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U.S. Player Ratings: Americans rate average in home loss
by Mike Woitalla, October 12th, 2011 1:49AM

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TAGS:  men's national team

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[USA-ECUADOR REPORT CARD] The USA went scoreless for the third time in five games under Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players on their performance in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Ecuador in Harrison, N.J.

A 79th minute goal by Jaime Ayovi was all Ecuador needed to beat the USA. The 1-0 loss dropped the USA's record to 1-3-1 (win-loss-tie) under Klinsmann, who's seen his team score just twice in that run.

The USA won its first game under Klinsmann on Saturday, 1-0, over Honduras in Miami Gardens following 1-0 losses to Belgium and Costa Rica, and a 1-1 tie with Mexico.

USA-ECUADOR (0-1)
REPORT CARD

GRADE PLAYER (Team/Country) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG), 70/0.
He had to come out to the edge of the penalty area in the 3rd minute to punch away a through ball but otherwise saw little action. Faultless on the goal because it came from a perfectly placed header off a cross a keeper wouldn't be expected to come out for.

5 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover/GER), 76/2.
The right back was the USA's busiest defender in the first half and although speedy Jefferson Montero sped by him once Montero did no damage. Exchanged a nice series of passes with Danny Williams deep in Ecuador territory in the 35th minute before losing the ball. Sent a promising ball to Jozy Altidore in the 45th minute.

6 Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon/POR), 62/6.
The Ecuadorans didn't look very threatening down the middle and the center back stopped them when tested. He even broke up a 52nd-minute through ball with the back of his head. Tried to make an impact on set plays at the other end, but shot sloppy and way high from 15 yards after a corner kick scramble in the 75th minute. Got the ball to Dempsey for a futile last-gasp stoppage-time effort.

5 Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO), 98/12.
Onyewu's central defense partner had no problem fending off the Ecuadoran attack that preferred the flanks nor did he help out his midfield much when the USA had the ball. Yellow-carded for a crude, unnecessary tackle in Ecuador's half in the 62nd minute.

6 Tim Chandler (Nuremberg/GER), 6/0.
The left back held his own defensively and made enough forays to stand out on a team that threatens so infrequently. He combined well a couple of times with Brek Shea and a promising run down the flank in the 74th minute was stopped by a foul.

5 Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER), 2/0.
His highlight came in the 5th minute when he beat a foe in the midfield and stormed downfield and through the middle before finding Shea with a precise pass. He looked threatening again in the 30th minute only to lose his footing.

4 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 16/1.
Played as a deep defensive midfielder and helped keep make Bocanegra-Onyewu's job easier, but lost the ball too many times, such as in 62nd minute when the USA was in the midst of some rare combination play.

5 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO), 29/1.
With Beckerman covering behind him, Edu had the freedom to attack, but he orchestrated little, preferring to play the ball quickly. In the 28th minute, after a nice give-and-go between Shea and Dempsey, Edu squandered a chance by weakly one-touching a shot from Shea's pass.

6 Brek Shea (FC Dallas), 7/0.
Playing wide left in the attack, he sparked the attack early on. Shea's 5th-minute shot, from Williams' pass, forced a diving save from keeper Maximo Banguera -- the most spectacular U.S. chance -- although the replay indicates the shot may have been headed wide. He won two more corners, was fouled after a one-two with Altidore, and made way for DaMarcus Beasley at halftime.

6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG), 80/23.
Playing up front, behind Altidore in the first half and Juan Agudelo in the second, Dempsey looked the most composed of the U.S. attackers, such as in the 6th minute when he befuddled his foes with moves on the left flank. He sent promising passes to Shea and Edu, who was whistled offside in the 18th minute. His 30-yard volley in the 42nd minute went high and his stoppage-time effort hit the side-netting after a deflection.

4 Jozy Altidore (AZ/NED), 43/12.
He struck a rocket in the 1st minute that gave the game an exciting start, but from such a sharp angle that Banguera had to save. His back-heel on a give-and-go with Shea in the 19th minute was a rare example of Altidore getting near the ball in his 45 minutes of play.

Substitutes
5 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX), 95/17.
After coming on halftime on the left flank, the comeback veteran hit two long-range shots -- one horribly wide and another to the keeper. He did hit a low cross that led to a corner and a few crisp passes -- just enough to keep him in the picture.

6 Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona/ITA), 62/9.
His corner kicks -- except for the one he over-hit in stoppage time -- were well delivered and one of his free kicks flew just over the top right corner. A halftime sub, Bradley was active enough to earn a start next time.

4 Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City/ENG), 33/0.
After replacing right back Cherundolo at halftime, Spector gave Ecuador a chance when he headed a cross backward to Montero.

5 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), 15/2.
The young striker failed to get a shot on goal, but he won a couple corner kicks and found the ball more often than Altidore, whom he had replaced at halftime. It was his fifth appearance for Klinsmann off the bench. He deserves a start because shows well for the ball.

3 Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), 7/0.
He'll be the scapegoat for this loss because he was marking Jaime Ayovi when he headed a perfect cross from Walter Ayovi into the U.S. goal. That shouldn't detract from the fact that this team's problem is its futility on the other end of the field.



15 comments
  1. Mike Gaynes
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.
    Great to see Onyewu playing so well, cutting out passes and marking superbly -- he's also our best backline distributor, with a great passing touch. Ream's failure was no surprise -- he's a ballwatcher who marks poorly even at club level, and hopefully he joins Orozco Fiscal on the outside of the program. As to the attack, the US problem isn't the strikers... it's the central midfield, where Beckerman and Edu are simply not of sufficient quality to create anything. The returns of Donovan, Torres, perhaps Adu and finally Holden should help with that problem before we're too far into WC qualifying. I'd also like to see Williams given a chance in the middle -- his first touch and composure are excellent, but he lacks the speed for the flank.

