U.S. Player Ratings

[USA-ENGLAND REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players after the USA's 1-1 tie with England in Rustenburg on Saturday.


Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
7 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 52/0
Excellent in all phases of the game, also showed his toughness by shaking off a crunching kick from Emile Heskey. Sharp saves and complete command of the box weren’t tainted by a goal he had little chance to stop.

7 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 61/2
Left his corner open on one occasion, but otherwise stuffed everything England threw at him. Passed and crossed well, dug out Aaron Lennon cross from inside the six-yard box with U.S. trailing, 1-0.

6 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 20/0
Overplayed a few situations stepping well in front of the back line, tracked and harassed Wayne Rooney often enough to push him back into midfield for the second half.

5 Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan/ITA) 55/5
Caught way out of position twice, once when Steven Gerrard scored. Very strong in the tackle and in the air, tangled courageously on set plays.
4 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 75/12
Beaten several times by Aaron Lennon and Glen Johnson, sometimes through his own errors. Occasionally caught by lack of cover.

6 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 124/42
Covered amazing amounts of ground, got in a lot of tackles, not quite sharp enough on the dribble and one-twos to exploit openings. Delivered a few dangerous dead balls.

4 Ricardo Clark (Ein. Frankfurt/GER) 30/2
Lost Gerrard when he veered inside to score, chased a few shadows early, more solid and assured later on. Broke up plays, passing inconsistent. Vital block and clearance when Cole broke clear on the flank late in the first half.

5 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 44/7
Also got stronger as U.S. shook off conceding early goal. Chose to distribute and stay back rather than push forward. He and Clark quelled Frank Lampard until the final minutes.

6 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 63/19
Put in some good defensive work, also lost touch at times, burned by Ashley Cole one-v-one. Played centrally for long stretches, scored from the middle with speculative shot English keeper fumbled.

6 Jozy Altidore (Hull/Eng) 26/9
Quiet in first half while working hard, headed good chance wide, in stronger second half barreled past Jamie Carragher to fire shot keeper palmed onto the post.

4 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) 7/0
Not always in sync with teammates, didn’t get any good looks at goal, but carved out space and drew a couple of fouls by desperate challengers. Left ball for Donovan, who curled a shot just wide.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
4 Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy) 5/2
Got a few good touches but didn’t take advantage of tiring opponents as attacking subs are supposed to do.

NR Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers/ENG) 14/2

Dug into a few tackles and knocked balls forward near the sideline in a short stint.

(Ratings: 1=terrible; 5=average; 10=brilliant.)

How do you feel the U.S. players did against England? Agree with our ratings? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

34 comments about "U.S. Player Ratings".
  1. Mike Gaynes, June 12, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.

    Generally agree with your ratings. It was clear that Clark and Findley were simply in over their heads, which was to be expected based on previous performance. That they were named in the starting lineup was bewildering. That they were left out there to flounder as long as they were -- the full 94 in Clark's case -- was frustrating beyond measure. I cannot understand how the best US ball-controller is left on the bench in a situation where ball control is absolutely critical.

  2. Rob Wojtach, June 12, 2010 at 7:43 p.m.

    I sort of agree on most points, but where in the world is Jose Torres? He should be on the pitch. He brings creativity and an element of "messiness" to the game when he is in. Now for sure He is no Messi but plays with very similar qualities. He always makes things happen and he reminds me of another player who I have seen play who is not on a US national team roster but can surely play at this level and should be there. I say US and England go thru.

  3. John Munnell, June 12, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

    Agree with Mike...both Clark and Findley were over their heads. Agree with Rob...Torres for Clark and we have another whole picture. And I think we've got to bring Bocanegra back inside with Gooch --- communication in central defense was horrible throughout today's match.

  4. Kevin Leahy, June 12, 2010 at 8:01 p.m.

    Clark has taken ball watching to whole new level. Findley should be left on the bench until there are tired legs in your opponent. Any striker or midfielder will do over these two, but I wanted Torres a year ago. Can someone tell me why this team plays without any width? This team needs to keep it's focus, because there is a lot left to do!

