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U.S. player ratings
by Paul Kennedy, May 27th, 2012 2:28AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, scotland

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[USA-SCOTLAND REPORT CARD] It's hard to remember two Americans having better games the same evening as Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley did in Saturday's 5-1 win over Scotland in Jacksonville, Fla. And Jermaine Jones was no slouch either. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the U.S. players ...

USA Starters:
RATING PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG). 74/-
Could do nothing on the Scotland goal and otherwise had nothing to do.

6 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER). 80/2
Started to move forward late in first half as the USA took over the game.

5 Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo). 4/0
Unlucky to have Kenny Miller's header deflect off his chest into the goal but should have never allowed the Scotsman to be so free.

6 Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO). 102/12
Got the job done without much trouble the few times the Scots penetrated into the U.S. third.

6 Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER). 4/0
Has only two starts at left back for the USA but you can pencil him in as the starter there for many years to come. Again showed tremendous pace getting forward.

6 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO). 33/1
Played in front of the backline and behind Jones and Bradley for much of the game. Had decent match on the ball but rarely pressured by Scots. Came back to take the ball away after being dispossessed late in first half

9 Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona/ITA). 65/10
Has now put together the best back-to-back games of his U.S. career. It was all the little things in the 1-0 win over Italy in February. Scotland game will be remembered for his spectacular half-volley but he also helped set up all three Donovan goals. His confidence on the ball has increased considerably since move to Chievo Verona.

8 Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER). 17/2
Might be a maniac on the field but can absolutely dominate weaker opponents like Scotland. Laid ball off to Donovan on first goal, put the ball on a plate for Bradley's goal, found Donovan in space for third U.S. goal and scored on a delicate header to make it 5-1.

9 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy). 139/49
Was a little lucky to get rebound of his own shot to score first goal. Unlucky, though, not to have a fourth goal when he hit the post in the second half. Ball lofted in for Jones' goal was a gem.

7 Jose Torres (Pachuca/MEX). 15/0
Helped win possession on critical early goal when Scots tried to play ball out of the back. Unlucky when his quickly taken free kick hit the bar in the first half. Often tucked in from his position on left wing. Importance of his composure on the ball can't be underestimated. Best ball freed Donovan for shot off post.

5 Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund II/GER). 2/0
Justified start with his physical presence. Got off several attempts but failed to connect. Touch failed him while free late in first half.

SUBS:
6 Herculez Gomez (Santos/MEX). 9/2
Laid ball off for Bradley to spring Donovan on goal seconds after entering the game, then won ball for Donovan, whose cross found Jones for fifth goal.

5 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) 19/1
Header started play that led to goal for Donovan's hat trick.

5 Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting/POR). 63/6
Half hour was a good exercise with four games to play over next two and a half weeks.

5 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX). 1/0
Didn't have much of an impact after coming on for Torres.

5 Brad Guzan (free agent). 20/-
Like Howard, had nothing to do in goal.

5 Edgar Castillo (Tijuana/MEX). 4/0
All the action had taken place by the time he came on for Johnson.

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



16 comments
  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.
    Donovan was pumping beautiful crosses in and thumping the woodwork and scoring three goals. Jeez, guys, what does it take to get a "10" out of you? There's no charge for it.

  1. Mike Gaynes
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.
    Yep, it was great to see the JK attack finally click as designed, and great to see Landon explode back to the top of his game. But the best part of this game was watching Michael Bradley again shove it down the throats of all the idiots who have been yammering for years that his US place was about nepotism rather than quality. The first American to truly succeed in Serie A came home to score one of the most spectacular goals in US history – better than Feilhaber, better than Preki against Brazil, better than anything we’ve seen since Caliguiri. And Bradley also assisted on goals 3 and 4 and helped set up goals 1 and 5. What an absolutely dominating performance. It was also delightful to see a real live attacking fullback in a US uniform for the first time in memory – geez, it's great to have Johnson – and a wonderful surprise to see such offensive elegance from Jones to go with his usual hackism. The only downside was, as usual, in central defense – Onyewu is still clearly two steps slow, and Cameron looked utterly lost on the own goal.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.
    Donovan only got a 9 because his would be 4th goal hit the woodwork. A true 10 would have finished it...(Kyr-Roger, you could also remind Paul K of Donovan's 2 assists!). I guess a 10 is one of those mythical beasts (perhaps the same performance against Brazil would suffice?). Although your description for Howard's performance was brilliant, a 5 seems unfair to players like Howard (and some of the subs) who didn't really get a chance to do anything. NR seems more accurate.

