Wednesday, June 12, 2013

USA 2-0 Panama ratings

Tim Howard, 7 - Had little to do, for which he deserves some credit. And what little he had to do, he did. The yellow card was silly on the ref's part, but Guzan deserves a game anyway. Good thing this country produces goalkeepers like most produce people that make a living kicking a ball.

Brad Evans, 7 - Steady tracking back and useful on the overlap, Evans turned in his fullest performance ever with the national team. Matched Panama's physicality.

Omar Gonzalez, 6.5 - Let his marker slip behind him ball-watching on a close-call offsides trap. Still, he was in the heart of the best back-line performance of this cycle. He can always put out a few fires.

Matt Besler, 7 - He's the best American center back right now, plain and simple. Helped manhandle Panama on the few looks it got.

DaMarcus Beasley, 7 - His usefulness going forward was limited by Fab's near-constant cutting in to his right, but Beasley's scrambling ability fits right in with this back line. That's not an entirely good trait. Tuesday, though, he was all the US needed. The run for the shot off the post really turned the clock back.

Geoff Cameron, 8.5 - Surely there was some way that Jermaine Jones was going to be missed in this one. But Cameron's presence actually allowed us to see more of Michael Bradley's brilliance. Cameron made the center of the park an absolute non-entity for Panama's attack. Just stifling. I mean, damn.

Michael Bradley, 8 - He'd have a higher rating if Cameron gave him more work to do. Instead, he just conducted the American midfield from all angles, provided a sure-fire outlet for the back line and even harassed Panama's when he so chose. Bradley was much of the reason I began to expect every pass to fall to a US player's foot.

Eddie Johnson, 7.5 - Johnson was a constant threat down the right flank and his run, touch and shot on the second goal were class. His crosses weren't great, but he is surely a relative of Theodore Roosevelt.

Clint Dempsey, 8 - So Dempsey didn't score. The fact that that's an off-day for him now tells you just how close to world class he is. Provided the drive, flair and confidence that infected the rest of the attack when a workman-like 2-0 game turned into Olé time in the middle of the second half.

Fabian Johnson, 6 - Tracked back well enough and was the threat that he should be going forward, but his right-footedness hurt the entire attack at times. Good, not great and he should keep his starting spot for now.

Jozy Altidore, 9 - Remember all the wild-eyed expectations you put on his 16-year old shoulders when he first broke into MLS? Well, performances like this meet them. Yes, he always draws the double team but few men in the world burst through two markers at a time like he did yesterday. Altidore is a nightmare to stand up. With one winger, he's a problem. When the US plays with two, like it did yesterday, he's a very good bet score. He and Dempsey put into full bloom the hints of chemistry they showed when Altidore first suited up against Mexico in February 2007.

Brad Davis, NR - Did he touch the ball? He was a late-game sub against a tired team that struggles with crosses.  That's what he should be.

Stuart Holden, NR - 90+' - Great to see him back. If he does return to full health and fitness, this midfield starts to get really loaded.

Joe Corona, NR - Came on. Looked competent with a still surging attack around him. Shall we all point and laugh at Mexico now as we wonder if he'd start for El Tri when he can't for the US?
Jurgen Klinsmann, 9 - The plan worked to near-perfection. Not only did he conquer a tricky matchup of pace, physicality, stern defense and decent technical ability, his players embarrassed that opponent in stretches without giving up much at the back. The first half had some questionable periods, but they were brief and this was surely the best performance of his tenure.

-  Jacob Klinger


Desert Rat said...

Overall, I'd all this a fair set of ratings.

To add, it better not be two decades until the next USMNT match in Seattle. That crowd earned a 10.

UnitedDemon said...

I disagree on the ratings for Howard and Evans (too high) but you're spot on about Cameron. What blew me away was how potent he was the few times he did decide to contribute to the attack (he was actually involved in both goals; the first one, his pass to Bradley basically told him where to go). I'm rhapsodic about his play. I don't see why Jones, still nursing a concussion, can make it back on the field.

WonderKin said...

Pulling "rhapsodic" out of the arsenal. Nice.

What brings Howard down? What did he not do? I thought he was more assertive when the ball was in the air compared to the last game and he caught what little shots came to him.

UnitedDemon said...

