U.S. player ratings

[SLOVENIA-USA] Though officially credited with just 11 shots, the USA played its best offensive game of the Jurgen Klinsmann era while beating Slovenia, 3-2, on Tuesday, and its attackers get high marks. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...

5 Tim Howard (Everton/ENG, 72/0). Came up with a vital save during a furious scramble early in the second half, cleanly beaten on shots that hit the goalpost and crossbar, didn’t cut down the angle enough when Tim Matavz scored Slovenia’s second goal. Howard caught crosses flawlessly and cleared his lines crisply on balls along the ground.

5 Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/GER, 78/2). A solid game offensively included a few of the best crosses launched by the U.S., though an excellent near post serve for Buddle was judged offside. There were problems defensively as Slovenia effectively infiltrated his flank to deliver good serves. Handcuffed by tough bounce his header nearly led to a goal for the opposition.

4 Clarence Goodson (Broendby/DEN, 26/3). Fell down after Matavz outjumped him in lead-up to second Slovenian goal, poor clearances set up two other scoring opportunities for the opposition. Both he and Chandler were guilty of keeping Matavz on-side when he scored the first Slovenian goal. Goodson won a lot of balls and fought hard during rugged duels.

4 Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers/SCO, 100/12).  Penalty-area slide tackle stopped Matavz after he’d dribbled about 60 yards and past five Americans, which was one of several timely defensive plays he made. Yet a terrible clearance provided Zlatan Ljubijankic with a terrific chance that the Slovenian flubbed, and as captain he couldn’t correct miscommunications in the back line that were costly on both goals and a few other occasions. Dribbled into the middle third to hit a good ball up the left side.

5 Tim Chandler (Nuremberg/GER, 8/0). Like Cherundolo, Chandler contributed some key attacking moments and struggled through a few very shaky defensive situations. Put in a very good left-footed cross that Altidore flicked on for Buddle and played a ball up the wing for Altidore that yielded a dangerous cross. Chandler’s precise ball to Johnson enabled the newcomer to win a penalty kick. He and Clarence failed to step up quickly enough to nullify first Slovenian goal.

5 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, 18/1). Played the ball more cleanly and decisively than he had against France and timed his tackles better. Also covered the flanks more effectively at times, yet on a few occasions -- such as Slovenia’s second goal -- he failed to anticipate the play and reacted too late to intervene. Deployed as a screen in front of the back line he swept up and hacked clear many loose balls.

7 Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona/ITA, 63/9). Played on the right side in a revamped formation and combined well with attackers while attending to defensive duties. Corner kicks created two excellent chances for Dempsey, and he also played balls up the right channel that Cherundolo and others turned into opportunities. He helped quell halftime sub Valter Birsa after Slovenia narrowed the margin to 3-2.

7 Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim/GER, 2/0). Sparked the attack without scoring a goal or officially earning an assist. A ball with the outside of his right foot set up a chance for Dempsey, and Johnson won the penalty kick converted by Altidore. His low cross from the left side should have been turned into the net, but Buddle somehow shot it over the top.

7 Clint Dempsey (Fulham/ENG, 82/24). Scored an excellent headed goal from a corner kick, also sent a similar opportunity wide of the post. Scraped the ball loose from Darijan Matic to set up Buddle for a great strike and the first U.S. goal. Glided out of tight spaces to find teammates with passes and again took a few hits that lenient refereeing left unpunished.

6 Jozy Altidore (AZ/NED, 45/13).  Played a supporting role for most of the game with comfortable traps and collections of the ball, usually followed by a simple pass. Contributed calm touches during attacking sequences. Converted a penalty kick, sending the keeper the wrong way, to score his first goal in the reign of Klinsmann.

7 Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt/GER, 10/3). He started superbly by setting up a shot for Johnson in the first minute and then cracking home a long-distance, first-timer to open the scoring. An excellent left-wing cross set up Dempsey for header that went wide. At times he stayed high to link with Altidore, yet he also peeled away into deeper positions to give the Americans a numerical edge in midfield.

4 Brek Shea (FC Dallas, 9/0). He gave away the ball a few times and didn’t get much going offensively in his 30 minutes of action, but did team up with Beckerman to close down a late threat.

4 Maurice Edu (Rangers/SCO, 31/1). Seemed to deflect a Slovenian cross with his arm in the penalty area but no call was made, took a shot in stoppage time that was deflected.

NR Danny Williams (Hoffenheim/GER, 4/0). Took over for Chandler in the 82nd minute.

