Confederations Cup: Have we been too hard on Clint Dempsey?

Clint Dempsey 2 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                          Photo by ISIphotos.com

When rating the players for the 2009 Confederations Cup, the newly-created Castrol Player Rating Index  has taken into account all aspects of player activity, providing us with what is supposed to be a great way to measure the effectiveness and quality of the players participating. Based on the names at the top of the list you would think the system works pretty well. David Villa, Fernando Torres and Kaka are at the top, and deservedly so.

When you move just a notch below those names, however, you'll find a player whose presence has to be considered at least somewhat surprising. That player is Clint Dempsey.

The U.S. national team midfielder received the second-highest combined score for the tournament to date among midfielders, second only to Kaka. Dempsey's rating is the eighth-highest in the tournament, with Michael Bradley the next highest rated American at No. 10.

This development makes us wonder: Have we been too hard on Clint Dempsey?

I say we because I count myself among the many who thought Dempsey looked sluggish and ineffective for the first 255 or so minutes of the Confederations Cup, right up until he moved up top and delivered the U.S. national team's most important goal, the third score in the 3-0 win against Egypt.

After the U.S. team's 3-0 loss to Brazil I posted saying that it had to be assumed that Clint Dempsey would be benched because of fatigue and there were very few objections to the suggestion. No one has ever questioned Dempsey's qualities. He remains one of the team's top attacking players, and we saw against Egypt that he is still capable of his moments of brilliance, but for long stretches in the tournament he has at least appeared to fade and not have an impact.

I will admit that it isn't always to see all of a player's contributions while watching games on television. You don't see what goes on away from the ball and Dempsey's struggles with making an impact (pre-Egypt goal) had as much to do with teammates not finding him as because of his own failings. That said, I'm still a bit surprised to see his rating in the Castrol Ranking be so high.

It should also be noted that those same Castrol Rankings have Oguchi Onyewu has the fifth-lowest rated player in the tournament, with Jay DeMerit sixth. New York Red Bulls defender Andrew Boyens is the lowest rated player in the tournament, a rating that can't really be argued.

So here is my question to you SBI Readers: What do you think of Clint Dempsey's high player rating and performance in the Confederations Cup? Cast your vote:

What do you think of Dempsey's performance so far in the Confederations Cup? Think he can find some more magic against Spain? Still not convinced that he has played well? Not a fan of the Castrol Player Rating system? Think it's actually pretty accurate?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Confederations Cup, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

141 Responses to Confederations Cup: Have we been too hard on Clint Dempsey?

  1. Indigo Montoya says:

    Yes…still, somebody must have hidden his lighter before the Egypt match b/c he didn’t look stoned.

  2. Rastafari says:

    NO

  3. tedhill says:

    I don’t put too much stock into the distance covered rankings because we have been a man down for about 90 total minutes, so Dempsey, Bradley, and Co. have to cover much more ground, especially since we were chasing those games.

    The criticism of Dempsey has been warranted, but it’s not as if he is a poor player, he is just very tired and in a slump for our national team. He will bounce back.

  4. Tonerl says:

    There’s a couple of pretty good discussions of this very thing going on over at Big Soccer, if anybody here isn’t aware.

    He’s not been as bad as many claim, but he’s not even been close to our best player, let alone one of the top ten in the tournament. The base statistics have been shown to be miscounted on several occasions, and the index itself just isn’t a good measure of footballing effectiveness. We don’t have one of those yet, and it’ll be a while before we do.

  5. smorebs says:

    No way Gooch is only a 4.12…it’s not capturing things correctly.

  6. Onoda says:

    I want Dempsey to play up top with Jozy.

  7. chupacabra says:

    In South Africa Castrol = Crack.

  8. Tim F. says:

    Congrats Deuce and Michael!!!!

  9. patriot71 says:

    Sorry, but he has been as bad as everyone has claimed. He’s not getting back to defend, even when he’s back there he’s made at least 5 passes in the last 3 matches that were very dangerous right outside of our own freaking box, and most of his shots on goal as of late wouldn’t have hit the broad side of a barn.

    I have to give him major props on the header against Egypt, however, as he positioned himself perfectly and actually finished. I HOPE that goal will get him out of his funk as I really, really want to see him do well again. That said, I’d put him up front where he can’t do any damage to the defending aspect of our game and, as I stated in another thread, I see him as more of an opportunistic striker than I see him as a hard working winger.

    Just my $0.02 worth!

