U.S. Soccer: American Grades for Match vs. Ecuador
Jurgen Klinsmann continues to struggle as the new manager of the U.S. Men's National Soccer team, losing three of the past five matches. After fighting toe-to-toe with the Ecuadorians for three-quarters of the match, the decisive goal was punched in with a determined header by Jaime Javier Ayoví Corozo. It's a shame because the U.S. played relatively well for most of the match. But as American soccer fans we've become accustomed to that, as long as we "learned something" from it, right? Anyway, let's look at the grades.
1-10 (1=bad, 10=good)
GK Tim Howard- 5.0
The goal wasn't his fault. He only had to make a few simple stops on an otherwise quiet night.
LB Timothy Chandler 6.0
Played solid defense and was effective pushing the ball forward. He plays out of position, being right-footed, but he's the best option the Americans have at left-back.
CB Carlos Bocanegra 5.0
Was a calming presence in the center defense, but had an otherwise quiet night.
CB Oguchi Onyewu 7.5
Absolutely stifling on defense and solid in the air. He pushed forward often on defense and actually created quite a few opportunities in the waning moments.
RB Steve Cherundolo 4.5
Was outpaced more than once on the wing. He got into trouble on the ball while next to the sideline a few times, turning the ball over as well.
CDM Kyle Beckerman 5.0
Played very well on defense, but gave the ball away too many times in transition.
CDM Maurice Edu 4.5
Did a good job getting up field and making passes in the Ecuadorian half. Decent on defense. Had a big, embarrassing whiffer at the top of the box after a rebound in the first half.
LM Brek Shea 6.0
Easily one of the best playmakers on the team. Great one-touch passes and give-and-gos. The team lacked creativity when he left at half time.
RM Daniel Williams 5.5
Showed some dribbling flair on the right wing. Perhaps after building more chemistry with the team, he will be more of a threat.
F Clint Dempsey 4.0
Disappeared at times in the second half. Created some looks in the first half though. Needs to press the defense more.
F Jozy Altidore 5.5
Does an excellent job of shielding the ball and drawing fouls. Had a decent shot at goal from 10 yards away at an angle in the opening minutes, but was quiet other than that.
DaMarcus Beasley 4.5
Had perhaps the best shot on goal for the U.S. but completely botched another. Gets pushed off the ball way too easily.
Edson Buddle 4.5
Came on in the 65th minute and didn't really have any impact on the game.
Jonathon Spector 3.0
Looked nervous, got beat on the wing a few times and gave away a very silly corner.
Michael Bradley 6.0
Really the only good sub that was made. Looked crisp and made some smart one-touches. Lots of hustle.
Juan Agudelo 4.0
Never really had the chance to get in open space and use his speed. Committed a few fouls in the first 15 minutes he played.
Tim Ream 1.0
Might as well have just checked into the game and stood on the sideline the rest of the game. Single-handedly spoiled a spotless team effort on defense. I can think of at least three other American center defenders who could and should take his reserve spot on the team.
Another disappointing night for the Americans. We can only listen to the as-long-as-we-learned-something line for so long. The U.S. remains a solid team defensively, but somehow needs to find men who can put the ball in the back of the net.
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