Saturday, September 7, 2013

Costa Rica 3-1 USA Player ratings

Tim Howard, 5 - Actually made a number of top-notch saves. He was forced into too many though, and didn't make enough for the team to win. Howard should've come off his line on the second goal.

Michael Orozco-Fiscal, 3.5 - He played like a right back who isn't a right back, which is to say, not very well. The best defending down his side came from Omar Gonzalez covering for him. Some OK runs upfield spare him a more shattering grade. But he did not do his job.

Omar Gonzalez, 4.5 - Covered fairly well considering the absolute lack of defense around him in the early going. He wasn't directly responsible for any of the goals, but his back line was bad when it needed to be decent.

Matt Besler, 4 - Yeah, no one on defense is getting a passing grade tonight. He was crisply burnt for the game-ending goal. And while his distribution and confidence going forward seem to have improved, his ability to help organize a defense in crunch qualifiers has not.

DaMarcus Beasley, 4 - Looked lively going forward, but he didn't cover the near post on the first goal and he was badly beaten for the second. Now, as a 5-foot-7 left midfielder, he was in no position to succeed. Defensively, he didn't.

Jermaine Jones, 4 - Just awful on the second goal, trotting back and marking space instead of the open man and ultimate goalscorer, Borges. However unjustified his confidence may be at times, though, it did help the U.S. get back in the game. As a not terribly creative two-way midfielder, his usefulness as was badly diminished by the early 2-0 hole.

Geoff Cameron, 5 - He was as much of a turnover machine as anyone early on, but actually impressed with his ball-winning and composure late in the game. That was too little, too late though, and his coming in cold was costly.

Graham Zusi, 5.5 - The chip over the defense from 35 yards out that created the penalty was beautiful. That said, he looked as lost as anyone early on and had to be subbed off in a game of this tempo. A deeper, central role might have suited him better.

Landon Donovan, 7 - Donovan was certainly the No. 10 tonight. As pretty much the sole source of creativity, his dropping back and wide gave the U.S. attack the best chance to succeed. Unfortunately for Donovan, he was crossing to an out-of-form hybrid striker for much of that time.

Fabian Johnson, 6 - Fab was all too quiet in the first half and almost the best player on the field in the second, just by playing simple, well-positioned soccer. He nearly scored in the 27th minute off a hammered strike.

Clint Dempsey, 6.5 - He played the kind of tireless back-to-goal soccer that endeared him to Fulham fans when Brian McBride was still active, and hurt. Clearly short for fitness, he lacked the edge that makes him one of the best but still nearly equalized in the 57th minute. Like any striker would, he benefited from Donovan's presence.

Eddie Johnson, 5 - The potential that comes with his being on the field outweighed the reality of his inability to combine in transition. And that was a massive buzzkill to an attack already short for ideas and execution.

Jozy Altidore, 4.5 - He did less than EJ and picked up a pointless yellow card along the way. 

Aron Johansson, NR - The Iceman is now the answer to the trivia question, "Who did Clint Dempsey sub off for in his 100th cap?"

The Manager
Jurgen Klinsmann, 5 - Orozco-Fiscal at right back didn't work. Eventually the team responded, but without having played basic defense in the opening 10 minutes, the players had tied Klinsmann's hands somewhat. Even with a short bench, it's hard to say he gave his squad the best chance to succeed. None of the subs really worked.

- Jacob Klinger


Tony M said...

Think you're a little generous to Clint, whose touch and passing led to several turnovers. Also, Besler was turned a couple other times and beaten badly, but it was only the third goal where he got punished.

dikranovich said...

I cant help but compare and contrast your comments yak, regarding Fabian Johnson, with gregs comments about the same player. pretty insightful, no?

UnitedDemon said...

The only reason anyone has anything positivie to say about Dempsey is that he buried a PK... which only went in through shear freaking luck. The GK didn't quite parry it the right way, and was in the perfect position to do so on a shot which he read all the way. Dempsey did not hold up the ball. He was part of the reason Costa Rica's backline was unscathed from the run of play. Frankly, I'm not sure he's fit enough to start right now.

Unknown said...

