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U.S. Player Ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, June 15th, 2011 2:32AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team

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[USA-GUADELOUPE REPORT CARD] A few positional changes and a much more intense and cohesive effort earned the USA a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe Tuesday night in Kansas City that featured solid games by Steve Cherundolo and Jermaine Jones, and a great goal by Jozy Altidore.

Starters
Rating Player (Club) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 62/0.
Not required to make an official save, he came out twice to confidently smother potentially dangerous through balls, and da rted off his line early to snatch a high looping cross with both arms fully extended.

7 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/GER) 69/2.
Waged some fierce duels with Thery Racon, who bested him a couple of times yet far more often came away without the ball and eventually was substituted. Going forward, Cherundolo threatened numerous times by hitting crosses into all sectors of the Guadeloupe penalty area, and maintained his intensity and energy to the final whistle.

5 Clarence Goodson (Broendby/DEN) 12/3.
Paired up smoothly with Bocanegra. He sometimes applied pressure outside the penalty area to break up plays, on other occasions he waited patiently for the right moment to get into a tackle when confronting a dribbler. Got his head to one set piece but was tightly marked and couldn’t put the shot on frame.

6 Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne/FRA) 90/12.
Directed traffic and meshed well with his teammates most of the time, despite the fact he’s rarely played with Goodson and Lichaj. Seldom put under pressure when the ball turned over, he played safe, effective passes to Lichaj and occasionally launched a longer ball up the flanks.

6 Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa/ENG) 5/0.
Played well and smartly in the first half, looked tired and thus more cautious after that. Hit a few good crosses when played into space on the left flank and seldom looked overmatched by opponents testing him for power and speed, though Livio Nabab ran at him early and often before being replaced.

7 Jermaine Jones (Blackburn/ENG) 8/0.
He ignored whatever resentment he may have felt after being substituted against Panama to play a very solid game. His passing included a few excellent balls played to the flanks and over middle distances, one of which led to a great chance for Donovan. His range and timing of challenges enabled the USA to bottle up Guadeloupe for most of the match. During one sequence he twice scraped the ball away from opponents and eventually drew a foul for his persistence.

5 Michael Bradley (Aston Villa/ENG) 56/8.
Though he often played a few yards in front of Jones, he didn’t push forward on the dribble very often, relying instead on finding the open man to trigger combination sequences. Defensively he dropped and moved intelligently to collect half-clearances and partial interceptions, and usually found the right outlet. He played a very simple ball into space for Altidore to hammer into the net.

4 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy, 133/45).
Played competently without the imminent threat he often presents, and skied a great chance over the bar in the second half that could have sealed victory. Helped defensively in the second half when assigned mainly to the right flank, needed some direction from Cherundolo during one sequence.

4 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 74/20.
He was active, he was involved, and he gave an honest effort, but was guilty of two egregious misses among myriad chances. On a Cherundolo cross, he rose unmarked at the edge of the goal area for a free header yet somehow missed the far post by a yard, and when served the mother of all sitters from the same range by Bedoya he trapped the ball for a defender to swipe off his feet. He also forced a tip-over save by Franck on a long shot and hit the crossbar with a free kick.

4 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 5/0.
Forced two excellent saves from keeper Franck Grandel during a bang-bang sequence, and while not as prominent as a few other players worked the spaces behind and around Altidore to good effect. Still not quite sure of where he fits into the scheme of things but he knows his way around the goalmouth.

7 Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor/TUR) 38/12.
His goal, struck from well outside the box, veered so sharply that Grandel didn’t have time to even lunge for it, yet Altidore did a lot more. He muscled through a pair of defenders to get a shot that was deflected wide, and drew a few fouls by frustrated opponents unable to handle him. He carved out a lot of space for Dempsey and other teammates.

Substitutes
6 Alejandro Bedoya. (Orebro/SWE) 10/0. Upon his entrance in the 64th minute for Wondolowski, he contributed immediately with crisp, confident play. Served up the ball that Dempsey squandered during a bright spell of working the left flank. He boldly crashed over a much bigger opponent – which describes all of them actually – to head a cross narrowly wide.

