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U.S. Report Card: Wondo's hat trick paces rout of Belize
by Ridge Mahoney, July 10th, 2013 3:22PM

TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team


By Ridge Mahoney

After failing to score in his first 11 U.S. appearances, Chris Wondolowski upped his goal tally to four in two games by nailing a hat trick against Belize in the USA's 6-1 win over the Jaguars in the Gold Cup Group C opener. His hat trick earned him the highest U.S. ratings, but just about every player scored well against overmatched opposition.

U.S. Starters:
6 Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) 8/0. Seldom called into action, but turned away a deflected shot and well-hit blast with sparking saves at full extension.

6 Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg/GER) 13/0. Crisply assisted on third U.S. goal with an accurate cross to the near post for Wondolowski to head in. He played a lot of intelligent passes into the middle and up the wing and only rarely looked stretched defensively.

6 Michael Orozco Fiscal. (Puebla/MEX) 6/2.  Powered home a point-blank header from a Donovan feed for the fifth goal, had to scramble a few times when misplays opened up a gap for Belize, but kept a tight leash on Deon McCaulay much of the time.
6 Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) 37/4. Used the ball well and caused Belize problems by delivering passes out of the back and applying pressure from the left channel. Veered into the middle to drill a 35-yarder over the bar. Slow reaction caused momentary panic in the U.S. goalmouth but he did a lot of sweeping that blunted Belize’s rare attacks.

5 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX) 105/17. Very active on the left flank, pushing forward to work combinations and dropping back to provide an outlet for buildups out of the back. Had a bit of trouble closing down opposing wide players.

6 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) 27/1. Set up a goal for Wondolowski with an excellent serve from the right flank and contributed a heady mix of short first-time balls and longer deliveries into the attacking third.

6 Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/NOR) 5/1. He and Beckerman interchanged roles and positions seamlessly, and when the deeper of the pair Diskerud swept up a lot of balls. He also hit a good shot from distance that the keeper covered. He laid on a nice pass that Donovan turned to hit on frame.

6 Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX) 6/0. Delivered an impressive array of balls from the right side, opened up space for Parkhurst and other teammates, and evaded numerous challenges with nifty moves. His header set up the first U.S. goal. He hit a fierce shot that unluckily struck an opponent on its way toward the net.

5 Jose Torres (Tigres/MEX) 22/0. Poor finishing detracted from a solid game on the wing. He burst past Elroy Smith to deliver a cross that led to the first goal and provided several bright moments, but squandered two excellent opportunities to score his first U.S. goal.

7 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 146/52. Capped off the rout by converting from the penalty spot after notching two assists to increase his all-time leading figure to 51. The mobility and sharpness and acceleration weren’t quite vintage Donovan but more than good enough to frazzle this weak opponent.

8 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 13/4. He pumped up his confidence by slamming home a sitter when Corona’s header was blocked, and then buried Belize with two Wondo-esque headers. His movement off the ball and touches during combination play helped the U.S. pad the three goals he provided in the first half.

U.S. Substitutes:
6 Stuart Holden (Bolton/ENG) 19/3. Meshed well with teammates and added life to central midfield, got his first goal since 2009 by striding forward to bang home a Donovan feed.

5 Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborg/SWE) 16/0. Jumped right into the fray by scrapping for a ball near the end line and his energy turned up the pressure on Belize.

5 Brek Shea (Stoke City/ENG) 18/0. Physical forays down the left wing added to Belize’s woes.

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

  1. Tim Nolan
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 4:33 p.m.
    Didn't Bedoya score the other night against Guatemala??? It should say 16/1...Most of the grades here are right on give or take a point here and there...I think Beasley deserves more than a five even if he had a couple of moments. Anytime he breaks into the attack the USMNT is super dangerous and he changes the game. I love that Holden is fitting and has looked fantastic. Great for him to get on the score sheet.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
    Team effort was pretty solid and ratings for me don't really give a fair perspective; player value should be measured when the moment counts. Can this team perform in this manner against higher level competition? That is the big question; we know they can dismember a mediocre squad.
  1. Mike Sullivan
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 4:56 p.m.
    Either Parkhurst, Orozco or Beckerman should get a healthy negative for failing to mark Gaynair on that set piece. He was a stationary mark and was wide open. No excuse for that goal to happen.
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.
    This IMO needs to be said, Donovan and Holden really seem to enjoy playing together! Their individual creativity compliments the other's in a way I haven't seen from other combinations up the middle. Klinns should employ their Belize game alignment for the rest of the GC, and plug-in the others and their opportunities around them.
  1. Merrill Ring
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.
    "The mobility and sharpness and acceleration weren’t quite vintage Donovan but more than good enough to frazzle this weak opponent". Oh come on Mahoney. You have been bad-mouthing Donovan since Klinsmann wouldn't invite him to the A team. Did you actually count the number of touches Donovan took last night? How he was in effect the target man, checking back to let Wondo run free? etc. You are determined to downplay him no matter what. Zusi is fine but he isn't and will never be a Donovan.
  1. Alex G. Sicre
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 9:50 p.m.
    I agree with you Merrill, ragin ridge is anti Donovan and every body knows it. Donovan still has pace and great all around skills and will help this team like nobody else can. Beasley, a 6 at least. Holden is definitely coming back strong. Hooray for Wondo, great hat trick.
  1. Bruce Gowan
    commented on: July 10, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.
    Since the opponent was weak I can only compare US players to other US players. Diskerud did a far better job than Beckerman and Holden did better than both of them. I liked what Shea did on the outside right. The backs did not get tested much so I can not evaluate them except that they gave up a goal.
  1. James Hardern
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.
    So let me get this straight, although Belize is not Spain the US wins 6-1 and this guy gives out mostly 5's and 6's - WTF? I would expect those ratings if we had drawn or just barely beaten them. Most of these guys should have earned 7's; the game was never in doubt and the only miscue was Gaynair going unmarked. Holden and Donovan should have 8's and Beez should have been higher. Get a clue...
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
    Always said that LD needs 30-40 touches in a game to contribute. As for Mr. Harden, his perception is in line with the TV commentary which is overly positive. Perhaps he should be more aware of the decision-making process and efficacy, rather than a play or two.
  1. James Madison
    commented on: July 11, 2013 at 3:03 p.m.
    I am with Mark Sullivan. Someone should have gotten "points off" for allowing Gaynair to convert a DFK into a goal.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 12, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.
    Mr. A. Sicre indicated that "...that LD has pace and great skills...." Sounds like the typical MLS TV commentary. It's obvious LD has more passion and his skills are "not vintage" as posted by Mr. King.

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