New England Soccer Today

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

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 victory over Venezuela.

Bill Hamid – Average Rating: 6.17 (Brian 6, Julian 6.5, Sean 6)
Hardly tested; distribution average, but he organized the backs pretty well in the few instances when Venezuela pierced into the final third. (Brian) … Didn’t have much to do but seemed to command his backline reasonably well. (Julian) … Didn’t have to make a save, but commanded his box well.

A. J. DeLaGarza Average Rating: 5.67 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6.5, Sean 5)
Made a few nice runs forward, but his passing lacked polish and almost paid for it early. (Brian) … Excellent work by the LA wing back to transition from attack to defense. Was effective on the overlap and managed to float back to his position when the attack was done. (Julian) … Did well to recognized the lack of pressure from Venezuela and push forward, but was mostly ineffective in the attack and tried to force things. (Sean)

Michael Parkhurst – Average Rating: 7 (Brian 7, Julian 7, Sean 7)
Displayed the mistake-free soccer that Revs fans saw during his stay in New England. Great anticipation and calm on the ball. (Brian) … Didn’t get rattled or have any lapses. Paired up well with his entire backline and was able to shepherd the U.S. out of trouble when they were rarely caught on the back foot. (Julian) … Great positioning and distribution out of the back. Looked comfortable throughout and only negative was his poor header on a late set piece as the U.S. was pushing numbers forward. (Sean)

Geoff Cameron – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 6.75, Julian 7, Sean 6.5)
Aside from a couple of hiccups, Cameron’s muscle and man-marking helped shut down the center channel. Impressive debut. (Brian) … Like Parkhurst managed to keep his cool at the back. Looked very good with his backline. It’ll be interesting to see whether he changes roles on this team. (Julian) … Used his strength to shut down the Venezuela attack. Partnered well with Parkhurst. (Sean)

Heath Pearce – Average Rating: 6.33 (Brian 6, Julian 6.5, Sean 6.5)
Quietly put together a solid performance; forays into the final third weren’t of the world-beating variety, but certainly added to the attack. (Brian) … Consistent performance from Pearce, though he didn’t quite have the same effect offensively as he had defensively. (Julian) … Pearce was solid all night defensively and showed his ability to add to the attack in the second half as the U.S. pushed more numbers forward. (Sean)

Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 5.67 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6, Sean 5.5)
A Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde performance; no question about fitness, tenacity, or the stoppage-time corner, but his touches were suspect and dropped in the backline far too often. (Brian) … Good cross on the goal but other than that had a quiet night. A few erratic passes and an otherwise inconsistent night in central midfield, though he did do well to track back. (Julian) … Fitness advantage of being in midseason was obvious. Confidence was clear and Jones was all over the field, but his touch was frequently poor and he wasted a dangerous stoppage time free kick. (Sean)

Jeff Larentowicz – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Julian 6, Sean 5.5)
Uneventful night as he watched Jones essentially run the show; though not entirely his fault, he never really put his stamp on the game in the few chances afforded to him. (Brian) … Was hot and cold – but not bad. Did a good job tracking back and did an okay job of transitioning the ball from defense to offense with the help of Feilhaber. (Julian) … Played smart – stayed back when Jones ventured forward and went forward himself when he saw the opportunity. Nothing too fancy, but broke up Venezuela’s offense in the middle and helped the U.S. keep possession. (Sean)

Graham Zusi – Average Rating: 4.33 (Brian 5, Julian 4, Sean 4)
Good two-way performance, but he was more of a force when helping out in the back than pushing forward. (Brian) … Inconsistent and unimpressive. Should have been subbed out much earlier. Crosses were poor and he seemed unable to shoot on target, even from point blank range. (Julian) … Hesitated in the attack allowing defenders to close in on him. Crosses were often off target and final pass was lacking. (Sean)

Brek Shea – Average Rating: 5.67 (Brian 6, Julian 6, Sean 5)
Looked far more effective on the left than right; should’ve finished on the Feilhaber pass; had he stayed on the left, he could’ve been a difference-maker. (Brian) … Looked good early, but got tired as the match went on and needed someone to support him on the wing. Should have scored on the Feilhaber feed early and was robbed on a save off a freekick, but otherwise an average night for Shea. (Julain) … Dangerous early and had a great header saved, but should’ve done better on Feilhaber’s pass and was ineffective after switching to the right.

Benny Feilhaber – Average Rating: 5.83 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6.5, Sean 5.5)
Made a few probing runs, but aside from the classy dish to Shea, he wasn’t his normal playmaking self. Made some clumsy tackles as well. (Brian) … Looked really good when on the ball. U.S. didn’t seem to have the same flow in midfield once he was subbed out. Combined well with Brek Shea early and was all around good at keeping the ball moving. (Julian) … Showed his quality with some great passes, but didn’t seem to connect well with Bunbury and let his frustrations with some (bad) non-calls take him out of the game at times. (Sean)

Teal Bunbury – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4, Julian 5, Sean 4.5)
Had some good ideas, but execution was his biggest problem. Never looked in sync with the rest of his teammates. (Brian) … Had two shots, but in reality didn’t contribute that much. Didn’t combine particularly well with his teammates and struggled to get himself in scoring position. (Brian) … Didn’t seem well suited for the role of a lone striker. (Sean)

(sub) Ricardo Clark – Average Rating: 6.17 (Brian 6, Julian, 6.5, Sean 6)
There’ something to be said about coming through in the clutch; game-winning header was a fine display of deception and deadly accuracy. Form in the middle was decent. (Brian) … Good job to break free of a marker and put the U.S. on the board. Didn’t make much of a difference in midfield, but didn’t do anything negative to take away from his late goal-capped performance. (Julian) … Great finish, though he didn’t make much of an impact otherwise. (Sean)

(sub) Chris Wondowski – Average Rating: 5.83 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6.5, Sean 5.5)
Positioning was excellent, but still couldn’t buy a goal. An opportunistic striker has got to start burying those kinds of chances or else it’s bye-bye. (Brian) … Had a few looks and was unlucky to score, especially on a diving header at the death. Wondolowski found himself in good positions, he just needed to put the ball where the keeper wasn’t. (Julian) … Resourceful at finding chances, but needs to finish. (Sean)

(sub) Zach Loyd – Average Rating: 6.17 (Brian 6, Julian 6, Sean 6.5)
Added spark to the left side after coming on for Pearce; good crosses and lively runs. (Brian) … Did well to get forward and still defend. Put some needed pressure on the Venezuela backline. (Julian) … Filled in seamlessly for Pearce. Looked very dangerous going forward and sent in some dangerous balls. (Sean)

(sub) C.J. Sapong – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6, Sean 5)
Brought some much-needed physicality up top, played confidently, and nearly got his noggin on a Loyd cross late. (Brian) … A possible charge on the Venezuela keeper, but you had to admire his determination. Combined well with Wondo and was able to play the target a few times. (Julian) … Failed to make much of an impact off the bench. (Sean)

(sub) Brad EvansN/A (Brian 5, Julian N/A, Sean N/A)
Didn’t make any glaring mistakes, but didn’t seem to make any noteworthy contributions. (Brian) … Not enough time to make an impact. (Sean)

One Comment

  1. John C.L. Morgan

    January 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    You guys (especially Julian) are more bullish on DeLaGarza than I’d be, but your ratings on the Revs alums and Feilhaber are pretty consistent with mine:

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