August 11, 2010

Report Card: USA v. Brazil - USA

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The United States made their lackluster 2-0 defeat against Brazil quintessential for the times. My expectations were slightly higher, because Brazil was using primarily a "C"-squad, if you may, while the US fielded a mix of "A" and "B"-squad members. Though, when you put on a shirt, you're representing your nation at the highest level. 
Brazil fielded practically new players that had never had a cap before, and a literally four or five World Cup veterans from South Africa. The US, on the other hand only gave one person their first full international cap, while fielding slightly over a dozen veterans from the World Cup.
What surprised me was that in spite of the fact the match was in the New York City metro area, it wasn't a superiorly pro-Brazil crowd. A major shock in my opinion. Now, the USMNT was far from impressive, so the ratings aren't anything impressive either. 
My thoughts on the USA's performance: maybe to cagey. It wasn't that they were intimidated, we figured that out in the first couple minutes, but they didn't really seem to give a damn about the game. Which would make sense. The MLS players are in the middle of the season, and a good number of them are focused on the CONCACAF Champions League and the chase for the MLS Cup.
Most of the European-based players start their season soon, so they might have just been taking it easy...in a nicer way to put it.
Tim Howard (6) -- Nothing out of the ordinary for Howard. He did catch a bad case of the concrete shoes for the first goal, but for the second goal, he did a good job closing down Pato, just Pato reacted well to dodging him. 
Jonathan Spector (7) -- He seemed to know how to make the perfect crosses and long balls every time. Time after time again he would send beautiful long balls across the field towards Edu, Buddle and Donovan. I felt he teamed up well with Bradley.
Omar Gonzalez (5.5) -- It was anything except a terrible a start for Gonzalez. It seemed he was shakey at first, but he played fairly solid.
Carlos Bocanegra (4) -- Allowed for too many through balls, but he did stop a handful of crosses that could have been quick shots on goal.
Jonathan Bornstien (6) -- In the first half, Bornstien needed to tighten up on Neymar, which he didn't, and consequentally, led to two quick goals from the explosive offense. In the second half, he stepped up his game a bit and teamed up well with Sacha Klejestan, creating numerous scoring chances for the Yanks. 
Maurice Edu (6) -- Had a solid start and kept snatching balls in the midfield from Brazil, but it became a mix of stealing and getting stolen from during the latter part of the half.
I see many good things in Bradley's future with the USMNT. Michael Bradley, that is.
Michael Bradley (8) -- The more I see him play, the more impressed I am. At only 22, he did a superb job manning the back lines. For the first half, he kept distributing balls throughout the midfield and essentially prevented any breakdowns. It seemed like whenever someone on Brazil had the ball, Bradley was in his shadow. Not only would he annoy the players, he would steal balls frequently.
Alejandro Bedoya (4) -- He didn't see enough of the ball across midfield to have an attack impact and had a notable few defensive woes. Of course, he's also in the middle of his club season, unlike most of his teammates on the night. That, however, cannot explain the early odd pass through traffic coming out of his own end.
Benny Feilhaber (6) -- Came out flying with energy. But he was heavily restricted with how often he could do anything with it. Should have stayed in for the second half. 
Landon Donovan (7) -- In ways it seemed like he was playing a level ahead of his teammates. He kept doing special little trick moves, fooling the Brazilian back line...and his teammates. 
Edson Buddle (6.5) -- Had many nice touches and passes, but as MLSSoccer.com said; he spent most of the time having to close in on the defenders. 
Substitutes:
Brad Guzan (9) - Without doubt, this was Guzan's best ever night donning a US jersey. He came up with numerous big saves that denied the Brazilians any opportunity to increase their lead. Makes me glad (and relieved) that this guy might become our top keep in either Brazil '14 or in 2018. 
Sacha Kljestan (6) -- When he came on, he and his ex-Chivas USA teammate, Jonathan Bornstien, made many nice give-and-go's, which led to many nice crosses and deep penetrations. Apart from that though, Kljestan frequently lost possession in dangerous area.
Jozy Altidore (3) -- Has anyone taught Jozy how to pass the ball? Once? He squandered so many opportunities by either losing possession deep into the penalty box, or by taking ridiculous shots when he should have chipped it into goal box. The only bright spot I saw was that he occasionally got himself in open space to create those opportunities. 
Clarence Goodson (4.5) -- Seemed rather invisible, maybe it was cause he was often chasing defenders. The few times he did have the ball, he made good use out of it.
Robbie Findley (3.5) -- Didn't capitalize on his speed. When he got the ball...he would quickly subsequently relinquish it.
Herculez Gomez (7) -- The only sub (apart from Guzan) who came out with energy. Had legitimate shots that were on frame, but he could only do so much since so often the ball was being kicked around on the other side of the pitch.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

2 comments:

惠桂刁惠桂刁惠桂刁 said...
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said...

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