5 Sacha Kljestan. (Anderlecht/BEL) 29/4.
Played another composed, mature quarter of an hour by keeping the ball moving and away from the opposition.

NR Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 22/1.
Chased down a ball right after coming on and got a few other touches in a brief appearance.

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



0 comments
  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
    altidore did make a great shot...lady luck was on his side for sure. I was disappointed in that a finish often did not take place by USA

  1. Phil Love
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
    Clint Dempsey - WTF? Was he showboating on his non-shot from 5 yards away or just an oaf? I'll go with showboating as he tried to walk the ball into the goal.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 8:34 a.m.
    Cherundolo, Lichaj and Altidore all had great games. While I don't agree with everything Bradley does (I disagree that we need two defensive central mids, e.g.), I think he generally handles the players well. Starting Mondolowski (after he missed the sitter in the previous game) and going back to Lichaj (after he played poorly against Spain), while continuing to have faith in Altidore, all demonstrate to the players that they need not fear one mistake, or one bad game (which everyone has). I was especially impressed with Lichaj's defending early, when he used his body and his speed to effectively prevent their speedy winger from getting around him. Jones played better than he has, but he still gives the ball away too easily for my tastes. Bocanegra should stay central; he provides some experience there to help either Goodson or Ream. I'm hoping the US is adopting the Italian approach to tournament play; barely scrape through the first round, then get your act together and run the table. But for that to happen, we'll need Dempsey to be able to finish and Donovan to become visible.

  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 8:34 a.m.
    sorry about that did not get my comment finished. The finishes I am thinking about are a buildup that was great for a finsh, but, did not happen. I felt that USA really did come out to win this game from the start, had decent buildup to finish, but, just could not, expecially by Dempsey...luck was just not with him for any reason...normally, he would finish at least one of the open shots or headers. One thing that really stood out in my mind was when I saw Landon in front on a fast break away an get run down from behind, unusual for Landon of the past which I have seen him many times explode an finsh with a sudden burst of speed. Was he just tired or his markers just that much faster or has he just slowed with time?..all in all, I ranked the team a solid 6...saw more team effort in this game than Panama. I was most pleased with the turnout by fans to support the USA in this game...good for you KC...an areas...we need to understand, the size of a country does not have much to do about their soccer abiltiy in a team...or their wealth in the Nation..Time Howard is solid in goal...he needed a 6 as well as anyone on the pitch..each player did his job as to defense part of the game, the reason for 1-0 score.

  1. Tito Messi
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
    1-0 against one of the weakest teams in the world and playing in our own soil.....terrible!!!!

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
    Jamaica will put a hurt on us Sunday If this was any other country Dempsey would not play another minute of the tournament and not get called up again unless he has another great year with his club

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
    A 4 rating for LD and the Deuce, these guys deserved no more than a 2. No one had a great game contrary to Ridge...this contest is proof that the USMNT lacks quality and the finishing...watching Bradley on the sidelines was a treat, he looked sullen, sometimes confused and generally in orbit.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 9:49 a.m.
    Kent,you only have to fear making one mistake with Bradley if you are Latino. Tito, I am with you 100%. That win proves nothing. All our players should feel shame.

  1. Mike Gaynes
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
    Only from the far-off world of Planet Ridge could this be described as an "intense and cohesive effort." What the rest of us saw yesterday was a flat performance, lacking in passion or urgency, that produced a 1-0 home victory over a minnow. Nobody deserved more than a 5 except Altidore, and Dempsey's 4 in the worst game of his international career is ridiculous. I'm a huge Dempsey fan, but his second-half howler wasn't a "miss"... it was an exercise in lazy showboating and the most embarrassing blunder in recent USA soccer history.

