Wednesday, May 28, 2014

USA 2-0 Azerbaijan Player Ratings

I'm with The Patriot-News for the summer, so my World Cup contributions will be scattered there in addition to here and hopefully everywhere. 

My player ratings from last night's snoozefest of a U.S. win can be read here.

Some highlights for you kind folks:

Man of the Match: Mix Diskerud

Least Valuable Player: Jermaine Jones

Guy who's getting excessively slagged elsewhere: Jozy Altidore

Team average: 6.3

- Jacob Klinger


Tony M said...

I don't get the Besler rating. He had three give aways in the first half that would have been punished instantly by Portugal or Germany.

Yedlin would have been much more effective if Jonmes ever bothered to pass to him. He was making runs into wide open space (right in front of where I was sitting), calling for the ball only to have Jones cram it up the middle, again. Yedlin did have one awesome pass to spring Bradley that probably did not look as impressive on televsion as it did in real life.

Anonymous said...

MOTM: Davis
LVP: Gonzalez

So, this is what we get instead of Donovan? Alejandro Bedoya? Seriously? FFS.

We would be a legitimately decent attacking team with Donovan on the left, Zusi on the right and Dempsey in the hole. We could have Johnson overlapping from LB...

Cameron playing RB and Besler and Goodson shoring up the center. That's of course if Klinsmann wasn't a complete idiot and hadn't cut Donovan and Goodson.

We looked very shaky last night IMO. Besler looked particularly shaky on the ball - almost scared (which I thought was a bit unusual) but he probably still is one of the (if not 'the') best options back there. Gonzalez is worthless as a defender IMO and will get beat like he stole something if he sees significant time on the pitch during the WC.

Jones looked old and tired. I have always liked him and liked his game but if last night is a true indication of his form right now then maybe Beckerman is the answer. (Never thought I'd say that).

Altidore deserves the stick he is getting IMO. He hasn't shaken off his Sunderland stank at all. He makes some nice passes and is decent overall when he has space and isn't pressured but with his back to goal he is terrible. 9 of 10 passes he receives in that position get ejected 20 yards back out - either his first touch is atrocious or he isn't boxing out well enough and is letting defenders get to the ball. Neither gets the job done. He also goes to ground way too easily and often for someone so strong. Honestly I think he has just settled for trying to draw fouls because he doesn't have any confidence that he can do anything with the ball if he actually tried to stay upright.

Wondolowski looked really good last night. But it was against Azerbaijan so, who knows? He does have a knack for finding space and attacking the ball - a general good nose for goal. I still wish Boyd had been chosen instead (because he is at least equally talented and part of the future) but Wondo's grittiness and experience are showing. He may actually do something at the WC.

What I'd like to see this next match is Dempsey and Johannsson work together to see what they can get done. Who says we need a big target/hold-up striker anyway (especially when he isn't getting the job done 80-90% of the time)? Let's try some finesse play and see what that looks like.

Chandler looked lost and shouldn't have been in the 30 let alone the final 23. It's good that Yedlin is there but he has some major maturing to do.

Lastly, I like Davis' game and I don't care what anyone says, he is more valuable to this team than Bedoya.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah... and having to listen to Taylor Twellman call a match is excruciating. FFS that guy is bad.

Jolazo said...

I have no clue how you could think Jones was the LVP of that game.

Chevis Ryder said...

I have no clue how anyone can think Jones was anything but the LVP - when MB and Jones are deployed like this, neither of them knows what to do, Jones tries to do too much and Bradley doesn't get enough touches.

If we go with any other 9 players with those two playing as such, I can't even envision scoring a goal let alone winning a game.

It's not to diss on JJ, but please, the guy has little creative flair in the offensive end and shouldn't even be allowed to cross midfield. If he is going to play that way, JJ belongs on the bench or at home. It's a complete waste.

Unknown said...

My take on Jones was that he was trying really hard to stay at home, looking to shovel it to Bradley before he pushed at all. My biggest knock on him was that all buildup play ended with him, and he only passed back. Now I want him to stay conservative. Every now and then he tries his best Dante impression with the long ball. Too bad he's no Dante.

owen said...

