U.S. Player Ratings

[USA-ALGERIA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players after the USA's 1-0 tie over Algeria in Pretoria on Wednesday.


Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G
6 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG) 54/0
Didn’t need to save many shots of note aside from one by Karim Matmour and a late effort by Rafik Saifi, yet collected several crosses and constantly barked at his teammates to keep them in the game. His precise 50-yard toss to Landon Donovan started the foray that led to game-winning goal.

7 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER) 63/2
Erred early when he missed a ball, worked hard to track Nadir Belhadj’s runs, delivered great left-footed cross that yielded Jozy Altidore header that was saved, constantly tested Algeria on his side of the field.

7 Jay DeMerit (Watford/ENG) 22/0
Recovered from early gaffe to win tackles and clear crosses, beaten to the ball a couple of times but unquenchable spirit drove on to the end.

7 Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes/FRA) 77/12
Tough and solid, also directed defense more effectively playing in the middle. Sensational volleyed clearance thwarted Algerian opportunity.

5 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 33/2
Speed helped neutralize Foued Kadir and Karim Matmour, caught upfield and left openings at times.

7 Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy) 126/44
Passed off opportunities to run at opponents by linking with teammates, yet burst forward in stoppage time to play ball wide for Jozy Altidore and finish off the rebound of Clint Dempsey’s shot.

5 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO) 15/1
Held down the middle when Bradley ranged forward, missed a couple of passes, won balls with strong tackles.

8 Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER) 46/8
Hammered a free kick on frame that was saved, escaped pressure and pushed forward to spark several attacks with timely, intelligent balls, tackled well.

7 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG) 65/19
Robbed of goal by blown offside decision, hit post and shot wide on follow-up attempt, worked tirelessly and cleverly, played the last 10 minutes with a lip bloodied by Anther Yahia’s elbow.

7 Jozy Altidore (Hull/Eng) 28/9
Labored under heavy marking to keep possession, got tangled up to hammer a point-blank shot over the bar, poked ball to Dempsey for shot that hit the post, squared pass in final minutes to spark winning goal.

4 Herculez Gomez (Puebla/MEX) 6/2
Put strong shot on frame that goalkeeper parried, lost a couple of balls that snuffed good U.S. possessions.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

6 Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus/DEN) 34/2
Livened up the attack while playing both wide and centrally in midfield, stopped Rafik Djebbour with a vital slide tackle near the U.S. goal.

4 Edson Buddle (Los Angeles) 6/2
Flubbed a simple trap on a long ball in a threatening position, occupied defenders but didn’t do much with the ball, terribly botched a pass with Altidore wide open in front of goal.

NR DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers/SCO) 93/17
Cautioned for a handball that probably wasn’t, drew out defenders by staying wide

(Ratings: 1=terrible; 5=average; 10=brilliant.)
How do you feel the U.S. players did against Algeria? Agree with our ratings? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

24 comments about "U.S. Player Ratings".
  1. David Sirias, June 23, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.

    Ridge you saw a different game. Gomez created the first non goal. Was dangerous and played defense. Jozy was awfull in the first half. Taking two defenders on multiple times. Gomez Should be 6- 7. Jozy should be 5 Maybe

  2. Corey Zimmerman, June 23, 2010 at 3:31 p.m.

    I'm thrilled that Donovan was the one who scored as he has been USA's best player for years. However, Ridge is spot on in mentioning that LD failed to run at opponents w/the ball, but rather played square balls and balls back to his defenders, especially in the 2nd half. He failed to lead in the 2nd half when superstars are supposed to take over and at least attempt to make things happen. It was very odd to see how quiet he was in the 2nd half b/c he is normally aggressive and confident when the chips are down. Huge kudos for the game winner, but needs to step up game (like vs. Slovenia) in the next round.

  3. P Van, June 23, 2010 at 3:33 p.m.

    Harsh 4 on Gomez...pretty ridiculous! really as he had brightest moments in first half...I've got to say in reviewing multiple US-based sights...as much as American soccer has improved, the writing on the subject remains pretty weak...Gomez almost beat goalie on near-post fake-out shot when keeper was leaning and assisting on disallowed Dempsey goal. I'll review the tape to see where he lost the balls that Ma-baloney refers to...

  4. Keith Wiseman, June 23, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.

    Left-back crisis continues! Bornstein's speed is fine, his attacking/crossing prowess is fine, his 1v1 defending is fine, but he is our worst defender with decision-making and positioning which is where he kills the team at times. We got lucky a few times today (one incorrect offsides call saved him) when he made really nonsensical decisions.