  1. Jamie Nicewander
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
    The players on the National Team are toooo comfortable with their positions on the team. It is evident in how they play that they feel like they can do whatever they want and still remain on the field. Bench some of these 'big' (sure) names and pull up younger players who will atleast play with passion and conviction, atleast then a real team can be built. Right now this team is not a TEAM. They play individually and they do not play with cohesiveness. Many times when we would recieve the ball in the midfield the forwards were stagnant and our supporting midfielders were not making early runs into dangerous spaces. Defensively we were okay except for the lapse that led to the shot that hit the woodwork, remember we were playing Guadalupe. The finishing was deplorable throughout the lineup but the quality of shots produced is what also hampered the finishing. The quality of those through balls are directly related to the runs the forwards are making etc. Overall we should be angry at how this cNational Team is representing our countrys football.

  1. jay too
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
    Come on now, give Altidore his due, that was a beatiful driven ball without any hestitation. I love it, and he needs to build some confidence from that goal! I have been hard on Altidoree, but he earned some playing time with that goal! Dempsey worked hard as always, he's showing some frayed edges, but his work rate is second to none, his finishing sucked though. Rest up boys, your going to need it. All our boys need to go to finishing school!

  1. James Madison
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
    Altidore may score a goal now and then, and even a good one, but he needs to learn that he is a member of a team and that the team would be more effective if he learned to share the ball when appropriate. Dempsey may have an excuse, but Donovan? Will he ever convert from being the proverbial "Little girl with the curl . . . ." to being a full-time committed professional?

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.
    Can anyone explain to me how to read these ratings please? 69/2, 74/20, 56/8, 62/0, etc. Thanks.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
    OK, Altidore hit a very good goal, but would you expect Ragin Ridge to say any different? And 1-0 against a much more spirited but no offense team Guadeloupe could muster, in US soil and in a brand new statium? QUE VERGUENZA!!!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.
    Ravena: ask Ridge Mahoney.... but then I wonder if he even knows?

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
    Hate to say it but Mexico might beat this team 5-0 too (if we can even get to the final).....

  1. Christopher Vreeland
    commented on: June 15, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
    This game was embarrassing to say the least. Mr. Dempsey's 4 was about double what it should have been -- his showboating cost us dearly. If the boys don't get better, and fast, they won't be in the cup past Jamaica.

  1. Mark Grody
    commented on: June 16, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.
    games played/goals

  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: June 16, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.
    a player that can get goals is born, not made...I have yet to meet a coach that can make a striker, they are self made...

  1. Rodney Thurow
    commented on: June 16, 2011 at 10:40 a.m.
    Send Dempsey back to England!! But not for the reason most are thinking. He is bored. He is the only play making runs, finding space, making passes, and yes show boating - because he is the only one who can. He is a man amoung boys. Send him back to London so he can continue to improve his game. It surely isn't going to happen under this coaching staff.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: June 16, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.
    WHEN!? When are fans going to realize and accept that this team is limited by its AWFUL coach?!!! Bob Bradley is one of the worst USMNT coaches the US has ever had. His clear favortism towards players cost the team. Someone please explaint to me how a player (michael bradley) rides the pine most of the season in europe, gets three starts in a row for his national team over players that play and start for bigger clubs in Europe? (namley EDU) If you know anything about the game of soccer, NOT THE US VERSION, but the version that is far more successful and played by the rest of the world, you would see that MB is not a very good midfielder. He is by no means an attacking midfielder, so that would relegate him to a defensive midfielder which should put him 3rd string behind Jones and Edu. THE US IS PLAYING LIKE THIS BECAUSE OF BOB BRADLEY. Why else would you put Kljestan and Rogers on the roster and start a young enexperienced center back? These are decisions of a poor coach who has brought the USMNT down from where they could be. Why on earth would you leave the only experienced attacking midfielder off the GOld Cup roster? Torres deserves and should be on the roster. He should be starting along side of Jones or Edu. But bradley thinks his son is God's gift to the pitch. Have you noticed the struggle that has gone on to find a good pair at the center midfield? He is contantly ttying to find a good match with his son. But he will never try a match with two other guys. Perhaps he should try an attacking midfield along side a defensive mid? WHAT A CONCEPT. THIS TEAM WILL CONTINUE TO DISSAPOINT AS LONG AS BOB BRADLEY IS THE COACH.


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