[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
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.
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.)