Saturday, June 17, 2006

Player Ratings - USA vs. Italy
By Imtiaz Mussa

Kasey Keller: With the United States a man down, the veteran keeper stepped up to make some key saves. It was one of the best international games that he has played in a long time.
Rating: 9

Oguchi Onyewu: He rebounded in a huge way from his nightmare against the Czechs. Though the ref called him for fouls, he held his own against Luca Toni and limited his quality chances. We also saw him get up in attack as well. Most importantly, he avoided getting a card meaning he will be on the pitch against Ghana.
Rating: 8

Eddie Pope: It was not one of his best efforts. He should not have been given his second yellow card at the beginning of the second half. But most importantly, the goal the US off the free kick was his fault as he tried to play an offside trap against Gilardino when no one else was. He will miss the match against Ghana.
Rating: 4

Steve Cherundolo: Though he was outsized by the Italians, the full back held his own against the Italian attack and in the second half, made some huge runs into the box to put the pressure on. It was a great performance.
Rating: 7

Carlos Bocanegra: Replacing Eddie Lewis on the left side, the Fulham man did a great job making some clutch tackles. The defense significantly improved with his presence. He should play against Ghana.
Rating: 7

Pablo Mastroeni: Without a doubt, he was the best player on the pitch today and his sending off was an absolute joke. While he was in there, he was winning the ball and putting it into space for Dempsey and Convey.
Rating: 8

Claudio Reyna: It wasn’t an impressive performance for the captain but it looked like he motivated his teammates today. He had to fall back into a holding role after Mastroeni was sent off.
Rating: 6

Landon Donovan: He is still not living to the hype that Nike has built for him. He was running hard when they were a man down and was able to make some better runs. Overall, it was a better but still not good enough performance for Landon.
Rating: 6

Bobby Convey: Convey had a significantly better performance today. He was making runs into space, making better passes, and showed some tenacity by winning back the ball when he lost it. He should have played a full 90 minutes.
Rating: 7

Clint Dempsey: I have always been a big fan of the way that Dempsey played the game. He shows a tenacity and toughness combined with some good speed that can inspire a side to perform. Dempsey showed those qualities today while starting on the right side of midfield. He’s also the best at taking free kicks.
Rating: 7

Brian McBride: As usual, Brian took one for the team. Today, he was taking a elbow to the forehead and got De Rossi sent off. Being offside when Beasley scored a potential go-ahead goal hurt but at least he got his head on some crosses.
Rating: 6

Jimmy Conrad: After Eddie Pope was sent off, Arena turned to the MLS Defender of the Year to provide from fresh legs on the back line. He did a good job helping out when Italy had the advantage and got opportunities.
Rating: 7

DaMarcus Beasley: This is the DaMarcus Beasley that we are used to seeing. Coming on as a sub in a much more open game helped him. He was obviously much more motivated and made some great runs. The tired Italian defense had some problems with him.
Rating: 7

Arena should have brought on Eddie Johnson for Brian McBride late in the game. With the exception of some players, everyone got tired. Beasley was trying to make runs but no American was really able to go with him. Johnson would have been perfect.

For the game against Ghana, the United States will be without Pope and Mastroeni. Arena has several ways he can go with the lineup. As far as Pope is concerned, Bocanegra might be shifted inside and Eddie Lewis would return to the starting lineup. The Americans need a win and Lewis can add that attacking presence from the back. The other way to go is to put Conrad into Pope’s spot. Mastroeni’s spot is a little more interesting. They could bring in Eddie Johnson and keep a four man midfield. Or John O’Brien could come into the center of midfield.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy sure loves Landon. From The Guardian -

Man of the match

Landon Donovan - A touch of class in a chaotic match. The American golden boy was the most technically accomplished performer on the pitch, displaying the skill and vision to make Italy's defence look ordinary.

That was what actually happened on the day. Watch the match, you will see.

12:22 PM  

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