[USA-TURKEY REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players after the USA'S 2-1 win over Turkey in Philadelphia on
Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 50/0
No tough saves to speak of, but sharp and active, headed ball out of danger.
3 Jonathan Spector (West Ham/ENG) 25/0
Caught upfield on first goal, struggled to find the right positions.
4 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 18/0
Floundered in first half to plug holes, better but not great afterwards.
5 Clarence Goodson (Start/NOR) 12/2
Deflected a shot in dangerous situation.
5 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 73/12
Served several good balls from left flank, grew in stature defensively.
6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles) 122/42
Tepid first half, sharper in the second setting up both goals.
5 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 42/7
Also off the pace before halftime, good second half, shot was blocked.
4 Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER) 28/2
Never caught up to Turkish midfield play.
3 Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/DEN) 32/2
Poor on the ball, not much defensively.
7 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 61/18
Excellent effort and goal as U.S. rallied, got in several tackles as well.
6 Jozy Altidore (Hull/Eng) 25/9
Sweet move to slip into the box late in first half, finished nice sequence to score.
Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
7 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) 5/0
Got wide, pierced the channels, tested keeper with cross, superb chip to launch first goal.
5 Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/ITA) 53/5
Got in one solid block, not tested very much.
6 Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca/MEX) 10/0
Nice touches as usual, much more defensive bite than shown before, shot just missed.
6 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 59/2
Scrambled balls away, won tackles, cut off Tuncay on possible chance.
4 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 31/2
Another weak outing.
NR Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers/ENG) 13/2
Only nine minutes but played great ball to Bradley to set up Dempsey chance.
(Ratings: 1=terrible; 5=average; 10=brilliant.)
How do you feel the U.S. players did against the Turks? Agree with our ratings? Disagree? Let us know below.
I was surprised to see Fielhaber out there to start, and I agree with Mahoney's rating. We need to iron out the back, but Findley was awesome today. Pleasantly surprised! I hope Gooch can fill in the back, we need good performances out of him. I've always been a Ricardo Clark fan, but I am starting to notice that he gives the ball away for a midfielder. Torres has looked great in Midfield. Wish Edu played today, but great second half effort from the team. Go USA!!
I'd give Torres a 7. His played changed the game. Took the air out of the ball at times and he always seems to make a good, safe pass. Tracked back and tackled well. Though Dempsey and Donovan are the headlines, both Torres and Bradley will be the engine. Also, I'd give Bornstein a 3 at best. Get stood up too often and gives me the bad goosebumps when a team is countering on our left side. Sorry kid, I don't trust ya! Good US effort in the second half...hope to see more in SA!
I really begin to wonder -- what does Bornstein have over Bradley? Absolutely no one-on-one defending skills. Can you imagine him defending Defoe??
I completely agree with the above comments. Bornstein should not be going to South Africa. He's just outclassed at this level. Torres, on the other hand, should be starting. He's got ball possession skills that the US team, as a whole, lacks! He looked incredibly tenacious in the second half.
Torres only a 6? What game were you watching? He was man of the match for me and John Harkes stated that on the TV commentary as well.
I never agree with ratings as they look at individual performance rather than within the context of the total team performance. This is one European/tabloid tradition that needs to be kicked into touch. Cut it out, we're better than that. You're Soccer America, not some Fleet Street rag.
To critize Spector for being caught upfield was inappropriate. He should have had cover. Why was he only one of two players back after making an attacking run? Torres and Bradley should be the two starting center midfielders. I don't know why the coaches don't seem to like Torres, but his skill is in great need. The first touch of many of the players fails to be world class.
Yes, the criticism of Spector is inapproprate (and really quite ludicrous, actually). It was Goodson who compromised the Back 4 in that situation because he was nearly in the Final Third on Spector's run. Because of that, there was no rotation on the back line. Demerit was essentially the Lone Ranger because Bocanegra was probably more forward than he should have been as well. Really a serious lack of vision on the part of several people there. However, I beleive that Cherundolo should be starting anyway. No so much because of poor play bey Spector, but because I think he brings a calming influence to the Back 4... while still bringing the ability to attack from there. Spector should be coming off the bench. And the fact that he can play either side makes him quite valuable in that role. Other ratings I disagree with... Goodson's 5 should be a 4 at best because of his role in giving up the first goal, Fielhaber's 3 should be a 5. It was difficult to know exactly what his role was supposed to be, but I didn't see anything that warranted a 3. While Dempsey woke up in the 2nd half, he squandered several opportunities in the 1st... he gets a 5. Bornstein should be a 2. He should never see the field again at this level.
