We're all about progress at Soccer, Subjectively but sometimes you have to go back some three months for no reason at all.
The game against Chile on January 22nd, 2011 featured no American player with more than six caps, consider it a "Futures Game" for U.S. soccer (the entire starting lineup combined for 18 caps with Bedoya owning 6.) In this game match we'll take a look at player reviews with their affect on the game followed by general statistics which we can compare to the Argentina game months later.
For this game, we're going to toy with a rating system that's not the usual 1-10 scale as that's incredibly unoriginal. For this rating scale we'll be using something similar to a +/- stat found in hockey.
We put the ages in just to really display how young this team was.
Dax McCarty, Age: 23 (14.5...9/5.5) - The captain and center mid got several touches on the ball early on. He never pressed too high, which is interesting because defensively he wasn't that strong on marking well. He did a great job of the ball from outside of the USA's 18 to the midfield and let the forwards do the work.
Zach Loyd, Age: 23 (12...10/2) - Loyd was responsible for several of the counters, although not a large amount in themselves, in the first half. His defense was aggressive and correct. Offensively, he provided movement off the ball from the back for an attack from the wing. Great effort all around. With the US struggling at left back, it'd be interesting to see if Loyd will be given another shot at the position when he succeeded in a very role-specific formation.
Mixx Diskerud, Age: 20 (10...5/5) - The energy Diskerud displayed in the game is something similar of an eight year old hopped up on Mountain Dew. In the 91st minute Diskerud pressures the goalkeeper on a pass back by sprinting for 30 yards. When everyone else is slowing into a job, Diskerud is still at full speed. Unfortunately, several times he was out of control because of his effort, (which isn't the worst critique in the world). He needlessly turned the ball over several times yet he was a great complement in the second half to the offense. If he can settle down, take less touches, but still keep the work ethic, he'll start producing more efficiently.
Brek Shea, Age: 21 (9...5/4) - Was key in the offense from the start with his play with club teammate Loyd behind him. On the other side of the ball, his defense is completely uninspired, which practically nullifies him on the field. It looks like he's so willing to advance the ball, both selfishly and selflessly, but when it comes to defense he's okay with taking a break. Even if he does decide to play defense, he'll get beat most of the times from he poor decision making. Could definitely use some more patience and awareness on the field.
Teal Bunbury, Age: 21 (8.5...8/0.5) - The scoreline for Mr. Bunbury here is obviously lopsided, especially for someone who only played a third of the game, but let's take a look at the stats. For the first two thirds of the game USA has 22.7 threat points, well below the average offense. From the substitutes at the 60th minutes and on, USA gathers 28.5 points. In half the time USA's offense produced more and honestly it was largely due to the energy from Bunbury and Agudelo. Bunbury ran all over the field with and without the ball. He could have been better, but the offense in the second half simply was because of him. Negative points for his celebration dance.
Alejandro Bedoya, Age: 23 (7.5...5/2.5) - We would have loved to see Bedoya get more touches but with the plateaued offense in the first half, no one really got a ton of touches outside of McCarty. He has some interesting looks in the second half and his defense was solid all around. He had an interesting look in the 64th minute from Larentowicz. He makes a superb diagonal run, controls a hard pass with his first touch and keeps it away from the pressuring defender, splits two defenders (one sliding in) with his second touch, and finishes the run despite the keeper getting to the ball before he does which causes a fumble by the keeper. An amazing individual effort.
Jeff Larentowicz, Age: 27 (7.5...4.5/3) - Outside of a just a great ball to Bedoya in the 64th minute, he disappeared for most of the game. To give you an idea of how absent he was I will end the player review here.
Juan Agudelo, Age: 18 (7...6.5/.5) - Agudelo is still flying under the radar in January to the point where he's only getting thirty minutes of playing time. Agudelo stayed more inside than Bunbury and displayed great vision with a fantastic touch. Before the dive for the penalty kick, he is a part of a great build up with quick, small touches followed by an acrobatic plummet. Another time he turns the ball over and pursues the newfound attacker for 20-30 yards, well out of his position, to redeem his mistake. The game featured profound foreshadowing for the young striker.
Tim Ream, Age 23 (6...3.5/2.5) - Distribution from the back has definitely been better for this center back yet he was still the best at it for all the defense, if that tells anything of the others. Not a ton of ball play but his approach on defending and second touch-to-pass is promising.
Sean Franklin, Age 26 (5.5...2/3) - Was consistent in turning the ball over throughout the entire game and got beat several times. Some positive passes in but nothing worthwhile.
Marvell Wynne, Age 24 (3.5...1/3) - Lack of awareness on the field became apparent on the goal. He's tracking back on the counter but does a poor job on marking the man right next to him. He recovers multiple times defensively solely because of his athleticism but he's putting himself in terrible positions to begin with.
Chris Wondolowski, Age 28 (3...1.5/1.5) - The offense stalled first half and what offense the did have did not come through the lead striker. He had one shot from 25 out but that was it for him.
Nick Rimando, Age 31 (2...2/0) - Did everything that was asked of him.
Omar Gonzalez, Age 22 (2...1/1) - Little action before getting subbed out at half.
Sean Johnson, Age 21 (1...0.5/0.5) - Couldn't do too much on the goal other than tell his defender he wasn't doing his job. Covered good distance on the shot from the counter that ended up going wide.
Eric Alexander, Age 22 (0.5...0.5/0) - Alexander only gets 17 minutes of playing time but his off the ball movement was impressive despite his teammates repeatedly not passing the ball to him when he was open.
Anthony Wallace, Age 22 (0.5...0.5/0) - Threw the ball in.
The game was referred to as "fast paced" multiple times by the commentators but looking at the Argentina game we can get an idea of how accurate that claim really is.
First Half Stats:
Second Half Stats:
Full Game Stats:
Chile wins the first half while the USA wins the second. Overall the teams are very similar except for the amount of passing threats the USA accumulated over the game. Compared to the Argentina game, the commentators opinion holds up somewhat. Quantity the USA/Argentina game has a slight advantage but the Succ% is largely in the USA/Argentina game. So while both may have been fast paced, the January game pales in comparison.