The offside goal that was called back. Before the whistle blew, the ball went in. Howard's reaction? Frozen statue. I was shocked. I've never seen that from Timmy. The player was in on goal, Howard doesn't come off his line, doesn't even try and get down for the save. Just utterly helpless- his body language was all fear and no action. Howard should never be helpless.

I'm worried about him, and he hasn't done anything to keep me from worrying. We need a beast in the net. Right now, Howard's only understandable in his performances, and that's a problem. We are now on track to qualify, but the WC requires a different level of US goal keeper.

Jolazo said...

When did Timmy get a yellow?

Desert Rat said...

If Geoff Cameron continues to play as he did last night as a Defensive Midfielder, I'm not sure I'd want to see Jones back in the role. The fact that Bradley was able to do Michael Bradley freelance things all night with runs and passes and wasn't leaving that spot in front of the backline naked at the same time had a lot to do with how confident the US looked in the attack.

Alex said...

Brad Evans a 7??

Miguelito B said...

I don't like saying it outloud, but I agree about Timmy. I hate to admit it, but he didn't have a great season for Everton and it shows with the USMNT. I'm used to the old infallible Timmy and I haven't seen him in a bit (friendly Azteca win?).

And agreed about Evans. Panama targeted him all night and he had trouble with that speedy winger. Still though, for only his 2nd qualifier, not bad. He won't start in Brazil though.

Jacob Klinger said...

@UnitedDemon Big picture on Howard, yeah, I'm the tiniest bit worried. A summer off starting next week could be all he needs though. And on the bright side, I think Howard's likely to age more gracefully than Kasey Keller, who was in my opinion, more of a raw athlete.

But in the context of this game, I thought Howard was fine. I have a hard time knocking him for the offside non-goal. Maybe he saw the flag first. I don't really know. So I stuck to the plays that counted. And he made those.

Evans got a 7 because I thought he was average in defense, and a mild threat going forward. That's better than average. I give 6s for average. EJ didn't do him any favors defensively either, but made up for it with everything else.

WonderKin said...

You can't seriously be taking dead ball goals into account? The flag was up. This game he played good, but his form has been a little down.

UnitedDemon said...

Yes, seriously. We're looking for signs of Howard being a dominant goal keeper. I'm getting more and more nervous, because I don't think this is a dip in form. I think this might be fading form, which is scary at this point in the campaign. The US is expected to make the World Cup, and with this formation and with the form of many players, that's something we can look forward to. I do not look forward to finding out that Howard is not where he needs to be in the group stage. That's too late. Unless he comes back in the fall and brings back some of the beast play, Guzan might be the better option.

dikranovich said...

its always nice to have a hot keeper in goal during the biggest games. it might be even nicer to have an experienced keeper in goal during those same games.

if guzan does infact show enough to take the top spot, it will happen over the whole of next season, and howard will have to continue a drop in form.

my guess is come next summer t howard is on his "A" game.

UnitedDemon said...

dikranovich, quick, before it gets away: That was a lucid argument. It was rooted in reality. Good for you.

In principle, I agree- having an experienced goal keeper is preferable- my greatest fear is that Howard is only going to become less effective.

I'm not going to howl and scream if I'm proven wrong, that would be a massive relief. Do I believe Howard is just tired or a little out of form this year? No, I don't. But it's a possibility.

Tony M said...

Because my daughter had the nerve to graduate from high school the night of the game, I finally got to watch it. All I will say is:

- Gee, guys look great when you play them in their natural spots, no? I'm talking about you Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron.

- Gee, a terrific striker finds space when their is some width supporting him.

- Gee, the goals looked like they came out of the Bob Bradley counter attacking play book, didn't they? (And guess what - that's out strength. Let's use it.

The best thing is that Cameroen deferred to Bradely, which let him run the offense and dictate tempo. This is a good thing.

The not-so-good. Beasley has great make up speed...but Beasley needs great make up speed. Our fullbacks did nothing wrong, but I do not have confidence against a top team. Panama was finding the game before our second goal.

All in all, it was the best we have looked in a sometime. But there is still a lot of improving that needs to be done...

Cam said...

The one thing i disagree with is the Eddie Johnson rating, he did score, but he also gave the ball away easy and often. It's not his fault really, he just isn't a wide player. Josh Gatt needs another chance in this squad, additionally all will be solved with Donovan back in the fold.

