Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AUT 1-0 USA Player Ratings

Tim Howard, 7 - Couldn't do anything about the goal, but covered every other shot and snagged every other cross. On a day when the back line hardly inspired confidence, Howard did.

Geoff Cameron, 6.5 - Arnutovic sent him into retreat mode a couple times, but Cameron won that matchup and much of the right flank for the U.S. Just needed to do a little more, sooner offensively as he didn't give Alejandro Bedoya much support.

John Anthony Brooks, 4 - Indefensibly responsible for the first goal and blew several offside traps. His distribution was nice and he got better in the second half, but didn't deliver the kind of defensive performance necessary at this level.

Omar Gonzalez, 5.5 - Made several timely tackles to save Brooks' and others' hides that offset a very bad read of a header in the 78th minute that led to an Austria half chance. His defense got too stretched and as the heart of the rearguard he needs to do a better job making sure the whole line stays high.

DaMarcus Beasley, 5 - It was too easy for Martin Harnik to turn him. And while Beasley compensated by tucking in later during ensuing brief spells of pressure, that actually allowed the cross on Austria's only goal. Simply put, his one-on-one defending still isn't up to snuff. Despite some spacy play by Brek Shea, though, he got forward decently well.

Michael Bradley, 7 - Was caught a mental step too slow on a few different occasions in the first half, but dominated play in the final 30 minutes. Showed a real understanding with Mix Diskerud and while Bradley became a little predictable with his long balls, he owned the field.

Jermaine Jones, 6.5 - It's still baffling that he's given more of the offense than Bradley, but he helped navigate a tricky opening frame and broke up several Austrian counterattacks. The 15-yard chip he sprayed over Alejandro Bedoya's head in the 20th minute springs to mind, as do a few telegraphed passes that ended promising moves, but he played the harder side of his role well.

Alejandro Bedoya, 5.5 - Played just a little too quietly in a clearly creative position to get passing marks. Showed he's much more comfortable in combination that creating on his own and certainly would have benefited from playing with the constantly overlapping Eric Lichaj.

Aron Johansson, 7 - In his 56 minutes, Johansson was the team's most consistent attacking threat. His touches were tightest and he created more than the other two attacking midfielders combined. Pressured well, found space and pulled the trigger when he needed to. Shame he didn't go 90.

Brek Shea, 4.5 - Dribbled into trouble when he got the ball and spent far too much time not finding space in a match with plenty of it. He hasn't played his way out of the World Cup picture by any means, but he has a lot more to do to play his way onto the roster.

Jozy Altidore, 6.5 - Bullied defenders and made opportunities out of minimal service early on. Pulled wide a little too much and blew the team's best chance, but it's hard to overstate the 90-minute effect of his physical presence and off-ball runs for a tepid American attack.

Mix Diskerud, 7 - He looked most likely to crack Austria open on the ball and in combination. More importantly though, he showed some real two-way capability tracking back to break up attacks as well as an understanding with Bradley. Combined very well with Lichaj.

Eddie Johnson, 6 - Did what Shea needed to - got the ball wide and quickly challenged defenders in space on the left. The final ball wasn't there, but in stretching the field an extra five yards wide and 20 yards deep, gave Klinsmann what he needed.

Terrence Boyd, 6.5 - Combined comfortably, took pressure off Altidore and created for himself off the dribble. Pretty much everything you want from a substitute striker except a goal.

Sacha Kljestan, 6 - Formed a tidy creative triangle with Bradley and Diskerud despite looking like he'd rather swap places with the latter.

Eric Lichaj, 6.5 - Made himself a constant threat down the right flank and brought Diskerud into the game more. Cleared well when called upon and his overlaps ensured Austria stayed locked into its own half in the last 10 minutes, but got burned on the game's final play.

Chris Wondolowski, NR - Played three minutes. Did he even touch the ball?

The Manager
Jurgen Klinsmann, 6 - Gave the right guys looks and his substitutions made the team better. His deployment of Jones is truly puzzling. Playing two wingers for nearly the entire game was a smart if unsuccessful move and Cameron's performance makes up for Lichaj's limited minutes. His grade won't truly be complete though, until we see how he adjusts from this match.

Ultimately, an "A-" squad couldn't break down a second-tier European opponent. That's not good, but with at least one handball in the box not called, the result isn't nearly as important as the fallout.

- Jacob Klinger


Joosey said...

I think Brooks was between a rock and a hard place on the goal having to cover the near post runner that Brek didn't follow and the guy behind him simultaneously was a tough situation to navigate.

Jacob Klinger said...

The defense was scrambling, but he went to kick the ball and missed. That's really the heart of the issue.

CB is a weakness on this team. So I expect some of the top candidates to struggle in that situation of who to cover. But they all need to be able to kick that ball.

Of course nine times out of 10 Brooks does just that and he could very well play himself into a starting spot in Brazil, but he didn't do it Tuesday night.

TrueCrew said...

Cameron didn't get forward much? Did you watch the match?

He almost scored twice. Once was on a corner, but the other was from the run of play. Just kind of an odd comment considering he had our two best scoring chances of the day (one which went in). And, in general, he got forward quite well. I think you are showing you Lichaj bias here a bit.

WonderKin said...

Without Brad Evans to pick on, and without Fabian Johnson tracking back to help Beasely looked awful. I have defended him in the past this was a horrible game for him. Awful. Can Lichaj play LB? If not the LM or L wing will have to be a high motor guy to help Beasely.

Jermaine Jones was a turnover machine. Traditionally I defend Jones, but he was easily the worst performing player when the USMNT was in possession of the ball. He always brings a presence to the field defensively.

John Anthony Brooks should have stopped the goal.

I thought Cameron locked down the RB spot. He played a very technical game, and added some creativity when involved in the attack.