Jermaine Jones has all the talent but none of the responsibility to play in the middle of the park. Without Bradley his poor decision making is exposed. Sadly, he will have to be plugged in again in the midfield on Tuesday due to the few options available. I hope to see Beckerman no matter what Bradley's status might be.

Unknown said...

Zusi, was horrilbe, just plain horrible. Sure he got one lucky chip shot in.

To high of a score for Klinsman, would have given him a 4 or 4.5. Putting Zusi and Orozco on the same side bad, putting the US in a 4-5-1 bad. We always play better in a 442.

Greg Seltzer said...

"We always play better in a 442."

Okay, well that's just simply not true. One of the most oft-repeated false "common knowledge truisms" in our USMNT bubble.

Unknown said...

@tony Dempsey was far from his best, but that was still good enough to work in the sense that he was better than average. Plus, he scored, as easily read as his shot was.

@dik Yeah, I saw that too. We're two different guys seeing the game a bit differently. But I'm glad you think we're both insightful.

@UnitedDemon I think you're being a little harsh on his back-to-goal play. He and Donovan had some moments in little two-man games and Dempsey was still a constant threat whenever he got to turn and face. No way he doesn't start vs. Mexico, especially with Altidore out.

@? I disagree with the notion that he has to be plugged in Tuesday, but I agree that he likely will be. I'm falling out with the Jones-Bradley combo for a lot of situations. The way Jones plays with the national team limits Bradley. That may be irrelevant right now, but I'd prefer a stay-at-home Beckerman type with Mix if Bradley's out. It'll probably be Jones playing the more attacking role in front of Beckerman, which just might work, vs. Mexico.

Unknown said...

Okay maybe we don't always play better. But we do play better when Jozy has some help up top. But look how much better we played in Bosnia during the 2nd half. Maybe the 451 was the best option if you are sitting Jozy and don't have Bradley on.

Tony M said...

Jacob - thanks for responding. I still disagree. By that logic, if that PK doesn't take a very fortunate deflection, what's his grade then? It was a poor PK, whether or not we got lucky.

Tony M said...

...(didn't finish the thought} I don't think an almost random outcome on the PK should influence the grade.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ downintexas: Yeah, I still don't see where people get this idea. Yes, the formation change had a good effect against Bosnia, but that's one particular opponent who also had just made several subs. And Altidore has just spent most of two season killing it as a #9 with AZ.

It's never been about if he has a "partner" - it's about if he has a team behind winning and keeping possession and getting numbers forward in unison and getting him the ball in good positions.

John said...

Dempsey's rating is a bit too high. He didn't have a good game even though he did score a penalty(I was nervous tbh).

Jacob Klinger said...

@Tony I get what you're saying, but the slightest of touches or deflections - also random - make and break goals in every game. He was still the first person to grab that ball, hand it to the ref and take the shot.

It wasn't great obviously. And a prettier goal maybe gets a bigger bump, but it still counts, so how could I not count it?

Jacob Klinger said...

@downintexas Sorry, an earlier reply didn't send from my phone.

But I agree with Greg on this one. Only my schpiel is that it's a matter of width, which wasn't really the issue last night. It was more the fact that the team couldn't play defense in key situations and there was no creativity in deep midfield.

I do think that sometimes players find width more easily in a 4-4-2. That said, the US probably has a higher ceiling in a 4-5-1. And both will rightfully be used.

Bryan said...

Greg - Can you explain the John Brooks situation and why he's going back to Germany? I've followed the int'l game for a very long time and I don't recall seeing this agreement - which doesn't make sense now or before - that doesn't involve an injury/suspension/simply not needed before.

I'm not concerned about him jumping ship...just curious as to why, during an international window, he'd bolt midway through it.

Greg Seltzer said...

Him bolting is not the scenario - you make it sound like it was his choice. Simply put, Hertha wanted him back and usable when they play Friday. If JAB sticks around or even plays (which now seems like an obvious call), he would not be back to Germany until late Wednesday.

TrueCrew said...

Poor comments on Beasley and the second goal. Can't defend that 1 v 3. Where was the CB and DM/CM cover?