New England Soccer Today

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

Clint Dempsey was one of several players to impress on Wednesday. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

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 contributed ratings for the USA’s 1-0 win over Italy.

Tim Howard – 7

The always dependable Howard actually didn’t have too tough of a night thanks to poor shooting from Italy. Howard’s good positioning made it look easier than it could’ve been, however, and the Everton star ‘keeper did well commanding his backline in the shutout.

Steve Cherundolo – 6.5

Cherundolo didn’t have the impact on the offense he’s capable of, but the Hannover 96 right back did what was needed, shutting down the right flank against Italy. Was ignored by Danny Williams on a few nice runs forward.

Clarence Goodson – 5

It was a mixed night for Goodson. The Brøndby IF center back blew the offside trap early in the match on a few occasions, allowing Sebastian Giovinco to sneak in for some dangerous chances. Goodson played well later into the match, however, and played his part in keeping the shutout.

Carlos Bocanegra – 7

Minus the flubs by Goodson, Bocanegra did well commanding the backline and holding the offside trap. The Glasgow Rangers center back made a key late block on a cross and did well covering for Fabian Johnson on a few occasions.

Fabian Johnson – 7

With Timothy Chandler unavailable, Johnson, a natural midfielder, made a case for the left back spot. The 24-year-old 1899 Hoffenheim player looked dangerous moving forward, including his role in the winning goal, and though he had a couple of slip-ups defensively, his teammates were able to cover.

Michael Bradley – 8.5

Lately it’s seemed Jürgen Klinsmann has preferred Jermaine Jones over Bradley. With Jones out on Wednesday, Bradley showed exactly why Klinsmann needs to seriously rethink that position. The 24-year-old Chievo midfielder played a fantastic game, intercepting passes and making key block, while also pushing forward to aid the attack.

Maurice Edu – 6.5

Edu was a bit quieter in the second half, but played a solid game. His first half interception sparked an attack that Brek Shea perhaps should’ve done better with. The Glasgow Rangers midfielder did well clogging the passing lanes for the Italians, especially in the early going.

Danny Williams – 5.5

An all-around solid performance for Williams. Could’ve done better using Cherundolo’s aid, but the 1899 Hoffenheim right midfielder didn’t look out of place.

Brek Shea – 4

Not Shea’s best performance. He showed some flashes, but far too many errant passes and the FC Dallas midfielder who turned 22 yesterday is capable of much better.

Clint Dempsey – 8.5

Dempsey continues to shine in the best year of a stellar career. The Fulham FC midfielder did well to score the game-winner, hit a solid free kick on frame and showed his skill, creativity and vision all night. Where would the U.S. offense be without the former New England Revolution star?

Jozy Altidore – 7

Sure, there were some flops and times where you’d like to see Altidore look stronger, but as a lone striker the AZ Alkmaar forward had his best performance for the U.S. in recent memory. Did well holding up the ball more often than not and excellent play to set-up Dempsey’s goal.

(sub) Sacha Kljestan – 4.5

The Anderlecht midfielder struggled a bit defensively as Italy poured on the pressure late.

(sub) Jonathan Spector – 7.5

The Manchester United product and current Birmingham City defender made a pair of important block and shut down the left side after entering as a late defensive sub.

(sub) Terrance Boyd – N/A

Not enough time to make an impact. After an initial good play to come back and help the U.S. maintain possession, he looked in over his head. The 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund reserve has yet to make a first team appearance at his club and could probably use some more experience before he’s ready to face the likes of Italy.

(sub) Edson Buddle – N/A

Late time-wasting sub for an exhausted Dempsey.

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