NR Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/GER, 14/1). Replaced Beckerman in the final minute of regulation.

NR Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew, 14/1). Came on deep in stoppage time.

(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)



20 comments about "U.S. player ratings".
  1. Brian Bouhl, November 16, 2011 at 2:02 a.m.

    Tim failed to cut down the angle on the 2nd goal? What? You really don't know goalkeeping. There's no reason for him to be any further out than he was when he has a defender in front of him. He covered his near post and hoped for Beckerman to cover his far. Beckerman made a terrible attempt at a block and Tim had no chance. Tim played that as well as he could have. Almost would have been better being closer to goal. Read up on your GKing.

  2. Simon Provan, November 16, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.

    A 5 for Chandler? Hmmm...I'd give him MAYBE a three. He's been a lot stronger in other performances, but against Slovenia he was quite weak with his defensive duties. In fact, he looked a bit lost at times.

  3. Robin Andrews, November 16, 2011 at 9:04 a.m.

    In my opinion, Altidore is ALWAYS over rated. If he is playing better, then he is up from a 3 to maybe a 4 or 4.5. I would be happy if Klinsmann found a replacement. He belongs on the "I can't play soccer but I can push and kick the ball really hard" team.

  4. ckg beautiful game, November 16, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.

    Beckerman is reported here to have improved from the France game? Wow he must have been awful, because he was terrible in Slovenia. His effort is unquestioned but skill and positioning is lacking. He falls into the back line which does not allow for transition when our backs do win the ball. He offers nothing going forward with every pass going backward. He handballed at least on 3 different occasions setting up dangerous opportunities. Maybe Klinsman likes the Dreads.

  5. ckg beautiful game, November 16, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.

    Our backs are very disjointed, Goodson needs to get in the weight room. His lack of strength cost us the French goal and was exposed throughout the contest in Slovenia. He is often pushed off the ball. Bocanegra almost committed a needless foul at the end that could have forfeited the win.

    On a brighter note offensively w Johnson on the left getting forward and MB pulling the strings in midfield we looked a much better side. Our forwards were looked likely to score several moretimes. It could have been a 5-4 game. They defended as poorly as we did with Howard making the difference.

  6. Mike Gaynes, November 16, 2011 at 9:40 a.m.

    The first half was Gorillas In The Mist... a dominant attacking performance. The second half was the horror movie The Fog, as the defense totally lost cohesiveness. Agreed that your ratings for Goodson, Beckerman and Chandler are too high - Beckerman again looked simply out of his depth to me - and Howard's was too low. I thought he had an excellent game and his positioning for both goals was just fine... they were wide-open shots from a quality scorer. The center back situation remains a huge concern - Goodson is simply too soft for international competition. But I'm excited by Fabian Johnson, whose speed and attacking instincts are most welcome on a team notoriously light on both.

  7. Philippe Fontanelli, November 16, 2011 at 10 a.m.

    I guess everyone has different opinion and people tend to have their favorites. I must admit I do too, although I keep on embracing more and more and dropping others according their contribution to the USMNT. But the over zealousness for certain players (constantanly and regardless of performance)I find irritating.
    I saw Beckerman playing not great but his best game in the National Team jersey.If less than good performance was due to that, he was the only active defensive mid. If you saw the game Bradley didn't fill that functionality, actually I saw him ball watching especially at the second Slovenia's goal. Bradley rated same as Dempsey and Johnson (especially) who were the game deciders is ludicrous. What for a few corner kicks? I keep on saying he doesn't belong in the mid, we he have too many better qualified and productive game winner players there. But we could very well use him back in defense with a defining job description. Whereas the game against Slovenia he had no clear position or territory, thus often floated all over. I only look at what benefices for the US Team.But it is my opinion!

  8. Delroy Wallace, November 16, 2011 at 10:08 a.m.

    A win is good! It helps to develop character in a team. Now let's not kid ourselves. The defenders are weak players. Lack good speed and positional play. They get beat too often with little effective cover amongst themselves. Bradley was weak in the game. gave the ball away too much and lacked effort in defending. A litttle here and there does not cut it! Don't compare Slovenia to France for heavens sake!

  9. Scott O'Connor, November 16, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.

    I don't see how Chandler was better than Carlos. Carlos was there to stop some big chances and clean things up. Chandler was out of position many times and led to scoring chances for Slovenia. A better team would have made the US pay for those errors. Beckerman was still awful. Jozy a little overrated here. A little harsh on Howard but they did have to look hard for his AllState good hands save of the game....

