[USA-MEXICO REPORT CARD] In his first start for the USA in two years, Freddy Adu was outstanding, but the U.S. defense endured a long evening at the Rose Bowl. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the U.S. players ...
Rating Player (Club) GP/G
4 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 65/0. Under siege all game but could not pull off big save. Failed to take the ball off the feet of Giovani dos Santos, who then sealed the Mexico victory with a delicate chip.
NR Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 72/2. Chopped down by his own teammate Jermaine Jones less than 200 seconds into the game and had to leave the game with a sprained ankle. Stayed on long enough to help set up corner kick that led to first U.S. goal.
3 Clarence Goodson (Broendby/DEN) 15/3. Beaten by Javier Hernandez twice early in the game on chances Chicharito put over the bar and off the post. Made clearance on loose ball early in second half
3 Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne/FRA) 93/12. Did little to help shut down Tri on left side. On Pablo Barrera's second goal at the start of the second half he cleared dos Santos' cross right to Andres Guardado and left Barrera wide open. Header went wide shortly thereafter. Had another chance he could have taken better at 3-2 down in the 71st minute.
3 Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa/ENG) 8/0. Moved from left back to right back -- his favored position in England -- after Cherundolo went off and Bornstein came on. Couldn't clear ball that led to Guardado's tying goal. No factor coming forward.
4 Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers/ENG) 11/1. Perhaps his greatest contribution to the game was taking out Cherundolo in the 4th minute. Muffed chance at the top of the Mexican penalty area in 63rd but ran full length of field to break up Tri counter.
5 Michael Bradley (Aston Villa/ENG) 59/9. Had scored last time he played Mexico on U.S. soil -- 2009 World Cup qualifier in Columbus -- and needed less than nine minutes to get another goal with a glancing header off Adu's corner kick. Had a chance at 4-2 in the 80th minute but shot tailed wide with an empty net to shoot at. Lost Chicharito in midfield on play that began with throw-in following Mexico substitution and led to Barrera's first goal.
4 Alejandro Bedoya. (Orebro/SWE) 13/0. Except for ball to Adu on buildup on second U.S. goal not a factor on the right side like he was in other two starts. Often asked to cut in the middle.
5 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy, 136/46). Spent much the game up top but moved back to midfield right before Dempsey fed him on second U.S. goal. Otherwise, didn't leave much of an imprint on the game.
5 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 77/22. Split Mexican defense to spring Donovan after being fed by Adu on second U.S. goal. Had chance to equalize on hour mark but hit crossbar with left-footed shot off loose ball.
7 Freddy Adu (Rizespor/TUR) 17/2. Great work led to corner kick on which he found Bradley for first goal. Teamed with Dempsey to free Donovan on collective move that led to second goal. Very active until he ran out of gas at about the hour mark. Not intimidated by Mexican challenges.
2 Jonathan Bornstein (Tigres/MEX). 38/2. Allowed Barrera far too much room on first Mexico goal. Terrorized by dos Santos all evening. Not the time for first game in more than a month.
3 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) 10/2. Replaced Bedoya but was disappointing in his 30-minute appearance.
NR Sacha Kljestan. (Anderlecht/BEL) 32/4. Set up chance for Goodson seconds after coming in late in the game for the exhausted Adu. Then sprung Donovan in stoppage time.
(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)