Sunday, March 24, 2013

Uno a cer-snow

Apologies to whoever invented Spanish.

The U.S. answered a lot of questions and silenced some rightful (and overanxious) doubts Saturday night, even if there was almost nothing to take from the game tactically. At least, I wrote as much

My player ratings though are for NSC eyes only.*

Brad Guzan 7 Missed a punch in the 54th minute but otherwise gave Costa Rica nothing in nightmarish conditions. Somehow got snow in his lack of hair.

DeMarcus Beasley 7 A royal pest on either side of the ball. When he was beaten he recovered immediately and his pace pushes los Ticos back in attack.

Clarence Goodson 7.5 Looked more agile in the ankle-deep snow than he does in many matches on dry land. Dominated on headers and was no-nonsense in distribution.

Omar Gonzalez 7.5 Steady in the air and smart on the ground, he covered for Cameron when necessary and made hesitant attackers pay. Taking a late elbow and blasting a free kick clear about summed it up.

Geoff Cameron 5 Added energy if nothing else going forward but was lost and caught in possession too often on Oviedo. Isolated Zusi and disbalanced the attack in the process.

Jermaine Jones 6 At times, tried to do a little too much on the ball and his elbow to Ruiz's face was stupid. Evened it out with some of his too much actually working and covering vast amounts of snow-covered space.

Michael Bradley 8 He can do and does many things for the Nats. Last night, he did them all, shielding the back line when needed and nudging the attack forward when it stalled and hardly put a touch wrong doing so.

Herculez Gomez 7 Played with the work rate of a winger and the positioning of the pensive striker he is. His flank was a point of strength nearly all night combining with Jones and Beasley.

Clint Dempsey 8 The team's playmaker, game-winner and captain put in a vintage performance as a constant outlet and created off the dribble with no help from the referee. He did sh*t.

Graham Zusi 5.5 Faded in and out of the attack, didn't add much and his flank was the source of most of Costa Rica's early success. Playing in front of Cameron didn't help.

Jozy Altidore 8.5 Man of the Match. His hold-up play was the greatest difference between the teams. Without Altidore the possession battles are fought 10-20 yards closer to the U.S. goal.

*It was very snowy.

- by Jacob Klinger


heythisisrobbie said...

Nice job. I thought Bradley was rated too high and Run DMB too low, though.

I originally said DMB was MOTM but after some reflection would choose Jozy as well.

Jacob Klinger said...

Thank you.

I think both will be hugely important in Azteca.

Tony M said...

I agree with the distribution of ratings for the most part. (Too close to quibble, really.) But I think you are too high across the board. an 8.5, two 8s, two 7.5s and three 7s? what did we beat Spain 3-0? I'd knock everything down a half point.

I agree that Jozy is MOTM, but think Gonzales deserves consideration. (And there's my quibble - I have him a nudge higher than Goodson) If Jones had duplicated his first half performance in the second, it would have been him

Jacob Klinger said...

Maybe so. But the way I try to do these is I treat 6 as a baseline and then bump players up our down in terms of their significance and success in filling the role of trying to help the team win. I think everyone does these a little differently, but that's what I tell myself when I'm questioning what number to slap down.

The reason I throw out three 8-and-ups is I thought each player was beyond critical to the result. In my mind, anything less from those three and the U.S. probably drops two points or more.

The 7s were all better than good. So I guess what it came down to for me is, you look at the situation, see what they did in it, and I can't really see myself asking for much more in terms of the job they were set out to do.

I still probably would've taken Altidore over a smarter second half from Jones, just because of the way Altidore changed the game. Jones could've done all the work he did and then some, but w/o Jozy it'd mostly be wasted energy.

And the CBs for me turned in nearly identical performances - though it was hard to see. If I had to pick one I'd take Gonzo for his coverage, but that's really splitting hairs, Goodson was an animal on headers.

Tony M said...

Jacob - that's for the reply. Can't disagree with anything you said, althought I found Gonzales a little more aggressive going out to break up attacks, etc., then Goodson. But Goodson edged him with two mosnter defensive headers to one.

Unknown said...

My pleasure. I was just glad they seemed to know where each other was more or less supposed to be.

No doubt my evaluation will have zero affect on their respective transfer values.

Joosey said...

For me, MOTM has to go to Jermaine. An argument along the lines of 'if Jermaine doesn't do all the work, Jozy never gets the ball in the positions he did' is equally as strong as Jermaine's work is worthless without Jozy's finishing things. Jermaine also played the second half with a gashed leg and sprained ankle. Love the heart.

Unknown said...

We could probably go chicken-egg on this for days.

But while Jones' work certainly helped feed Altidore, without Altidore pinning back the Costa Rican defense, and consequently, the whole team, Jones wouldn't have gotten away with the adventurous touches he took.

Basically los Ticos had to lay off and respect Altidore's ability to latch onto long balls and run the channels. Without that constant threat Jones doesn't breathe.

dikranovich said...

who cares!!! USA has three points and the opportunity to pick up a historic three points tonight and send this whole hex into total disorder, while we rise up above it and take on the cat bird seat.

dikranovich said...

and i just want to get my ten comment seal of approval in this thread too. thank you.