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U.S. player ratings
by Ridge Mahoney, November 11th, 2011 7:21PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france, men's national team

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[USA-FRANCE REPORT CARD] Another inept USA offensive performance yielded a 1-0 loss to France in which the Americans spent most of the game defending and managed just five shots. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...

Starters:
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
7 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG, 71/0).
He was about all that stood between France and a comfortable win, and his spectacular block of a fierce Karim Benzema free kick headed for the top corner exemplified his performance.

5 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER, 77/2). France caused the USA problems on the corners and while often stranded Cherundolo coped, just barely, and in the second half he added some attacking bite to the right flank.

4 Clarence Goodson (Broendby/DEN, 26/3). He spoiled an otherwise decent performance by bouncing off Loic Remy and falling to the grass as Remy collected a bouncing ball and fired home the game-winner.

5 Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO, 99/12). Came to the rescue a few times with decisive tackles and strong headers, but lost two aerial duels: one that set up Benzema to head a shot off the bar, and a second that led to France’s goal.

4 Tim Chandler (Nuremberg/GER), 7/0). Ineffective going forward and shaky trying to fend off France’s forays on the flanks, this wasn’t a game to promote his left-back candidacy.

4 Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER, 3/0). Impressive with his energy but not so much his touch and positioning, he seldom dribbled into or found a good attacking spot, and didn’t deliver an effective cross.

4 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, 17/1). He helped the USA cause with his busyness in the defensive and middle thirds, but moments like the one where he lost the ball in a bad spot then gave away a free kick with a jersey tug keep cropping up.

5 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO, 30/1). Looked solid defensively except for French flurry early in second half; he escaped pressure from two opponents with spin move that sent a murmur through the crowd. Gave away decisive free kick with overly muscular shoulder charge.

4 Brek Shea (FC Dallas, 8/0).  Perhaps he’s not recovered from playoff exhaustion; he was overwhelmed trying to defend and, offensively, poor touches at critical moments hampered his efforts.

6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG, 81/23). Smacked to the turf numerous times by late, cynical challenges, Dempsey utilized a lot of slick, clever touches to give some sparkle to a dull USA attack.

6 Jozy Altidore (AZ/NED, 44/12). Like Dempsey, Altidore exuded confidence and played to his strengths by holding up the ball and linking with teammates. Probably drew a penalty when he split two defenders, and also shot wide after evading another double-team.

Substitutes:
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
5 Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER, 13/1). As usual, a bit of hit-and-miss; completely botched a pass that could have sprung an attack down the right flank, yet he also raced back to clear away a ball after Bocanegra slipped.

5 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX, 95/17). His pace and energy might have yielded something if given more time but his entry in the 71st minute didn’t offer him enough situations except for a well-hit corner kick that nobody got to.

4 Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER, 1/0). He looked a bit lost as France battened down the midfield with its 1-0 lead.

NR Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt/GER, 9/2). Nice dribble into the box evaded two defenders but he couldn’t threaten the goal.

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



0 comments
  1. David Warren
    commented on: November 11, 2011 at 10:01 p.m.
    Wow, 4 are really really high scores for Williams and Chandler. Chandler had by far his worst game. He cannot play the ball with his left foot and that is showing itself as a huge liability at LB as he simply cannot cross the ball and opponents know it. His ridiculous dribble with the ball was another bad sign. Williams was easily the worst of the 22 on the pitch and was just totally outclassed out there. He gave the ball away again and again and again and could not even make simple square passes without massively overhitting the ball. I was shocked he was allowed to start the 2nd half.

  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: November 11, 2011 at 10:49 p.m.
    You can't create chances when you have no mids to deliver the clever ball... Not near enough one touch passing, nor attacking movement off the ball.

  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: November 11, 2011 at 11:57 p.m.
    See nothing different with Klinsman as coach. Bring Bob Bradley back.

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 12:36 a.m.
    Bob Bradley would have played his son in an attacking capacity and we would have lost 2 or 3-0, death by counter attack. So no, bringing Bob Bradley back is a bad suggestion. Thankfully, that will never happen.

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 2:08 a.m.
    R2 Dad, I somewhat disagree with you. No, we do not need to bring Bob Bradley back but I do think that Michael Bradley would have done a better job than Beckerman and Jones. I think that Beckerman has had enough opportunities to prove himself and he has not. Time and time again he has given the ball away on crucial times, and he does not have creative passes but the short and near ones. His position is like that of a quarter back whose job is to find receivers in worthwhile, gainful positions, and he does not fit the needs. Also, a lot of praise is always heaped upon Dempsey whom I agree is a great player with tremendous skills but he only really plays when he wants to. He is a lazy player who has an air of " I am better than anyone else, and I don't have to do anything else but score goals!" He does get fouled a lot but a lot of times he acts like a cry baby, always complaining to the refs like a lot of the Europeans and Argentinians do. We need men in men's soccer, not sissies!

