALENT LOOKS LIKE? EDU/JONES DON'T BELONG HERE? REALLY? I GUESS THE BLACKBURN ROVERS AND THE RANGERS HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

  1. David Parsons
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
    FIRST - where are the hispanic players this country is producing. Certainly not on BB's team. This country has some young/good players with close control and composure but they are not getting the opportunity. Torres would have helped in this game. Ream should start every game. Edu was not up to the speed of play, an aberration I think. Agudelo looked pretty good. I'm sorry Kerry, but he chased and moved really well the whole game. Our national team will be truly special when we can integrate the style of our Latinos, strength/speed of our Europeans, and the American athleticism and strength of will (somewhat like the good African teams, but with discipline and willpower).

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 11:02 a.m.
    You have to say there was an improvment compared to the Argentina match. But in my mind, it came from the players, not from any tactical brillance from the coaching staff. We are soooooo much better when Donovan and Dempsey get a lot of the ball. Ream is the man. If BB can not see the difference in quality beween "Gooch" and Ream before that match? Then we really have big problems. To me, Ream made the differnce. He is the one who brought Donovan and Dempsey into the match by playing though the MF, not over it. I think thats what accouned for the US having more possion. I thought MB had a great game. Chandler is a revelation,I hope we get to see more of him. Agudelo continues to improve. I thought the Dempsy/Agudelo combo worked best. Paraguay had a lot more to deal with when those two were paired up. Lichaj looked good.Jones was an improvemet over Edu who again looked lost.Altidore and Bornstein I thougt struggled all night. As I've said before, the results don't matter now. We need to continue to find the players that are not afraid to attack and or take the game into their own hands.I thought we made progress.

  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.
    Yes, the USA has excellent goalkeeping most of the time. Yet I am surprised how they seem to be exempt from criticism. Hahnemann completely bailed out on the goal. Watch the replay. Rather than stay big and move aggressively toward the ball to shrink space and angles, he turns his body sideways and leans away from the point of reckoning. You can see the ball go through the space that might have been blocked with a brave effort! The team absorbs the goal and the team absorbs the responsibility, but this is clearly a poor moment in the USA goal. Bravery to run through a few bouncing balls with the body would result in dangerous opportunities among our forwards as well ... they frequently pretend to be chasing the ball only to bail out of possible contact by reaching a foot or turning the body away. Go to the ball, ya'll!!!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
    Hey ANTONIO FONTANELLI, I too have been wondering just what in heaven's name is Ragin Ridge smoking or smokes while watching a game - any game for that matter - Maybe he was watching some replays, or thought he was watching some replays through his addled eyesight! And DAVID PARSON your question as to where in heck are the Latino/Hispnic players is SPOT ON! but so long as Banality Bradley is still allowed to call the shots by "Not-So-Sunny Sunil(hey Sunil, your sun is setting soon, right?) we will have to suffer through the indignities he has subjected us to since the end of last year's WC and we'll not see the likes of Latino/Hispanic players. BUT I bet he'll point to Bocanegra, Agudelo, and Bornstein as being representatives of the Latino/Hispanic players all the while the team continues to wallow in soccer despair! Yeah riiight!!!

  1. Mark Huber
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
    Jermaine Jones is with out a doubt a better D mid than Bradley. I think him paired with Torres (amazing that we don't include the one mid that's cool under pressure) could be a nice change of pace; or even Holden when he comes off his injury spell. I like Juan up front because doesn't just put his head down and charge like Jozy. I still think Clint could be utilized better - much better last night, though. Then again he doesn't score many pretty goals for Fulham, they're usually cleanup jobs or overpowering someone. I think Landon is on the downward. Sacha, Bornstein, Spector shouldn't see the field any time soon. With the U-20 team playing currently as well, it'll be interesting if any of them can get a Gold Cup call. I can only hope Chandler and Torres will both be there.

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 3:11 p.m.
    Andrew Post I KNOW YOU DON'T have a CLUE, I watch more European, Central and South Amrican soccer than I do MLS!!!I know and have seen Jones and Edu play, They can do well but not in the US MNT.This is not the first time either have played for the US MNT, but it should be their last!!! J. Spector is also another player who plays out of position but does better than the 2 other players mentioned.

  1. Paul Lorinczi
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 6:13 p.m.
    David Parsons - I totally agree with your assessment. If the US can learn how to integrate "all" the available talent in this country, get rid of our English style of play, we would be a world power. Antonio - while I will not accuse Ridge of smoking anything, the statistics you provided are very telling of Bradley's performance. HIs passing was not efficient or accurate last night. A 7 rating is way too high. If he showed some vision, he could have put some balls in places that Agudelo and Altidore could have gotten. I thought Chandler was outstanding for his 2nd appearance. Lichaj was not that safe. Ream is a pleausre to watch. Donovan is slowing down. He seemed a non-factore.

  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.
    This team will continue to disappoint under this coaching regime. Michael Bradley will be a fixture as long as Bob is the coach. None of the Latino players seem to be welcome under this staff. I hope they qualify for the next World Cup but, I have low expectations if they do. This federation is in serious need of a transformation!

  1. James Madison
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 8:22 p.m.
    Your ratings were more than generous. I did not see the second half, but I could have picked an MLS team out of a hat and it would have played more cohesively in the first half than the select 11 did. Dempsey is a pro. Ream, Agudelo and Chandler were on the make. A more accurate assessment would have to give the GKs 5s and the rest 4s at best. Altidore should be history, and Donovan was having one of his "I could care less" nights.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: March 30, 2011 at 10:28 p.m.
    LD doesn't get enoughn touches on the ball...he needs to be the go to guy, disappears too often.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: April 1, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.
    Kerry, You have made my point exactly! They are both good players for their clubs, but when it comes to USMNT they are held back. WHY? because of BOB BRADLEY of course! THE USMNT's midfield is centered around Michael Bradley. Who is a sub par player who plays for last place teams (ie see Moenchengladback, and Aston Villa). SO you are saying, because Edu and Jones play well for their clubs (Rangers, Shalke 04) but have mediocre games for the USMNT then it is their fault and they shouldnt be there? This is as absurd as the fact that you are allowed to comment on soccer! The problem is not with them! IT IS BOB BRADLEY AND THEM (EDU AND JONES)HAVING TO PLAY A REDICULOUS CENTRAL MID POSITION OF DEFENSIVE/ATTACKING/HOLDING. ALL THE WHILE TRYING TO COVER FOR THE POOR PLAY OF MICHAEL BRADLEY. BUT DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. I GUESS THE COMMENTATORS/ANALYST/COLUMN WRITERS ARE WRONG TOO. THEY SAY THE SAME THING. I GUESS ALL THE BIG NAME CLUBS, OR ATLEAST CLUBS NOT IN LAST PLACE IN EUROPEAN LEAGES, ARE MISSING THE TERRIFIC PLAY OF M. BRADLEY. AND THINK OF HOW FAR THE OTHER INTERNATIONAL TEAMS RANKED LOWER THAN THE U.S. (CURRNTLY 19TH) COULD GO WITH BOB BRADLEY COACHING. KERRY, i'm sure you are very knowledgeble when it comes to U.S. soccer and soccer throughout the world because you watch "European, Central and South Amrican soccer as well. But the facts reamain the same. The truth is not muted because of your opinion. Edu and Jones play for big clubs in Europe because of their talent! M. Bradley plays for weak clubs because of his lack of international talent. Your arguments are rubish and ill supported. My argument is based on facts and truth.


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