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June 7, 2011

USA vs. Canada: Recap and Ratings

Player Ratings

CM - Michael Bradley - (13...11.5/1.5) - A classic performance in the role of a box-to-box midfielder. He was shot out of the gun from the beginning and ended the game with the same amount of energy as he began it. This was one of the most complete games of his career. Our vote for man of the match.

LM/ST - Clint Dempsey - (11...9.5/1.5) - The only threat down the left was through Dempsey. He took his goal well, and his "scorpion kick" effort almost made history. He also played well when he switched to forward in the 2nd.

ST - Jozy Altidore - (11...8.5 /2.5) - He finished off a very difficult well, making a dangerous run, taking a great touch, turning his body, and hitting a fierce shot early before his angle was taken away and the GK was set. Altidore played well in the air and hit a great ball across the 6 yard box on Dempsey's goal (though Agudelo got the "assist"). This was a step back in the right direction for a forward the U.S. needs to perform.

RM - Landon Donovan - (10...8.5/1.5) - He was excellent both defensively and in launching darting counter-attacking runs through the midfield. His final pass was lethal.

RB - Steve Cherundolo - (9...7/2) - Cherundolo rampaged up and down the right flank, contributing to attack after attack. His final crosses needed work, but his combination play was brilliant.

CM - Jermaine Jones - (8...5/3) - Jones knack for connecting long passes complimented Michael Bradley as a midfield partner well. His vision opened seams in Canada's midfield and contributed to a stifling U.S. possession.

ST - Juan Agudelo - (8...5 /3) - An early reliance on long balls over the top didn't suit his style. That said, he didn't leave his mark. He made the keeper work on a couple of occasions, but didn't really get his teammates involved.

CB - Clarence Goodson - (6...3.5/2.5) - Goodson is a very well-rounded, ordinary player and supported that tonight. He made few mistakes and connected well with Ream and Bradley.

CB - Tim Ream - (6...3/3) - The young defender is increasing his stock game after game. He was cool under pressure (wasn't much) and his long-balls were useful. He got himself in good positions, but repeatedly made clumsy challenges at the last moment.

LB - Carlos Bocanegra - (5...3/2) - Boca defended well but his lack of speed on the left hurt the team tonight. The U.S. attack would be far more dangerous if our left back got up and down as well as Cherundolo. Too many attacks came down the right side (too predictable).

GK - Tim Howard - (4...3.75 /0.25) - This quote sums up his performance: "He was absolute magic. I almost clapped on the save." - Stephen Hart (Canada's coach, during post-game.) Ali Gerba had a few decent chances during the 2nd half, but Howard performed his customary heroics.

CM - Maurice Edu - (4...2.5/1.5) - He covered ground and combined well in the midfield, but his touch seems hard. He can't replace Jones' pure ability to pass the ball.

LM - Sacha Kljestan - (3...1.5/1.5) - Good touches in the midfield, but didn't really get involved.

ST - Chris Wondolowski - (2...0.5 /1.5) - Virtually Irrelevant. Wondolowski represents a significant drop-off of talent in the American forward pool. He is a smart player with good touch, but simply doesn't have the athletic ability that Juan & Jozy bring to the team.

Game Stats

Subjective Point Graphs

First Half

USA - 41.93
Canada - 6.40

Second Half

USA - 29.73
Canada - 31.77


USA - 71.66
Canada - 37.17

Momentum Graphs

First Half Dominance
USA - 64
Canada - 0
None - 36

Second Half Dominance
USA - 16
Canada - 16
None - 68

USA - 40
Canada - 8
None - 52

GG Rating - 42/100


***Example Category***
Team - Chances...Threat Rate/100
Team - Chances...Threat Rate/100

First Half
USA - 43...12.7
Canada - 21...3.3

USA - 49...9.8
Canada - 26...3.4

USA - 14...22.4
Canada - 3...17.3

Second Half
USA - 33...11.4
Canada - 42...10.1

USA - 37...9.7
Canada - 41...7.0

USA - 8...25.5
Canada - 10...25.4

USA - 76...12.2
Canada - 63...7.8

USA - 86...9.7
Canada - 67...5.6

USA - 22...23.5
Canada - 13...23.5


Three notes from the game:

1) This is the kind of complete performance that the U.S. needs: No player really had a BAD game, and guys like Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, and Altidore we'll need to continue to have big games. The team started the first 5 minutes of each half slowly, but there really weren't any long periods of absent play.

2) The play of the two center backs: Goodson and Ream played well together tonight, but weren't really pressured until Gerba entered the game. De Rosario played as a withdrawn striker which only left Jackson to harass our back line during the 1st half. Between the two, they won almost everything in the air and made few mistakes (Ream was mainly responsible for the few there were).

Bradley said after the game the highlight of the night was the pair's successful outing, which shows how important it is that the U.S. finds some chemistry in central defense.

3) Still skeptical about Michael Bradley starting for the United States? Well he is making a serious case to prove you wrong. He sniffed out any Canadian attack from deep in the midfield while he also served as the link between the center backs, flanks, and forwards. He tested the GK a couple of times and made clever runs into dangerous areas of the attacking third.


Want a laugh? Why I watch these games in Spanish or on mute...

As always, feel free to discuss, argue, or agree in the comment section below.

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