USA-Bolivia International Friendly Player Ratings

May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 4, Bolivia 0. Goals: Zardes 26, 52, Brooks 37, Pulisic 69.
A feeble display by Bolivia confirmed its placing among the Conmebol doormats, yet several Americans strengthened their cases for Copa Centenario minutes by rolling to a 4-0 victory Saturday in Kansas City.

Gyasi Zardes scored the first goal after Bolivia had applied some mild pressure, and tallied again after a clever free kick freed John Brooks to double the lead. Alejandro Bedoya assisted on the first two goals and nearly set up another chance for Bobby Wood. As if the fates had demanded it, Christian Pulisic’s third cap turned out to be the charm when he rounded off a nice move and delivered his first international goal in the 69th minute.

The Americans open the Centenario against Colombia on Friday.
U.S. Players Ratings:
5 Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), 45/0.
Cleanly caught a rare cross, scooped up a couple of deflected balls, saved easily on a chance Ramallo should have put away.

5 Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), 25/4.
Not really tested one-v-one and repelled a few weak crosses easily. Looks like he'll be on call to back up Yedlin and the centerbacks at Centenario.

6 Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), 40/4.
Headed away a threatening ball in the 16th minute to give away a corner and the Americans handled the ensuing set play. Covered up a couple of shaky moments with strong tackles.

7 John Brooks (Hertha Berlin/GER), 21/3.
Early giveaway in the opening minutes didn’t faze the U.S. and soon enough his accurate pass to Wood produced a free kick. Scored an excellent goal when put through by Bedoya.

5 Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 33/0.
Darted up the left wing to center a ball that nearly set up a point-blank chance. Scuffed a giveaway but raced back to quell the threat. Got stranded a couple of times in the first 20 minutes but secured his corner after that.

6 Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 60/3.
Thwarted a rare Bolivian counter by stepping solidly into a tackle. Moved the ball around well and played the wall role perfectly when Nagbe set up Pulisic.

7 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 115/15.
Split open the Bolivians with a through ball when they were expecting him to chip a free kick to set up second goal. Nice ball to Wood set stage for third U.S. goal. Maintained a high level of passing and connection despite recurring substitutions.

8 Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), 48/2
Superb first-time ball dropped perfectly for Zardes to score the opener and he latched onto Bradley’s clever ball to square it for Brooks. Another good ball for Wood forced a brave intervention by the keeper. He's effective regardless of his 'position' if his teammates are tuned in.

8 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 25/5.
Ignored an onrushing keeper to open the scoring into an empty net. Drilled a hard shot on frame the keeper parried. Crashed the far post to cash in Wood’s cross. He needed to atone for his Ecuadoran nightmare and he certainly did.

6 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), 123/49.
Clipped a ball square that Bedoya relayed into Zardes’ path for first goal. Nicked balls away from pressure to keep the attacking flow moving.

7 Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER), 19/5.
Yet another impressive display melding hard work with crisp, clever play. Third goal resulted from his clean chest trap and raking pass for Zardes to convert. He’s not the brute that is Jozy Altidore but he’s a hungry, relentless pest.
5 DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland/ENG), 34/0.
Threatened with a couple of good runs, botched an easy touch to concede a throw-in.

5 Fabian Johnson (Borussia M'Gladbach/GER), 44/2.
Efficient and clean with the ball, only rarely stretched defensively.

6 Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 7/1.
Great layoff set up Pulisic for the first of, most likely, many international goals, but entry pass he bounced off Jones and relayed to Pulisic completely befuddled the Bolivian defense. If he’s not ready to take on good teams in competitive matches he’s getting very close.

5 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 35/4.
Deprived of an assist when Wondo failed to convert, did a fair amount otherwise in his brief appearance.

6 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), 3/1.
In about five years, probably 100,000 fans will claim they were there to see his first international goal. Before he took it well, he also found a space and angle the closest defender could not close.

5 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 32/10.
Yes, he was all alone and should have scored from point-blank range but a very good save foiled him.

TRIVIA. Pulisic is the youngest player -- as far as the record books can tell -- to score a goal in U.S. men’s history (17 years, 253 days). Juan Agudelo was six days shy of his 18th birthday when he scored his first international goal in 2010.
May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 4 Bolivia 0. Goals: Zardes 26, 52, Brooks 37, Pulisic 69.
USA -- Guzan, Orozco (Yedlin, 46), Cameron, Brooks, Besler (Johnson, 46), Bedoya (Nagbe, 63), Bradley (Zusi, 73), Jones, Zardes (Pulisic, 63), Dempsey (Wondolowski, 72), Wood.
Bolivia -- Viscarra, Bejarano, Eguino, Cabrera, Gutierrez (Bejarano, 68), Melean (Ramallo, 54), Smedberg-Dalence (Zenteno, 74), Saucedo (Azogue, 46), Campos (Miranda, 46), Duk, Algaranaz (Castro, 46).
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (El Salvador).
Att.: 8,894.

