World Football

Rating the U.S. Players Against Costa Rica

HARTFORD, CT - JULY 16: Brek Shea #23 of the United States celebrates his goal after scoring late in the second half against Costa Rica during the CONCACAF Gold Cup match at Rentschler Field on July 16, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Peter BrownellContributor IJuly 17, 2013

The United States Men’s National Team won its eighth match in a row for the first time in history, besting Costa Rica 1-0 in its final CONCACAF Gold Cup group match in East Hartford, CT.

After coming on as a substitute in the second half, Stoke City midfielder Brek Shea knocked in his first ever international goal thanks to a slick diagonal pass from Landon Donovan off a fast break.

It was mostly a calm affair, as the U.S. dominated possessionknocking the ball around its back four for much of the match.

Here are the player grades based on scale of 1-10 (10 being a near perfect match and 1 being utterly dreadful).

 

Starting 11

Sean Johnson (7): Came up with an acrobatic late save in a corner kick situation that sparked the Americans' only goal. Was composed when called upon, despite not having to do all too much.

Michael Parkhurst (4.5): This was an unmemorable performance from the Bundesliga full-back, who coughed up possession on a few too many occasions.

Michael Orozco Fiscal (5.5): Steady was the theme for Fiscal, who spent a good portion of the match playing square balls across the back to fellow center back Clarence Goodson and aptly defending when necessary.

Clarence Goodson (5.5): A sound performance from the San Jose Earthquake man, who competently distributed from deep for the Yanks and led the team in clearances with six.

DaMarcus Beasley (6): The captain was the best player in the first half for the U.S., contributing in attack by utilizing his well-known pace and competently stifling Costa Rican forays. He was slowed a bit in the second half thanks to increased tactical attention from the Ticos.

Alejandro Bedoya (3.5): This is a match Bedoya will want to forget. He offered little creativity on the flank and was rarely dangerous. Bedoya deserves another look from Jurgen Klinsmann but will need to add more dynamism to his game to justify inclusion in future rosters.

Stuart Holden (4): Holden was once again deployed mostly as a deep-lying midfielder and once again was relatively stifled in terms of creative distribution. Still, he mixed it up in the midfield third of the pitch and competed hard, a sign U.S. fans will be encouraged by.

Mix Diskerud (3.5): The game never seemed to find Diskerud in the right spots. He touched the ball a fair amount but did not imprint his influence on the match.

Jose Torres (5): Torres showed flashes of why Klinsmann gives him looks whenever possible, offering a few appetizing passes. Still, though, Torres has not found a permanent tactical role for the U.S., which could be stunting his game.

Landon Donovan (6): The all-time leading scorer for the U.S. flubbed a big chance that could have given the Yanks the lead on a rebound attempt. Despite the chance missed, Donovan’s game-winning assist to Shea was vintage LD—a perfect pass into space during a fast break. The L.A. Galaxy striker’s vision is simply divine in transition.

Chris Wondolowski (5): The reigning MLS MVP seemed determined to make the most of his opportunity to start. He worked extremely hard and made some gutsy runs in the box. Nothing to show for his efforts on the score sheet, but Wondo deserves credit for putting his body on the line.

 

Substitutes

Brek Shea (6): Shea’s first ever international goal could not have come at a better time, given how his last performance for the U.S. was a disappointment. The finish may not have been perfect from the Texan, but he deserves kudos for getting on his horse and joining Donovan on the break.

Joe Corona (5.5): Corona helped start the counter that led to the only goal in the match.

Herculez Gomez (N/A): Gomez did impact the match enough to justify a rating.

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