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U.S. Player Ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, August 11th, 2011 2:58AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, mexico

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[USA-MEXICO REPORT CARD] Timely substitutions by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann took advantage of a Mexican team disjointed by its own changes to earn the USA a 1-1 tie with Mexico in their friendly in Philadelphia. Replacements Juan Agudelo, Brek Shea and Robbie Rogers tied with starters Landon Donovan and Michael Orozco Fiscal for highest marks after teaming up for the equalizer. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...

USA PLAYER RATINGS
Starters:
Rating Player (Club/Country) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 66/0.
Not credited with a save, he charged out several times to smother balls played into dangerous spots and collected crosses cleanly.

5 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/GER) 73/2.
Contributed a few good crosses in the first half when not committed to tracking Andres Guardado or chasing Carlos Salcido, both of whom found room on his corner of the field. Consolidated his defensive work in the second half as the U.S. attack gained momentum.

6 Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis/MEX) 2/0.
Dropped to the back post and headed away many of Mexico’s best crosses, also stepped into the middle to stop dribbles at the edge of the defensive third. Grew more familiar with Cherundolo and Bocanegra as the game unfolded and stuffed Giovanni dos Santos on all but one occasion after his entrance.

5 Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne/FRA) 94/12.
Defused dangerous situations with strong tackles and blunted Antonio Naelson’s efforts. Hit some good balls out of the back, also delivered a couple right to opponents. Nailed a powerful header from a Donovan corner kick that Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa stabbed out his left hand to stop.

3 Edgar Castillo (Club America/MEX) 2/0.
Seldom found opportunities to buzz up the left flank to give the U.S. some width, and while he won a few tackles he also gave away the ball in bad spots either under pressure or by passing poorly. Doggedly lasted the full 90 minutes, much of it spent working against Pablo Barrera.

5 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) 13/1.
Seemed to drift for much of the first half, and couldn’t use the ball well when it came to him, but he did plug up the middle. Played a sharper second half by stepping into passing lanes, winning double-teams, and spraying good passes.

3 Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER) 12/1.
Labored to find good positions in both attack and defense, and never seemed to match the pace of the game. Terribly overhit ball to the right flank in first half typified his tough night.

4 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 60/9.
Deployed in the first half as the central attacker between Torres and Donovan and behind the lone forward, he hit a few good diagonal balls but couldn’t provide the final touch to set up chances. Still managed to win balls and track down opponents. Marked Oribe Peralta tightly but couldn’t prevent him volleying Mexico’s goal.

5 Jose Torres (Pachuca/MEX) 12/0.
Stationed on the left flank, he glided inside once to unhinge Mexico’s defense and his passing, while inconsistent, often found the open man. Lost balls under pressure and his extra touches were costly. Moved inside for the second half and except for the odd inaccurate ball, meshed well during attacking sequences and made better decisions defensively. Missed with a shot from the penalty arc on his less-favored right foot, hit a nice free kick from the left wing that was headed into a good spot, drilled another FK into the wall.

6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 137/46.
Instigated a few good moves from his right midfield position in the first half. Moved to a central spot after halftime, he darted inside to draw a tripping foul in the penalty area that wasn’t called, and ranged in all directions to carve open gaps in the Mexican back four. Set up Bocanegra’s header with one of several incisive corner kicks, hit a free-kick attempt off the top of the defensive wall.

4 Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt/GER) 7/2.
Marooned on his own for much of his time on the field, he managed only rarely to use the ball effectively. He chested down a long ball to get an attack moving and headed back a free kick that Mexico managed to clear. Battled through a challenge to earn the corner kick from which Bocanegra nearly scored.

Substitutes:
6 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) 11/2.
Contributed to the U.S. goal by knocking back a throw-in to Shea, and lifted a ball into the Mexican half that Rogers would have taken to goal if not for Gerardo Torrado’s jersey grab.

6 Brek Shea (FC Dallas) 3/0.
Powered through Israel Castro’s feeble challenge to drive a ball across the goalmouth that Rogers finished, and dished out panic attacks with his energy and speed. Also stood up dos Santos one-v-one near the sideline.

6 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) 14/2.
Glided to the back post to tuck away Shea’s cross and only Torrado’s foul stopped his breakaway in a very active performance after entering the match in the 72nd minute.

NR Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER) 32/2.
Shanked a shot horribly when teammates were closer and in better positions to shoot for a winning goal.

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



20 comments
  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 9:28 a.m.
    Bravo Ridge it is probably the first time I agree with report card. I guess you follow the "regime". Finally you have seen that Bradley was floating back and forth aimelessly. Both Him and Jones are subpar players. Also Cherendulo is over the hill. Anyway thanks Ridge for finally analyzing it credibly.