  1. tim francis
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 5:31 a.m.
    The US still doesn't understand or be skillful enough to play solid possession or attacking games, although there were glimmers of hope--the number of 50-50 attempts were drastically reduced. France much more often showed the finely tuned, fast-feinted-pass-and-move-to-channel movement needed to penetrate tightly packed space. Altadore had one of his best games, but needs at least three other players with his athleticism and skill to consistently threaten. I agree with Raveen's comments about MBradley,although they may be a bit exaggerated about Dempsey's whining. Has anyone seen NCAA's top teams lately? There is definitely some of what the US needs there in players who've been taught right from young ages. I hope Klinsman has his feelers out for a fresh look.

  1. cony konstin
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
    no creativity. no imagination. Defend Defend Defend. Is US soccer's mantra. Thank you Howard for saving us again from getting slaughtered. It doesn't matter who is coaching the US National Team. You can not win a world cup unless you have some special players and everyone on the team must have the ability to attack. We are not there yet but to get there we need radical change. The change must happen by creating a soccer revolution in the US. Our players are naive and predictable. It is not there fault. Our system is to blame for our lack of vision, creativity and one dimensional play. We have no style or self identity. Our players are ok but not good enough. Again it is not their fault. WE NEED RADICAL CHANGE!!!!!!

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.
    Ridge, you say we defended the entire match and had no real attack.I agree. Howard was great,probably deserves a 9 rating,without him,we lose 2 or 3-0. You give no credit at all to the rest of our defenders who were under pressure the entire match yet give the highest ratings to our two forwards?Huh? I thought our defensive positioning,shape organization and determination while defending 70% of the time was the best I've seen so far under Klinsi.It is difficult for defenders to get forward when under so much pressure. I thought they all deserved higher ratings except for Bocanegro. I thought he was the weak point, especially as the game wore on. I don't think Alidore is suited to be a lone striker. Would love to see him with a strike partner (Gomez.)Cony and Tim you are right, we are still waiting for the special players to lift us to the next level.Until then, we have to make do with what we have. I think Klinsi is on the right path.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
    Raveen is so right about Dempsey although I do like him but I have been thinking the same especially the games w/o Donovan where he seems to act like a "prima donna". Donovan rejecting a crucial game like that doesn't sit well with me either, he is also getting very erratic and performing way below his ususal part of the yester-years. He used to be (probably stil is) my favorite but the MLS final is next Sunday then he will have a long vacation until March. Michael Bradley would not have been any better he has shown his OK but a vey mediocre style of plays in the past. While I wouldn't discard him and once again I have stated several times that he should play in defense. Beckerman while I thought he played his most visible and best game in the US jersey, but that even was subpar. Shea is only plays well if he plays upfront he played too much and mostly helping the defense. I expected more from Chandler and

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.
    Continue...and we missed Onyewu send Goodson to Siberia once and for all. Some of the comments hit it right on the head basically we have problem with the selection of the players. We need the influx of some of the upcoming youngsters. If we loose we might as well loose with them getting them experienced. And if no sucsess, well we have tried... Anything is better than what we have now. Look at all the top teams in the world, are regrouping with majority of untried and upcoming youngsters in spite of their quasi success. We are on the other hand keep on trying retrain and retain the "has been" old horses. Remember you can't teach and old dog a new trick, so why exalt yourself, just move on. Hope JK will realize that sooner than later! We have the road of detour JK so we must take another road. BTW I still have a hope that JK will prevail the question is when? Hope not to late when we may loose some "other young Rossi(s)". I am looking forward to Paul GARDNER'S COMMENTS.

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
    I thought Beckerman was absolutely awful. He was a pylon in the midfield; the French just passed and dribbled around him. With the ball, Beckerman was equally awful. Few composed touches. Had me wishing Michael Bradley was there.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.
    Defensively the US played well as evidenced by the boo's emanating from the French Fans until the goal was scored. They did this will actually TRYING to carry the ball out of the back. There were real moments, stress "moments", when they actually looked like they knew what they were doing. Unfortunately it fell apart when a good touch was needed or a quick pass or some creativity. These problems aren't new and will not disappear soon!!! Recognition that we have been failing in the task of creating truly skillful players is still NEW among the coaching establishment. For some it still has occurred. It will take time for that recognition to translate into actual players. In the meantime, JK has what he has -- two above average veterans (Donovan and Dempsey), two strong possibilities (Aguedelo and Torres) and a lot of maybe's. This might be tolerable if he had all the time in the world but he doesn't!! The "boo-birds" are already beginning to warm up, Lalas prominent among them. Most people recognize that to move from the level the US is at to a higher level, will require a step backwards, as we develop a more skill oriented team and strategy. Unfortunately, JK will somehow have to accomplish that feat while still getting a few wins AND do that without resorting to the old school tactics. I predict that the likes of Ridge Mahoney will be calling for JK's head before the end of the year.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 4:58 p.m.
    I just watched England defend for 80 min and come away with a 1-0 win.In the course of the game,I saw no better from England v. Spain than from the USA v. France. I'll bet though, in England they are celebrating a great victory and there are no thoughts of removing Capello. Makes me think, what if the deserved PK foul against Jozy had been called and we somehow escaped with a 1-1 tie.Would all the critics still be talking?Would then that make us a world class team on par with France?Lets' all be patient, this project is going to take time.