  5. Juan Salas, June 12, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.

    Aside from the fact that Bob started Clark over Torres - and didn't even sub him in. I question why he waited so late in the game to sub anyone in. It was reminiscent to the final of the Confed Cup when he was subbing only after the players were so exhausted, they let two goals in. I was bitting my nails that was going to happen again.

    With a much deeper team that last years, especially in the attack, I hope Bob gets it together and capitalizes on his bench.

  6. Kerry Ogden, June 12, 2010 at 8:13 p.m.

    I think the biggest mistakes were made by the defense and midfielders, not tightly marking their players, not attacking the player with the ball, and not helping their team mates when needed. Also poor passing by the midfielders also didn't help the US's game. I think in the next two matches that Bradley needs to look toward Gomez,Torres, Buddles and Holden as possible starters. I aggree with Salas that Bradley waits too long before subing in players, very risky for the game and players!

  7. Terence Chu, June 12, 2010 at 8:25 p.m.

    Bradley never went into this game with the intention of being creative, which is why we didnt see Torres. His whole plan was to contain England, which is why he put Clark with Bradley. This plan is always hit and miss, but fortunately it worked to our favor today. Now that the next two games are essentially must-win situations, Im positive that we'll see Torres start in at least one of them, to help start the attack of the midfield, which he does so well. Since Findley isnt very dangerous but does a good job creating confusion in the opponents defence, I think we'll see him again, but probably in a sub role. We will play our goal-scoring threats (Buddle and Jozy) in the next game for sure. Just my 2 cents.

  8. Ralph Leftwich, June 12, 2010 at 8:26 p.m.

    Until Bradley realizes the gem of Torres he will not have done his job as a coach. If he had been on the field instead of Clark it would have been a completely different game.

  9. Charles Stamos, June 12, 2010 at 8:43 p.m.

    Agree with all of you, also think Bradley had a better game than a 5 and Clark should be replaced by Torres; Findley would be better as a sub; too bad BB waited till the 94th minute to try and sub Gomez in - what's he supposed to do in <1 minute. The last 15 minutes both teams were tired, and the midfield opened up totally, fresh legs there would have been productive.

  10. Joseph Krakora, June 12, 2010 at 8:46 p.m.

    Giving Howard only a 7 is a joke. What more could he have done? Onyewu deserves a higher score as he won a number of important headers. Gerrard beat Ricardo Clark on the goal.

  11. Rob Wojtach, June 12, 2010 at 9:11 p.m.

    I think Torres needs to be out there. Still not sure why Findley even got the nod. he doesn't have the "teeth" or passion that is needed on any team if they want to compete and be dangerous.
    I hope Torres gets the nod the next match and not subed in with not much time to play. He needs to be out there from the start. He has the intangible.
    fyi: Those of you in the SoCal area in San Diego Obriens Pub on Convoy is the place to watch the game.

    Usa wins next two matches 2-0 3-1.. Just a hunch. Please no Findley..

  12. Keith Wiseman, June 12, 2010 at 9:21 p.m.

    I can't imagine what Bob Bradley is thinking with Torres left on the sideline the entire 90 minutes. Also he didn't play at all against Australia! Is he playing so horribly in practice that Bradley doesn't see the gem that he is or is he just that bad of a coach? I didn't have a ton of confidence in him as a coach but I'm quickly losing what little I had. And Clark... his supposed value to the team is a defensive midfielder but he is horrible at recognizing when to play zone in front of the back four and when he has to pickup a player and mark/track him in dangerous situations. My valuation of Torres after the last 2 years is he's our hope and a game changer for how our central midfield has typically operated (bland, predictable, and poor with the ball in tight situations)... wake up Bob!!

