New England Soccer Today

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

U.S. left back Fabian Johnson put in a good performance against Brazil in Wednesday's friendly at FedEx Field. (Photo: Kari Heistad)

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 Sean Donahue and Brian O’Connell contributed ratings for the USA’s 4-1 loss to Brazil.

Tim Howard – Average Rating: 5.25 (Sean 5, Brian 5.5)
Stopped the shots he should’ve, plus a great breakaway stop, and little he could do with the clinical finishing of Brazil. Perhaps should’ve done better to get off his line and cut down the angle on Pato’s goal. (Sean) … Stopped a couple of heady shots, but there was little he could do in the face of a relentless Brazil attack. (Brian)

Fabian Johnson – Average Rating: 6.75 (Sean 7, Brian 6.5)
It looks like the U.S. has found their answer at left back. Johnson added a lot to the attack going forward and did what was needed defensively. (Sean) … Bolstered the attack with timely runs and good passes; defense wasn’t spectacular, but contained the attack on his wing. (Brian)

Carlos Bocanegra – Average Rating: 4.25 (Sean 4, Brian 4.5)
Should’ve done better with his first half header and some sloppy giveaways. Needed to communicate better with Onyewu. (Sean) …Overwhelmed early and often; stuggled to get the ball out of his end and slow-footed on Brazil’s counterattacks. (Brian)

Oguchi Onyewu – Average Rating: 3.25 (Sean 3, Brian 3.5)
Rough night for Onyewu dealing with the Brazilian attackers’ superior speed and creativity. Best contributions were late header and long throw. Defensively it was a match he’ll want to forget. Ruined offside trap on occasion. (Sean) … Slow and sloppy all night; tough call on handball inside area, but never seemed to find himself in particularly good positions. Header off crossbar in late only shining moment. (Brian)

Steve Cherundolo – Average Rating: 5 (Sean 5, Brian 5)
Effort was there and provided width going forward, though end result wasn’t always there. Held his own against the feisty Marcelo. (Sean) …  Decent performance purely attributable to his veteran savvy with Neymar in his grill; contributions to the attack diminished late. (Brian)

Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 3.75 (Sean 3.5, Brian 4)
What was he doing on the Silva goal? Needless tackle that could’ve seen red on Neymar and passing and contributions were inconsistent all night. (Sean) … Dropped his mark on Silva on the second goal; although his passing was there, yellow card for tackle on Neymar did little to shed his reputation as a dirty player. (Brian)

Maurice Edu – Average Rating: 4.25 (Sean 4.5, Brian 4)
Very active all night, but saw little of the ball. Put himself in good positions going forward. (Sean) … Struggled to assert himself; defensive efforts were weak and failed to fortify the midfield. (Brian)

Michael Bradley – Average Rating: 6.25 (Sean 6, Brian 6.5)
Good play when he had the ball, including some very nice passes. Problem is Brazil did well denying him the ball. (Sean) … Had a collection of keen through balls, knocked on the door with an 85th minute snap header; rallied the troops often in the second half. (Brian)

Jose Torres – Average: 4.25 (Sean 4, Brian 4.5)
Was easy to forget he was in the game by the time he was subbed out. (Sean) … Liked what he was doing early on the ball and finding teammates in space, but seemed to fade rather quickly. (Brian)

Landon Donovan – Average Rating: 4.75 (Sean 4.5, Brian 5)
Brazil focused in on him defensively and it worked. Struggled to get much going until late in the match. (Sean) … Created some good chances early and late, but generally, didn’t take a hold of the game like a player of his caliber should have. (Brian)

Herculez Gomez – Average Rating; 6.5 (Sean 6.5, Brian 6.5)
First touch let him down on a few occasions, but in the right place to score the goal and smart runs and positioning in the attack. (Sean) … Tremendous night; though he may not have seen as many chances as he would’ve liked to, he made the most of them, including a superb effort to adjust his target on the lone U.S. goal. (Brian)

(sub) Clint Dempsey – Average Rating: 6.25 (Sean 6, Brian 6.5)
Looked a little rusty at first, but the game tilted in the U.S. favor after Dempsey entered. Excellent pass to Gomez that he should’ve done better with and picked good spots all night. (Sean) … A super-sub in every sense of the word; resurrected the attack, put Brazil on its back foot with good runs and nearly found the back of the net on a header in the 77th minute that was barely cleared away. (Brian)

(sub) Michael Parkhurst – Average Rating: 4.5 (Sean 4.5, Brian 4.5)
Effort was there to get forward and involved, but feel prey to Neymar’s tricks. (Sean) … Unspectacular cameo; turned by Neymar along the right; curious decision to see him at RB at the NT level. (Brian)

(sub) Terence Boyd – Average Rating: 5.25 (Sean 5.5, Brian 5)
The young striker didn’t look intimated and worked hard off the bench. Unlucky to see his goal denied by Rafael. (Sean) … Should’ve had a goal had it not been for Rafael Cabral’s heroics in front of the net; brought good energy to the attack. (Brian)

(sub) Edgar Castillo – Average Rating: N/A (Sean N/A, Brian 4)
Not enough time to make an impact. (Sean) … Lost his mark on Pato before the Brazilian slotted it through; really didn’t bolster the defense overall. (Brian)

(sub) Kyle Beckerman – Average Rating: N/A (Sean N/A, Brian N/A)
Not enough time to make an impact. (Sean) …  Not enough time to give a grade. (Brian)


  1. Jim

    June 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Just a quick thought – maybe its a good sign that Parkie was in at right back (for Parkie, that is)

    Maybe it means that Jurgen has a lot of faith in him, but knows that he is too small to play cb & is thus working to incorporate him in the squad as best he can.

  2. Rafael

    June 13, 2012 at 4:50 am

    When we play teams like Brazil who are technically skilled, Gooch should not be allowed to come within a 10 mile radius of the stadium. It’s hard to believe that someone with those foot skills is playing at a national team level. Be that as it may, play Gooch against Canada or Scotland, but not Brazil. Other than Fabian Johnson, it is difficult to imagine who will be on our backline in Brazil in 2014. Bocanegra, Gooch and Cherundolo will be in their mid-30s and an old backline that’s slow and not technically gifted is a recipe for a group stage exit from the tournament. Klinsmann would be wise to find some young talent in the back and start working them into the team during the qualification process. But what do I know?

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