  1. Daniel Clifton
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 6:33 p.m.
    I have to agree with Kony Constin. We need radical change, which I believe Jurgen Klinsmann can bring. My take on Klinsmann is that his regime will not be judged so much by the results of his team, which probably won't be that great, but how he can influence changes in the development of young players, along with people who are already involved such as Claudio Reyna and Tab Ramos. I just don't think there are enough good players for Klinsmann to have a great record here. The game against France, the US played some good defense. I don't understand the selection of so many defensive midfielders. Basically the whole midfield was made up of defensive minded midfielders it seemed to me. The two young Germans are not ready yet. Kyle Beckerman shouldn't be starting. Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu are better than him. But again why do you want two of them on the field at the same time. I thought Jozy Altidore played really well, and should have had a penalty kick. But there was no one up there with him. The offense got noticeably better when Edson Buddle came in. Clint Dempsey was the recipient of alot of fouling, some of it very cynical. But he really didn't help much.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
    Many good comments; Bob Bradley was not the cause of everything wrong with the national team and JK will not make everything better. JK needs time, and he is trying some new players, so he deserve our support, but my main concern with his player selection is that he seems to be looking at a number of Germans who are not good enough for the German national team but happen to have an American connection. I'm opposed to this on two grounds; first, most of them seem solid, but not really anything better than we have (Chandler seems to have the most promise, but he did not have a great game and he does favor his right foot pretty heavily, which is painful to watch when he plays left back; maybe Cherundolo on the left and Chandler on the right?). Second, philosophically I feel like people on the national team should be Americans, meaning that they grew up here. Thomas Dooley demonstrated that it is possible for someone who grew up in Germany to be a great addition to the US National team, but I think they should really be special for us to favor them over players raised in the American culture. If players raised in Germany by American parents always dreamed of playing for the US, then I'm all for them being given equal footing, I just object to the idea that the rejects (maybe too harsh a word) from the German National Team are better than anything we can produce. So while I don't mind JK trying these guys out, if they don't show something special pretty early (and few have, so far), let's move on. For example, Jermaine Jones is a decent enough player, but Bradley, Edu and even Beckerman are better (Jones covers a lot of ground but his passing is horribly inconsistent, even when under no pressure).

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 12, 2011 at 11:33 p.m.
    Bradley is better than beckerman, yet the big questions are, team shape, team mobility, a creative penetrating MF and better ball distribution between the MF and the strikers...efficacy when needed and where are the numbers on the counter?

  1. Jim Ngo
    commented on: November 13, 2011 at 12:07 p.m.
    When Bradley was fired it seemed like I was the only one who thought that he was unfairly blamed for lack of skilled U.S. players. It wasn't Bradley's fault that Americans can't trap or make a mid- or long-range pass or take on 1v1. Bradley had his faults, to be sure, but he recognized better than Klinsmann that the U.S. is successful with short, quick passing to unbalance defenses and create the 2v1, 3v2 and 4v3 opportunities. Right now, U.S. players just aren't skilled enough for 1v1 or 1v2. Daniel Clifton, the reason why you see so many "defensive midfielders" is not necessarily because of selection. It's because the team as a whole isn't skilled enough so they are playing defense most of the game. Sometimes "defensive midfielder" is just a euphemism for "unskilled midfielder." Walt, I think the no-call against Jozy was correct. He cut back and ran into the defender who had no time nor any obligation to move from the spot he was already occupying.

  1. John DiFiore
    commented on: November 13, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.
    Onyewu would not have made Goodsens mistake. Nor would have Omar Gonzalez...

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: November 13, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
    Clint Dempsey was the man of the match for the USA. Anyone who understands the game, understands that France cut him down every time he had possession of the ball. Jozy Altidore also played very well (and I have been a huge critic in the past). Beckermann was ROCK SOLID in positional play and covering behind Edu. I wonder how many of you have ever actually played the game to be so blind to those three realities.

  1. michael robinson
    commented on: November 13, 2011 at 6:22 p.m.
    Hmmm...possession, possession, possession...did I mention possession? Emulate the best - study Barcelona, study Spain...work the ball thru your defensive players more...stretch out and wear out the other team. Also, who do we have that inspires fear in the other team? Who is our Messi?, our Ronaldo?, our Suarez? I got news for you - it's not Altidore...bench him. Develop some young guns up front. May I suggest Luis Gill from Real Salt Lake?

  1. Matthew Kolesky
    commented on: November 13, 2011 at 6:27 p.m.
    The USA MNT peaked at the the confederations cup with the 3-0 win over Egypt and the 2-0 win over spain and the narrow 3-2 loss to Brazil in the finals. Of course winning the group thanks to Robert Green was still nice. I was at the game at Stade de France. Bill A, I like Beckerman but he was overmatched. I'm not sure how you can say he was ROCK SOLID? He is talented but he needs to grow much more on the Int'l level and I hope this game and Slovenia help him. Jozy, Clint and Howard were the highlights for sure. I agree with Jim Ngo that the US still lacks the skill to play the style that Klinsman thinks it can. The French attack on the wings and the slow build up attacks were handled well by the US defense, it was the quick attacks that caused problems for us. I hope we can get something from Slovenia.


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