New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Belgium

After each match the contributors to New England Soccer Today will rate the performances of the United States National Team players who made an appearance on a 1 to 10 scale (1 horrendous, 5 average, 10 perfection). This week Brian O’Connell and Sean Donahue contributed ratings for the USA’s 4-2 loss to Belgium.

Tim Howard – Average Rating:  5 (Brian 4.5, Sean 5.5)
Should’ve smothered the shot, but otherwise, a decent night from #1. Came off his line when needed, and tried to get his backline on same page after allowing first goal. (Brian) … Hard to fault him too much on the goal – made a good initial save, though perhaps he could’ve held it, and his defense was slow to react. Made a solid save on Lukaku to keep it tied going into the half. (Sean)

Geoff Cameron – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Made up for early transgression with first international goal; but after that, mistakes were evident, and never seemed comfortable. (Brian) … Scored his first international goal and overall passing accuracy was decent, but struggled all game defensively. (Sean)

Omar Gonzalez – Average Rating: 3 (Brian 3, Sean 3)
Suffered communication issues with Goodson and Cameron; strong in the air, but weak touch on sequence leading up to 2nd Belgium goal. Cost his team big. (Brian) … Rough night with several costly mistakes. Didn’t look on the same page as his fellow defenders. (Sean)

Clarence Goodson – Average Rating:  4.5 (Brian 5, Sean 4)
Early communication issues faded as the game progressed; shored up the backline in the latter portions of first half and earlier parts of second half. (Brian) … Struggled all night with Lukaku and communication issues and didn’t assert himself enough in the backline. (Sean)

DaMarcus Beasley – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4.5)
Involved himself in the attack as first half progressed; lucky not to have handball called near 40th minute; a few mistakes, but savvy saved him for the most part. (Brian) … Good effort defensively and at times did well pressing forward. Still, against top class opposition, he never appears comfortable at left back. (Sean)

Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 4.25 (Brian 4, Sean 4.5)
Steady in the middle, and played a lot of safe passes. Longer ones, not too great. Defensive effort left a lot to be desired, especially on fourth goal. (Brian) … At times asserted himself well in the midfield, at others was part of U.S. midfield that was overrun. Picked up his typical needless yellow card late. (Sean)

Sacha Kljestan – Average Rating: 3.75 (Brian 3.5, Sean 4)
Passing was awry, spacing with Jones was curious at times; a non-factor, which hurt the U.S. in the middle of the park. (Brian) … Needed a big game, but didn’t do enough to assert himself in midfield as the U.S. was often overrun. Didn’t create anything offensively. (Sean)

Brad Davis – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Took much too long to get off shot in 35th; mildly effective, but found very few opportunities to use his lethal left foot from the wing. (Brian) … Best contributions were earning some corner kicks with decent crosses. Played too slow at times. (Sean)

Graham Zusi – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4.5)
Mixed bag kind of match; passes weren’t crisp, but had a couple of good moments tracking back. (Brian) … Looked solid early and put in some good set pieces, but faded as the match went on. (Sean)

Clint Dempsey – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Nice header back to Cameron on the goal; class finish on penalty. (Brian) … Excellent work to set up the first goal and coolly took the penalty goal for some late consolation. Otherwise struggled to get much going offensively and held the ball for too long at times – though much of the blame falls on his teammates for not getting open. (Sean)

Jozy Altidore – Average Rating: 3.75 (Brian 4, Sean 3.5)
Shaky first look; “coulda woulda shoulda” kind of half before he was spelled at the half. Did little to prove himself. (Brian) … Failed to even manage a shot on the one good chance he had and often pulled too far wide to be a threat. (Sean)

(sub) Brad Guzan – Average Rating: 4.75 (Brian 5, Sean 4.5)
Hung out to dry on all three goals; otherwise, decent performance and strong off his line. (Brian) … Defense put him in a bad position on all three goals, but couldn’t help but fell Howard might’ve done better on a pair of them. (Sean)

(sub) Eddie Johnson – Average Rating: 4.75 (Brian 5, Sean 4.5)
Turned a “meh” performance to an “ehhhh” performance when he earned a lucky penalty on what looked to be a cross; had another dangerous moment late.   (Brian) … Some life off the bench, but didn’t get much going forward until it was too late.

(sub) Terrance Boyd – Average Rating: 3.75 (Brian 3.5, Sean 4)
Poor beginning off the bench led to Fellaini goal; didn’t pair well with EJ in the final third. (Brian) … Nothing going offensively and failed to make a clearance in the build-up to Belgium’s third goal.

(sub) Brad Evans – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Largely invisible on the offensive end; defensive effort easier to see. (Brian) … Effort was there, impact was not. (Sean)

(sub) Matt Besler – Average Rating: (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Fortunate to not have penalty called on his tackle on Verthogen; escaped danger on a couple of chaotic moments inside 18 late.  (Brian) … Tough spot to come into and understandably struggled. (Sean)


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