Wednesday, June 19, 2013

USA--Honduras Player Ratings

Tim Howard, 7 - Saved everything he needed to and came off his line to punch away the few crosses that came his way. You could see the joy on his face, finishing off this three-game set with a shutout.

Brad Evans, 6 - Looked a little lost in defense. Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson didn't do him any favors, but he did recover, just didn't add enough to get more than a passing grade.

Omar Gonzalez, 6 - He did get burnt stepping to midfield in the first half, but otherwise managed a shutout, mostly chanceless defense.

Matt Besler, 7 - Positioned himself wonderfully and even provided some solid distribution. He is the best American defender, again, still, until further notice. Really, I'm just waiting for him to start banging in set-piece goals.

Fabian Johnson, 7.5 - His explosiveness on the overlap facilitated Altidore's opener. EJ and Zusi didn't help him out much tracking back. Still, he held his own and was nearly as effective going forward as he is from midfield. Almost. Keep in mind this was a largely bunkered opponent.

Michael Bradley, 7 - Metronomic when he needed to be, more aggressive at other times. The attack lacked a little creativity and it wasn't totally his fault. That said, his passing lacked the dynamism it's had lately. Maybe he's spoiled us.

Jermaine Jones, 7 - The booming diagonals he loves as much as we do weren't possible Tuesday. He covered his ground and stalled out Honduras's sparse attacks. The dummy in the buildup to Altidore's was most enjoyable. I'm most concerned by the last five minutes of the first half when he and Bradley seemed to run out of the requisite gas to press los Catrachos away.

Graham Zusi, 5 - He was OK going forward on the wing, but didn't do either of his full backs any favors, and as a result, put the US under more pressure than it otherwise would've been. Left-footed crosses missed several targets, too.

Clint Dempsey, 7 - Wasn't as individually productive as he usually is, but the Honduran back line had to respect him as a threat atop the eighteen-yard box. In a game where space was hard to come by, that can't be overstated.

Eddie Johnson, 5 - Presented the same problems Zusi did. And when he pinched in up top, he got in the way more than anything. I like his pace out there and his stepovers seem to work more often than they should. But he didn't do enough all-around as a midfielder. Given, he's not one.

Jozy Altidore, 8 - Took two men with him even 25-plus yards from goal in a game with little space. His finish was cool as could be, and easily could've been overshot by a less composed striker. Like Jozy a couple years ago.

Edgar Castillo, 6 - Didn't get beat going back and maintained a vertical threat. And that vertical threat opened up a few more yards to help the US kill off the game.

Brad Davis, 6 - Solid. Tracked back better than the guy he came on for.

Geoff Cameron, 7 - Bolted up the midfield and let Bradley go forward and orchestrate the game's favorable end.
Jurgen Klinsmann, 7 - It became apparent around halftime that there was no sub that would unlock the defense. Instead, he let the system and the players he selected get the job done.

- Jacob Klinger


Unknown said...

Not sure why you gave Jones a 7 and I am one of the people who likes him. He was pretty bad yesterday. A few really really bad turnovers and a yellow card. Faked an injury instead of tracking back. Definitely fueled for the fire for his critics.

beerme said...

I thought Eddie Johnson was awful. Should've started Castillo at LB and kept Fabian Johnson further forward to feed Altidore with crosses.

After seeing how good we can play with proper wide players, we would be insane to compromise our attack.

Zach said...

I don't normally complain about these ranking as they are so objective, but these are bad. Jones even with Bradley? How? Zusi 2 points below Clint? You're hitting the wings for not covering Defense, when Hon. never pushed more than 3 players forward. Jozy an 8?! He had 2 decent plays the whole game.

jon said...

rabble rabble rabble

jon said...

Zach, Greg's ratings are also up over at majorleaguesoccersoccer and he's more in line with your feelings (except for Jozy -- who as a Forward will always have more leeway, especially when they take their chances)

Unknown said...

Bradley probably brought Jones up and vice versa, but I'll give that I shoulda reflected that better.

The wingers got knocked because they didn't do that part of their job and it had as negative effect as anything on the US. They were only OK going forward too. And Dempsey a full two points higher because of what his constant threat and positioning did to Honduras and for the US.

There were plenty of times where it looked like the US needed him to drop deeper, but by not doing so, he kept Honduras stretched and protected midfield.