  5. David Warren, June 23, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.

    Jozy was truly awful. 4

    I agree with you that Bradley was clear man-of-the-match for both patience on the ball and very strong tackling.

  6. Will Lozier, June 23, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.

    Ridge, your assessments of Gomez and Buddle are incompetent - 4's, really?. Both regularly put shots on frame (it was Buddle's header that was saved, not Altidore) AND both hold the ball better than Jozy. Jozy had a good overall game but makes so many decisions that lack composure. The other two, for as little playing time as they have gotten, have appeared the more dangerous with no doubt. Gomez had a legit assist even after firing right at the keeper. Buddle always finds space and makes imaginative runs. Jozy should have won the match in the 1st half. And, perhaps most impressively, as D. Sirias pointed out, Gomez worked incredibly hard tracking back, even thwarting a few Algerian attacks. I have seen Jozy do this exactly once, in the match immediately following Charlie Davies accident when he said he found a new urgency. Where is his urgency now? Seriously, watch all 95 minutes again and give yourself a rating.

  7. Mike Gaire, June 23, 2010 at 4:11 p.m.

    I can't for the life of me see how you can possibly give Michael Bradley 8 and Maurice Edu only 5!!! I certainly don't agree that Feilharber sparked anything. I thought his contribution was very disappointing and don't understand why Holden was not given a run. Also Gomez only getting 4 is harsh. I think he looked very promising and would start him again in the next game.

  8. Barry Ruderman, June 23, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.

    Concur with David Sirias and others. Altidore 5 or perhaps 6. No finishing, frequent poor on ball choices. Not a bad performance, but he's not scoring and he's created one goal in 3 games. Even on the goal, he probably should have laid the ball back for Donovan on the winner, rather than playing across to Dempsey. No disaster, but certainly no beacon of shining light.

  9. Susan Gallagher, June 23, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.

    Looked more like an elbow backfist (punch) that opened up Dempsey's lip rather than the elbow.

  10. Kent James, June 23, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.

    Ratings are fun, but pretty arbitrary. If Algeria scores instead of hitting the crossbar, then Demerit's rating goes way down because his gaffe led to the goal. But other than that, he played a great game (and it's not like his play would have been different if they had scored). Likewise, Donovan was non-existent in the 2nd half, yet his play on the goal led to the game winner. How do you rank that?
    Given that, I thought players generally did what they were brought on to do, and no one played badly. Bornstein brought an offensive spark that we lacked on the left side when Bocanegra was playing there, but he sometimes left the flank exposed. But we needed to score, so that was a risk we had to take. Buddle muffed an easy pass to Altidore, but his header almost won the game for us (and I thought the rest of the time he played pretty well). With any luck, we could have won this game 4-1 (had Donovan and Altidore not both been trying to hit that ball inside the six, I have no doubt either one would have put it away; it's pretty rare when you have too many offensive players trying to score inside the six when the keeper is beaten!).
    I think the US is playing like a team, with everyone contributing to the effort. I hope they sustain the momentum against Ghana, and take the game to them!

  11. Randall and barbara Smith, June 23, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.

    Ridge, I like your ratings and think that you do a great job. I think that Benny and Jonathan performed at a very good level and really helped the team. It is my preference that they both start for the team. I would like to find a better forward to pair with Jozy, who worked hard as a forward today and gave us some opportunities to score, but was also unable to finish when he should have. Hopefully we can do a much better job with Ghana on Saturday. I am very happy that the USA is in the Round of 16 and glad that we did not miss this opportunity. I wish that we all could enjoy this victory. Slovenia, Algeria, Australia, Serbia and the remaining teams that will not advance would be more than happy to be where we are. We probably won't win the 2010 World Cup, but we are participating at a high level against some very good teams. - Randall

  12. Andrew Post, June 23, 2010 at 5:59 p.m.

    Once again Ridge gives too much credit to M. bradley. he was by no means the man of the match. How could he get a higher rating than dempsey or donovan or Jozy? Ridge take your nose out of the bradley families arses and do some real analyzing for once.

  13. Joseph Krakora, June 23, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.

    How is it possible to give Howard only a 6? Not sure what he would have to do to get a higher score - allow no goals and start the play that resulted in the winning goal. DeMerit is very shaky and his mistake led to the shot that hit the cross bar early. 7 is way too generous. Bottom line is that Dempsey and Donovan are the best players on the team.

