Copa Centenario: How U.S. players rated

The USA's performance at the 2016 Copa Centenario was a mixed bag, as reflected by how Soccer America rated the U.S. players. Of the 22 games the USA has played at competitive tournaments in the Jurgen Klinsmann era, the No. 2 and No. 21 and No. 22 rated performances took place at the Centenario.

U.S. Team Ratings, Copa Centenario:
USA-Colombia (0-2)
6.00 USA-Costa Rica (4-0)
6.57 USA-Paraguay (1-0)
6.00 USA-Ecuador (2-1)
3.36 USA-Argentina (0-4)
4.82 USA-Colombia (0-1)

Of the 22 matches the USA has played at competitive tournaments in the Jurgen Klinsmann era, the second highest-rated performance was in the USA-Paraguay game while the two lowest-rated performances were in the USA-Argentina and first USA-Colombia games.

Highest U.S. Team Ratings, 2013-16:
6.67 USA-Ghana (2014 World Cup)
6.57  USA-Paraguay (2016 Copa Centenario)
6.36 USA-Honduras (2013 Gold Cup)
6.27 USA-El Salvador (2013 Gold Cup)
6.27 USA-Cuba (2015 Gold Cup)

Lowest U.S. Team Ratings, 2013-16:
3.36  USA-Argentina  (2016 Copa Centenario)
3.82  USA-Colombia   (2016 Copa Centenario)
4.00 USA-Panama  (2015 Gold Cup)
4.09 USA-Jamaica (2015 Gold Cup)
4.55 USA-Panama (2015 Gold Cup)

U.S. Team Ratings, 2013-16:
2013 Gold Cup
5.83 2014 World Cup
4.79 2015 Gold Cup
5.10 2016 Copa Centenario

Jermaine Jones was the top-rated player for the USA at the Copa Centenario. Of the core group who started five or more games, Brad Guzan, Bobby Wood, Clint Dempsey and Geoff Cameron followed. Jones, Guzan and John Brooks had the individual highs with 8s.

5+ games rated:
Jermaine Jones 4/8/7/6/-/6
6.00 Brad Guzan 6/5/8/6/5/-
5.80 Bobby Wood 4/6/7/6/-/6
5.67 Geoff Cameron 4/7/7/6/4/6
5.67 Clint Dempsey 5/7/7/7/3/5
5.17 Gyasi Zardes 4/5/7/7/4/4
5.00 John Brooks 3/5/8/6/3/-
4.80 Alejandro Bedoya 3/6/6/5/-/4
4.60 Fabian Johnson 3/6/5/5/4/-
4.33 Michael Bradley 3/5/6/5/3/4
4.20 DeAndre Yedlin 3/6/4/-/3/5

2-3 games rated:
Matt Besler -/-/-/6/-/4
Graham Zusi NR/6/5/NR/3/-
4.50 Darlington Nagbe 4/-/-/-/-/5
4.33 Christian Pulisic 4/-/-/-/3/6
3.50 Kyle Beckerman -/NR/-/4/3/-
3.50 Michael Orozco -/-/4/-/-/3

1 game rated:
Tim Howard -/-/-/-/-/6
3.00 Steve Birnbaum -/-/-/NR/3/-
2.00 Chris Wondolowski -/NR/-/-/2/-

0 appearances:
Edgar Castillo
Ethan Horvath
Perry Kitchen
37 comments about "Copa Centenario: How U.S. players rated".
  1. Kevin Leahy, June 28, 2016 at 9:48 a.m.

    The rating for Guzan for the Argentina game should have been a 1! I hope that they move forward with someone else. It has been the teams biggest strength since 1989.

  2. Brian Kraft replied, June 28, 2016 at 11:24 a.m.

    No worries. Big Bill Hamid is healthy and is the best US goalkeeper.

  3. Richard Robens replied, June 29, 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

    I also felt Guzan deserved a 1 versus Argentina. He lead his team and they followed with indecisiveness and poor decision-making. 1st goal he needed to come out or stay. Coming out was the right choice but hesitation did him in. Messi could have scored a great free kick if he goes over the wall, that is why you have a wall. Guzan got beat (ala Tony Meola vs Swiss in WC 90) where he was supposed to be. Guzan could tap Messi's shot over the bar but we call it a great free kick rather than a goal tending error. Guzan got caught in the middle again when an Argentine attacker that was off-side was ready to go by him. Guzan is a good shot stopper but that is not enough for the national team starter. Howard showed confidence and leadership, I think he's a better keeper.

  4. Rusty Welch, June 28, 2016 at 11:17 a.m.

    Your ratings for John Brooks have been laughable the entire tournament (except for the 8). I'm not sure what you have against the man who is clearly, and by far, our best defender. Is it some personal grudge? Not sure, but you guys REALLY suck at player ratings. Sometimes I really have to wonder if you're even watching the games.

