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U.S. Player Ratings: Shea, Donovan, Goodson star in shutout
by Ridge Mahoney, July 17th, 2013 1:39PM

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By Ridge Mahoney

A counterattack goal set up by Landon Donovan's crossfield pass enabled Brek Shea to score his first international goal in a 1-0 defeat of Costa Rica Tuesday in the Gold Cup finale for both teams.

Sean Johnson’s save of a Carlos Johnson header led to the counterattack in the 82nd minute. Shea, one of three substitutes used by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, raced up field to put away Donovan’s pass.

Chris Wondolowski’s run of scoring in consecutive games ended at three. He fired over the crossbar on a good feed from Alejandro Bedoya with his best chance of the match.

Starters:
RATING PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
6 Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) 4/0. A solid game highlighted by his spectacular reflex save that tipped Carlos Johnson’s header onto the crossbar. He smothered a few other easy shots comfortably, and usually positioned himself well. Shanked one clearance into the stands off his left foot but on a couple of other occasions slung the ball out wide accurately.

5 Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg/GER) 14/0. Hard work offensively kept Costa Rica scrambling to suppress his pushes forward. Tested the opposition with a few crosses though seldom found space to reach the byline. Won a lot of battles defensively but late reactions to a few passing sequences gave the opposition too much space and time.

6 Michael Orozco (Puebla/MEX) 8/2. A smart, sound job defensively helped the Americans contain Costa Rica for much of the match. His positioning and quick reactions neutralized the opponent’s attempts to service a lone striker deployed in a rigid 5-4-1 formation. He is rather quietly moving up the depth chart at centerback.

7 Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) 38/4. He marshaled the defense well, instructing his back-line mates when to step up or deciding if he or Orozco should drop. Served several good balls out of the back out wide for Jose Torres or DaMarcus Beasley and also connected up the middle a few times. Headed back a corner kick that produced a shot on goal and denied Costa Rica by clearing numerous crosses.

6 DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/MEX) 106/17. Active and aggressive offensively in the first half despite getting cracked on the back of the head by an opponent’s knee. Slid centrally to snuff out a couple of Costa Rican counters, was a bit too casual with a headed clearance that dropped right to an opponent but nothing came of it. Also lost a ball to Rodney Wallace that could have meant trouble.

5 Alejandro Bedoya (Helsingborg/SWE) 17/1. He should have done better on a wide-open header from a corner kick that he glanced well wide of the far post, but he shared in some good combination play on the right side with Parkhurst and other teammates. Set up Chris Wondolowski with a ball cut back from the end line yet wasn’t nearly as incisive with several other serves, and vanished at times when Costa Rica attacked up his side.

6 Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg/NOR) 7/1. Covered a lot of ground front to back and side to side, connecting the back line to the attacking corps. He pushed good passes up the right flank to Bedoya and Parkhurst, and also found seams to serve Donovan and Wondolowski. His defensive work was pretty solid; he dug into a lot of tackles and won most of them, though he and Holden sometimes couldn’t stem Costa Rica’s passes through the middle.

4 Stuart Holden (Bolton/ENG) 21/3. He seldom got into the attacking flow effectively, though his workrate and determination got him through the 90 minutes, which is an accomplishment in itself. A rough touch on a nice through ball deprived the U.S. of an opportunity, and a few times he was in position to win a ball or intercept a pass and failed to do so.

6 Jose Torres (UANL/MEX) 24/0. Forced a great save with a curling free kick, and hit several good crosses from different spots on the left flank. Worked hard defensively, too, twice tracking back to win balls near his own goal line. Set plays were usually well-struck. Cut inside to good effect, yet reluctance to use his right foot for a shot or final pass is still an issue.

7 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 148/53. His superb first-time cross-field ball on a U.S. counter produced the winning goal to punctuate a good if unspectacular performance. Drew a lot of attention, and a few uncalled fouls, while probing for a crack in the Costa Rican nine-man defensive shield, and hit a couple of dead balls that weren’t exploited by the tall teammates.

4 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 15/6. Skied a good chance over the bar when Bedoya cut a ball right into his path, attacked the near post on crosses a couple of times without reward. He can’t be faulted for his workrate and cleverness of his runs; his touches needed to be crisper and his reading of situations quicker.

Substitutes:
6 Joe Corona (Club Tijuana) 8/0. Ran down a loose ball to hit a great serve up the right wing to Donovan just as a crunching tackle came in.

5 Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana) 24/7. Scuffed an attempted clearance after Johnson’s save, but then blocked off an opponent so Corona could collect the ball and got upfield trailing Shea in case of a deflection or rebound.

7 Brek Shea (Stoke City/ENG) 20/1. Kept his cool and won the game by cushioning Donovan’s ball and tucking away his shot.