  13. Philippe Fontanelli, June 12, 2010 at 9:23 p.m.

    I am so glad to see that we all agree, as we had all agreed before the game and after the Australia game. If all of you look back we all had the same comments of Torres, Buddle, Gomez (and probably Holden. And same negative feeling of Clark and Bradley. Once again due to those two midfielders thw midfield all the way to through the defense was wide open. Also lacked cohesion in attack. In this set up we were lucky to draw. Bocanegra should be inside with Gooch, because he was terrible at left back position he plays better inside. BTW why doesn't Bradley sees what we have seen from week to week? Nepotism! If I'd be the coach I would play my son also (he will be eleven years old in July), that is why I shouldn't be the coach nor Nradley.

  14. Mj Lee, June 12, 2010 at 9:27 p.m.

    Ridge, you need to start rating Coach Bradley! He deserves a 3-4 for starting Findley; not using all his subs; and subbing forwards when the center mids (especially son Michael) were clearly out of gas. The only things that saved us were Tim Howard, Dempsey's courageous work rate, and the fact that England ran out of gas too.

  15. Rob Wojtach, June 12, 2010 at 10:23 p.m.

    It really is very obvious to all on the players who can play but its just that don't have the game courage top make the right choice. They go for safe. My other disappointment in the roster bodies is first of all that Findley is even there. He has never done a thing I mean in any game he has played in. A real non-factor. Un-acceptable. My second disappointment is that Beckerman is not. He has the moxy, toughness and sharp-elbows and passion and creative play that we need. He is always all in when he plays. Donovan and the rest of the "all-in" players deserve to have others out there of the same fire.
    And I am not a fan of Coach Bradley. On a scale of 1-10 and for sure 3. Sorry Bob,it is what it is.

  16. Alex Lozano, June 12, 2010 at 10:51 p.m.

    Agree with most of your ratings..but thought that Bocanegra, Gooch & Bradley did a bit better than their grades. More importantly, I thought it was a great team effort...as opposed to individual success.

  17. Charles Davenport, June 12, 2010 at 11:07 p.m.

    Jay demerit gets a 6 for marking rooney out of the game???

  18. Barb Scoles, June 12, 2010 at 11:26 p.m.

    Liked most of the ratings. Cherundolo did a great job containing and staying with his man. Onyewu was the one that did not step to ball when Gerrard scored. (Sorry Joe) Clark did what he could to cover Onyewu's non-movement. Onyewu did however step up his game as the match continued. Howard was Stellar! Bradley missed a few passes that could have made a huge difference if he had hit the runs. Torres and Holden would have made greater contributions if allowed to enter game earlier.

  19. Walt Pericciuoli, June 13, 2010 at 12:09 a.m.

    Agree with most everyone's comments. What has Findley done to deserve a starting spot in such an important match? Torres would be a difference maker. Subs came too late. Thank God for Howard and Green. Odds are Bradley won't change much. He is way too conservative.

  20. John Roode, June 13, 2010 at 12:17 a.m.

    Actually, Barb, Onyewu DID step up from his left center back position on the initial pass... which is what created the gap that Gerrard ran through. Demerit was marking his player, as he should have. The 2 culprits to look at would be Bocanegra for not pinching once the initial pass was made away from him (and his man was no longer a threat) and Clark for not tracking with Gerrard. The old saying is... when your man runs horizontal, you pass him on. When he runs vertical you track until told to let him go. He did not do that. For the most part, I do not have a lot of confidence in the tandem of Bradley and Clark. Both are prone to drift, and you simply can not do that against good teams. The gap between the Center Mids and Center Backs is the under-belly of any defense. And you especially can not do that against the likes of Gerrard and Lampard. The US would do itself a huge favor if the Center Mids and Center Backs were more coordinated and played more like a block of 4. That is the main reason that you are seeing the holes in our defense. There is too much space in that gap between mids and backs.

  21. Scott O'Connor, June 13, 2010 at 2:49 a.m.

    These ratings make a little more sense when you remember that it's on an 8 point scale.

