Monday, June 16, 2008

US 8-0 Barbados - Player Grades

US 8-0 Barbados

Anyway you look at this, it was a great way for the US to start their World Cup run. This was the expected result and the team lived up to it, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. With that in mind, here are the player grades:

Starting XI
Brad Guzan (GK) - What a boring way to up your international appearance numbers. With shots two shots, Guzan wasn't tested even once, so I will have to reward him for not falling asleep. A

Steve Cherundolo (D) - The entire defense had the easiest day possible, so full mistakes. Found his place and made some good starting passes. A-

Oguchi Onyewu (D) - Had it easy but his yellow card is a bit disturbing. The minnows of Concacaf know they can't beat the US out right, so they look for ways of changing the game, such as getting a player sent off. The Gooch didn't need to get a card at that point, but he fell for their trap. B+

Carlos Bocanegra (D) - Fantastic pass to Dempsey to get things started. Held strong in the middle and was at the start of a lot of the action. A

Heath Pearce (D) - He was actually beat a couple times during the first half and was missing the ball control he showed in the three warm-ups. B+

Landon Donovan (M) - Was big in the first 30-minutes and his finally 30, but he still seems afraid of taking the shot. His free kick was smart play and his passes are looking sharp but when you have space 18 yards out, take the shot. A-

Michael Bradley (M) - His passing was off for most of the first half and he seemed out of place in the midfield. He improved as the game moved along, but still not looking like himself. B

Pablo Mastroeni (M) - Poor Pablo, bulls his glut and gets robbed of his goal. He was looking solid, hopefully the injury is nothing serious. A

DaMarcus Beasley (M) - The fact that Beasley couldn't beat the keeper to the ball and get the shot on the wide open goal tells us that DaMarcus still has some recovery in front of him. Still, at 85%, he was causing trouble down the wing. B+

Brian Ching (F) - The luckiest brace you will ever see. Ching started slow but picked up as the game went along. He started working himself into better spots and getting chances. His ball control wasn't as strong as normal but he does seem willing to shoot. B

Clint Dempsey (F) - Stepped it up for this one and was having fun doing it. He didn't need much flash, instead he just pushed his way into place. Passes were sharp and speed was good. A+

Freddy Adu (M) - On for Mastroeni in the 26'. I didn't think his game was very solid. His passing wasn't that great and his creative touch was lacking for his first 30-minutes. It almost seemed like he was thrown off by the weakness of Barbados. B+

Eddie Lewis (F) - On for Dempsey in the 72'. I actually forgot he came on till I looked back over some notes. He did setup the own goal, but didn't really stand out. B-

Eddie Jonson (F) - On for Donovan in the 81'. Bob Bradley put him in for one reason, get a goal. The fact that he did it with his head on his first touch of the match is pretty cool. I just hope this doesn't start the 'he's back' talk, because he still has a lot to prove. A

Bob Bradley (Coach) - He wanted as many goals as possible and his team lived up to it. He now has the freedom to experiment a bit next weekend. A

So the US has their largest victory ever, it's just a shame that less then 11,500 people were there to see it.

Clint Dempsey (Carlos Bocanegra) 1'
Michael Bradley 12'
Brian Ching (Pablo Mastroeni) 20'
Landon Donovan 59'
Clint Dempsey 63'
Eddie Johnson (Heath Pearce) 82'
Own goal (Daryl Ferguson) 86'
Brian Ching (Steve Cherundolo) 89'

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Blogger ERic said...

Disappointed that EJ didn't see more time. I had set my bar at "at least two goals or he still sucks" and even if he had done that, I was still planning on spreading around a new nickname for him: Minnow Killer.

Sadly, I'm going to have to hold that one until this weekend or maybe even the fall to see how much time he gets.

11:20 AM  

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