Saturday, June 12, 2010

U.S. v. England Player and Coach Ratings and Observations

Well, let's see. I did pretty well in naming the players who I thought were superior to the other side's (Gerrard, Rooney, Terry -- who I semi-hedged on but shouldn't have -- and Tim Howard). Gerrard was terrific throughout, Rooney came into the game late (and set up England's goal early). And John Terry -- I guess with all the hubbub about his less-than-admirable personal life (think Ben Roethlisberger without the bodyguard pimps) I'd forgotten how good he is. Howard's superiority to Green (but it could have just as easily been James) was obviously what earned the U.S. the tie. England did have better players, but Green's gaff yielded what I thought was a fair draw.

My player ratings (only for those players I care to rate -- scale of 1-10):


GK - Green 2. In addition to the obvious, his distribution of the ball was poor.

CD - Terry 7. Has amazing touch and vision for a central defender when he gets forward.

CD - Carragher 3. Was shockingly slow and lucky to not be sent off with a second yellow when he dragged Findley down with about 20 minutes left. If England have to play him the rest of the way, it's hard to see how they make the semi-finals, let alone hoist the Cup.

RB - Johnson 7. He often looked like the best player on the pitch, at least in part because Dempsey didn't deal with him very well.

CM - Gerrard 6. Nice move on the goal, took to the job of captain well.

F - Rooney 5. Pulled the USA's central defense apart when he would track back for the ball and looked likely to score sometime in the last 15 minutes. But disappeared for long portions of the game, especially in the first half.


GK - Howard 7. Anything he touched was smothered, with only one exception that I can think of when he parried Lampard's shot over the bar.

RB - Cherundolo 7. Howard won Man of the Match, but my vote would have been for Cherundolo. Absolutely tortured Milner and Wright-Phillips going forward, made several crucial pokes and clearances. Outstanding.

CD - Onyewu 5. Was neither fish nor foul on Gerrard's goal as he half-heartedly followed Rooney out of the area but really didn't stay with him or take a position to help Clark mark Gerrard. Other than that he was strong and essential.

CM - M. Bradley 4. I'm not a Bradley hater, but I don't think he played particularly well. Was often in the right place at the right time, but maybe a pass or two to the guys with the Blue shirts would have been helpful.

LW - Dempsey 4. Scored the luckiest big goal he will ever have, but it got to the point where Bradley had to switch Donovan to the left to try to deal with Johnson's raids from the back.

F - Altidore 4. One great run, worked hard, but didn't often threaten.


Capello 5. Hard to blame him for starting Green -- James isn't nicknamed "Calamity" for nothing and he's seen both in practice for three weeks now. Hands were tied when it came to substitutions because of the departures of Milner and King.

B. Bradley 4. Bold move to start Findley, who did what everyone expected -- stretched the England defense but never looked likely to score. Still, I was yelling at the t.v. from 70 minutes on for BB to sub him out, which he finally did seven minutes later. Thought the last two substitutions were very curious as he brought in two more offensive players in Buddle and Gomez (well, Gomez didn't actually make it in before the match ended, but the intent was there). I thought Edu for Clark or Bradley would have been a more useful substitution sometime in the last 15 minutes.

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