(Ratings: 1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)
19 comments about "USA-Bolivia International Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Matt D, May 29, 2016 at 4:33 a.m.

    Ok, here we go again...another disappointing turnout for a friendly game. Last 5 USMNT friendly games attendances were 9,214 at Red Bull Arena, 8,803 in Carson/LA, 9,274 in Carson/LA, 9,893 in Frisco, and now 8,894 in KC. Last "good" attendances were the 6th and 7th friendly games back, before that RB Arena game above, leading up to the Concacaf Cup last Fall, 28,896 vs Peru in DC and 29,308 vs Brazil in Foxboro.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, May 29, 2016 at 10:13 a.m.

    Ideally, they would all be sell outs. They haven't, so where does that leave us? I'd rather have lesser numbers made up of passionate, informed supporters, than, bandwagoners of in fashion novices. For decades some have lamented soccer' slow acceptance which then lead to desperate, sometimes unflattering attempts to convince. Rather than recognizing the less than sell out numbers, lets congratulate us among us that love the game and continue to nurture its growth. I know its disappointing somewhat Matt D, but you should have been around in the 60's, 70's and before.

  3. Scott Johnson replied, May 29, 2016 at 11:58 p.m.

    Bring 'em to PDX.

    They'll sell out Prov Park.

  4. Wooden Ships, May 29, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.

    To the match with Bolivia, congrats on the win. When the starting line up came out I thought here we again. My position on Zardes not being on the roster sure made me look uninformed. That's happened before. His touch is still not good or consistent, but, he did score twice. JJ at left mid, Deuce up front, left and center, falling regularly. Hard to play possession that way. Also, if Jozy wasn't hurt, he'd be starting too. How much have we changed? Bedoya, Wood, Nagbe, Fabian, Pulisic, Bradley at holding all good. It's a crap shoot to predict the 11 for Friday.

  5. beautiful game replied, May 29, 2016 at 11:40 a.m.

    Not so fast Wooden Ships; the jury is still out on Zardes. Let's see what he doed against stiffer competition.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, May 29, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

    Yeah, I know I w. it just reminds me of Jozy. No real touch, but athletic and winds up scoring a couple of harder to miss than make goals, thereby underscoring JK's justification for playing him. Several of our players can't get it done against quality and pressure. Can the ones he puts on the pitch control the ball at a high rate against pressure? Ought to be interesting, the next three matches.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, May 29, 2016 at 10:52 p.m.

    His (Zardes) first goal was a good run and finish, but it wasn't technically complicated in the sense that it was only one touch. His second goal was a gift by his marker who make a horrendous defensive error. Still he finished twice, which Wondolowski failed to do. I would put him above Jozy and Wondo, but I would rather have someone who could play back to goal, control the ball and maintain possession under pressure, or someone with better ball skills on the wing. Zardes is 24 so it is unlikely that his ball skills will significantly improve, but not impossible. I like the slow way JK is handling Pulisic. I would not want to see him start. It is too soon. He is about 8 years from reaching his full strength. People forget he is a kid still. If that means Zardes starts, I can live with that.

  8. Wooden Ships replied, May 30, 2016 at 8:45 a.m.

    Bob, largely I agree with Pulisic transitioning in. On the other hand, in my mind, when you e selected 23 its because they are all capable if starting. Yes, he's a unique situation, but I wouldn't hesitate starting him if I felt it necessary. 90 minute player now, perhaps not just yet. Even though I'm not big on a target forward attacking style, I do feel Wood can fill that role/style already better than Jozy. I like two forwards that can cycle and link with mids better. I still would have Fabian at left mid. I'm immediately concerned of having players that can possess the ball and go toe to toe with the skilled players in our group. We will get beat if we are always chasing.

  9. Kent James, May 29, 2016 at 5:07 p.m.

    Orozco has never impressed me (but neither is he bad; I just don't see what he adds to the team). Bedoya, though not impressive in any one category, often seems to be able to contribute. Generally I was very impressed with the ball movement and first touches. Bolivia is not a South American power, but we've struggled against lesser opponents. Though I agree with the concerns expressed about Zardes first touch, he's earned a start (and Pulisic should get at least 30 mins off the bench, probably for Dempsey). My preferred line up would be 4:3:3, with Yedlin & Johnson outside, Besler & Brooks CBs, Cameron & Bradley DCM, Nagbe OCM, Wood central and Bedoya and Zardes on the flanks (Pulisic coming in for Bedoya or Zardes).

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, May 29, 2016 at 10:55 p.m.

    Some defensive players standout by not standing out.