Spector wasn't at fault in the first goal. When one out of the back goes forward the other 3 need to hold. Goodson was way too far forward. My biggest concern on the play is where was Clark. Defensive midfielder needs to play some defence. Clark a 2. Bornstein a 2. They show just how shallow our player pool really is. Neither should see the field in SA. Torres a 7. Flip Demerit to 5 and Goodson to 4. The 11 that started the second half is how I would like to see the start of the next game. Subs being Holden, Edu and somehow work Gomez and Buddle in to see what they can do.
Michael Bradley looks lost out there, I still am in shock that he chose to pass the ball to double covered Dempsey instead of pulling the trigger one on one with the keeper. I would much rather take the risk and have Davies on the squad rather than this boy still trying to find his way on a mens national team level. I suppose if I were a Bradley I might have a shot at a roster spot too.
Oh.. btw.... Cherundolo is the man, literally a night and day difference for our defensive end in the second half. Defense looked much more mature and organized. Heath Pearce should be on the squad in place of either Bornstein or Spector.
Seems like perhaps Torres cemented his spot in the middle at least for the Aussie match. Have Spector come off the bench with Cherundolo on the right. Boca on the left with Gooch and Demerit in the middle.
There's a very simple rule in soccer: the other team can't score if they don't have the ball. Torres gives the US excellent possession. He is vastly better on the ball than anyone else on the team. He made excellent passes on Saturday--often, simple is excellent--and one beautiful through ball. If Torres plays defense the way he did against Turkey, he should start over Edu (and surely over Clark). He has imagination on the pitch, something we desperately need.
Ridge Mahoney once again doesn't get his ratings correct. If he would read the comments here he'd discover that most observers think that Torres was more important than Finley and that Cherundolo was as valuable as Finley.
I too have not understood why Maximum Bob doesn't care as much for Torres as he should. Against both the Czech's and the Turks, his tackles were outstanding - and it has been clear for some time that he is excellent in possession.
One can only hope that Clark has seen the last of his playing time for this World Cup.
Bornstein is a goal or PK waiting to happen. He appears to have little soccer sense. He's the kid on the youth team that could out run everybody and score a goal, but he never learned the game. Enough about Mr. B. I attended the game. Spector look disinterested from the start of the game. The U.S.A. midfield got torched by Turkeys combo passing. I'm sure England is licking their chops after watching this. Bradley Jr. chumped up by not taking that shot inside the eighteen. I watched him especially throughout the game. He made some rash defensive plays that allowed Turkey to penetrate. Gooch still has a long way to go. The USMNT will be most fortunate to get a result against England.
Agree with most of the above, especially the first goal against the US being the fault of the rest of the defense and, to a large degree, Michael Bradley. If you are a defensive midfielder, you have to be back on balls like that. The only comment I want to add is that Jose Altidore continues to be overrated by Mr. Mahoney. He had a very sweet little move right before the half, but I tend to agree with Alexi Lalas when he criticizes Jozy for the complete lack of a holding presence. He got muscled off balls and could not hold long enough for the rest of the team to get there. He is a weak player who can't create for himself and gets glory for finishing off other people's work. It is the rare time, about once per game I would say, that he creates any danger on his own. That is just not satisfactory at this level and I think I would rather have Dempsey and Findley/Buddle/Gomez up top...
Agree with the ratings, for the most part, but would've given Torres a 7 or 8...he was that good IMO. Also, would have given Gooch a 6, DeMerit a 5 & Bornstein a 3 or, even, a 2.
Unfortunately, Bornstein is much more likely to see the field in SA than Torres.
Would Bradley ever consent to an online forum? I have numerous questions I'd like to ask him:
1. When will our team be able to consistently pass and control the ball under pressure?
2. Why do our GKs consistently punt the ball up field, only to have the opposition head the ball back toward our goal and again put us on defense? Why don't our GKs make better use of our FBs to bring the ball upfield? Isn't possession better than being on the defensive?
3. Why in the closing minutes of a match do our FBs boot the ball upfield, rather than controlling the ball and stringing intelligent passes together to move it upfield? Doesn't that give the opposition ball possession and immediately put us back on defense?
I was pleasantly surprised with Findley. Last time I saw him, he wasn't ready, but now he was really effective, almost made me not miss Davies. Also Torres play was outstanding. As for Bornstein, I was surprised he made the cut after that game, and other recent games. I hope he doesn't get any playing time, because he is sure to cost us a goal or two. I guess he made the team by default. We're hurting as far as good speedy defenders goes.