  14. Mark Walker, June 23, 2010 at 8:36 p.m.

    It's not all subjective guys. As much as I hate to admit it, Ridge is dead on with Michael Bradley. Take a look at his stats, which surpass any other US player in this tournament (he's #48 overall in the Castrol Rankings, which are based on stat performance). He has completed 73% of his passes, completed 100% of his crosses, covered 35+ km and hit a respectable top speed of 27 km/h during play. He's the #1 rated US player according to FIFA/Castrol for the tournament so far and the #11 ranked midfielder overall (ahead of Xabi Alonso, Mark Van Bommel, Park Ji Sung and Super Frankie Lampard). I don't particularly like the guy, but the numbers don't lie.

  15. Tom Kondas, June 23, 2010 at 9:19 p.m.

    Mahoney, you're too transparent, brown nosing Bradley isn't going to get you anywhere and you won't be convincing any, but a few, that Bradley is anything more than an average player on this team.

  16. Kevin Leahy, June 23, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.

    It was a great game to watch! Spector must have fallen off the planet for Bornstein to get minutes. How can a guy that plays left back for West Ham not get any minutes with this squad? I don't care too much about the ratings for this match, because we are moving on. I will say that Edu did exactly what was necessary to play next to Bradley. Howard had two great outlet passes in the last few minutes. Coach Bradley's game management was probably the best he has ever done.

  17. Charles Davenport, June 23, 2010 at 9:40 p.m.

    readers comments right on. Edu gave Bradley freedom to roam. Dempsey deserves 8 or higher--the algerian game plan was apparently to beat him up physically--he spent more time on the turf than the rest of team combined.

  18. Alex Lozano, June 23, 2010 at 10:19 p.m.

    Pretty much agree, though I think Bradley was rated a bit higher than he should have while Gomez was better than a 4 IMO!

  19. Frank Cebul, June 23, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.

    In a team sport does it really make sense to rate individual players? Perhaps it would be better to grade the team as a whole on things like attack mindedness, creativity, adaptability, cohesiveness,determination,or other characteristics. Really, what is a player to think of getting a 4 or an 8 from a sports writer when his team loses, or wins? They win as a team and they lose as a team. If you are really into individual grading, then become a judge of springboard diving or gymnastics.

  20. Charles Stamos, June 23, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.

    Soccer is a team sport that also requires individual play; a combination of tactical and strategic play. It is totally worthwhile to grade individuals, but their grade needs to encompass both individual and team attributes. Today's game brings that out and astute analysis leads to high scores for Altidore, Donovan, Bradley, Dempsey and all of the defense except Bornstein. I think BBradley gets a 7/8 score overall for trying a different l/u in all three games. The four players who shined today also have had a good WC. Celebrate tonight, there's improvement needed to get past Ghana and Argentina/Mexico especially amongst the back four..

  21. John Hooper, June 24, 2010 at 1:48 a.m.

    Enough experimenting with Findley, Gomez and Buddle.They are not ready for prime time.

    Play Dempsey right behind Altidore and start Feilhaber.

    Anybody know if Onyewu was hurt? Did he sit becuase of injury or poor play in the first two games?

  22. Keith Wiseman, June 24, 2010 at 2:17 a.m.

    Hooper... Onyewu was fine. Coach Bradley apparently was worried about Bocanegra's speed at outside back (he's been beaten 1v1 a few times recently by speed) so he put in the speedier Bornstein. Coach Bradley is just clueless (even after watching tape?!?) of how bad Bornstein is with positioning and decision-making abilities that let's him get beat in other ways worse than anyone else on the back line.

  23. Gregory Weiss, June 24, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

    For once, I think that Ridge's ratings are pretty spot on. Bornstein played ok but, as always, seems out of position and then has to recover. I have posted a few times during qualification and warm up games to blast Jozy as not linking well with the rest of the team and playing an individualistic game. Usually, he creates 3 or 4 dangerous opportunities and then is a negative in the passing and holding game. Well, his holding is still terrible but his passing and overall activity level have greatly stepped up during the World Cup. I give Jozy credit for occupying defenders up very high and creating space for our skilled midfielders to get in behind. Plus, Bradley was the man of the match. His bald pate was EVERYWHERE and he created tons of good balls for the U.S.

  24. Bret Newman, June 24, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.

    Just wanted to point out Lalas thought Altidore played exceptionally well. He holded the ball well, and attracted a lot of defenders, leaving other players open. The problem was Altidore, Gomez, and Buddle, and I think Dempsey, were getting in each others way, when in scoring position. Maybe that is why coach Bradley took out Gomez in the second half. And I thought Edson and Benny played well, and Donovan didn't have one of his better games. So Landon deserves maybe a 5, and I would give Edson & Herculez both a 6. No way, do they deserve a 4. Heck, Gomez was dangerous and had an assist taken away.

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