Saturday, November 20, 2010
I was one of the many USA fans who saw this as a bit of a throw-away match, one to get youngsters involved and acquainted with the system. Very few thought this group would be able to stick with a South African team playing in front of 50,000+ of their home fans.
Agudelo showed experience and poise beyond his years in a game where the "veterans" were easily the worst performers for the US.
Here are the player ratings:
Brad Guzan (8): Solid performance from the US number two. Controlled the air and stopped attempt after attempt with relative ease. He needs to transfer out of Aston Villa though, Arsenal would be GREAT.
Eric Lichaj (6.5): In his first ever US start, Lichaj was matched up against Bafana Bafana fly man Siphiwe Tshabalala, and acquitted himself well. The yellow card was a bit reckless but I feel like that was more of a statement tackle than anything else.
Clarence Goodson (7): Marshaled the US backline with efficiency and aerial prowess.
Tim Ream (6.5): Was undressed by good passing moves twice, but past those showed well in his debut. At this point could make a argument for the top 6-8 centerbacks in the US pool.
Jonathan Bornstein (3): The most experienced player on the roster looked like 12 year old. Was only better than Robbie Findley.
Alejandro Bedoya (6): Was active and dangerous throughout, but dropped off late. Worthy of more looks.
Logan Pause/Brian Carroll (5.5): You really can't not group these two together. They were strong defensively but they're collective distribution was lacking.
Robbie Rogers (6): Was decent enough on the flank and created a couple good chances. His low shot in the first half deserved a better finish.
Eddie Gaven (6): Workman-like effort from Gaven, on both offense and defense.
Robbie Findley (1): Absolutely terrible, pathetic, embarrassing, awful, and all other sorts of negative words. Every time he touched the ball it either flew away about 20 yards, or he controlled and then ran to nowhere. He sucks.
Jonathan Spector (5.5): Clearly showing the rust associated with not playing for the worst team in the EPL. Really needs a transfer for the Championship in January
Teal Bunbury (6.5): Worked hard and hustled. Proved more useful than Findley just minutes into the second half when his low shot required a sharp save.
Juan Agudelo (8): Impressive from the 17 year old. A controlled and smart finish. I can't emphasize enough that we don't start heaping tons of pressure on this kid. He'll get another look in January and we'll move forward from there. Remember he has only played two games in MLS.
Mikkel Diskerud (7.5): Another youngster who showed well in his debut. Probably gets another look in January and could break in to the first team come Gold Cup time in June.
Nat Borchers (6): The 29 year old from Real Salt Lake showed why he was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year. He was strong in the air and controlled the back line following Goodson's exit.
Gale Agbossoumonde (NA): One good header away late on, but really not enough to warrant a grade. Made his debut, probably another who gets a look again in January.