  10. David Mont, November 16, 2011 at 12:38 p.m.

    On a somewhat related note, can anyone explain Ian Darke's obsession with taking the ball to the corner flag in the last 10 minutes (or so) of the game? He starts clamoring for it around the 82-83 minute if the US is leading. What does it ever accomplish? You waste 5-6 seconds and give up the ball.

  11. ckg beautiful game, November 16, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.

    Micheal Bradley only scores or delivers balls that lead to goals in just about every contest he has been apart of for 2 years plus. Games he hasn't had a featured role we usually don't score in yet he comes under constant hater criticism. All players give away the ball, Dempsey gave it away so many times in one 30 second segment that I lost count. Most of the time our players give the ball away because of limited movement off the ball and general poor positioning as a whole.

  12. Hal Hilger, November 16, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.

    Why did those 9 German Players came to play for the US, the German Coach as well as those players knew that they were not good enough for the German National Soccer Team. It pretty much showed against Slovenia. The only reason the US Team won the game was that the Team from Slovenia has never been able to compete very much in Europe. I suppose it was the reason Klinsman played against Slovenia to get a win under his belt.

  13. Philippe Fontanelli, November 16, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.

    Listen guys, the Bradley lovers. You could all thank JK that he spared him from the embarrassment and he didn't play him against France. He would have been made a fool like some of the others. It is pretty pathetic when in the eyes of Ridge and you Bradley lovers he seem to be the salvation. He was played excessively by his father and the results were not great. He is a mediocre player at best but we have plenty of that. He presently plays for a pretty lousy Italin team and his rating are not the best if you read Corriere di Sport. So you want to beat top clubs, top teams and the world with a player as such? Get a life and wake up please! But I think playing him on the defensive line would be more beneficial for the US instead of keep messing with the midfield. As I have said we have plenty of players there and much better than him. But that is enough of him. And HaL, I take any player with US connections that has a heart for USA, and let that be German, Mexican or any other background. Is it better to lose that "rat-fink" US born Rossi? Or gain others like all the countries are doing at the present. Another bum like, Subotic he comes here gets help and gets his life and benefits here but deserts his adoptive country.I am Italian born, emigrated as a young boy but with a US heart. My son son is 12 years old, while his favorite team is Juventus (due to his father) but I could only see his loyalty to the US and to play for the US, his birth land.

  14. Scott O'Connor, November 16, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.

    Fabian Johnson was not a 7, I agree with Mr. Fonseca. However, he was not a 4 either - I disagree with Mr. Fonseca. I thought he was a bright spot for the team and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. He has just that little touch of class that seems very natural to him. He makes good runs off the ball and has good technical ability. I'd give him a 6 due to his performance plus a little exuberance for such a promising debut.

  15. David Mont, November 16, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.

    To Antonio: can you please name "plenty" of players better than Bradley eligible to play for the US at his position? Are they all playing in Bundesliga or Serie A? How many of them have scored important goals like two against Mexico in the WC qualifier, against Egypt in the Confederations Cup, or the equalizer against Slovenia in WC-10?

  16. Bret Newman, November 17, 2011 at 3:24 a.m.

    Ridge, your way off base with Tim Howard. You can't fault him for the second goal. He played pretty well, and probably deserves a 6 rating. Also Boca wasn't that bad, and deserves at least a 5. And to you Fontanelli, there are not Bradley lovers, only Bradley haters such as yourself. Everybody that knows the game of soccer, knows that Bradley played a good game. He didn't screw up on defense, and made the US offense more potent with his passes and corner kicks.

  17. ckg beautiful game, November 17, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.

    Without Klose and Podolski Germany would only be slightly better than average. Fabian Johnson played in the U 20 or 23 euro champion midfield, I dont think it has anything to do with talent. Any one who knows the game saw his quality.

  18. Hal Hilger, November 17, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

    Well my friend that was then, and if you like check what they have accomplished lately. Also remember that Klose and Padolsky would not even be in the game if the Coach would have played his top players. Schweinsteiger of course has an injury, so in reality it showed the deepth they have within their player material. Don't you wish the Americans would have such players sitting at the sidelines.

  19. ckg beautiful game, November 17, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.

    Well my friend my point is that 2 of your best players (Klose second only Ronaldo in wc goals & Podolski) are not German but Polish, so really people in glass houses should not throw stones. If a few German / Americans want to lend a hand to the USMNT why not, our country saved many of you from speaking Russian!

  20. ckg beautiful game, November 17, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.

    Boateng and Gomez do not sound like German names either.

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