U.S. Player Ratings: Mexico rally taints superb first half for USA

By Ridge Mahoney

Mexico rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to earn a 2-2 tie Wednesday night, as concerns about the USA’s central defense resurfaced. Goals by Michael Bradley and Chris Wondolowski forged the lead, but a renewed Mexican team took the initiative after halftime and after tying the game nearly went in front. Eddie Johnson helped spark a late American revival that apparently snatched a winning goal by the D.C. United striker, but an erroneous offside call annulled it.

USA Player Ratings

6 Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) 14/0. Didn’t face any difficult shots in the first half so he controlled the box well with strong punches and clean catches. Much busier in second half, and several times thwarted Mexico with athletic saves both up high and down low.

5 Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake) 3/0. Looked poised and polished getting balls up the wings and moving up field to hit crosses. Showed a deft touch on short passes. Lost his legs a bit in the second half and had trouble containing Miguel Layun a few times.

4 Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) 18/0. Lost the mark on Rafael Marquez on first Mexican goal, reacted slowly to rebound off post on the equalizer. He then regained some of his composure but really struggled at times to deal with Raul Jimenez and Luis Montes. Bounced a header on frame that forced a save.

6 Matt Besler (Sporting KC) 18/0. Not called upon to launch balls over distance, so he kept his touches and passes tidy and simple. Stopped a few attacks early in the second half but wasn’t able to latch onto second balls at other times, and caused some panic in the penalty area by sending a header into dangerous territory.

6 Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew) 25/0. Strong and secure in first half, stretched a few times by Jimenez as Mexico reversed the momentum. Worked a clever read-and-run near the touchline that narrowly missed sending him free into the corner.

6 Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) 35/1. Screened the back four securely, moved intelligently in all directions and passes crisply at the base of a diamond similar to that played by his club team. Struggled to gain possession as Mexico turned the tide but regained a foothold in midfield for a late push.

8 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) 83/11. Scored at the back post from a Zusi corner and flicked Beltran’s cross to set up the chance for Wondolowski. His influence wavered as Mexico took command, yet he reasserted himself late and worked hard at both ends right to the final whistle.

6 Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) 20/3. Curled a corner kick to the back post for Bradley to bang into the net, and set up a couple of chances for Clint Dempsey with slick touches.

5 Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) 14/0. Flipped sides with Zusi as the U.S. overran Mexico in the first half, served a few effective dead balls with his left foot. Lost track one-v-one of Miguel Layun, who got inside him to shoot high from about 25 yards.

6 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) 103/36. Wound up on the ground a few times after bamboozling the Mexicans. He sent the ball wide that Beltran crossed and Bradley flicked on for Wondolowski. He launched a couple of shots that were blocked and much of his best work was off the ball to open up space for others.

7 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 19/8. He’s been the reverse of Miroslav Klose, who scored more consistently for Germany than he did for his club team, but by sliding in at the back post to score his ninth goal in the last 10 internationals he’s edged into the picture. He worked some nice combinations and swung over a dangerous cross the Mexican keeper Moises Munoz barely got a hand to.


6 Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) 156/57. Fed a nice ball up the wing to Yedlin to earn a corner kick, which he delivered right to Gonzalez for a header at goal. Stood up and stopped one-v-one by Marquez but he kept driving and played a perfect through ball that produced a wrongly disallowed goal.

5 Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes) 46/5. Thrown into the cauldron as Mexico rallied, he dug into a few vital tackles and played solidly as the USA tried to claim a winning goal.

5 Julian Green (Bayern Munich) 1/0. Gained confidence with some clean touches after coming on, barreled 1-v-2 courageously a few times, slipped and lost a ball in a bad spot, got his head to a goal kick to flick it forward.

5 Eddie Johnson (D.C. United) 62/19. Brought energy and won a free kick on the right flank shortly after replacing Wondo, and was later flagged for his obligatory offside call. But he soldiered on and wasn’t offside when he scored a disallowed goal, and also laid a ball back that Edu ballooned into the seats.

5 Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union) 46/1. Brought some needed energy to the middle of the park and plugged up the middle while also moving the ball forward. Took a very bad shot with his first touch.

5 DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC) 2/0. Flew up the right wing to play a nice ball that Dempsey took into the penalty area, lofted a deep cross that the goalkeeper fumbled.

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

13 comments about "U.S. Player Ratings: Mexico rally taints superb first half for USA".
  1. Kent James, April 3, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.

    While Gonzalez did lose Marquez on the goal, otherwise I thought he played well (I thought he was much more involved than Besler). In contrast, other than two good touches (the first to get the ball wide for the 2nd goal, and the second the pass that set EJ through to score the disallowed goal), I thought Dempsey was largely non-existent (though his back-heel to himself in the box near the end of the game almost got him a good chance). I guess I feel that one play should not change a player's rating by more than one point.

  2. cisco martinez, April 3, 2014 at 12:08 p.m.