  11. Wooden Ships replied, May 30, 2016 at 9 a.m.

    Kent, I'd use Wood and Zardes up top, Fabian left, Bedoya right, with Nagbe central, MB holding. Yedlin, Brooks, Cameron and Castillo or Beez. Since we didn't see Howard at all in the run up, its obviously Brad. And here's a good, I don't know a lot about the finer points of Keeping, other than beating them, my eyes tell me Horvath is better than both of them. But, JK has this apprentice-journeyman philosophy. I wouldn't want an apprentice wiring my house or plumbing my lines, but he'd be fine in my nets.

  12. Kent James replied, May 31, 2016 at 11:22 a.m.

    Bob, as a defender myself, I wholeheartedly agree with you (one of the nicest compliments I've ever had was when I was the assistant coach for my college after I graduated, my coach told me he didn't realize how much I contributed until I was gone). A good modern example is Busquets at Barcelona. I just don't see Orozco as that level player for the national team (or more accurately, I think we have better options).

  13. Ginger Peeler, May 30, 2016 at 2:16 p.m.

    WS, years ago, when JK chose Jermaine Jones for the team, I was horrified and posted that he was "a red card waiting to happen". And you folks agreed. Here we are, years later, and I don't think he's gotten one yet while playing for the USMNT! In fact, I even find myself admiring his play from time to time and admit that he has made some fine contributions. While I don't understand how or why JK makes his choices, he did seem to pick those that produced at that moment in the World Cup. He brought in some young ones and they made him look like a genius. And even if Wondo missed that WC sitter, he is still consistently racking up the goals in MLS. All he has to do is the same for our national team. I know, I know...much easier said than done. I don't care for Altidore and yell at the tv each time he's in the starting lineup, but ...damn!... he DOES score goals! It's so much less frustrating to shake my head in wonder at JK's choices and hope he's still got that special insight. Yeah, the Gold Cup was a total aberration. Ouch! Anyway, this team, now, today, has the most depth of any USMNT that I've ever seen. And I've been following them for a long, long time. Some of these kids are showing poweful skills and soccer smarts. I worry about Pulisic. That's a teenager's body he's playing in; a boy against men in a tournament with South American players who can be VERY rough (remember Tab Ramos' jaw being broken?). I watched part of the game with our U-17s playing South Korea in India. They finally went down a goal in overtime after playing a man short in 90° heat for over an hour. Nice passing, good defense, holding...very little "kick it and run". That makes for a hopeful future. In the meantime, we have a very exciting now!

  14. Wooden Ships replied, May 30, 2016 at 3:31 p.m.

    Ginger I suspect were from the same era, circa ????-lol. I'm a contemporary of the St. Louis bunch from the 60's and 70's and do agree the pool depth is much better today under JK. JZj has come up big in moments and has been the engine with JK's style. But, and this is where we are poised, he isn't a possession middle of the pitch type of player. Not his fault, just not his game. I do like his mettle and his keeping his head under JK is JK's leadership. For us to be a real top 20 team we need field players that have that 90% touch. That leaves out several of JK's go to-default players. We need to possess the ball now and not be so 100 mph, not put so much on the defenders and free kicks. Like you pointed out with the boys in India, its is a promising future. I feel like we have technical players at many of the younger levels. The coaching emphasis needs to reinforce those control skills. I do remember Ramos' jaw and many other cheap shots delivered. I'm very proud that our players honor the game without resorting to dirty tactics.

  15. John Soares, May 30, 2016 at 2:20 p.m.

    The good news... more of, is there were no "low scores/performance" the team as a whole played well and consistent, as a team. If only this was the "new" team, I'm hopeful! Sadly another VERY disappointing turn out. Scott is right, send them to Portland for a 20,000 sell out or Seattle for 50,000+.

  16. K Michael, May 31, 2016 at 10:29 a.m.

    What were the ticket prices, I wonder? Look at the half-empty arenas, stadiums for pre-season NBA, NFL games - I wouldn't be too concerned about low attendance for mid-week friendlies during a week with graduations, summer vacations starting, and a holiday weekend.

  17. RG Silver, May 31, 2016 at 4:56 p.m.

    Can someone explain the player ratings? #'s. It always seems random to me. Even if Guzan wasn't ever challenged does he deserve a 5? It's not his fault the competition wasn't up to par. Is there some standard?

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, June 1, 2016 at 4:48 a.m.

    5 is supposed to be a good i.e., solid, performance which is what you expect normally of a professional. 6 is supposed to be something better than normal. 4 is supposed to indicate some weakness in the performance. So if the keeper has a boring match, he gets a 5, a normal rating. Some people say 5 is an "average" rating but I don't like using math terms for this. The ratings are subjective, not objective.

  19. RG Silver, June 1, 2016 at 7:38 a.m.


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