USMNT vs Brazil: Rating Jurgen Klinsmann's US National Team Players

Juan Carlos SalasContributor IIIMay 31, 2012

USMNT vs Brazil: Rating Jurgen Klinsmann's US National Team Players

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    The United States men's national team's 4-1 loss was a stark contrast to their previous match, but then again so was their opponent. Brazil put away the Americans easily in front of more of 67,00 fans in Washington D.C.

    Neymar, Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Pato scored for the Brazilians, while Herculez Gomez had the goal of honor for the U.S.

    Now, this being a friendly and this being Brazil, most U.S. fans weren't expecting a win (the United States has only claimed one victory in its history versus Brazil), but instead what all were hoping for was a good and positive performance before entering World Cup Qualifying later this month.

    Therefore, here are ratings* and a breakdown for the USMNT's performance against the five-time World Cup Champs.

    *Rating on a 10 point scale.

Goalkeeper and Defenders

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    Allowing four goals doesn't boast much confidence for the back line of the USMNT. Of course against Brazil, any defense needs to be near perfect in order to overcome the skill and speed of the South Americans. Setting the four goals aside, there were some bright spots in the defense that maybe with some minor tweaks, can be a formidable wall for the national team.

    Tim Howard (5): If it weren't for some remarkable saves, the scoreline would have been much worse. A key 1v1 save against Leandro Damiao in the 18th minute prevented the U.S. from going down 2-0 even earlier in the match. Howard can't be blamed for Neymar's penalty kick, and even though he could've done better with Thiago Silva's header, Howard was left dry for Brazil's third and fourth goals.

    Steve Cherundolo (5): He had some good clearances and stepped in front of passes well throughout the match. The moments he chose to move forward were smart but still couldn't penetrate enough to cause much danger. He couldn't handle Brazil's speed though, letting Neymar zip past him several times.

    Carlos Bocanegra (4): Bocanegra's biggest fault was his bad positioning during Brazil's third goal, letting Marcelo peel off from him to allow himself some space in front of goal. The U.S. captain did his job in the air, but his sluggishness was exploited on the ground. Bocanegra couldn't backtrack fast enough to prevent Pato reaching Neymar's cross which hit the crossbar.    

    Oguchi Onweyu (3): Onweyu was never a fast player, and that shows even more against fast teams like Brazil. His handball led to the penalty kick which Neymar converted for the first goal on the match. He was the defender that left Pato onside for the team's fourth goal. Onweyu was also very shaky in his footwork playing from the back. His only plus was getting behind Landon Donovan's corner kick which hit the crossbar.

    Fabian Johnson (6): The lone positive in the American defense, Johnson gave Brazil too much space early on but was solid thereafter. He got forward very well and sent some great passes to the final third. Johnson's highlight came in the first half, when he received Michael Bradley's pass and laid the ball off to Gomez, which led to the Americans' lone goal. In the second half Johnson faked out his defender and sent a cross which Gomez set up for Clint Dempsey to almost score.  

Midfielders

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    The biggest change that Klinsmann made to the midfield from the match against Scotland was swapping Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu, which didn't work to the benefit of the team.

    Michael Bradley (7): Even though he was the best player for the Americans, Bradley's impact was diminished by having him line up behind Edu. The constant pressure by Brazil kept Bradley defensive, which didn't let him attack like he did against Scotland. With that said, his movement was brilliant throughout the game, and when he decided to move up it definitely kept Brazil on its toes. Bradley had a spectacular header from a Donovan free kick late in the match which was saved over the crossbar and also threaded a through-ball to Johnson which led to the U.S. goal.

    Jermaine Jones (4): Jones' physicality was able to thwart some of Brazil's attacks, but overall wasn't able to cope with the opponent's talent. He lost Thiago Silva during Brazil's corner kick that led to the team's second goal. He also picked up a yellow card in the second half after a rough challenge on Neymar. However, he would be one of the first players to constantly retreat when Brazil won the ball in the middle and caught the U.S. outnumbered. 

    Maurice Edu (3): Edu is more effective as a defensive midfielder and it showed. He wasn't at all threatening in the offensive side except for one or two plays early in the match.

Forwards

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    The United States' forwards weren't able to click as well against Brazil as they did against Scotland, but for good reason. Brazil was able to collapse on almost all of the American's attacks. The team's chances to score were limited until about the last 15 minutes of the match, when the U.S. was able to attack. However, fortune wasn't on the home side.  

    Landon Donovan (4): Donovan made his presence felt in the early stages of the match, even stripping the ball from Brazilians once or twice. However just as quickly as the U.S. was down 2-0, Donovan also dwindled to near invisibility as the first half wrapped up. His second half didn't improve much until the late stages of the game when the U.S. had the majority of the possession, even having a shot blocked that looked en route to goal. Donovan seemed gassed early, but his services off free and corner kicks were spot on.

    Jose Torres (4): Much like Bradley, he posses a sense of calm with the ball that helps the U.S. create threatening attacks. Even though he was able to move the ball around, Torres wasn't as threatening as one would hope. It didn't look like playing out wide is Torres' more comfortable position.

    Herculez Gomez (5): Fans begged and begged to bring back Gomez to the starting XI, as he was on fire in Mexico. Well, those fans were proved right as he did what he does best and found the back of the net from Johnson's cross in the first half. He almost scored again in the second but his shot was deflected by Brazil's keeper. He had great poise inside the 18-yard box, proved by the header that almost found Dempsey in front of an empty goal.

Substitutes

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    One of the big questions coming into this game was whether or not Clint Dempsey would be available. It took 55 minutes, but USMNT fans were able to finally see Dempsey and Donovan play together under Klinsmann.

    Clint Dempsey (5): Dempsey wasn't in full form but showed he's getting there with 35 minutes against Brazil. He wasn't his usual threatening self, but he almost scored and also sent a perfect pass to Gomez whose strike was saved by Brazil's keeper.

    Michael Parkhurst (3): He came in for Cherundolo and did a slightly below-average job. He didn't close down on Lucas or Marcelo which led to Brazil's fourth goal.

    Terrence Boyd (4): Boyd will be a good asset to the United States' forward line once he's able to use his physical strength to push off defenders and get better looks at the goal, which he wasn't able to do against Brazil. Boyd did have a great chance to score the USMNT's second goal after getting on the end of Gomez's saved shot, but his strike was also saved by the Brazilian keeper.

    Edgar Castillo (2): He didn't do much in the last 10 minutes of the game. He could have closed down on Pato instead of raising his hands and waiting for the ref's whistle, which led to Brazil's fourth goal.

    Kyle Beckerman (2): He was also mostly ineffective. He had a nice dummy play with Donovan but nothing much came from it.