I thought bradley had the worse outing of the two on a couple of breakaways and or chances in the final third his quality of touch and vision let him down. Probably due to a hard camp but qustions have to be arised of whether bradley can really play effectively high up the pitch and as our main creative forces. Jones to me had one of his more disciplined outings in center of park.

BradUS06 said...

Totally agree, the US just looks flat.

I'm still trying to get over the whole 23 man roster as it is.

Fabian Johnson is a left footed player playing RB, Chandler is a right footed player playing left back. I'm just puzzled. I know Yedlin can't play LB, but if you're going to bring in chandler at least give him a shot at his natural position.

The midfield looked clumsy. Bedoya unnaturally playing LM looked a little lost. Davis played his predicted underwhelming self, like Zusi he can provided set piece deliverance but lacks the qualities top outside midfielders have. Bradley and Jones, I agree looked like they lacked chemistry. In my opinion, Jones wants to play Bradley's game, but just lacks the quality. Zusi had great deliveries on set pieces, but again another player playing out of position. Diskerud capitalized on opportunities and played better. I have zero confidence in anyone being able to start at Dempsey's attacking position. Donovan would've been ideal to play in numerous positions including LM or Attacking mid, but since Klinsmann clearly has something against him, I think FJohnson is forced to come back into the midfield (or Beasley who Klins forgets is a midfielder).

In attack, Altidore and Wondo showed exactly who they have been all along. Altidore a lone striker who can't play lone striker. And Wondo, the guy who plays well against low level opponents.

Jolazo said...

@ BradUS06

Common misconception, but Fabian is actually right-footed. He's better with his left than Chandler though, so it is kind of puzzling they are inverted.

Anonymous said...

>I have zero confidence in anyone being able to start at Dempsey's attacking position. Donovan would've been ideal to play in numerous positions including LM...

Yep Donovan should be starting at LM. It's obvious that would be our best lineup. Instead we have Bedoya. Bedoya.. sigh. That's a serious letdown.

I think Johannsson could step in for Dempsey if Dempsey is really injured. Or Diskerud. But it is a big step up for either of them and neither of them are quite of Dempsey's quality I don't think.

Unknown said...


What is your problem with Bedoya? Ligue 1, fiesty, runs all day, can't doubt his effort, and he's actually not that bad. So why the hate?

Tom said...


I think Bedoya is just okay. I'm fine with him on the roster and even on the field, but I don't expect thaat much of him. Basically like Zusi only with wheels and a motor instead of a nice serve.

owen said...

I would like to see chandler start at right back with fj on left i would love to play fj in midfield but i dont trust beas at lb against int competition. I think beas should be a sub that brings energy on the flanks to me hes nit starter material at defense. As a galaxy fan i have to admit another player i dont trust is gonzo ive thought geoff should be placed over him for a while and still do. I liked what i saw from davis so much more savvy than either bedoya or zusi but does he have the wheels for int comp? This is why dono should have came a player who like davis can change the game with only a few touches no player other than dempsey can we say that about

dikranovich said...

The great zidane was playing in a game the other day on TV and he made a bad giveaway, in his own half of the field. It happened against one of the best teams on the planet. Guess what? It did not lead to a goal, because his teammates were in support.

A month earlier he made the same poor decision in an exhibition against Algeria, and all of the naysayers in France said if you make that pass against quality opposition, France will be punished. There is a morale to this story.

I just don't get it, the USA played well last night, and if wondo converts either one of his two header attempts, then the floodgates open earlier, and people are not referring to the game as a snoozefest. As it is, that was not the case.

People suggested that JJ could not stay home and perform a certain role, yet he does exactly that and gets least valuable player. f'ing whatever!!!

Isn't it always funny how someone can pull the I was at the game card out, as if that gives them more insight. Yeah, more insight into the free beer movement, if they are lucky.

Tony M said...

Yes, exactly, because our defense is as good as France 98, therefore we don't have to worry that Zidane once turned over a ball and the other team did not score. Great point, I can see that now.

And I stand corrected. Yes, without doubt, watching the game on television (which I did, by the way, after I got home) give one far more insight than watching the two or three players directly in front of me intently. Camera shots of Klinsmman furrowing his brow would have told me so much more than focusing on the left side of our defense as I did that night.