Cam said...

All will be solved as far as width on the right side I mean. Also Beasley still makes me very nervous, I agree that he could struggle against better competition.

Jacob Klinger said...

@Cam EJ got the bump for his goal, like you pointed out, and the fact that his presence stretched the hell out of Panama. We haven't had to see an opponent defend two wingers in a really long time and his mere presence there made a world of difference. And I didn't think he was that bad on the ball. You want your wingers to take people on. I think he picked his spots correctly, too.

I eagerly await Donovan's return and I think Gatt's next chance will be the Gold Cup.

Jacob Klinger said...

Just to clarify, I don't think Johnson's a winger, but I do think his pace adds a dimension that other right-side options don't provide.

dikranovich said...

maybe the question should be, who is a better left back between DMB and Fabian Johnson. DMB is such a crafty, wily veteran, but Johnson has serious skills to be a left back.

gatt really has no place in this discussion. we need men to be ready for next summer in brasil, and this is no kiddie event.

if you wanna talk about someone becoming a man, it is jack mcinerney we should be talking about.

Greg Seltzer said...

It's funny... apparently, we are only supposed to support the players or coaches you prefer.

Gatt has something no one else in the pool has, something that needs no great experience to scare the ever-lovin' shit out of every defender on the planet at any given moment. If we do not do everything possible to get him ready for Brazil, we should get a slap. For reals.

Gosh, after some really smart comments the last days, it's back to this stuff. Makes me wonder what you would have said about June 2001 DaMarcus Beasley playing in the 2001 version of MLS a year before Japorea.

Ronald said...

Evans rated too high, burnt up and caught chasing his man too many times. Lay off Eddie, I know he brought little-to-nothing defensively but he was a handful down the right hand side going forward all game, as the game went on you could clearly see Panama giving him less room and more and more respect. Jury still out on Beasley at LB (particularly when it comes to elite opposition, A.K.A. NOT Panama) for me but no big complaints about his showing in this game. Cameron was amazing for me, confident and more creative than I expected going forward, and just an absolute wrecking ball when we lost possession. I agree with what has already been said about Howard not looking as dominant as he has in years past, interested to see Guzan in some of these games.

Still undecided about Gatt, he's too much of an unknown commodity for important qualifiers at this point IMO but I'm also not ready to write him off for next summer. Looking forward to seeing him on the GC roster.

dikranovich said...

greg, dmb was always top shelf in my book, but he did play in MLS a year before 2002. his inclusion in japan/korea came about because of his play at the 2002 gold cup, which as im sure everyone is aware, included south korea. so hiddink sees his future PSV winger in the rose bowl six months before he sees him in daugon.

maybe gatt can have a similar showing in this edition of copa oro. his club team is in the relegation zone, he does not have the foot skills that maybe are required on the national team, and his stamina is not up to par. give me marvell wynne on the national team before josh gatt, please.

Cam said...

His team is in the relegation zone...but they have won their league the past 2 years are you just going to ignore that?

dikranovich said...

cam, I think that is kind of the point, winning the Nordic league is not as impressive as losing it is unimpressive. gatt has another season or so to turn it around and he is going to get his chances.

if the recent storyline has told us anything, it is that versatility is going to be highly valued and a one trick pony like josh gatt better have one heck of a nice trick to get to brasil.

heythisisrobbie said...

I agree on the premise, disagree on the player. Joe Gyau needs to be the guy we are doing everything possible to integrate.

Dude is quick AND can fly.

Unknown said...

@dikranovich Fabian Johnson's a better left back in my book. He' just as dangerous going forward, is a better overall defender, especially when you consider he isn't going to get pushed around.

While I think your winning/not winning logic, well, isn't, how do you think today's Norwegian league compares to MLS in 2001?

Either way, a squad needs to be diverse just as much as its players need to be. Gatt gives us a pure, natural burner on the wing, who can also cut in and score goals. Yeah, he looked a step behind mentally in Russia, but any team the US plays in the World Cup will pin a full back back and hold an extra midfielder if they scout Gatt.

To a signicant extent, you can't coach against speed.

Gyau and McInerney should be brought along too. That doesn't mean they're 23-worthy. I think Gatt's better than Gyau right now. All three could make it and I too was bummed not to see Gyau on the Gold Cup roster.