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 1-0 win over Honduras.
Tim Howard – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6, Sean 6.5)
Aside from Andy Najar’s breakaway – which he did well to deny – and a few late fireworks, wasn’t tested terribly much. Escaped unscathed on an awkward clearance in 66th minute. (Brian) … Bailed out his defense on a couple of occasions, but otherwise had a fairly easy night. (Sean)
Fabian Johnson – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6, Sean 6.5)
Superb performance; great runs forward, smart ball to Altidore on goal, plays with the heart of a midfielder when he ventures forward. (Brian) … Assisted Altidore’s goal. Good work defensively and one of the most dangerous players going forward. (Sean)
Matt Besler – Average Rating: 4.75 (Brian 5, Sean 4.5)
Looked shaky early despite few chances created by Honduras, but performance improved in second half. (Brian) … Turnover led to Honduras’ best chance. Decent showing defensively, but needs to be smarter with the ball at his feet. (Sean)
Omar Gonzalez – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Another rough outing; conceded way too much space on Najar’s breakaway, caught out of position by Mario Martinez early. Fortunate mistakes didn’t cost his country points. (Brian) … Like Besler had some rough moments that led to Honduras’ chances. (Sean)
Brad Evans – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5, Sean 5.5)
Had a few moments going forward; unfortunate that powerful header on Zusi’s free kick in 56th minute didn’t find back of net. (Brian) … Didn’t offer enough going forward. Mostly solid effort defending teammate Mario Martinez. (Sean)
Graham Zusi – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6)
Dangerous service from set pieces all night, and his run of the play form improved in the second half; clever pass to Fabian Johnson helped set up Altidore’s goal. (Brian) … Some dangerous service mixed in with some poor service. Played a key role in the goal and created several other chances. (Sean)
Michael Bradley – Average Rating: 6.5 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6.5)
Typical Bradley-like performance; stepped on accelerator early, put smart passes on attacking players’ feet, excellent work rate, and go from outside 18 that sailed just over bar in the second half. Yep, that’s the Michael Bradley we know. (Brian) … Needed to do better on his shot with the ‘keeper out of position, but otherwise a strong showing. Unlucky not to get an assist with a great ball in to Dempsey in the box, who couldn’t get a head to it. Seemed at the center of everything and always looked dangerous on the ball. (Sean)
Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 4.25 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4)
Prone to poor passing and coughing up possession; early yellow card didn’t deter him from making some interesting challenges; not a smart performance. (Brian) … Far too many turnovers hurt the U.S. attack. Perhaps fortunate not to see a second yellow with some dangerous tackles. (Sean)
Eddie Johnson – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 5, Sean 4)
Good holdup action early, put first shot on frame, but finish wasn’t great. Faded as the game progressed. (Brian) … Lacked ideas on the wings, first touch often let him down. Looked dangerous on a few occasions around the box, but otherwise wasn’t very effective. (Sean)
Clint Dempsey – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Did everything but score; unlucky not to finish better on his chances; other than that, he was a menace inside the 18, and appeared the favorite to score before Altidore’s goal. (Brian) … Constantly got into dangerous positions, but his finishing touch was lacking. Helped set-up the goal. (Sean)
Jozy Altidore – Average Rating: 6.5 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6.5)
Service and opportunities were nearly non-existent in the first half with Honduras parking the bus; stayed patient and converted his best chance in picture-perfect fashion to give the U.S. maximum points. (Brian) … Great finish and only a fantastic save kept him from a second. Did well keeping his concentration with limited service/involvement. (Sean)
(sub) Brad Davis – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Did well to create a little havoc near 18, but had a minimal impact on the game. (Brian) … Helped keep possession in limited minutes off the bench. (Sean)
(sub) Geoff Cameron – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Put a great ball ahead to Jozy in the 78th minute that could’ve led to a 2-0 scoreline; paired well with Bradley in central midfield. (Brian) … A step up over Jones after coming off the bench. (Sean)
(sub) Edgar Castillo – Average Rating: N/R
Not enough time to make an impact.
Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He hosted Revolution Recap, a weekly radio program covering the New England Revolution and U.S. Men's National Team from 2005-2008. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters, and can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
Brian O'Connell has covered the New England Revolution since 2006, and has written extensively for the Associated Press, Revsnet.com, and New England Soccer News. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters, and can be easily reached at BOConnell21@aol.com.