U.S. Player Ratings: Teen Agudelo makes dream debut

[SOUTH AFRICA-USA REPORT CARD] Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players' performances in their 1-0 win over South Africa on Wednesday in Cape Town.

One of five debutants, 17-year-old Juan Agudelo orchestrated and finished the goal that ends the year on a high note for the USA.

In their brief appearances, Agudelo and Mikkel Diskerud (20 years old) showed glimpses of skill that give American fans -- who might have dozed off before the duo arrived were it not for the vuvuzela noise -- something to look forward to.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

6 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG) 19/0
The captain smothered two short-range efforts and handled all but one cross – when he slipped -- securely.

5 Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa/ENG) 2/0
The right back relied too much on fouls. One of his forays up the flank led to a shot on goal (from Robbie Rogers in the 22nd minute).

5 Clarence Goodson (Brondby/DEN) 17/2
Looked shaky early on when he passed to an opponent but settled into a solid performance. Drew a free kick on the other end and served the ball to Juan Agudelo that started the goal sequence.

6 Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls) 1/0
The only of the five debutants who got a start, he handled his central defensive duties smoothly. Made crisp, accurate passes.

5 Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA) 36/2
This squad’s most experienced player, who has shown attacking skills from the left back position, stayed back but for an early venture that ended with an over-hit cross.

7 Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro/Sweden) 6/0
The shining light in a moribund midfield; sparked movements down the right from the get-go.

5 Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew) 8/0
Part of the defensive midfield duo (with Logan Pause) that kept Bafana Bafana from attacking much down the middle, Carroll offered little on the attacking side.

5 Logan  Pause (Chicago Fire) 6/0
The other part of that central midfield that failed to find any rhythm or possess the ball for more than fleeting periods.

6 Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew) 13/1
In such a defense-minded lineup, the left-sided midfielder’s efforts stood out a bit – hitting the USA’s first shot and juking two defenders before sending a promising ball across the middle before halftime.

4 Eddie Gaven (Colombus Crew) 8/0
With only one forward, much more was needed from the central attacking midfielder. His one shot went straight to the keeper. Set up Rogers’ shot, but didn’t connect with the striker.

4 Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake) 11/0
Besides Bornstein, the only holdover from last summer’s South Africa trip, Findley went yet another game without scoring. Granted, he was stranded alone up front, but he misplayed balls he shouldn’t have.

Rating/Player (Club/Country) GP/G

5 Teal Bunbury (Kansas City Wizards) 1/0
Hit one of USA’s rare shots on goal.

3 Jonathan Spector (West Ham United) 28/0
Gave away balls the South Africans could have exploited.

8 Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls) 1/0
A dream debut for the teen, who showed promise when he evaded two South Africans before launching a cross – then scored the winner, which he created with a pass to Mikkel Diskerud and finished nicely.

5 Nat Borchers (Real Salt Lake) 3/0
Not troubled by Bafana Bafana’s predictable attack.

7 Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek/NOR) 1/0
The way he controlled and released the ball under pressure to assist on Agudelo's goal was magnificent. Helped out on defense in waning minutes to hold lead.

NR Gale Agbossoumonde (Estoril/POR) 1/0
An 87th minute sub.

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

10 comments about "U.S. Player Ratings: Teen Agudelo makes dream debut".
  1. todd burkett, November 17, 2010 at 6:22 p.m.

    brilliant goal, rather pedestian display until that point...i'd give the young man a 7....i also feel that the ratings for ream and goodson should be switched.....there is no doubting that ream was just fine for his debut, but there were a few gaffes, whereas i felt goodson was very solid in the back....i also don't feel that there was atwo point difference in the performances of gaven and rogers, and would've given them both 5's, maybe a 5.5 for rogers

    other than that, i feel that the youngsters looked pretty darn good, and that spector should not be recalled until he has shown himself to be on form for his club....i am having a hard time recalling the last assured performance i've seen from him at any level

  2. Kerry Ogden, November 18, 2010 at 8:05 a.m.

    First I'd have to say that the US Men's National Team played well yesterday, As far as Agudelo orchestrating the goal, Diskerud was the player who needs to be credited for the orchestration of the goal, if it wasn't for his tenacity on the play the goal would have never of happened!! I wasn't overly impressed with J Spector, too many give aways,
    G Agbossoumonde, Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury really were not at all impressive either, TIM REAMS did exceptional for his first game as well as Mikkel Diskerud, I definately feel that these two players deserve to be first string players for the furture USMNT. BB is still going to need to bring in new talent and it looks as though the youngsters have what it takes to be competetive for International play. Can't wait for the next game the USMNT plays and good luck to the future players for the USMNT.