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
    I think it's absolutely clear that Boyd is just not ready for this level yet. Maybe in the future, but he doesn't belong there yet.

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
    I only hope that the Scots aren't really as bad as they looked last night. Perhaps they aren't that good and then our team's performance gave them that extra bit of pathetic-ness they showed. Sure makes the Brazil game a little less intimidating going in. Hopefully they won't make us look like we made the Scots look last night. I think a win against Brazil is too much to ask (plus let's save those for 2014!) however if we can stay with Brazil and score against them as well, that would show nice progress. I'd like to see a 2-2 draw or even 3-2 loss as signs of success. Scoring a couple goals against Brazil would confirm an emerging offensive prowess. Of course, any better scoreline would be fantastic!

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:39 a.m.
    I can't remember a better looking performance by our team that wasn't against some Concacaf island of 2 million people. This was Scotland. #48 in the world. We shouldn't destroy a team of that pedigree 5-1 (and frankly it could/should have been 6 or 7 to zero).

  1. Lisa Drake
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 12:38 p.m.
    "Tom" Howard?

  1. Geno Genowicz
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.
    I'd rather watch Boyd grow than continue to watch Altidore flail about as he usually does at this level. Boyd brought creative energy and appears to be just as strong. Remember this wasmhhisfirst start, so of course he'd be a bit nervy. Having said that, I continue to wait for Dempsey & Donovan up top. I think it's silly how some of the press have tried to stir up controversy between them when none apparently exists. Both are pure pros, which is nice to be able to say about American players.

  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.
    Tim.

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.
    Well, Altidore finally had a very productive season in Europe, so there is everyone reason to hope that he will do well for the national team.

  1. Eric in DC
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.
    Scott, don't overdo it. In CONCACAF, Scotland would be on par with Jamaica, and the Hondurans too would kick their butts. Are the Scots even in the Euro this year?

  1. Kenneth Barr
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 10:49 p.m.
    Even though Scotland is in rebuilding mode, anytime five goals are scored by the traditionally anemic USA offense attention must be paid. It was an excellent performance against a team we should beat at home.

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.
    Mike, I don't think the Michael Bradley issue was completely down to nepotism insomuch that Bradley couldn't play. It was mostly that Bob was playing him out of position, in an attacking role. His season at Chievo in a defensive spot has sharpened his skills (thankfully), giving him experience and confidence, but it's also that he's playing a more restrained defensive position instead of having the free rein to run all over the pitch like he used to when Bob was coach. And let's not too carried away. Scotland is rebuilding--it's not like that happened against Italy Spain or Germany. That said, the team seems to be more creative going forward. Now, let's see how we match up to Brazil.

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: May 27, 2012 at 11:29 p.m.
    R2Dad, Agreed on the Michael Bradley comment. He was never an attacking center mid (as bad as his dad wanted him to be that player), and did NOT have the discipline to hold the center UNTIL he gained the experience in Italy. I also credit Jurgen Klinsmann for sending a very strong message to him at the start of the new regime to go out and "change his game". Bradley was very professional in how he handled that challenge, and it has shown in the last two matches, and in his professional club career. KUDOS

  1. Jogo Bonito
    commented on: May 28, 2012 at 7:54 p.m.
    Yea I wonder if we're that good or Scotland was that awful. I'm sure it's a little of both. I was very critical of Michael Bradley the last few years only because I felt he didn't deserve to be the mainstay he was - in the position he was playing under his Dad's tenure as coach. But he had an outstanding game. Jurgen has now put his stamp on this team and it's a much more professional style of play. Reminds me of how the US developed into a real team when Bora took over in the early 90's. I love seeing players like Torres and Gomez getting a legitimate shot at a spot and not the insincere "look" Bob Bradley gave them before the WC. Hopefully more games like this ahead!

  1. soccer know it all
    commented on: May 28, 2012 at 10:50 p.m.
    what are we witnessing as US Soccer fans? Jurgen klinsmann modeled his 06 german team from that of the top flight teams in the epl. he asked his germans to play ungermanlike uptempo, highpressure, possession style similar to man united, arsenal,an chelsea. he has now modeled another team to play not like a national team style(american) if you will, but an epl team similar to chelsea or man united. I always felt that building a team using this model would be preferrable as these teams play year round and are superior to national teams in style of play, cohesion, and effectiveness. gl JK with the progress to 2014 WC


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