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U.S. player ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, June 4th, 2011 11:50PM

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TAGS:  men's national team, spain

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[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 ...

Starters
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.

Substitutes
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.



0 comments
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: June 5, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
    Gooch's time has passed. Horrible and a much better and younger player is ready in Goodson. Altidore, what is left to be said about this player. He is a complete waste of space at this level. He doesn't score for club or country. Spector a man without a position. Can NOT play at defense, and is not an option in a crowded US midfield. The good news? Dempsey and Bob Jr. looked good.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 5, 2011 at 12:57 p.m.
    There you go again, Ragin Ridge Mahoney, this time you are really full of baloney! WHEN WILL YOU PLEASE STOP, CEASE AND DESIST, in saying that Bradley junior can next walk on water??? And you gave him a 6 rating, while Tim Howard gets a measly 5??? And yet, Bedoya who gets only a few minutes you ssay "he's still trying to figure out what he can do at this level," is insulting and very nearsighted on your part. For crying out loud, tell your sainted Banality Bradley to give him mmore time on the pitch, and surely stop laying favorites with his son, who showed me lack of ability and he even flubbed some chances, didn't look wide tfor a give and go, but thought he could outdribble the Spanish defenders! Come on now Mahoney, be more objective and call it like it was on this poorly selected and coached tteam!

  1. Mike Terich
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 1:07 a.m.
    Outside of Dempsey and Howard, there was not a player that looked interested on the US side of the pitch. I am hoping that this lack of effort is more indicative of the timing of this fixture (3 days prior to the start of Gold Cup play) than of this team's MASSIVE step backwards in the last 2 yrs.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.
    Bill Anderson got it right (as did Ridge) about Onyewu, Altidore and Spector. Additionally, Kljestan is another player who has never looked good on the national team. Jones and Edu were completely overrun. Howard didn't do much wrong, but he also didn't really do that much right either (which happens when the finishing was so clinical that he did not really have a chance on the goals). Bradley, Demsey and Cherundolo were the only people that did anything (and Cherundolo, along with Goodson, was burned on the Torres goal, that I think that should be attributed more to excellent offensive play rather than poor defensive play). Bradley set up Kljestan on a beautiful through ball that Klejstan squandered. The other good US chance came from Bradley to Dempsey to Bedoya, who took a big first touch (not a bad idea, but unfortunately it was too big, so Cassillas got it). A slightly better touch and he's 1 v the keeper. What I really don't understand about this game is why schedule a game against Spain when you can't play your best line-up? We put a "B" team on the field and deservedly got spanked. If the game allows us to learn who should not be on the national team, perhaps that's a benefit, but certainly an embarrassing way to figure that out.

  1. Vic Flegel
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 10:40 a.m.
    Ric Fonseca, either you are biased,or you don't know anything about soccer. Bradley,along with Clint where the best US players.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
    Kudos to the USSF for scheduling this game before the Gold Cup in order to cash in on the opponent's stature while fielding a pick-up lineup. First half was a total meltdown as the MF couldn't figure out their defensive positioning...most blame should be heaped at Bradley who had no game plan. Let's face it, the USMNT lacks team rhythm, simplicity and speed of play and sound decision making on and off the ball by individual players. Only once in the second half did the squad combine and about six passes which had puspose,but most of the game it's the samo-samo boot up field and pray. And also one cannot ignore John Harkes' commentary, a rating of ZERO for his pathetic and winded analysis.

  1. James Rivera
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.
    WHAT TO DO LIST BEFORE 2014: 1.) FIRE BRADLEY 2.) FIRE GULATI 3.) HIRE WORLD CLASS FORIEGN COACH 4.) REBUILD USA Youth Development program 5.)REDUCE MLS Single game ticket prices so average joe can take his family to some matches. 6.) STOP scheduling world class opponents until we can compete

  1. mmm mmm
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 1:43 p.m.
    Clearly the US was outmanned. Disappointing game, disappointing effort. Midfielders never tracked back, defenders were split beaten over the top and never followed the combination run. Demspey looked good and so did Bradley. the US controlled more of the ball when the two entered the game. Altidore does nothing for me. He just doesn't make the runs. I liked Edu offensively, made some nice moves etc.. but his defensive effort was very poor. The backline has been a big problem for the US for a number of years, and with the lineup I see it isn't going to be any better in the Gold Cup. Gooch is done, ream looked really bad and Specter has no business being in the back.

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: June 6, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
    Ric, are you a Baby Bradley hater! Because he was one of our best players on the field. He looked good on the ball, and dangerous at times. He was one of the few players that cared about the game, unlike almost all of the other players. No Ric, you should attack Bob Sr. for not having the players ready to play, and putting an atrocious back line in there.


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