And yeah, Jozy did the deed and pulled defenders out all day long. If the wings were a little better he wouldn't have had to check as wide, but he made it work.

dikranovich said...

but wasn't that run by Bradley where he dribbled through like five hondus just lovely?

when you got a guy like f. Johnson sending in deliciouso service, it is not as needed to have a wide midfielder who does the same, but he needs to be able to defend.

if jozy can learn how to defend, and you know he did not learn it at az, then there might still be hope for the riddle wrapped in a mystery, ej.

yak, maybe that is the biggest drawback to switching wide mids, and that is that they can more easily lose their mark. I think that is why najar got loose a couple of times.

most of the Honduras chances where half chances and besler is a pure genius in defense, just for getting the ball to Bradley so quick and being an all around super player.

when you think about these young central defenders, it harkens back to the first Honduras game and the strauss article quoting someone as saying they could not believe boca was not in the lineup. we now know why.

Greg Seltzer said...

"when you got a guy like f. Johnson sending in deliciouso service, it is not as needed to have a wide midfielder who does the same, but he needs to be able to defend."

That may be the wackiest tactical logic I've ever seen. Congrats.

"if jozy can learn how to defend, and you know he did not learn it at az...

Where to even start with this?

Matt Petrik said...

Excellent victory...but nothing I saw from EJ or Zusi changes my mind that LD will soon regain his starting fact LD and FJ on the left sounds as good to me as Bradley and Cameron in midfield.

Unknown said...

I'm surprised more people haven't noted that our goal may have been offside. Am I wrong? When Dr. Zus flicked on, I thought Fab was just off, no?

Bernardinho said...

I thought Zusi worked a leave on that play?

Greg Seltzer said...

Zusi didn't touch the ball.

jon said...

Yep, I watched it on a loop today and Zusi dummies it. Fortunate that the linesman recognized that in real time. Twellman wasn't sure during the call either, as he first implies it was a dummy and then say refers to it as the slightest of touches.

jon said...

Sorry, the AR.

couchtoast said...

Jacob's ratings, but a question for Greg: I have seen numerous player ratings today in which Besler is specifically noted as being the best U.S. defender, and I am not one to quibble with this assessment.

So the question is, where/who are Besler's European suitors? There has to be some interest, right?

(And my apologies if you have covered this in an earlier post.)

Unknown said...

Oh, Zusi didn't get a foot on it? Okay. My fault, fellas..

dikranovich said...

ct, besler is like a mad dog in defense. this guy is a 26 year old budding star. he is locked up with sKc through the end of 2015 and a good showing in brasil next summer would make him an even hotter property.

for a little percpective, leandro of roma won copa liberatodores, with corintians and then signed with roma for 5 million

Ronald said...

Zusi waaaayy too low. Sub-par first half I'll admit but his energy, clever movement, and just downright fighting spirit carried us to the point of the goal in the second half. I don't fault him for the poor crosses from the left either because even though Klinsmann has shown a better understanding of the team over the course of these June games, Zusi really has no business being on the left when he brings so much on the right (and, not to mention, has no left foot to speak of). Trying to keep his lack of pace away from Izaguirre is one thing but I'm convinced Zusi is for real, what he lacks in speed he more than makes up for with his desire and creativity, and after seeing what he has brought to the table for us in the last 3 games, I have no doubt he would have found his way around him more than a few times. Jones way too high, he looked rusty in general but the ultimate strike against him was his (as always) foolish and unecessary yellow, especially when it was clear from the beginning that the Hondurans had been briefed to bait his short temper (which they easily did). Furthermore, Cameron came in and (albeit in limited minutes) did a fantastic job in the same role. I know Klinsmann is enamored w/ Jones and considers him a "leader" on the team, but after Panama and his limited minutes in this game, how does Cameron not make a strong claim to that starting role beside/behind Bradley? And also, Castillo played all of 6 and a half minutes, a 6? really?

dikranovich said...

Ronald, you do have to give a little more credit to a player who picks up a yellow early on and plays out the rest of his minutes in such a composed fashion. jj was having to cover on the play anyway because of a poor giveaway by maybe gonzo. because you know besler would not give away so easy.

lets be honest everyone. would moving junior into deuces spot be such a bad thing? how about we put deuce in a left mid spot that he achieved player of the year honors in the freaking epl in.

we need to play the triple destroyer with jones, junior, and Cameron. can you imagine how that trio would have handled pilacios and esperanza?

jon said...

About as well as a 3 destroyer midfield handled Honduras in San Pedro Sula?

dikranovich said...

I wonder how well abby wambach would pair with jozy. im sure she would take some of the heat off of him with her play and movement.