  22. Scott O'Connor, June 13, 2010 at 2:58 a.m.

    About to watch the game for the second time. Specific things I'm focusing on are 1) Where is Rico? 2) How many times is Carlos out of position or beaten on the left; 3) How often the forwards cross the center line to help defend; 4) Donovan touches; 5) Rooney coverage; 6) Hopeless air balls played by US without ideas.

  23. Gil Ramirez, June 13, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.

    I will restate the obvious once again, Clark and Findley from the get go? Findley I can understand with the idea of speed, although it is very debatable; but Clark? That defeats the purpose, as both Dempsey and Donovan needed to thread back again and again to cover more defense terrain. Torres needs to be in from start. I do not know what really is going on between him and the coach but it is suspicious that he has not seen any time in the field since the friendly vs. Turkey. In fact, he did not train with the rest of the team on Thursday and Friday. Any ideas about this situation?

  24. karl ortmertl, June 13, 2010 at 9:56 a.m.

    The US should have won this match. Bradley overrated England and putting in a clunky defensive lineup with Clark and his son was self-defeating. Too many Americans (and Brits) seem to think that players like Gerrard and Lampard walk on water. They don't. If the US had Torres and Donovan in midfield instead of Bradley and Clark, there would have been Goals O'Plenty.

  25. Joseph Michael Finger, June 13, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

    The lowqest ratingm the person most out of his/her league was the TV director for ESPN. So many camera shifts it was impossible to follow the flow of play, sometimes impossible to distinguish between the 3rd or 4th replay angle and the live play. Too much closeup on the player with the ball, the viewer was never able to see what his options were. Finally, the English manager had more face time than Tim Howard.
    To the TV director: Relax! Enjoy the game! Stop pushing buttons.

  26. alfredo gaudry, June 13, 2010 at 10:44 a.m.

    Two points...I have read all of the comments and a majority of us agree that Torres is definitely a player that makes a difference, no matter who the opponent is. Having played for Arena and known Bradley since the early 80's, I do understand their concept of athletic soccer players. Clark is a nice, safe player in the MLS and not on the international stage. Findley is all about speed but can improve tremendously if he decides to. All of the coaches that are on the staff need to realize that we are not going to run over and through teams. We have had enough creative players to be able to compete with the England's, Argentina's, Spain's, and Brazil's of the world. (Excuse the grammatical error if there is one). Let the creativity of our players be allowed to come through. Would you tell Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi and so on to tone down their ability to create and just be safe? Any comments are welcomed....

  27. Philippe Fontanelli, June 13, 2010 at 12:20 p.m.

    Congrats to all for seeing the players and the coach the way it is. But Ridge should stay with baseball instead of evaluating. He should ask Paul Gardner to teach him to understand the beautiful game. Why does he afraid and hold back on the Bradleys (the player and the coach)? Is it a taboo?
    But back to the team. The US needs to tailor made the game around Donovan (and Dempsey). Playing with two FORWARDS and Donovan directly behind them. He is being used out of his position (only to accomodate Bradley and Clark used as a support for Bradley), thus often subpar performance. If Donovan is out of position and can't find himself than the whole team's performance is off. The present set up with the Bardley and Clark duo, playing their own game seperated off from Donovan and even Dempsey is otend to be often helter skelter. That effects the midfield offensively and defensively. I am really tired of writing the same scenarios as I am sure most of you are. We need a new FA and an astute coach, because we have some good, very good and oustanding players but the tactics are missing and the system sucks.

  28. Kathy Ball, June 13, 2010 at 2:31 p.m.

    Now I know I am not the only one shaking my head. I don't know if I can continue watching Bradley's "grind us in the ground and stall" method. Why not Hercules Gomez and Torres? How embarrassing to sub with less than a minute. Even rec coaches know better. Was he trying to demoralize Gomez, stall England, or could he not read the clock?
    I am just a soccer mom (former college bball player and coached my son).
    A coach at that level should never coach his own son. You always think your son can put forth their best game, even when they can't.

