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June 6, 2011

USA vs. Spain: Recap, Ratings, and Stats

Player Ratings

Eric Lichaj - (11.5...8/3.5) - At first I thought he was out of position defensively but then I started to notice that he was out of position because he was making up for the center mids' horrendous play. Very aggressive and smart when attacking the ball. Was willing to make forward runs but didn't click with Rogers but I don't know who could have. One of the few bright spots in the game.

Jonathan Spector -(9.5...6/3.5) - Did well too contain the extensive Spanish attack that he witnessed funnel into his side despite little help from Klejstan. In the second half he was moved up to right mid but you could tell he was still playing right back mentally. Speed is an issue but he has the vision for the game that most US defenders don't.

Tim Ream - (8.5...5.5/3) - The biggest problem from Ream's play against Spain was his lack of communication with Lichaj. The second goal is a result from either Ream's lack of knowledge for a defensive shape (doubtful) or that he was unaware of how deep Lichaj was playing, which allowed the run to start. This wasn't his best game but the fact that he's averaging an 8.24 with New York is very promising.

Sacha Kljestan - (7.5...3/4.5) - Awful play outside. Kljestan offered little to no help in either the offense or defensive realm while playing wide. But his play in the middle was eons better. He loved getting touches on the ball and worked with in combination play. One time he ended up in the 18 with Dempsey on a fabulous set up but his indecision quickly turned into a disaster by not shooting nor connecting on a pass. Despite his overall poor play, he wasn't at all the worst player on the field.

Steve Cherundolo - (6.5...5/1.5) - The exact kind of right back Bradley is looking for. Defensively sound and productive going forward. Will be reassuring to see in the Gold Cup, likely rested too.

Michael Bradley - (6.5...5.5/1) - One of them more offensively-minded games he's had. Sparked the offense from the start of the second half.

Clint Dempsey - (6.5...5/1.5) - Created more chances single-handedly than the entire first half team did.

Maurice Edu - (6...1.5/4.5) - One of the worst games I've seen him play. We know he's good and he's shown it in the past but he was a complete wreck in the midfield. He worked hard, admittedly, but his shape off the ball was killing the US team. The first and third goal (which may look familiar if you saw the Champions League Final) were almost exactly the same and both times fans everywhere yelled "Who's covering that guy??" Well it was the center mids loafing back to play "defense."

Jermaine Jones - (6...1/5) - (Same review for Edu but slightly worse.)

Clarence Goodson - (5...3.5/1.5) - Did well coming off the bench ... and didn't concede three goals in one half.

Oguchi Onyewu - (5...2/3) - Seems to be getting more unfit as time goes by... I'll go ahead and make a bold prediction that he won't be in the starting XI for USA when they visit Brazil in 2014.

Juan Agudelo - (4.5...2/2.5) - We still like him (a lot) but he dribbled into pressure way too often, especially when we were virtually running a 4-4-1-1. And we don't know if Spain meant to double/triple team Agudelo (it may have just been from USA's lack of offense...) but Agudelo ended up finding himself against numbers more times than not. He needs to get his head up, survey his surroundings, and know when to dribble and when to pass.

Robbie Rogers - (4.5...0.5/4) - I'll quote Mr. Launius from an article he wrote after Bradley announced the Gold Cup roster, "Freddy Adu and Robbie Rogers?! FREDDY ADU AND ROBBIE ROGERS?! Yes, Freddy Adu and Robbie Rogers. FREDDY. ADU. AND. ROBBIE. ROGERS." And Robbie really solidified the reasoning behind that comment so I'll just leave his review at that.

Chris Wondolowski - (4.5...2/2.5) - He's been playing well in the MLS but his small frame is killing him up top. He's going to work, granted, but he becomes so ineffective so quickly. Still, he did way better than his predecessor.

Tim Howard - (4...3/1) - Goals weren't his fault and had little action otherwise. That said, we're not too happy with his distribution. A lot of times he plays out wide, which is nice, but too many times he hits a long ball into a small striker with two defenders. We love when he yells at his defenders because you can tell he's not happy (obviously) but he's still giving instructions to improve the play.

Jozy Altidore - (3...0.5/2.5) - Almost completely irrelevant. He never really made his mark on the game.

Alejandro Bedoya - (1...0.5/0.5) - Subbed in pretty late and took an awful touch on a long one-on-one. Ran around, whatever.

Game Stats

Subjective Point Graphs

First Half

USA - 8.07
Spain - 71.97

Second Half

USA - 13.47
Spain - 35.20


USA - 21.54
Spain - 107.17

Momentum Graphs

First Half Dominance
USA - 0
Spain - 80
None - 20

Second Half Dominance
USA - 0
Spain - 31
None - 69

USA - 0
Spain - 56
None - 44

GG Rating - 42/100


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

First Half
USA - 24...6.2
Spain - 44...19.5

USA - 28...5.4
Spain - 36...18.8

USA - 1...12.0
Spain -14...45.9

Second Half
USA - 22...9.3
Spain - 44...11.5

USA - 25...11.0
Spain - 48...11.2

USA - 5...8.4
Spain - 5...37.2

USA - 46...7.7
Spain - 88...15.5

USA - 53...8.0
Spain - 84...14.5

USA - 6...9.0
Spain - 19...43.6

Feel free to compare the stats with the Champions League Final.

Quickly, three reasons why this game was so awful:

1. Bob Bradley didn't care about this game. Not that he just goofs around with the MNT, but that the Gold Cup is on the horizon. Bradley has his priorities in line and for whatever reason (which we already blasted for earlier) USA played Spain three days before the opening day tournament. So Bradley, wisely, started an inexperienced team so he would lose to Spain and beat Canada and not tie Spain and lose to Canada.
2. Offensive woes. The 4-4-2 that USA runs requires the outside backs to run up the sides of the field and send the ball into the 18. But the MNT couldn't even control the ball to start an attack. Not until Bradley and Dempsey subbed in the second half.

3. Defensive woes. (Surprise, surprise.) Center mids were no where to be found on the first and third goal. The gap between the strikers and midfielders was humongous. Inside the 18 was a mess... blah blah blah it looked like 11 guys who have never played together, which may be true.

All-in-all, this game only made money for the US and gave some time for the youngsters to get pounded by the best in the world (minus key players). Tuesday is much more important and worth evaluating. If we lose to Canada 4-0, we have some major problems...

Side Notes

In the face of countless allegations, corruptions, and speculations with FIFA and CONCACAF, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati answered questions during halftime about said problems with class and elegance, something America could use more of. I'm sure Gulati wants nothing more than a revote for the 2022 World Cup but he's playing his cards well for the country.

"This is preparation for not Gold Cup, but World Cup in three years..." - Alexi Lalas

"60,000+, you're playing the champion at home... what an opportunity for the players to make some noise, make a name for yourself..." - Taylor Twellman

"When was the last time we heard [Altidore] was the most dangerous player on the field?" - Twellman

- "Taylor, what's the first thing you think of when you think of Gerard Pique?"
- "Shakira, Shakira"
- "Alright what's the second thing?" - Lalas and Twellman

"How many back passes to Tim Howard [in the first half]? Not one." - John Harkes (completely wrong)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for poking fun of the halftime crew. That was embarrassing to watch.