New England Soccer Today

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

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, Julian Cardillo, and Sean Donahue contributed ratings for the USA’s 1-0 friendly loss to Costa Rica.

Tim Howard – Average Rating: 6.33 (Brian 6, Julian 6.5, Sean 6.5)

Nice initial save before Wallace’s easy finish; hard to fault him on Wallace goal. Performance deserved a clean sheet. (Brian) … Made some good saves and was unlucky to be left out to dry on Costa Rica’s goal after stopping the first chance. (Julian) … Made a fantastic save on Michael Barrantes, nothing he could do on Wallace’s rebound, though he somehow almost got to that too. A couple of other strong saves a well. Good performance. (Sean)

Timmy Chandler – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5.5)

Smart defending and good runs up the flank but wasn’t exactly shutdown when isolated. (Brian) … Not a bad outing for the young defender, looked calm, cool, and collected in first half but seemed to labor second half a bit. (Julain) … Solid outing defensively, outside of getting beat by Barrantes on the goal, and looked decent going forward. Steve Cherundolo’s spot isn’t under threat yet. (Sean)

Michael Orozco – Average Rating: 4.33 (Brian 5, Julian 4, Sean 4)

Played marginally better than his counterpart; was victimized on Saborio pass that eventually led to the Wallace goal. (Brian) … There seem to be better options to choose from. Left a lot of open space and didn’t communicate well with fellow defenders. Kept many Costa Rican chances onside. (Julian) … Looked shaky when tested, including a few poor touches that nearly cost the U.S. Positioning wasn’t great. Where’s Omar Gonzalez? How about giving Zak Whitbread a chance? (Sean)

Carlos Bocanegra – Average Rating: 5.33 (Brian 5.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5)

Most reliable defender, but he was burned on the Costa Rican buildup on the goal. (Brian) … Surprised not to see Bocanegra more involved with scuffles on the field as he is the captain. Not bad defensively, some lapses. Did not do too well with Orozco. (Julian) … Average performance. Couldn’t make up for the weaknesses surrounding him. (Sean)

Edgar Castillo – Average Rating: 4.17 (Brian 4.5, Julian 4, Sean 4)

Did little to thwart the Ticos attack; poor shot in the 53rd; still needs to establish a rapport with Howard (Brian) … Better from Castillo compared to the Mexico game, but if he’s going to overlap, he needs to find his left foot. (Julian) … Offered little going forward and didn’t look too comfortable defending. (Sean)

Maurice Edu – Average Rating: 5.33 (Brian 5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5.5)

Tackle near midfield in was dangerous; all but invisible when Costa Rica counterattacked. (Brian) … Probably the most consistent guy on the field tonight. Did well to help out defense, but not so involved in attack. (Julian) … Did well as the U.S. anchor in the first half, but didn’t do enough to break up the Costa Rica attacks when the visitors began to take control in the second half. (Sean)

Jose Torres – Average Rating: 6.17 (Brian 7, Julian 5, Sean 6.5)

Shined all night with crisp passes; added creativity and bite to the attack. (Brian) … Looks better in central midfield than on the wing, but needs to find chemistry in the middle. Seemed to really labor after 30 minute mark. (Julian) … One of his better performances in a U.S. shirt. Looked strong getting forward and combined well with the rest of the offense. (Sean)

Landon Donovan – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 6, Julian 5, Sean 5.5)

Should’ve buried that early chance; however, his service was sensational all night. (Brian) … Didn’t really create much. Should have finished chance in first half. Was kept very quiet by Costa Rica, as he was not allowed to run at defense. (Julian) … Wasn’t a bad performance as he created a few chances, but the expectations are so high from Donovan that you expect more from him after the U.S. fell behind. (Sean)

Robbie Rogers – Average Rating: 4.67 (Brian 5, Julian 4.5, Sean 4.5)

Made some nice runs, but looked slow on the ball. Has to be sharper, both on the ball and with his decision-making. (Brian) … Looked lost at points of game and his crosses and passes were off. Positioning was okay at best. (Julian) … Weak effort from Rogers who failed to make his mark on the game. His passing was off and he struggled to get involved. (Sean)

Brek Shea – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Julian 5.5, Sean 6.5)

