Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dos a Cero IV Player Ratings

There wasn't much pretty about it, except for the whole qualifying for the World Cup bit. That was real nice. 

For a full dose of the game, click here, or just keep scrolling.
Not that it really matters who qualified when, but with a little help from our Honduran and Panamanian friends, the U.S. became the eighth team in the world to book its ticket to Brazil 2014.

Tim Howard, 8 - He was exactly what he needed to be: calming and all-business, especially when Mexico ratcheted up a little pressure. The saves he made weren't as easy as they looked and his willingness to play the ball out of the back early on gave the U.S. space going forward.

Fabian Johnson, 5 - Fluffed a handful of would-be final balls and simple combinations while otherwise looking uncomfortable and hesitant for nearly all of his 45 minutes. His 42nd-minute sombrero was enjoyable, but he appeared to pull his hamstring on the play, and that was the end of his uninspiring night.

Clarence Goodson, 7.5 - Won everything that came his way in the air. If every team played flat crosses and static long balls like Mexico did tonight, Goodson would be world class. He was also instrumental on Eddie Johnson's two chances off corner kicks, drawing defenders away from the play.

Omar Gonzalez, 8 - Did everything Goodson did and then some. Gonzalez was a crucial relief of Mexican pressure, showing little hesitation to take what space he could find and making the American midfielders' jobs that much easier.

DaMarcus Beasley, 7 - Pretty much shut down Gio dos Santos. What more did you want from him? He provided much-needed width in the attacking half and he knicked the ball away from Mexican attackers several times in the second half to either key counter attacks to the corner or cycle the ball back into crucial clock-killing possession. He did almost score on himself though.

Alejandro Bedoya, 6.5 - Fab Johnson's shakiness undermined his first-half performance, but he continued to keep Mexico honest with well-timed runs. He couldn't match the impact Landon Donovan was having on the opposite flank, but as one of the more active players in an often-stagnant game, Bedoya did plenty well enough in his World Cup Qualifying debut.

Jermaine Jones, 7 - He made just two stupid plays. Beyond that, he was a veteran where one was needed most and a critical outlet for the back line. Jones played within himself while still forcing the issue when Mexico conceded space. When he doesn't try to be something he's not, Jones is a terrifically useful midfield engine.

Kyle Beckerman, 6.5 - Cool as could be holding down the midfield fort under prolonged but predictable pressure and even managed some dangerous balls over the top. Performances like these may earn him a trip to Brazil next summer.

Landon Donovan, 7 - Wasn't his menacing, Mexicutioning self. But, his presence opened up the field for teammates, the service on Eddie Johnson's goal was textbook and his run for the second goal was too.

Clint Dempsey, 7 - Faded in and out of the game while quietly tracking back wherever he was needed. Clearly lacking for fitness, Dempsey was massive in killing off the game. And while I doubt it's true, the fans in the Columbus stands sang that he missed that penalty on purpose.

Eddie Johnson, 7 - It's almost unfair to give him points for the respect Mexico gave him, but the space his speed opened up in the middle of the field gave the U.S. a foothold in a patchy first half. Holdup play was OK. His decision-making is still a step too slow at times for a world-class game, but this was no such thing. If not for a good save by Jesus Corona, we'd be talking about an Eddie Johnson brace tonight.

Michael Parkhurst, 6 - Contained dos Santos when the Mexican No. 10 switched flanks and while Parkhurst provided little going forward, he didn't need to. In fact, he made Beasley better in the second frame. That's what teammates are for.

Mix Diskerud, 7.5 - That self-flick for the assist - which was also a nasty touch - pretty much sums it up. Diskerud did what he needed to, wanted to and helped seal the game with the scoreline you always wanted.

Graham Zusi, NR - Quiet. And that's OK.

The Manager
Jurgen Klinsmann, 7.5 - Diskerud made him look really smart. In fact, all the subs were fully sensible and played their roles to a T. And while the opening was a little nervy, this was always going to be a game of weathering raw emotions and his squad did that perfectly. I had serious doubts that he'd have the team qualifying, but much respect, Mexischarfrichter

- Jacob Klinger


UnitedDemon said...

Generally agreed on the grades, though I think F. Johnson had provided more service in the first half than Bedoya, who really didn't look like the winger he needs to be to be called on in the World Cup. Like Donovan and Beasley, he needed to show he can find space, blaze, make the pass. Didn't happen enough.

Donovan should take PK's from now on. That's two pk's in a row now that A) should have been saved or B) missed an empty net.

That being said, I can't imagine the grades the Mexican fans are giving their players right now.

dikranovich said...

yak, there is a very wonderful irony in all of this. we play panama in the last round of the hex and that game might very well go towards determining who gets the forth spot. ummm yummy....

and get this, panama and mexico are tied on points and goal differential, and panama is currently through on goals scored tiebreaker. hmmm, Scooby snacks anyone?

Brian B said...

Agree on all but Deuce.

@UnitedDemon- You beat me to it. Going back to Clint's Fulham days, he's never been very efficient from the spot.

Andy said...

Deuce missed it on purpose. Scoring a third would damage the mojo.

Jacob Klinger said...

As hilarious as it would be, I can't see the team packing it in at Mexico's expense. That's just not how it's done. Now Klinsmann may play an experimental lineup whoever's selected will know the don't HAVE to win, but I don't expect any sandbagging beyond that.

Also, winning any meaningful game possible will help the WC seeding.

@UnitedDemon Fair enough. My thinking is that Bedoya was quiet, but Johnson was actively bad. Plus, Bedoya got better in the second half.

So, October call-ups anyone?

Jacob Klinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

Johnson was not actively bad. He wasn't good, either.

Jacob Klinger said...

@Tom I've got him down for a fluffed cross in the third minute, keying a run by Bedoya in the 13th, a blown pass near Mexico's 18 in the 24th, that sombrero sequence and just generally being too slow on the ball.

A few corners were also conceded from his side.

I still see him as a starter, he just didn't play well last night.

BTM said...

October call-ups?

I want to see Brooks, Johansson, Lichaj and Mix get extensive minutes.

Agudelo if he can get and stay healthy.

That would make me happy.

dikranovich said...

Jacob, I don't want the USA to lose in order to keep mexico out of a world cup, I want the team to win so that mexico can go. that's how you keep mexico in your back pocket. jesus!!!

Aaron said...

Jacob- It's Jesus Corona, not Jose. The only reason I point it out, is b/c the Mexican announcers always give me a chuckle when they call him "Jesus Crown" (with an English pronunciation of Jesus). Not sure why I find it so funny, but it gets me every time.

Megan said...

Does anyone else think Dempsey was better off at Fulham...for more on European football:

heythisisrobbie said...

I vote we send our U14's to the Panama game.

Even if Mexico beat them at home, they would have to get a result @ Costa Rica to not put their qualifying hopes in our hands.

Jacob Klinger said...

Thanks Aaron. I'm laughing thinking about it.

@BTM If I could have just one of those, it'd be Lichaj.