Thank you for correcting me. So ashamed am I of the errors I have made, I will cease to post anywhere ever again on any topic whatsoever. You have done me a great service.

Unknown said...

No...Tony...Come Back!

Tony M said...

Okay. You talked me out of it.

Matt said...

Also, I can confirm on the behalf of Tony and myself that being at the game we are far more qualified to speak about the game, relative to you Mr. Dik. It's sort of like papal infallibility. Being at the game means any observation about the game that you make is automatically correct.

Also, I can confirm that there no free beer at the game. And that what beer that was there to be had involved waiting in lines 75+ people deep because only two concession stands were open in all of Candlestick.

TrueCrew said...

Stick with whatever job you have, you stink at soccer ratings.

Jones was good.

LVP candidates were Besler, Bedoya, and Wondolowski (missing easy chance).

owen said...

In my eyes jones was def not the least valuable i dont understand that rating at all or the hate he gets frequently.

Unknown said...

After the Gonzo and Besler showing, I can't believe I am saying this...but I'd like to see Brooks get some minutes vs Turkey.

dikranovich said...

So one guy is at the game waiting in a forty five minute line, and the other is focusing on three particular players, yet they have definitive answers about how the team played.

If you went and made two runs to the beer line, you missed the entire game. And focusing in on just over a quarter of the team means you are missing almost 75% of the game, actually closer to 85% of the game when you take into account both teams.

I don't know!!!

Tony M said...

Your refutation consists of imagining I bought beer (by the way, I did not) and a turnover by Zidane.

I'd like to live in a world where this makes sense. Must be fun.

dikranovich said...

Tony m, Little Matt was in line for 45 minutes waiting for an anchor steam. You were busy focusing in on three players.

Unknown said...

@dikranovich (I owe a lot of you replies) but isn't the fact that Wondolowski didn't bury those chances further cause for concern?

More generally speaking, Jones was largely unchallenged and did fine in the deep defensive role he was given. No marks down there. It was when he stepped outside of the role and tried to create from deep with hopeless long balls that he took the team away from what should have been its strengths against what should have been an overmatched Azeri team.

Instead, his contributions flattened out the attack, a detriment to the team in my eyes. I'm not saying that if you swapped Jones out the performance would automatically be miles better as I only had him marginally below passing.

That said, I would like to see Beckerman with Bradley. And yes, there was a time when I never thought I'd type those words.

dikranovich said...

Yak, I think wondo could have buried one of those headers. The first one was the one he should have finished, and deuce probably angles that first header right into the bottom corner, but it's in the past now, and wondo was in and will be in good position every time.

Whether we like it or not, we have smart players on this team.

Jones did a great job the other night, not only because he did what he was tasked, but also because he is capable of pushing the ball forward. even if it is a six inch pass to Michael Bradley, something that showed JJ knows who is boss. such a huge difference from two years ago. Jones can splice a long ball, and long balls are good, because they mean less chance of a bad giveaway, and they help score faster.

Jones probably can't hit as good of a long ball as modric, but not many people can, and it does not mean he should not try. I love me some KB, but jones offers something as well, and based on our group, jermaine jones offers a lot of what the USA is going to need. I guess we would have to move to a 3-5-2 in order to see both jones and beckerman on the field at the same time, along with both deuce and Bradley. No, I'm kidding, we could do it in a 4-5-1 as well, but it just means our boy Jozy has to sit.

Turkey just beat Honduras in RFK and look to be ready to bring a game to the USA. Should USA handle this next game, I sure hope some of you people can start to see the light.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure Bradley is best as CAM, bit if JK thinks he can be, a 4-3-3, or modified 4-2-3-1 could have jones and becks on at the same time:


With zie german wingbacks blazing the sidelines, maybe it could work, with just the right injection of offense needed.

Unknown said...

I like smart players, but blowing gilt-edged chances against inferior competition is just that. It's definitely a negative.