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



12 comments
  1. Kerry Solomon
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
    Ridge: Please open your eyes. No one on that team deserved over a six. They played poor, uninspired soccer and did not give much of a creative display. The effort was lacking also.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
    I'm Ok with Goodson's 7, but agree the other 6s & 7s are somewhat generous......Donovan is probably the only American that makes that early first time pass for the assist.....

  1. Kent James
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
    Donovan and Shea got 7's for one really good touch each (Donovan's 1-touch pass, and Shea's great first touch; his shot was not poor, but he was fortunate the keeper was already diving the wrong way; Shea should get credit for not choking, and given the pressure on him and how long he had to think about that shot before taking it, that may have been the most difficult shot he ever took). If Wondo scores on the good near post header he hit (that hit a defender), does he then get a 7? Attaching a number to a performance is not easy...but these are reasonable, and I think the analysis is generally on the mark. Although the one thing I thought Torres did exceptionally well (and which Ridge did not mention) was making himself available to receive balls from the back (getting open) and then providing a link to the offense (turning under pressure and hitting a good pass).

  1. Mike Terich
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 3:35 p.m.
    I was ecstatic that Brek didn't sky his chance over the bar after LD's superb pass, but outside of that 1 play, Shea wasn't in the game long enough to even merit a rating. Although I can see some justification for giving him a 7 based on the simple fact that the Brek we saw against Cuba would not have made that finish. Corona did not get enough time to make a big impact on the game either, but his ball out to Landon which eventually led to the goal and his general dangerous play in the tournament bodes well for his development with the Nats. I also really like the Goodson and Fiscal pairing much more than any other combination we have seen in this tournament.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.
    I coudn't agree more with Kerry Solomon and Chris Sapien's comments, still I'm glad we've taken the 3 pts and head the group. Now let's see just how the team will react to "reactionary" ES the next round.

  1. johnny caal
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.
    Soccer America is great but when it comes to this rating chart, you guys are always full of it. Come on Brek Shea did nothing this game and even worse the last game. He scores one goal and you give him a 7. Hahaha!! Who decides this?? Sure glad we won... go Brek for that goal that was put on your foot, but ratings should be done on an overall performance.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 5:52 p.m.
    Man, this is a rough crowd!! Actually I do think that giving Shea a seven is a bit of a gift -- maybe just a way to boost his ego. I really thought that he knocked his shot into the goalie but as someone else said the keeper was already diving to his left. While I thought that Goodson had a good game, he still scares the daylights out of me when he dribbles and his passback to Johnson early on was a step away from disaster. Again, the grand failure of the evening though was Cobi !!! Is someone telling these guys that they have to fill every bit of dead air with their "expertise". If they just shut up some of their stupid remarks might be eliminated. Cobi ccommented 3 times on what a wonderful save Pemberton made on Torres free kick yet he didn't once mention WHY Pemberton had to make such a great save. Then when Torres was subbed he mumbled that Tottes had had a "quiet"night -- yeah quiet, except for several beautiful crosses/chips into the box, several beautiful one touch passes a a generally very good defensive night. Somebody need to explain to our color men that soccer isn't baseball or American footbal where you have regular pauses in the action which need to be filled. It would also be nice if instead of "A" License chalk talks, they confined their comments to pointing out the skillful and not-so-skillful moves. I know this will upset some people but I really thought that Wynalda did an excellent job on the Cuba game -- that's one !!!

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.
    K.S. is right, and giving Shea a 7 is overly generous. As for LD, an outstanding assist, but otherwise a mediocre performance; he missed a clear close in rebound showing impatience.

  1. Edgar Aldana
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 9:36 p.m.
    I have to agree that giving Shea a 7 and LD for one good play is over the top and being just too generous with those numbers. I do have to say that I like the the energy that both Bedoya and Corona bring to the team and given more time those two could make a difference. Also liked Mix's mobility and heads up playing, Torres didn't do too bad either, he may need a little more guidance from JK so that he can be more successful on the pitch.

  1. Jeanine Valadez
    commented on: July 17, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.
    Mix is the next great American midfielder and he's my favorite right now. He is already so composed at such a young age. He almost always moves the ball forward while retaining team possession; very incisive passing throughout (I think he made only one bad pass this game). He plays box to box. He combines beautifully...one of the only Americans to understand the value of the interior bumper pass. To the comment that only LD would have made such a great one touch pass to Shea...well...I really think Mix would have made the same pass had he been in the same position. Brek, alas, is too one dimensional; in my opinion, his best utility is as a role player.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.
    Jeanine, let's just say, LD has done so repeatedly through the years, and I hope to God you are right that Mix will have the same vision, poise and courage to do so when the opportunity arrises!

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 5:17 p.m.
    Jeanine, it's great that u are a Mix supporter; yet your accolades appear to be overboard. Comparisons of players must be based on their individual abilities and to make things happen on a consistent basis. For me, one outstanding play merits applause, not instant stardom.


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