  5. Seth Vieux replied, June 28, 2016 at 11:28 a.m.

    Could not agree more...the sad thing is I think he's watching, just that he really has an elementary understanding of the game.

  6. Seth Vieux, June 28, 2016 at 11:27 a.m.

    I'm not the biggest Dempsey fan, but he played really well throughout the tournament. 3 goals 3 assists....that's pretty much the entirety of the successful attacks. He also showed considerably more defensive effort than we're used to.

    Zardes averaging over 5 is quite simply laughable. I appreciate his consistently high level of effort, but he has the technical level of an average college player, at best. Worst first touch in professional soccer, does not have the ability to beat defenders on the dribble, poor field vision, not a strong or accurate shooter. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a spot on the squad based on where we are, but we HAVE to have players with much better technical ability to get better as a team. In some ways Zardes's high work rate is counter productive. He frequently gets himself to good spaces on the field, but is the last player you actually want to see in the key spot of an attack as he's more likely to thump the ball 10 yards away than he is to settle it cleanly and do something effective with the ball. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more frustrating player.

    Jones seems to magically be getting better with age. I do not know how long it can possibly last, but I tip my cap to a guy who just a few years ago I would have assessed similarly to Zardes. His touch and soccer brain seem to have really awakened at the age of 34 and his body is still capable of going to war.

    I think Bradley played better than he was given credit for. He wasn't a world beater, but he did a serviceable job in the toughest position on the field...unfortunately, opposite of Jones, it's starting to look to me that Bradley is fading earlier in his career than most. I'm beginning to wonder how much gas he'll have left in the tank by the World Cup, and that's terrifying considering the current options to replace him in the middle of the park. Nagbe looks great, but he doesn't defend well enough to play a holding CM. So who finally takes over for Bradley, especially if his form falls off earlier than expected? The only guy I see capable of doing it is Cameron, and I hate the idea of breaking up what looks like the best center back pairing in team history.

    Last comment - I was actually quite happy with the team in the 3rd place game and disagree with the player ratings for that game across the board. They demonstrated an ability (for the first time ever perhaps) to play possession soccer against a highly ranked opponent. The team also created at least 10-12 good chances - they couldn't put any away, but they showed the ability to build up, attack intelligently, and create REAL opportunities against a really good team. Most important to the team's ability to do this was Wood playing a true high striker, checking to good space, holding up and distributing the ball, and pressuring the center backs on a consistent was amazing to see. We certainly played well enough to win that game, even without Brooks and Johnson.

  7. trebor gt replied, June 28, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

    Seth, couldn't agree more - best account of Zardes Ive seen. Works hard, but his first touch makes me cringe. He has gotten better to be sure but a long way to go. Outside of Jones, I do not think anyone works as hard as he does.

  8. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 6:51 p.m.

    Bless your, Seth. Well said.

  9. David Mont, June 28, 2016 at 11:29 a.m.

    What does it say about the state of the US national team when the top-rated player is someone who's not particularly good at anything other than running hard, playing nasty and stepping on toes (something that his coach values above all)? He's also an excellent actor. Jones should've been redcarded in the 3rd place game after elbowing a Colombian player in the face. However, he managed to get away with just a yellow after spending a minute on the ground clutching his own face even though he wasn't even touched.

  10. Seth Vieux replied, June 28, 2016 at 11:51 a.m.

    Could not be more accurate of his elbow. He knew immediately he was screwed and somehow managed to convince the ref they had clashed heads. I do however, think he's made huge (and almost unbelievable considering his age) strides towards developing a better technical level and tactical sense. Never would have guessed it a few years ago.

  11. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 2:57 p.m.

    David...Please listen again and read the printed comments of things Klinsmann has said. You will notice that his sentences are put together...differently. English, particularly American English is not his first language. It may not even be his 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, since many Europeans are fluent in multiple languages. "Stepping on toes" is an American idiomatic expression. If you and I worked in an office together and I was pitching an idea to the bosses, but you interrupted with what you thought was a better idea, you would be "stepping on" my toes; encroaching on my territory. I can assure you Jurgen did not mean for the USMNT to be out on the field, tapdancing on all our opponents' toes. He meant "be more aggressive", as in get to the ball first, stay on your toes, be proactive! He chose an unfortunate idiomatic expression that ties to how some players deliberately cheat. Same thing with the "nasty" comment. He wants proactive, go for it play, anticipate, control the ball and don't let them have it! As for the elbow incident. They showed it a couple times on the post game show. JJ went up to try to head the ball. He threw both elbows out, just as my daughter and whole team were taught to do for protection AND, as Alexi Lalas said, "Just as we were always taught". And, as Lalas pointed out, it has a downside if your opponent, also going up for the ball, is shorter than you or if he leaves his feet split seconds after you do. Result? You smack the opponent in the face with your elbow. There was no intent by JJ to harm the other guy. JJ was flailing his hand, but I couldn't see that anyone, including himself, hit him. Yet, he went down with something affecting his eye. After he got up, you could see that the eye was really bothering him. I think he ended up with a speck of dirt or grass or some debris from the field hitting him in the eye. I'm really not sure why he did not get a card. After all, intent or no, I believe a smack in the face calls for a card. When JJ first started playing with the team, I cringed every time he took the field;I considered him a loose canon. But he has turned out to be an amazing player for the team.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, June 28, 2016 at 5:12 p.m.