Good vision and quality on passes; played confidently; seems to thrive under Klinsmann’s guidance. (Brian) … Should have done more to use the wings. When he used the wing he was dangerous, when he didn’t he didn’t create much havoc for Costa Rica. Up and down game for Brek. (Julian) … A constant threat when he gets the ball. Shea, not Donovan, spearheaded the U.S. attack and is proving he belongs at this level. (Sean)

Jozy Altidore – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 6, Julian 4.5, Sean 6)

Nice cohesion with Donovan and Shea; needed to time his runs a little better, but otherwise, a solid performance all around. (Brian) … He’s a striker? Poor positioning, caught offside too many times. (Julian) … Could see the increased confidence from his good club form. Did better holding up the ball that we’ve seen in the past and combined well with the midfield. Just needs to keep a better eye on the offside line at times. (Sean)

(sub) Juan Agudelo – Average Rating: 5.67 (Brian 5.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 6)

Broke into the box on a few occasions, but was overpowered by Costa Rica’s physical defending. (Brian) … Looked great as a sub, but needs to be developed more so that he takes his chances better. Kept pressure on Costa Rican defense and tried his hardest to make an impression despite being the lone forward. (Julian) … Provided a great spark off the bench. Good movement off the ball. (Sean)

(sub) Sacha Kljestan – Average Rating: 4.83 (Brian 5, Julian 4, Sean 5.5)

Made some nice off the ball runs, but allowed himself to be baited into a dumb yellow card. (Brian) … Just didn’t give the U.S the spark they needed after going down a goal. Didn’t show much. (Julian) … Good runs and looked dangerous with the ball at his feet. Aided in some of the U.S. offensive forays late in the match. (Sean)


  1. Eric Neal

    September 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

    A five for Torres from Julian. Really? Our best player last night by far. Are you a closet Bob Bradley fan? Bradley never really liked him for some reason. Torres transforms this team. Add Dempsey, Holden and probably not such an ambitious formation and we will be fine. Although, after watching Euro qualifying highlights, our boys have a long way to go.

  2. Julian Cardillo

    September 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Eric, I actually thought he did very well in central midfield. But the entire team seemed to fold after the 30 minute mark. With Maurice Edu in defensive midfield and Donovan struggling to play his game, Torres was unable to create much after the half hour mark. Had other players shown up after the half hour, I think Torres would have done much better. He definitely deserves to be on the field though, I’ll give you that.

  3. Julian Cardillo

    September 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    And no one liked Bob Bradley less than me! I promise 😉

  4. SoCalMike

    September 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Could have posted ratings ‘first-30’ and ‘last-hour’ because all were higher in the first half-hour, all went down across the board.

    No way to over-analyze the game, we simply wore down. All the great little passes, the excellent runs, the smart play weren’t capped by a goal, and we petered out at the end.

    Fernando Torres stuck out for me, as did Landon but he especially looked tired in the second-half. Altitdore did fine too but I agree about his positioning at times, what was he thinking? A play would develop and he was nowhere to be found. I think we really missed Dempsey.

    Anyways, good start, it was only a friendly, Costa Rica looked determined the second-half for redemption. I’m still on the Klinsmann bus, we are headed in the right direction and it we got to see a little glimpse down the tunnel. If we can now play over a full game the way we played those first-30, we are in for a bright future!

  5. Eric Neal

    September 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Well said Julian. I feel positive even with the loss. I feel a little bad tagging you as a Bradley fan. No one deserves that kind of libelous slander.

  6. Adam

    September 4, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Don’t agree with some of these assessments. First half was good. Possession and good play in the first 2/3rds. Poor final touches near goal. Sacha is worthless; no pace, no creativity, no intangibles, no value. First half team was physically superior with a good mix of creativity with Torres. Donovan was the weakest offensive link in the first half. If we had a real finisher like Dempsey mixed in we would have put them away in the first half, which would have changed the second half dynamics. We had good marking of men and space in the first half, but looked sloppy in he second half (which was a constant prior to Klingsman’s tenure). We need to convert more physical midfielders into fullbacks. Klingsman’s is starting to mix it up, so it’s all good. It was good to see Bradley out of the lineup. We needed creativity out of the middle. That’s where the plays need to come from.. I like the future.. Good stuff Klingsman.

  7. rick sewall

    September 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I didnt see the game, but losing to Costa Rica? I think the team will show results when all the best players play at the same time. I hope Jurgen does not coach this team the way he coached Germany by email.

Leave a Reply