  3. Julio Vargas, November 18, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.

    The guys did a very good yesterday. There was a moment on the 2nd half where we lost the control of the midfield. Then, we kind of got it back. Agudelo has a lot of potential, I like the kid, however if it would not be for his goal, probably his rating would be much lower. Spector and Fidley should not be called again, unless they show a substantial improvement on his game. The defense line, seems to have a better future than the traditional Bocanegra, Oguchi, etc. I think, BB is on the right track as far as fixing the defense. Also, I think BB did a good job, and got more aggressive on the 2nd half. That is what I want to see from him.

  4. Philippe Fontanelli, November 18, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.

    My only problem with this was Findley. He was terrible and he doesn't belong in the National Team. He is a disgrace to USA. He was the only one that didn't have his hand on his heart during the National Anthem. He had his had down in a "protest" to our/his country and the Anthem. He has done the same thing during the World Cup. I couldn't help being reminded of the Montreal Olympics when some US athletes defied America and the National Anthem if you get my "drift". Guys and Gals just look back (if you have taped the game)and you will see what I mean. I am suprised that the announcers didn't say anything. I am also disgusted with Bradley that he condones this type of behavior. Drop the bum from the team if he is showing "disunity and being ashamed to be an American".
    On the bright side there are seven for me; 1)Teal Buburry should replace Findley, given time, he has potential (and he is proud to be an American). 2) Diskerud is the number 10 that we are missing. He has the feel an flair to be the one and beyond; future Donovan. 3)Agudelo still young but cultivating him and maybe pairing him up with Altidore is the future. 3)Agbossoumonde, while we didn't see much of him (Bradley should have used him sooner, replacing Goodson) is needed probably 4) with Ream to be the possible future in the middle of the defense. I think 5)Lichaj and 6)Bedoya definetly should be in the USMNT selection. 7) Guzan is better than Howard shame we didn't get to see Cervi.
    But overall the most impressive of this team was Diskerud.

  5. Mike Gaire, November 18, 2010 at 12:23 p.m.

    I would have given Borchers and Bunbury both 6 and Rogers 5. Unfortunately Rogers has never really made the grade at international level ( at least not yet, I suppose he is still young enough to improve) Diskerud and Agudelo should definately start in our next game when we have the first team out!

  6. Walt Pericciuoli, November 18, 2010 at 2:13 p.m.

    Agree with most of the comments, but it appears we are still in need of a left sided defender.

  7. Terence Chu, November 18, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.

    Good rating, but I would upgrade lichaj to a 6 and downgrade Ream to a 5. Lichaj was a constant presence on both attack and defense, creating chances and owning his mark. Ream was ok, but caught out of position twice which led to half chances.

    Should we bring Convey into the fold at left back? It's such a problem area for the US and it seems like BC is doing well. (haven't watched him, just heard)

  8. Kevin Leahy, November 18, 2010 at 10:27 p.m.

    Diskerud was something new, different and better. Keep Agudelo and let Jozy stay in Spain.

  9. James Madison, November 18, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.

    Gusan, of course, is already part of the Men's National Team pool and deservedly so. Agudelo and Diskerud earned spots. Finley washed out. The rest are worth another look. However, Carroll, Pause, Gaven and Spector are hanging on by their fingertips. And yes, Bradley should take another look at Convey. Left back may be the most questionable spot on the team.

  10. Kerry Ogden, November 19, 2010 at 8:45 a.m.

    Is C. Wondoloski an American? If so he should also be looked at by BB as well as some of the Mexican/American's who currently play in Central America. Also Bedoya played extremely well!! It will take time to get the right combination of players that work well together to rebuild the USMNT but I feel that youth is where it's at at this time!

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