[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.
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.
5Maurice 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.
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.