  1. Don Wishon
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 9:34 a.m.
    Agree with Antonio on Bradley and Jones. Don't really understand how striking the wall on a free kick deserves mention or consideration in the ratings. Not that JK's subs can only play effectively for 30 minutes, but I do strongly believe they deserve more playing time. A LOT more energy, quickness and movement off the ball lead to a stronger US offensive attack. Way to go, Brek! FC Dallas fans should be proud!

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
    Ratings are always very subjective, and Ridge's are as close as any. The only real quibble I have is I feel Beckerman's performance was underrated. I would have given him a 6. Most of the problems cited in the first half were because he was single-handedly trying to cover for the other central mids shortcomings. Once the substitutions on the hour changed the match (particularly when Torres was moved centrally), and he no longer had to play little dutch boy with his finger in the dyke, he showed what he is capable of. And the last 15 minutes of the match showed what Klinsi is looking for. Shea was MOTM, but I think Kyle is deserving of consideration as a holding mid.

  1. Steve Krew
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
    I agree they looked much better in the 2nd half, but that was mostly because Mexico changed out so many players. Put the 2nd half US team against the 1st half Mexico team and it would have been just as disappointing. Albert - I agree with you that Torres should be moved to the middle (along with Landon). We need to continue to see more new/young players out there, and I think JK will do that - which is great!

  1. david caldwell
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 11:16 a.m.
    While MX obviously dominated early, even then US showed more defensive pressure in MX's half of the field. Which is why even when MX was dominating, they didn't get a lot of shots/chances. Our backline was not under seige. More energy, pace and pressure from US was nice to see - even while being outplayed early. Slowly, they started to win a fair bit of possession, and in 2nd half finally became dangerous in attack, playing the "proactive" soccer JK desires. Landon and Torres in center makes sense. Maybe Bradley moves back to holding MF - I think his sheer effort and speed is valuable in this pressing style. But Jones seems very uncomfortable going forward - might not fit anymore. I would have rated Beckerman, Shea, Rogers and Aguedelo even higher. I would have rated Orozco and Jones lower. Boca and Cherundolo did serious duty - playing pretty well while acting as on-field tutors.

  1. Julio Moreira
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 11:26 a.m.
    Congratulations to Jurgen, a class act and showing how to read the game, we have a TEAM, we'll have disappointments and great celebrations with this USA squad, but, the players and fans will at last have a coach that knows how to read the game at a professional level, never again Sampson's, arena's or Bradley's, very excited as most real followers of the USA squad are. We can dream again of having players with a heart and attitude and love of the game like Lalas, Balboa, Winalda, Tab Ramos and Reyna in a younger version.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
    A well deserved tie for the US. Both teams used a lot of players and this is the time for JK to learn what he has to work with and where we are lacking, like the left back. Look for a lot of younger players in the next two friendlies to prepare for our WC qualifiers in the next two years. Maybe we need to find a 7 year old future striker...

  1. Kent James
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.
    Albert and David, I think you guys got it right. I didn't notice what Fiscal was doing that so impressed Ridge, but maybe I just missed that (I thought he was fine, but didn't think he was one of the best US players). Although Howard did not make many (any?) saves, he does very well at cutting things off to prevent shots (he's is very quick off his line and covers a lot of ground, which is not easy to do and is very important), so he should be credited with that. He does need to work on his passing; whenever the ball is dropped back to him, if he goes long, it seems the balls are 50/50 at best. We gave away too many balls coming out of the back, a few times even when there was no pressure (somewhat uncharacteristic for the US). Torres and Donovan need to be on the ball in offensive positions. When they were on the flanks, I think they ended up being forced to mark to deeply in US territory and were therefore ineffective in helping Buddle with the attack. I think Bob Bradley did a very good job as the coach, but I think Klinsmann is just what the team needs now. It was a good start to a new era.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.
    Once again, Ridge favors MLS players far too much. Beckerman was overratted. While he did make stops and plugged the middle, he gave the ball away many many times. If you watch a replay of the game, count how many times he coughs it up. Real rating for him = 4. Jones was non existent for most of the game, but don't discount him as a good player. He has proved himself, and we must remember he has never been matched up with Beckerman. So really these ratings are really subjective considering some of these players have never played with each other. Robbie Rogers is not a 6! Yes he scored a tap in goal but all credit to Agudelo and Shae, not rogers. Yes he was pulled down on the break away but those are the only two events i knew he was on the field! Real rating =4. Torres was increadible. Ridge is critical of him in the first half but he was in the wrong position and even then he controlled the ball well. Yes the ball will get stolen from you when you are surrounded by 2 and 3 players with no one to pass to. In the 2nd half he showed what he can do. Retain possesion and distribute. He was cool under pressure and smooth on the ball. Real rating= 7. RIDGE'S RATING FOR THIS ARTICLE= 2 GET A CLUE RIDGE. AND LEARN THE GAME AS WELL.