    Ginger as the opponent was falling he spun with his feet out and came very close to cleating Jones in the face. Initially I had thought that Jones was injured, but could not see any cut or abrasion, and the camera angle was such that I couldn't see if there was any contact. The officials ignored the sweeping feet, but I thought he was intentional kicking out in response to the elbow.

  13. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 6:01 p.m.

    Thanks, Bob. Jones kept blinking rapidly and squinting after he was up. I guess some field debris did hit his eye.

  14. James Froehlich, June 28, 2016 at 2:20 p.m.

    These ratings represent either sheer incompetence or trolling for hits! Oops, it worked!

  15. Kent James, June 28, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.

    Although I'm not a Jones fan, he has certainly excelled in our big tournaments (the WC and this one). I do think he has become better playing for the US (I used to think he was a red card waiting to happen, but now he just gets yellows...). Zardes is another player that JK has had more faith in than I have, and yes, everyone knows his first touch is a bit rough, but I thought in this tournament he generally did quite well, often coming back to the ball and controlling it under very heavy pressure. He's not there yet, but if he continues to improve, he'll be a valuable member of the attack. Generally, I think these ratings are pretty fair. Guzan made some great saves, and while he can be faulted on 2 of the Argentina goals (the first one and Messi's free kick), the blame is certainly shared on the first goal and his only mistake on Messi's goal was taking a half-step to his right, which was understandable given most left-footers would attack Guzman's right, and Messi's shot did start that way before curving back.

  16. Chris Sapien , June 28, 2016 at 2:55 p.m.

    Never thought I'd say it, Zardes makes me miss Altidore! lol

  17. Seth Vieux replied, June 28, 2016 at 5:45 p.m.

    Right? LOL

  18. James Froehlich, June 28, 2016 at 3:15 p.m.

    CS - and you probably shouldn't have said it!

  19. James Froehlich, June 28, 2016 at 3:21 p.m.

    Regarding the issue of "nastiness". Unfortunately that term has too many broader implications that reflexively stir people up. Unfortunately at the professional and especially the international level, "excessive physicality" is an essential part of play. I am referring to the constant bumping from behind, shirt tugging, nips at the heels, etc. For most international players these actions are irritating and disruptive, which is exactly why they are used! We saw a perfect example of what happens when a team fails to use these tactics in the Argentinad - US game. We were so respectful that we had few fouls, no yellows and our leading midfielder had only two fouls in the game. Professional players understand the use of "good, clean" fouls and they also recognize the difference between them and the truly dirty, dangerous fouls. It's time that US fans learned the differen

  20. Bret Newman, June 28, 2016 at 3:29 p.m.

    The US might have won that game against Colombia if the refs called a fair game. There were several no calls on US players., that have should have been called fouls, including one just outside the left side of the box.

  21. Ric Fonseca replied, June 28, 2016 at 5:39 p.m.

    Bret, I completely agree with you as both my wife and I felt that the officiating was tilted in favor of the Colombians, the guy was from Paraguay or Uruguay?

  22. j bapper, June 28, 2016 at 4:51 p.m.

    I think some of these ratings were pretty accurate. Beckerman, Zusi and Wondoloski were poor but they always are so it wasn't a surprise. What's surprising is that Klinsmann keeps playing them. The biggest disappointment of the tournament was Bradley. Either he's injured or his legs are gone. He looks a step or two slow and also looks like he's lost confidence. Pulisic and Nagbe never got a chance to show what they can do so it's impossible to rate them yet.

  23. James Madison, June 28, 2016 at 5 p.m.

    I agree with Vieux's comments on the 3rd place game. A good foundation for WC qualifying, if the men will build from it and not fall off it.

  24. Ric Fonseca replied, June 28, 2016 at 5:41 p.m.

    Jame M: Thank you, you put it very well, it IS an excellent foundation for WC qualifying. Now I hope that Sunny Sunil doesn't decide to change horses in this mid-stream river of competition for qualification rounds!

