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U.S. Player Ratings: Americans flunk Canada test
by Mike Woitalla, March 25th, 2012 3:10AM

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TAGS:  olympics

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[USA-CANADA REPORT CARD] Perhaps the Americans will bounce back, qualify for the Olympics, and the Nightmare in Nashville will be forgotten. But the creativity needed to unlock a defense-minded foe was lamentably lacking in the 2-0 loss to Canada. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players ...

Starters
GRADE PLAYER (CLUB/COUNTRY)
3 Bill Hamid (D.C. United).

Canada’s first goal came off a perfectly stuck corner kick from Philippe Davies, but goalkeepers must snatch corners that arrive within the goal area and Hamid didn’t come close to reaching the ball that Doneil Henry headed into the net.

4 Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact).
Helped create some attacks in the first half but when an opponent retreats as much as Canada did an outside back can be bolder.

3 Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes).
He lost his mark on the first goal for which Hamid earns most the blame but looked real bad on the second – stumbling while Lucas Cavallini scored with a diving header. Headed a Freddy Adu free kick into the net in the 48th minute but was offside.

4 Perry Kitchen (D.C. United).
Opara’s central defense partner broke up a rare threatening Canadian attack in the first half.

6 Jorge Villafana (Chivas USA).
The left back played solidly on defense and helped create forays down the flank, such as when he overlapped in the 65th minute to deliver a sharp low pass that set up the Boyd shot keeper Michal Misiewicz blocked with a nice diving save.

3 Jared Jeffrey (Mainz II/GER).
The nearly invisible midfielder coughed up the ball to create an Evan Jones chance in the 43rd minute and failed to contribute offensively.

3 Mix Diskerud (Gent/BEL).

Playing fairly deep in midfield, he sprayed around some accurate passes in the first half but disappeared in the second half. He reacted too late to the short corner kick that led to Canada’s insurance goal, allowing the cross from Davies.

5 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX).
Helped the USA dominate possession in the first half but his best effort on goal was a long-range shot straight to the keeper. Puzzling, though, that Coach Caleb Porter subbed at halftime the man who scored a hat trick two days earlier against Cuba.

4 Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union).
Struck some good passes – such as finding Shea across the field. But the Americans needed the right winger to take on and beat Canadians one-on-one and Adu wasn’t up to the task.

3 Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City)

Aside from a clever back-heel pass, the center forward was either deprived of service or unable to find the ball.

5 Brek Shea (FC Dallas).
The only senior national team regular on the field gets an E for Effort but his toil on the left wing bore no fruit. He had the equalizer on his left foot but shot into the side netting from 6 yards when he had enough time to unleash from a better angle with his right.

Subs:
6 Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim/GER).
In a game in which the Americans focused too much on attacking from the flanks, the halftime sub took players on down the middle and was the only American to dribble confidently.

4 Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund II/GER).
Forced one of keeper Misiewicz’s best saves but that was all for the German product.

3 Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union).

Replaced Jeffrey with 14 minutes left and the USA trailing. Added nothing to the comeback quest and got yellow-card.

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



4 comments
  1. Jim Hougan
    commented on: March 25, 2012 at 8:55 a.m.
    I'm not a huge fan of Adu, but he was much better than the commentator gives him credit. He consistently beat his marker on the flank, and repeatedly changed direction of the attack with pinpoint passes across the field. That nothing came of this is not his fault. It takes 11 to tango.
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 25, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
    I was not able to watch the game, but Mike's rating scares me about Hamid. He has been our #2 for the big team as of late.Should I start to pray for Tim Howard's good health and longevity?
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2012 at 6:48 p.m.
    Is it time to give the barrios a really deep look? We have the creativity in the states . We just dont want to use it. Wont be lpng now.
  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: March 26, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.
    @Walt: Guzan is still the "real #2." Hamid's been called in for friendlies, because it's better to have a prospect that could benefit from camps than to call Guzan far away and then not play him.

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