Long balls need to be mixed into an offense yes, but they are often counter-productive to possession, which the team really needed to break down Azerbaijan. And Jones' certainly were. In a game like that, with minimal midfield pressure, there's less of a need for a long ball. It just increases the likelihood of a giveaway, all of which are bad.

I don't think fielding all three of Jones, Beckerman and Bradley makes sense. You could do Beckerman and Jones if Bradley gets in card trouble though. Also, none of this is really up to me, so there's that.

But yeah, I will actually be at the Turkey match. Should be a much truer test. What would you considering "handling" this game?

@justin Again, I think the 3 CM 4-3-3 hybrid asks too much of a guy like Beckerman, who's not particularly fast. If his full back is having to hang back because of it, then the team loses width and with it, much of the point in playing a 4-3-3. That said, I wouldn't be shocked if it was rolled out at some point. Actually, there's not much I'd be shocked by from Klinsmann anymore.

heythisisrobbie said...

I'm with Dik.

Jones did exactly what the entire fan base has been screaming for, and he gets killed for it. I thought Jones' role as destroyer was the only positive from the game. When he's disciplined like that, he is one of the best in the world. The wind killed his longball attempts as well. Beckerman can't play that role against top competition. So let's not even go there.

Bradley looked awful. Let's not sugarcoat it because it is Bradley. I'm not worried about him, but it may have been his worst game in a US shirt going back to his Olympics days.

San Fransiscans snootily saying they know more because they were at the game? Lol, I don't believe it!

Anonymous said...


>What is your problem with Bedoya? Ligue 1, fiesty, runs all day, can't doubt his effort, and he's actually not that bad. So why the hate?

I don't hate him. He's marginal. He's a backup. A sub. Davis is at least as valuable if not more valuable IMO because he does at least one thing exceptionally well. But neither one of them should be starting. The bottom line is that Bedoya is playing in Landon Donovan's spot because we have an ego-maniacal manager who can't see past his petty grudges. We are a weaker team with Bedoya than we would be with Donovan. I don't hate Bedoya but when I watch him out there starting instead of Donovan it makes me effin sick.

To rant on... Brooks and Chandler have no business being on this team. Neither do Yedlin or Green really except for the fact that they are two you definitely take (because you can and get away with it) just to get them the experience of being there as they are likely to be a part of our future. The jury is still out on Brooks (he's looked terrible so far for us) and Chandler is a complete head-case who hasn't been near the team in ages. Also, while Wondo played well and may indeed do well in the WC (who knows?), it would have been better to take Boyd IMO. He's at least as talented as Wondo and, again, more than likely an important part of our future.

Point being that we can get experience for the youth that matters (even if they never see the pitch) and still have our best team which would have included veterans Goodson and Donovan.

I like Davis and think he is a better choice for a sub than Bedoya but, fine, if people think Bedoya is better, we wouldn't have even needed Davis and Bedoya could have been the sub he should be.

Unknown said...

I agree about Brooks (could have kept in Goodson or Parkhurt) but I think taking a fit Chandler is a no brainer. He has made numerous teams of the week in a top European league, and has played against many of the players we will be facing. He was injured some in 2013 and again against Bayern right before the Ukraine friendly. I don't agree with playing him on the left side though. Seems a bit foreign to him.

Tony M said...

San Fransiscans snootily saying they know more because they were at the game? Lol, I don't believe it!

Can anyone seriously argue that being at the game does not give you a greater ability to fcous on things you are interested in more so than being limited to what television decides to show you? Being there and where I was sitting gave me a great view of the passes Jones DIDN'T make, particularly to Yedlin wide in the second half. I rewatched the game on television later and could see that it didn't fully capture his decision making, which was poor in the passing game.

You want to call that snooty, go ahead. I would call it a plainly obvious truth that being there gives you a different perspective than relying on television.

brian said...

but being at the game you dont get to hear the expert advice from the one and only Taylor T... So I guess you are missing out...

dikranovich said...

Tony, it should be pretty clear that if you sit behind the goal, you are going to have a superb view of half the game.

If you sit in the nose bleeds you get a great birds eye view of the whole pitch, and it is easy to see movement.

I think FIFA 14 pretty much uses broadcast as it's default angle, and that should tell you something.