    Beckerman, Zusi, Bradley, Wondo, and Parkhurst all had solid games. I am still wondering why Klinsmann didn't go from a 4-4-2 diamond, into a counter attacking 4-2-3-1 formation at the beginning of the 2nd half? The 4-2-3-1 is great at absorbing pressure and countering. AS for our players, Gonzalez got picked by a more experienced Rafa Marquez, Dempsey's play left alot to be desired, not a fan of Davis good technical ability but no pace or 1v1 ability, and Beltran showed glimpses of cherundolo attacking and defending. All in all exceptional first half and lacked mental toughness to play a full 90.

  3. Dwain Hartzler, April 3, 2014 at 12:58 p.m.

    A lot negative comments about Gonzales some justified. However two points that appear to be overlooked on the Mexico goals; 1). He was "picked"by Beckerman's mark and Beckerman's did nothing to help. And 2) on the second goal he pulled to a more central position to help cover a MFN breakdown and yes he reacted a little slow. But even a quicker reaction would not have put him there in time. NO OTHER player reacted at all, Gonzales was in good space if it had come back straight out off the GK. And Beltran all the way thru and left the back post uncovered

  4. Walt Pericciuoli, April 3, 2014 at 2:48 p.m.

    Agree with most of the ratings, but Dempsey was rated too high. Other than being is usual petulant self, he pretty much did nothing than a few tricks here and there.I'm tired of seeing that face and his constant complaining about being fouled.I want the young Dempsey back.
    As for Gonzalez,I understand sadly, that he is probably our best option right now, but how many mistakes are we going to have to live with? Game after game he is caught ball watching,or turns the ball over or reacts too slowly to dangerous situations.Please tell me how a man as big as he gets picked? Why isn't he in the center already where the danger is.I'm sorry, but I feel with him as a central defender,we have to score two goals for win at the WC, because I know,we will give up at least one.

  5. Thomas Brannan, April 3, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

    Concerning the pick set to free Marquez from Gonzales, how would you coach that so it doesn't happen again?
    1) If Gonzalez plows into the Mexican pick it could be a PK depending on the temperament of the Referee. 2) If there is to much crowd noise does Gonzales still yell to Beckerman "I'm coming through" so as Beckerman should back off his mark and allow Gonzoles to follow Marquez through? or 3) Should Gonzoles go behind Beckerman and pick up Marquez on the other side.
    I think he should go behind, if Beckerman backs off now you have two free players.
    Then what do you do if there are more than one player setting the pick?
    Someone was watching, it needs to be taken care of.
    How would you coach it?

  6. cisco martinez, April 3, 2014 at 4:12 p.m.

    Walt I agree, personally I would rather have Oneywu, Cameron, or even Ream in the center back position than Gonzalez. Thomas, Zonal marking is more effective than 1v1 man marking and would also allow players on both posts. Generally it is more effective because players can react faster as the ball is played in a certain area, all players are facing the ball rather than the man.

  7. Steven&linda Pedlow, April 3, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.

    Kent, a defender who plays solidly other than being solely responsible for a goal per game (O. Gonzalez) needs to be benched. On the other hand, a forward/midfielder who often seems out of a game except for setting up or scoring one goal per game (Dempsey) is usually someone you want on the field. Bradley is definitely making an argument that Dempsey is only our second most important player.

  8. Vince Leone, April 3, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.

    Omar's mistakes usually come because he thinks too slowly--just what we need against Christiano Ronaldo or pretty much any of the German attackers, who have physical and mental quickness in abundance. Goodson has a quicker brain and quicker feet, and I suspect the same is true of Geoff Cameron.

  9. charles davenport, April 3, 2014 at 8:05 p.m.

    A good game for both teams; El Piojo rallied his team, something previous Mexican coaches were unable to do. The US had a great first half; it will be interesting to see how Klinsman solves the defensive problems.

  10. Forrest Marowitz, April 3, 2014 at 8:15 p.m.

    "Stood up and stopped one-v-one by Marquez but he kept driving and played a perfect through ball that produced a wrongly disallowed goal."

    ....Actually, it was Dempsey that set up Johnson for the disallowed goal, not Donovan.

  11. R2 Dad, April 4, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.

    4 Referee. I do not understand the reluctance to enforce the 10 yard distance on dead balls. After the first 5 minutes everyone knew they would not be penalized for delay of game, so the defenders just stood over the ball until their teammates got into position. I know this is just a friendly, but in Brazil there will be a card for the first infraction and then the players will understand they can't get away with that and then it won't be a problem for the next 90 mins.

  12. Zoe Willet, April 4, 2014 at 12:29 a.m.

    I think Kyle deserves a 7.

  13. Joey Tremone, April 9, 2014 at 6:43 p.m.

    "Lost his mark" is a dumb thing to say. He knew exactly where his mark was, he was just blocked from getting there. Considering Beckerman is the cover on that goal, a 7 would probably be a little generous to him.

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