  1. Rick Potts
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
    Did anybody see the sequence at midfield right before the US goal? There were 6 or 7 one and two touch passes that went right through the Mexican midfield down to the attacking third of the field. Why can't the US players figure it out? THAT is how you have to play....all the time.... to be successful against hi pressure teams. Also...CONCACAF reffing is the worst. No PK when Donavan was taking down and only a yellow for Rodgers breakaway jesrsey tug???? Criminal.....

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.
    >Andrew Post: Thanks for your comments. I agree that Ragin Ridge's ratings lack depth and analysis. But my question is why is he so darned priseful of Bradly Jr (4) who plays a half then gets yanked, while Castillo a 3, and "dodgedly" plays a full 90? Amazing! Maybe Banality Bradley will take him to Egypt (if BB gets that HC gig!) as his PR/Apologist.

  1. John Foust
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
    Just have a curious feeling that the assistants JK had last night are a marvelous mix, and are all either inside JK's thought process (Vasquez, Verstegen), or proven US-pedigree soccer DNA guys (Ramos, Dooley). Keeping close with Reyna brings true class and even more credibility. A good staff, which is an important part of moving the players forward.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
    I agree with the numbers for once, even though I could quibble with some of the comments. It will be interesting to see whether Jones, Buddle and Bradley are now history or whether JK will give them a second chance---Bradley perhaps in his natural defending role.

  1. Michael Metrik
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 3:13 p.m.
    The non-call on Donovan, I think, was a makeup call for the Mexican player getting dragged down by three guys at the other end about a minute earlier with no call. Donovan's was just more flagrant of an error.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.
    Ric Ronseca: I agree totaly about Ridge. He is a lot like many other soccer watchers her in the US. They really don't understand the game! They take one play or two and use that as the measuring mark for a player. They don't understand possesion or movement off the ball. Ridge praises Beckerman for holding the middle but doesn't hold him to a higher standered in that he turned the ball over numerous times. He states that Bradley was marking the goal scorer closely but fails to mention that bradley wasn't even watching the ball. In my opnion if you are going to rate players, then rate them on their whole performance not just one or two plays (ie Robbie Rogers).

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.
    One games rankings don't make or break a player, but I feel that these rankings were pretty accurate. I do understand the debate about Beckermann, but there is no debate that once Jones and Bob Jr. left the match, Beckermann was stellar.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
    Andrew P. -- agree totally. While I would agree that Torres had a difficult first half, Ridge consistently fails to recognize JT' skill and value. And he conveniently misses the fact that JT had two beautiful balls into the box. BTW Ridge, Landon hit the wall also!! --------Super -- a blog is a conversation, an exchange of opinions. If that environment is problematic, you might want to stick to your diary -- hopefully you'll have fewer reasons to disagree with what you read.

  1. Mj Lee
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 7:34 p.m.
    Because of the little league broadcast, my DVR lacked the first 25' of the game. Ridge's rankings are ok, but my concern is that the team played like a bunch of individuals. That makes sense if they are all trying to earn their spot in the new regime. Juergen giving chances to young players is a very good thing for WC2014. USMNT will be awesome if (1) Brek Shea and Agudelo have matured sufficiently by then, and (2) we have several solid, attacking center midfield options. The Q is: will Michael Bradley be in or out?

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: August 11, 2011 at 9:52 p.m.
    Ridge, I bet Klins gave Castillo and Torres a better rating than you did. I am willing to bet you anything they're here to stay along with Hercules and Corona also geting a spot on USA roster. How about it? If you lose you find another proffession that you're actually accurate at. If I lose. Well I'm not going to.

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: August 12, 2011 at 11:16 a.m.
    I think Ridge and ESPN's color analyst Jonh Harkes were a bit harsh in their rating or berating of Jermaine Jones. I agree, it wasn't his best game, but he did an admirable job of preventing Mexico penetraing into the U.S. final middle third of the field. I would have rated him a 4. M. Bradley on the other hand, should be rated a three. His inept marking on the Mexican goal, in addition to his poor distribution as an attacking midfielder qualifies him for this lower rating. Bradley will need to find a team soon if he expects to stay on the USMNT. I'll give Castillo the benefit of the doubt, since it was his first game with the USMNT in a while. If he gets called up in September, he'll play much better. Someone mentioned Cherundolo in over the hill. That may be a slight exxageration, but he still our best option at right back. It's obvious Buddle has difficulty working in tight quarters. He's not strong enough to hold off defenders. Rogers needs to prove himself over a couple of games before I'm convinced. I've liked Shea from MLS. I believe he's the real deal. It will be interesting to see an attack of Donovan, Dempsey, Shea, Torres and Altidore/Agudelo simultaneously. At the very least, their is some competition at all the positions on the pitch, which will also help to build depth on USMNT


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