Monday, May 22, 2017

US U-20 v Ecuador Player Ratings

It looks like I'll be doing these here, at least through the group phase.

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Jonathan Klinsmann (2) - Woof. Were it not for a sparkling save to temporarily keep things tied in the 57th minute, this mark would scrape the gutter. As is, he was spared giving up a bizarre penalty (and seeing red?) by the first Ecuador goal and foolishly toyed around to self-inflict their third. He owes his teammates a nice dinner for covering up his nightmare outing.

Aaron Herrera (4) - The surprise right back starter (to me, at least) was openly lost in the positional ether for the first 20-25 minutes, but pulled himself together to do some decent work on both sides of the ball until late, when he began to struggle again. He could have had a nice assist along the way, but he also could have been culpable on further leaks.

Tommy Redding (4)
- Sure, Herrera did him no early favors, but the Orlando City regular was utterly brûléed on Ecuador's first two goals. Redding only rallied a bit after that.

Erik Palmer-Brown (5) - It was certainly not the Sporting KC youngster finest hour; it was EPB's error that forced Klinsmann into the aforementioned fine save. However, the captain also came through with some emergency defense that helped kept the game close enough to salvage a point.

Danny Acosta (6) - Next to his back line mates, the RSL defender looked like an All-Star. Really though, it was a nice, solid, professional outing without any flash.

Tyler Adams (4.5) - The Red Bulls midfielder put in a kinda strange showing. He was sloppy with the ball and rarely slowed Ecuador advances. Adams also put a terrific chance over from close range. I expected more.

Gedion Zelalem (5) - Before leaving with an injury, the Arsenal vagabond underwhelmed. On one hand, he did offer some possession when it looked like the US might get shot from a cannon early. On the other hand, there was little else to trumpet about his efforts.

Eryk Williamson (4) - I honestly could not tell you what the role the U. of Maryland midfielder was supposed to be playing. He had a couple of moments here and there, but generally looked out of his element.

Brooks Lennon (6) - Until he put Sargeant's second on a platter with a divine cross, the Real Salt Lake winger wasted every good chance he had to create something. Then, he went back to being wasteful until stoppage time, when another one of his serves led to the equalizer. Fortunate for him, attackers can pull their grades out of the fire with just a couple of big plays. More consistency would be welcome, though.

Luca De La Torre (7.5) - The Fulham kid needed to see more of the ball, if not also a proper running mate to his left. I suppose he was meant to be that left-sider, but his gallop to set up the first US goal came right up the gut, as did the pinpoint stoppage time finish that was cooler than cucumber ice cream.

Josh Sargent (8.5) - The kid striker was terrific, easily the team's top performer. In addition to a pair of well-taken goals, Sargent provided some strong hold-up play and ran Ecudaor's defenders from sideline to sideline.

Coach Tab Ramos (4.5) - This is a tricky grade, with several factors. One that extends beyond a single game is squad selection. As is often the case with Ramos, I have some major bones to pick in that area (for example: where is Marco Farfan, dude??? I mean, really!!). Then, you narrow down ot the line-up, which openly had flaws. Then again, it also had young gun Sargent, so the mark comes back up a fair bit. And the coach also pushed the right buttons to guide the team back into the game. All in all, he can do a lot better, and it's not the first time somebody's noted that.

Subs:
Derrick Jones (7) - Yeah, he could clean up a bit on the ball; a couple of his turnovers were bothersome. That said, Jones single-handedly changed the game simply by entering it. His presence visibly spooked Ecuador's attack for a good half-hour after he came on. He also sparked the first two US goal plays. Why he didn't start the game is beyond me.

Lagos Kunga (-) - Though he played 18 minutes, Kunga made no discernible impact.

Sebastian Saucedo (6) - Bofo (yet another RSL player) lpayed less than 10 minutes, but got involved trying to invent something right away.











- Greg Seltzer

10 comments:

DaMa said...

I am pretty much on board with these. I would probably be even tougher on Ramos as I think Sargent was probably a bit of an obvious start given how underwhelming the of-age number 9's are for this group.

