[USA-SPAIN REPORT CARD] Only goalkeeper Tim Howard and a few subs earned average or better ratings for their performances in the USA's 4-0 loss to Spain in their international friendly. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the performances of the U.S. players ...
Rating/Player (Club) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton) 59/0
Stopped the shots he should have stopped, might have at least got off his feet to contest the second goal but had no chance on the others. Panicky punch when he came out could be blamed on miscommunication though he did seem uncertain. Exhortations couldn’t drag his teammates into the game.
2 Jonathan Spector (West Ham) 31/0
Had no help from Kljestan on his flank yet still simply mis-read plays or reacted far too late numerous times when he could have closed down the player on the ball. David Silva burned him to set up the first goal for Santi Cazorla and he was also culpable in the lead-up to the third goal.
3 Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente) 60/6
Gooch scratched the ball out of trouble a couple of times but seldom used his strength and experience effectively to cut out passes or thwart dribbles. He played the first half a yard off the pace before being substituted. He also showed absolutely zero leadership qualities whatsoever as chaos reigned around him.
2 Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) 4/0
Stepped into traps often while trying to apply pressure, and barely got a solid defensive touch. He never got within a few yards of the ball when Alvaro Negredo chased it down to score the second goal. A harsh learning day for one of the best young defenders in MLS shows how vast the gap is.
3 Eric Lichaj (Leeds United) 4/0
Whatever experience he’s gained at Leeds playing left back didn’t set him up for this assignment, but more harmful was his inability to look off the ball and read runs and passes coming into his area. He lagged back on a goal mistakenly waved nullified for offside, and reacted too slowly on the third goal.
3 Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht) 27/4
Might not be at his best used out wide – he did play there for Chivas USA – but should be able to trap and control the ball. Looked more comfortable in the middle after halftime, with Spain still in command, but was hardly incisive offensively. Squandered a good chance by passing up a shot and playing a ball that Dempsey couldn’t put on frame.
4 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) 14/1
Showed some initiative, which was encouraging, not much guile or threat. Appeared willing to play combinations with teammates, but Lichaj had enough trouble guarding the back and everybody else seemed allergic to showing for the ball. Shot wide a few minutes before halftime after dueling with Gerard Pique.
2 Maurice Edu (Rangers) 22/1
Trapped in a web of mesmerizing touches and clever runs, he and Jones were always chasing shadows of the ball, the player who had just released it, and whoever was about to get it. Worse, he simply gave up on tracking runs, which is unforgivable. With U.S. back line outmanned in the penalty area, he needed to mark up, and didn’t.
3 Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers) 5/0
Appeared to be well into his summer vacation a few minutes after kickoff once Spain cranked up the tempo and pressure, and not even his speed could make up for poor positioning and sluggish decisions. Rarely won the ball and usually gave it right back when he did.
3 Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor) 35/10
Floated wide right, as is his wont, a few times but only once muscled himself into a clear space to launch a cross. Otherwise, he looked clueless off the ball and ponderous the few times he got it. He also applied very little pressure when opponents in his area had the ball.
3 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) 5/2
Starved of any real support by the central mids or service from the flanks, and often stranded too far away from a wandering Altidore, the teenager resorted to his energy and hunger, which against this opponent wasn’t nearly enough. Also had no success on the dribble, which is supposed to be a strong point.
6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham) 71/19
His skill and poise were glaringly evident once he stepped on the field for the second half and a wonderfully flicked ball to the left wing had world-class written all over it. Tried to line up shots a couple of times but opponents massed around him.
6 Michael Bradley (Aston Villa) 53/8
Broke up plays with well-timed tackles and used the ball simply and efficiently. Showed little rust despite a lack of playing time the past few months for Aston Villa.
5 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96) 66/2
Very good work on the right flank didn’t produce much in the way of chances, but just by keeping the ball and playing it smartly while also keeping his defensive position he helped slow down the Spanish Express.
5 Clarence Goodson (Broendby) 9/2
He and Cherundolo were split on the pass that set up Spain’s fourth goal, so the blame can be shared, but otherwise he got in his tackles and kept the middle relatively secure.
4 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 2/0
Not much of a factor despite playing the entire second half to earn his second cap, he’ll get more opportunities (and probably score) during the Gold Cup.
4 Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro) 8/0
A quick and inventive player who is still figuring out what he can do at this level, he brought some energy yet fluffed a great opportunity to run at goal.