  25. Ric Fonseca, June 28, 2016 at 5:35 p.m.

    This business of "stepping on their toes" is, no HAS reached the point of absurdity! And as in the past, it takes me back to the time my kid was on an k-leaguer ayso "all star" team and I was assigned to coach the team - given my experience yada-yada. While teaching the little ones how to at least protect the ball and themselves, lo and behold the kids had a blast, that is until one of the boys told daddy what I was teaching them, and how, etc. Guess what? The parent called the commish to complain that I was actively teaching the kids to play dirty, and because the guy was some influential guy with the ayso commissioner of my region, I was called on the carpet and told to cease and desist, and if not my kid and I would not be welcome back. Needless to say, we didn't go back, but the pisser of it all was that the so-called expert comish was an Argentine who lauded and priased the ground Maradollar walked on. But wait there's more, when my daughter was k-league eligible, and I tried to get her on a team, the comish's wife of the same region, blatantly told me there was no room, essentially I and my kids had been blacklisted. And btw, she did get on another region's k-league team! The point? As Ginger said above, and I also commented previously, JK was more than likely thinking in German and then had to "transliterate" to English. But what the hay, just PLAY ON!!!

  26. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 6:47 p.m.

    Bless you, Ric!

  27. David Mont, June 28, 2016 at 5:38 p.m.

    Ginger... First, regarding Klinsmann's language skills... English is my 4th language. I actually come from the same part of the world as Klinsmann (not Germany, but northern Europe), and I have no doubts about what Klinsmann meant and his level of command of American English. As far as excuses for JJ -- maybe he didn't mean to elbow that Colombian player in the face. That is, however, as relevant as a drunk saying that he didn't intent to kill anyone when getting behind the wheel. You go up for a challenge, you throw your elbows around, you know there is a very good chance of hurting someone. And that speck of dirt bothering his eye -- that's a really good one. Haven't heard that before. I'm surprised Jones was able to survive this assault and continue the game.

  28. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 6:35 p.m.

    David, I think we're going to agree to disagree about Klinsmann's idiomatic expressions. I've spent time in Europe with multi-lingual friends and gone to college with them here in the States, The fact that Jermaine Jones has cleaned up his act substantially while playing for Jurgen would indicate that JK is NOT recommending mayhem on the field. Please don't accuse me of making excuses for JJ's elbows. I DID, in fact, indicate that JJ's actions were worthy of a card, did I not? Making a snide comment about his health after he went down is totally uncalled for. You and I are not enemies...we're both fans of the USMNT! Let's pull together for the best possible team we can field!

  29. James Froehlich, June 28, 2016 at 6:07 p.m.

    I' m certainly not advocating high flying elbows and I agree that JJ was very lucky not to get a red. However, this happens in every league, in almost every game (multiple times) and here we are getting our AYSO shorts in a bundle. Does nobody ever watch professional games???

  30. cisco martinez, June 28, 2016 at 6:16 p.m.

    Not a fan od Klinsmann at all, however he is right when he refers to our player needing to "step on toes." what he really means is getting stuck in, not backing off, respect a team not fearing them.

  31. Ginger Peeler replied, June 28, 2016 at 6:45 p.m.

    Agreed. Thank you, Cosco!

  32. Ginger Peeler, June 28, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

    Oos! Sorry! Cisco! Autocorrect is my enemy.

  33. Joe Linzner, June 28, 2016 at 11:11 p.m.

    American English is also my second langage. To this day I still use Astrian Germanto do simple math calcs. German sentences tnd to be complex and inter related, run on etc., whereas English tends to frown on such. If anyon has ever heard a joke in German and has had it translated to English will quickly begin to realize that not only the humor but even the telling is far different than what it is in English. To Criticize Klinsman for his expressions simply means ignorance. I for one, understanding German and born to it albeit from a different region find what he said/says, perfectly understandable. I saw a poster even criticize the fact that JK doesn't wear a suit like some other coaches...... people will cricize just about anything. I suppose wearing a suit would improve him as a coach. Clothes really do make the man, at least in that poster's mind.

  34. Bob Ashpole replied, June 30, 2016 at 12:38 a.m.

    So what do you think JK mean by "nasty." I don't see how that is a cultural-context-dependent figure of speech (like "step on their toes" or "get in their face"), so I figure he means "nasty." This is a serious question, not rhetorical.

  35. Eric in DC, June 29, 2016 at 7:43 a.m.

    Bill Hamid has made his recovery and is starting games again. He should be the future of USMNT goalies. Hope JK sees that!

  36. Bob Ashpole replied, June 30, 2016 at 12:39 a.m.

    That is good to hear.

  37. Ric Fonseca, June 30, 2016 at 11:36 p.m.

    Gosh a rootie, folks, lay off Ginger, or y'all hafta answer to me! 'Sides, pilgrims, English are my second language!!! BTW, how does one translate the Spanish term "huey" into English, that we hear soooo mucho on the field?? Can you ayudanos Cisco? Hasta pronto Ginger!!!

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