New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: U.S. Men’s National Team at Panama

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 Panama.

Nick Rimando – Average Rating: 6.17 (Brian 4.5, Julian 7, Sean 7)
Thawarted Renteria’s shot early, good distribution. Gambled big on a few Panama strikes and never looked comfortable. (Brian) … Did everything necessary to keep the ball out of the net. Came up with some big saves and kept the U.S in it. (Julian) … One shaky moment where he hurt himself leaving his box, but otherwise several fantastic saves and did well commanding his box. (Sean)

A. J. DeLaGarza – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4, Julian 5, Sean 4.5)
Outmuscled, questionable runs and passes, but did track back somewhat better than he did during the Venezuela game. Improved somewhat in the second half, but not by much. (Brian) … Made a few nice tackles, but didn’t have the best pace. Let the ball get away from him a few times. (Julian) … Positioning was questionable, still doesn’t look comfortable on the right after playing center back with the Galaxy. (Sean)

Michael Parkhurst – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6.5, Sean 6)
Beaten on Perez header than went wide late; streaks of sound defense interrupted by miscues. Distribution never an issue. (Brian) … Seemed to labor more against Panama than he did against Venezuela but still got the job done. Didn’t get along as well with Parke as he did with Cameron, but still had a solid night. (Julian) … A couple of miscommunications with his fellow center backs on positioning for crosses, but otherwise read the game well and was his usual composed self in the back. (Sean)

Geoff Cameron – Average Rating: 4.83 (Brian 4, Julian 6, Sean 4.5)
Struggled to wall up the box and never really established himself in the area; red card may have been undeserved, but he was out of position. (Brian) … Unlucky to be called for a foul that led to him being red carded. Did allow a little too much space at times, but made some nice acrobatic clearances to keep the U.S. out of danger. (Julian) Seemed to lose his man on an early cross. Red card was harsh, but could’ve been avoided. (Sean)

Zach Loyd – Average Rating: 4.33 (Brian 3.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 4)
Beaten and burned along the flank before getting the hook late in the first half; the cross that led to Zusi’s score actually appeared to kick off a Panamanian heel. (Brian) … Nice cross to lead to the goal, but a few questionable decisions on the ball. Wasn’t as sharp passing on the floor. (Julian) … Decent getting forward, including the long ball to set up the goal, but his defensive positioning was poor and led to several Panamanian chances. (Sean)

Graham Zusi – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Julian 6, Sean 5.5)
Added what little bite the U.S. attack had in the first half; though it wasn’t much; credit due to the opportunistic strike. (Brian) … Nice finish on the goal, but he was, in truth, lucky to get the ball in that position. Didn’t do much for the attack following the goal. (Julian) … Great finish, but otherwise a fairly quiet night. (Sean)

Jermaine Jones – Average Rating: 5.33 (Brian 5.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5)
Another hot/cold performance; ripped a class shot at the half hour, but once again, trying to do too many things diminished his effectiveness. (Brian) … A few giveaways in midfield, but he did manage to keep the reckless fouls on the down-low. Performed decently as captain and helped the U.S. keep calm after going to down a man. (Julian) … Obviously has the fitness advantage and can play a nice ball at times or blast an impressive long shot, but far too many giveaways. (Sean)

Ricardo Clark – Average Rating: 4.67 (Brian 4, Julian 5.5, Sean 4.5)
Unsettling performance.  Plagued by poor passes, low quality on the ball, and spells of defensive indifference. (Brian) … Made some nice passes to start up the attack, but was just one step behind the defender once he got into the box. (Julian) …No huge mistakes, but it was easy to forget he was on the field at times. Didn’t leave his mark. (Sean)

Brek Shea – Average Rating: 4.83 (Brian 4.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 4.5)
Disheveled and erratic. Passing lacked the crispness seen in recent performances. Looked tired and lethargic. (Brian) … Not much out of Shea. Kept the ball well, but was not very involved in the attack. Nothing to remember or forget. (Julian) … Looked indecisive at times in the attack. Not his best day. (Sean)

Chris Wondolowski – Average Rating: 5.17(Brian 4.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Nearly converted the rebound on Jones’ 30th minute shot; though he was unlucky not to score, the simple truth is that it was another chance tossed into the wastebasket. (Brian) … Marginally better than Bunbury. Also needs to decide what runs he wants to make and whether he’s a poacher or hold up player. Got totally robbed on reaction save by the Panama keeper in the first half. (Julian) … Unlucky to see his header denied, but didn’t form a good partnership with Bunbury. (Sean)

Teal Bunbury – Average Rating: 4.17 (Brian 3.5, Julian 5, Sean 4)
A non-factor would be putting it kindly; was a detriment to the attack and seemed to lack the understanding of his role alongside Wondolowski. Forgettable performance. (Brian) … Had one shot that really tested the keeper, though it went wide. Needs to figure out whether he’s the poacher or the forward that plays hold up soccer. (Julian) … Didn’t combine well with Wondolowski and struggled to find space or make good runs (Sean)

(sub) Sean Johnson – Average Rating: 5.83 (Brian 6, Julian 5.5, Sean 6)
Settled the area and smothered a dangerous ball in the 66th minute. Showed good composure despite the chaos in front of him. (Brian) … Didn’t have much to do but made the saves when necessary. Seemed to have trouble interacting with his defense. Often sent the ball out to early after making a save or collecting a loose ball. (Julian) … Did well commanding his box and distribution was solid. (Sean)

(sub) Heath Pearce  – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Julian 5.5, Sean 6)
Stabilized the wing after coming on for Loyd, and Panama took notice as they shifted their attack away from the left as the game progressed. (Brian) … Not a bad job on the overlap. Defended cleanly and got along well with the backline once he came in. (Julian) … Helped lock down the left side and provided nice support in the attack. (Sean)

(sub) Jeff Parke – Average Rating: 4.67 (Brian 4.5, Julian 4.5, Sean 5)
Nearly paid for a misplayed header in the shadow of his own net; seemed to struggle against Panama’s speed merchants. (Brian) … Unimpressive next to Parkhurst. Gave the ball away at critical times and was lucky not to have a goal scored off of some mistakes. That said, it is tough going in after a red card and slotting next to a defender who already established his rhythm with another player. (Julian) … Tough situation to get thrown into with the U.S. down a man and partnering Parkhurst for the first time. Nothing spectacular, but limited mistakes. (Sean)

(sub) Jeff Larentowicz – Average Rating: 5.67 (Brian 5.5, Julian 6, Sean 5.5)
Added some much needed confidence to the middle of the park; established himself as a key cog late. (Brian) … Made some bright runs and had some decent hold-up play. Unlucky not to be part of an attacking strategy. (Julian) … Provided a bit more life in the midfield after replacing a struggling Clark. (Sean)

(sub) Brad Evans – Average Rating: 5.33 (Brian 5.5, Julian 5.5, Sean 5)
Another improvement to the midfield; though the circumstances limited his chances, he showed for his teammates and made a few nice runs. (Brian) … Did what was expected. Came back to defend and controlled the ball. (Julian)… Didn’t make too much of a mark going forward due to the circumstances, but provided support defensively. (Sean)

(sub) C. J. Sapong – Average Rating: 6.33 (Brian 6.5, Julian 6.5, Sean 6)
Held the ball well, and though he didn’t get any shots, his class on the ball was one of the few bright spots up front. (Brian) … Came in and did some excellent hold up work. Helped the U.S. late by being the big presence they needed up top to drain some time off the clock. (Julian) … Did exactly what was needed off the bench playing the role of target forward. (Sean)

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