The gentlemen put on a shooting clinic against Scotland this past Saturday to start off the unofficial tournament on a pungent note. The gentlemen found the back of the net mostly off well placed crosses and overpowering Scotland's back line. Donovan recorded his third hat trick but it was Jermaine Jones who stood out to me. He continually inserted himself in every play and apparently had turned on a Madden Card or something so he would never run out of stamina. Klinsmann sported a 4-3-3 but it was more of a 4-do-whatever-you-guys-see-fit. The top six all swapped positions at some point. The wingers came into the middle, which opened lanes for the outside backs, and the "midfield" was more of a three CDM set where one or two would press forward with the attacking outside back and three forwards.
Scotland had no apparent answer to America's attack as they were exposed for the entire game. Scotland had a feisty counter attack but went to more of a possessive game that showed no results in the second half.
Most of the defense were only tested with over the top balls that, except for the own goal, they handled well. That's why their numbers are so low with little to comment on.
(Want more behind the scenes stuff? Check out SSTAS Day 1 and figure out what could ever make that acronym.)
+8 - Jones - (13...10.5/2.5...90') - I was personally more impressed with Jones than Donovan. He's really connecting the back four to the guys up top in a counter attack. And he can run forever.
+8 - Donovan - (12...10/2...90') - There were spells where he was MIA for a bit. That happens on the wing though. Showed a willingness to track back, especially against such a wide Scotland. More importantly his performance after bluntly saying he had lost his fire
+7 - Bradley - (11…9/2…90') - What a goal. Controlled the middle of the middle as well as Jones did. I imagine all the Bradley haters two years ago and chuckle to myself.
+5 - Cherundolo - (8…6.5/1.5…90') - The entire back four weren't tested that much. Cherundolo being Mr. Reliable as always. May not find the same luxury against Neymar.
+4.5 - Johnson - (7.5…6/1.5…73') - Future of the LB hopeful did well. Not tested a lot either.
+3 - Cameron - (8…5.5/2.5…90') - The only problem I have on the own goal is that Cameron is just aimlessly running back. He's expecting a shot, not another pass, which is why it bounces off of him.
+3 - Bocanegra - (6…4.5/1.5…63') - Low action but I can't remember the last time Bocanegra was subbed out for the USMNT...
+3 - Howard - (4…3.5/0.5…71') - Good punch.
+2.1 - Gomez - (2.5…2.3/0.2…27') - I love the pace he plays with and the pass to Donovan to set up Jones' goal was improv at its best.
+2 - Boyd - (7…4.5/2.5…63') - Looked to shoot and a lot of them grazed the general area of the goal. Promising.
+1.5 - Torres - (7.5…4.5/3…68') - Didn't look comfortable on the outside but the CM field is kind of full at the moment. I do like him on free kicks though.
+1.4 - Onyewu - (2…1.7/0.3…27') - Did well.
+1.4 - Beckerman - (2…1.7/0.3…27') - Also did well.
+1 - Corona - (2…1.5/0.5…22') - Ran around.
+0.5 - Guzan - (0.5…0.5/0…19') - Huge biceps.
+0 - Edu - (6…3/3…63') - His strength is in his defense and that was average while he dropped easy passes along the way.
+0 - Castillo - (1…0.5/0.5…17') - Not crazy about him. A very skiddish player.
(working on the rest...)
I took USA's and Scotland's FIFA 12 ratings and averaged out the team's over ratings. So it looked something like this:
(player rating1 * minutes played) + …. + (player ratingX * minutes played)
Then divide the sum by (90 * 11), the total number of minutes played by everyone.
It's the same formula to figure out your GPA, for all you future scholars out there. Player = Course, Minutes = Credit
USA - 72.96
Scotland - 71.54
Typically for every two points a team has over another they can expect a positive goal differential. So USA was looking at a +.71 goal differential, according to FIFA 12. With home field advantage we could probably throw another full point on the raw differential. So +1.42 becomes +2.42, which leads to a +1.21 goal differential in a match up.