As I was bemoaning how bad Herrera was I completely forgot Farfan was back home. More shocking now that I have seen Herrera for a full match.

Any thoughts on what Ramos will do with the CB/DMID position if everyone gets healthy? I'd be more comfortable with palmer-brown as dmid than I was with Zelalem, but I think Jones is just way better on the ball and needs to be the starter there regardless. However we have seen Ramos play EPB out of position there when he had Glad/Redding. If CCV and Glad get fit... it's a nice problem to have but I really have no clue what Ramos does there. I have the sinking feeling Jones moves back to the bench and the captain moves to the 6. But then I sit here and wonder if all that is the case... why oh why was Zelalem playing the 6 to begin with?

I think for that move alone Ramos gets downgraded to a 2.5. I know he seems to be a good game manager but man does he come from the JK school of player selection. I have the sinking suspicion that for the rest of the group stage Ramos will make some bad choices that bear up because we are better than Senegal/Saudi Arabia and will result in us wiping out early in the subsequent round.

Oh well. At least Sargent should get some quality interest playing up a level.

Greg Seltzer said...

I don't think Zelalam was actually fielded as the #6. I just think he took it upon himself to drop that deep because the team looked like a trainwreck early.

DaMa said...

Hmm. I don't know. He seemed to be in that deep position between the center backs the entire time he was on. Adams definitely wasn't supposed to be that deep as we saw from him the whole match. Much like you I am not sure what Williamson was supposed to be doing but it really really didn't look like he thought he was the 6 (and I don't think historically he has played there at all).

Patrick said...

I would grade Herrera lower; lower even than klinsi. He was lost, undisciplined, and didn't look up to it physically or mentally. Reminded me of Bornstein in the 2011 Gold Cup final. Was so out of position he was not in the TV picture on either goal but both were directly from him being beat positionally. It couldn't be easy for the GK to be 4 minutes into the WC and have a 1v1 to deal with. The 2nd goal finds Herrera 15 yards in FRONT of Redding, getting beat, and a pass to an Ecu player in his vacated position.

I didn't see the tighten up part of his game. Instead, I guess he was determined not to be beat behind so he constantly ran back and kept multiple attackers on side multiple times!

Ramos picked him and started him, his grade has to be lower too. Fossey wasn't hurt in warm ups. He was hurt well before rosters were finalised. He could also have been replaced, but Ramos brought in a fifth CB. Olosunde, Farfan, several others could have at least not vacated their position 9 times.

Telling that the two college players were lost. With so many pros in this age group, have to wonder why they are on the roster, much less starting.

Patrick said...

Adams looked a little off. His passes were not well weighted most of the time. Several times he looked to make a tackle but whiffed. He looked like he expected to come away with the ball and couldn't figure out how the player got past him. I think he will adjust; maybe trying to do too much.

His miss was harder than Wondo's, but that is a low bar haha.

Patrick said...

I saw Sargent get owned by Ecuador's CBs on attempted hold ups. Not sure how you saw differently. Sargent was actually given credit by the Total Soccer show to adjusting to being out-physicalled in that area and moving to find space. He maskes great runs and finishes very well, but he is not going to hang in there against 20 yr olds.

DaMa said...

Adams DID look off. As we have all said thousands of times, playing out of position DOES matter. Especially to young guys. That being said, I have seen all his matches with NYRB and he does occasionally struggle with his short passing. It's why seeing him as the amid was so shocking to me.

I think the best aspect of Sargent's play is how he reads the game and crafts his runs along with his finishing so no surprise that that was where he excelled. That being said, I am not sure how much of a physical struggle there was for him. I don't recall a ton of plays where we lofted it up the number 9 with his back to goal. He certainly lost the CB in the air on the Lennon cross goal. Then again it was late so maybe I just wasn't seeing the off the ball stuff well.

Patrick said...

Hearing that Sargent is going to Werder Bremen. Not sure how, unless he dig up a Euro passport.

DaMa said...

No passport as far as I know. They will wait until he turns 18 to "officially" sign him.

JustinWK said...

Gedion is out 9 months with torn ACL :(