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 8:04 a.m.
    Hi Mike I will have to disagree with you on Tim Reams, as it is he will be the best LCB for the MNT down the road.Donavan had made a statement after the game about the fact that Reams and other players need more time in the game, Klinsmann also stated this, part of the problem in the US is that there are very few starting American players in the MLS and only and handfull abroad.

  1. Paul Lorinczi
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
    Again, I don't understand how MB gets the ratings he does. HIs passing was very suspect. He could not thread one to Clint Dempsey. He makes a lateral and negative pass and everyone oohs and ahhs. He does not deserve a start because he slows down the American attack. I don't think he fits in the new system.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.
    Every counter-attacking sequence is testimony to lack of support for the ball carrier and poor decision-making in ball distribution to include an inability to feed the strikers with killer passes.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.
    I agree with Mike's ratings, but I'm with Paul L on M. Bradley. It seemed to me that our attack slowed significantly once he came into the game. His passes were back or square, and more importantly, his runs to demand every ball out of the back, took our other MF players out of the match with no space for them to operate.It appeared to me he was trying to do too much, perhaps trying to impress the new manager.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
    Here's something new: Mike Woitalla rating the players. I admit that I was working and did not see the game, but I did tivoed it so I save my comments for later. From the few highlights I did see, mostly from the second half, the team could've finished better. So hasta la vista....

  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
    How can a team score when it keeps turning the ball over with their passes. Then when a decent shot happens it is missed poorly. The mid-field play is poor. We will never go far with Bradley, Edu and Beckerman. They are not good enough to beat the top teams.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
    Beasley was under-rated and Michael Bradley, as usual, over-rated, and Mike was unnecessarily harsh on Tim Ream, even though he is not, at least as yet, national team material, but overall I cannot disagree.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
    Well he re we go again with the ratings. How did Bradley gets rated as high as Onyewu who had the best performance plus heart and soul? Or rated even with Dempsey, Chandler and Shea? Give us a break and please stop insulting our intelligence, you moron. Even the commentators especially Jorge Ramos (whom I have an utmost respect for) noted that after Edu vacating the midfield with Bradley coming the cohesion was much lacking in midfield. He still plays backward not forward out of the midfield almost the old style of the Italian "catenaccio". Maybe that is why he fits in Chievo Verona as it's coach is derived from that area. That doesn't mean I'd discard Bradley I would try him as a right back I am sure he'd better than the two that played against Ecuador. Futheremore I have stated after the game with Honduras, that Altidore seems to play well with AZ but with the National Team. Also Beckerman a "no go". And Cherendulo had his days, besides bad defense and bad passing his corner kicks were just a waste. I do not understand why he kept on taking the corner kicks? To go further I would try and go with Diskerud, Corona, Salgado, Gil and so forth or whatever youngsters we have.

  1. John Soares
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
    Even though there are several alternatives. Bradley has played 4 of last 6 games, starting 2. So.... either: A he is a very good player: B Klinsmann is a terrible judge of ability, therfore a worthless coach: C Those that continually put him down (perhaps? with bias toward the father) are idiots. It's multiple choice gentlemen.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 3:03 p.m.
    BTW I forgot, It's time to use some forwards that will score not just have a ticket to watch the game. In other words what ever happened to the so-called attacking style? We need attacking midfield with style and some goal scorers on the front; unrestrictive game that the US players favor. I'd like to respond to J.Soares. A)Bradley has never been a great player and never will be. I am not saying he is bad but his is not a first string International player that will combat other top International players. He is a good third string and second string at best but that is not good enough to beat other top rated countries (and that goes for Beckerman, Beasley and several others---see my previous ratings). B)While I have favored Bradley's replacing with anyone not just Klinsman (even my 12 year old son). But Klinsman is the choice we must support him and I do. But time will tell. (I had a similar support for Bradley until......) C) The nepotism designation has been gone and stop bringing up water under the bridge situations. The last I heard we already haved a new coach and mess and media has the right to criticize Bradley and all the other players, you may want to read some my comments on and comments of others. Obrigado!

  1. Roger Sokol
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 4 p.m.
    I agree with Super Man -- choice C is right. Whatever you think of Michael Bradley, he has been a star with Herrenveen in Holland, consistently started for a lower Bundesliga side, and is now starting for a lesser Serte A side. I don't get all worked up with player ratings anyhow. The important thing, right now, is that the MNT is making progress in implementing JK's style of play. I think took a step forward -- had lots of spells of good possession, came out strong, and generally defended well. To me, the highlight was Onyewu's performance against a pretty capable SA side.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: October 12, 2011 at 9:40 p.m.
    Bradley a 6! How much BS is that!!?? He's terrible! He did nothing for the team in fact possesion and opportunities decreased significantly when he entered the game. I'm so tired of Soccer America prasing poor american players like bradley. I thought Edu and Shae were increadible and Bradley was his typicle awful self.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: October 13, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.
    Spector was awful and looked extremely nervous.

  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: October 13, 2011 at 12:42 p.m.
    I can't see Bradley getting rated as high as Onyewu, but he had more passes incomplete than Edu mostly because he *attempted* many more passes than Edu (about twice as many, in the same amount of time). Also, many of his passes were square (which you want out of a d-mid), but some were not, and in fact he had 2 "key passes" (passes that directly set up a shot), to Edu's none. Lastly, if you don't like Bradley's game, it seems hard to come down on Beckerman, because his game is more or less the 'antidote' for it. He's not nearly as hard-running as Bradley (and thus won't be as available for the ball or break up as many plays), but he's more patient on the ball and takes care of it better.


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