    Clark and Findley--deer in the headlights.

    Bocanegra--has seen better days, smart, but getting slow afoot.

    Thank Heaven for Howard, Dempsey, Donovan, and Cherundolo.


  29. Derek Landis, June 13, 2010 at 9:54 p.m.

    I agree with Juan's comment about subs. I think Bradley did a very poor job of recognizing the opp that Englad gave us. I really thought that by the 65th minute Capello had committed to throwing everything forward and getting the winning goal. At that point we should have subbed Clark for Torres since he could control the ball and make a nice pass out of teh back for the quick counter. We could have given Findley 10 minutes to see if he could use his speed to catch up to a well passed ball in stride, and if not pull him and put in buddle or gomez. I also think the holden sub was too late to have any impact. I actually think a sub that late in a game is only for a very seasoned player that is being subbed to preserve a 1-1 tie. Not for a young, 1st world cup game game ever player to come on and make a difference. If he wanted to use that sub he should have done so much earlier. It has worked really well for us to use dempsey for 45 in the mid and then push him up to forward in the second half and have someone with pace cover the mid.

  30. Art Robles, June 14, 2010 at 1:29 a.m.

    Of course the Bradleys are off-limits. Coach Bradley's youngest brother is a writer for ESPN. So, there must be a gentlemen's understanding to not criticize Bob and Junior. The last 15 minutes of the game were not killed off by the US--the US survived them. Very few instances of time-killing possession in the US mid. When a few decent build ups and attacks would've forced England to hold a man back, Bradley and Clark managed to give balls away. Very poor. Torres for Clark, Fielhaber for Junior. Please.

  31. Alex G. Sicre, June 14, 2010 at 2:27 a.m.

    BB should start Torres instead of Clark. Torres can hold the ball and make efficient passes going forward. Findley is a sub at best. Jozy and Buddle up front, they dont get knocked off the ball, and can score. Gomez ahead of Findley period. Landon needs more touches and so does Dempsey. Gooch will get better paired with Boca in the middle. Cherundolo solid. Left back???????

  32. Mark Walker, June 14, 2010 at 5:01 a.m.

    Findley was largely ineffective, but he served his tactical purpose. Being at the game, It was striking how deep the England defenders played most of the match. When they did play a high line, Findley was threatening to easily outpace Terry and Carragher. This compression led directly to Dempsey's goal. I, too, would have like to see some fluidity going forward, but Bob Bradley is by no means alone in tactical conservatism in the first match. There has been very little attractive football in this round so far (other than Argentina, who are managed by a madman).

  33. Steven SIegel, June 14, 2010 at 1:01 p.m.

    Regarding Torres for Clark; So who is playing defensive midfield? Aside from a half against Turkey, has anyone seen Torres at the defensive midfield, or do we just do away with that position? And if hr is the defensive midfielder, how much do we want him going forward?

    So far the choice is Clark or Feilhaber at that position in terms of much experience. Edu played the position for a half against Czech Republic.

  34. Kent James, June 14, 2010 at 11:48 p.m.

    I agree with Roode's analysis of the English goal; Bocanegra was the primary culprit (though Clark was also somewhat culpable). I like Bocanegra, but he's better in the middle. Which leaves the problem of left back; I like Bornstein, because offensively he's like Cherundolo (who played exceptionally well). Defensively, he's more suspect (as many fans have duly noted), but in the next games, his speed might prove useful.
    For this game, other than subbing too late, I think Bradley's strategy paid off. I like Torres and hope he starts the next game, but his is very small and while small and quick v. big and powerful can work to the advantage of the smaller player when attacking, I'd fear Gerard and Lampard would have overpowered Torres when England was attacking. But Torres should get the nod against our other opponents.
    Buddle or Gomez up top with Altidore, then bring in Holden early in the 2nd half and move Dempsey up top (taking off whoever is not performing as well).

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