  10. patrick says:

    Without knowing more about what exactly a “castrol index” is comprised of, its hard to argue that its a fair ranking or system. I think it’s a bit off. I’d say that Rossi had more positive impact on his team than did clint, but again, it goes back to what the castrol index values. This reminds me of the sabermetrics and new statistics that are becoming more prevalent in american sports. The big problem is that with a sport like basketball, its difficult because of the fluidity, and the reliance on teammates, and the same can be said about soccer. This castrol rating talks about completing passes, and the result of that pass, etc. But if someone plays perfect pass after perfect pass to a players feet, and he screws them up, then that will penalize the player. I think its a flawed system, but I also think Clint probably played better than we think. I’ve been hard on him, and i thought he should be given a rest for the Egypt game, but clearly I was wrong, and I’m happy to say that.

  11. Peter says:

    When I watch Clint also with Fulham, he seems to run with this loping style that on initial observation doesn’t look like he is hustling so I am agreement with Ives that a lot of what he does doesn’t seem to be captured by television but I think a bigger flaw in the system has to be with how gooch and demerit are being scored. Prolly has something to do w/ how many goals were leaked in in the 1st 2 matches when they were down a midfielder. That being said, how was Howard’s score?

  12. One well taken goal should not make up for the carelessness that Dempsey has shown on the ball throughout the previous 230 + minutes of play. His coughing up possession by holding onto the ball and making poor decisions in both the defensive half and attacking half of the field had me throwing stuff at the TV…Castrol needs to include stuff like that in the rankings…”Items player makes you toss at the television screen: snack foods, pillows, items < 1kg, etc…

  13. Yes duh says:

    Yes. He’s easily one of the best players on the squad, he just finished a difficult season and he’s surrounded by a hodgepodge of semi talented players.

  14. man says:

    Dempsey should just retire right now, he’s better than a vacuum at sucking.

  15. BossTweed says:

    Something I think is being overlooked: Against Egypt, Dempsey had probably the two best passes into the box of the entire game. These both occurred in the first 15 minutes; Landon passed up one and Bradley hit the other one at the keeper. Honestly, I don’t see how someone can say he had a bad game with these two passes and his goal. He very easily could have (should have?) had two assists.

  16. BossTweed says:

    Let me rephrase that. I DO see how someone could say he didn’t have a good game even taking these passes into account, I just wouldn’t agree with it. I think providing two fantastic goal scoring chances makes up for his carelessness around the box.

  17. toreadore says:

    I think to many of you have been listening to John Harkes, Harp on Dempsey. I’ve said it before, Dempsey is that American player that is gifted and at any moment will show signs of brilliance. He’s not Donovan that will work for 90 minutes and we see it. Dempsey will come and go through a game then pop up with the 3rd goal needed to make it to the next round. Well done Dempsey!! Well done Bradley!! Well done US Soccer for making the Semi’s.

    Do I expect them to win? No, but I expect them to battle, hopefully w/ a full team for 90 minutes.

    As an American, I raise my head up high knowing that the US has been great in this tourney, we lost to Italy and Brazil, combined World Cups, what 8 or 9!!!

    Spain is the best in the world right now, Bob Bradley is going to use this as experience going forward, Arena didn’t get this experience so quick? Give Bradley his props, next best American coach would have to be Kinnear!!

  18. Al17 says:

    Those of you like me whom are at the gig and unable to stream the FAQ, here’s a non-Flash version that should help explain Castrol’s criteria

    link to castrolfootball.com

    Up til he scored on Sunday. Clint was having a lousy tournament in my opinion. It’s not an issue of his ability – he can play but he just wasn’t getting it done in my opinion when compared to his play in the past.

    His rating has him higher than Robinho. Onyewu has been our best player followed by Donovan – my opinion.

    The Castrol is like a FIFA ranking. A good idea but just funky in how it works and not exactly accurate.

    Well, as long as he handles the business tomorrow this is moot.

  19. jimbo says:

    The goal has to be a huge part of the ratings. What would his rating be without that?

  20. kahlva says:

    I love that Clint is 32 spots above Xavi…

  21. Gilbert (Not Gil) says:

    Is this the same Index that had the USA ranked #5 in the world heading into Germany 2006?!

  22. nico says:

    There aren’t that many teams or games in the tournament, we were bound to have some high rated players (deserving or not). Especially considering New Zealand is in the tournament.

  23. Mark says:

    Seems as though the tool needs more massaging. I don’t think Dempsey’s been as bad as everyone has stated, but he certainly isn’t the 2nd best midfielder in the tourney. He hasn’t even been the best midfielder on the US, with Bradley and Donovan playing better ball in my opinion.

    Either way, congrats Dempsey, maybe he’ll make the all-tournament team and get a bonus or something.

  24. beckster says:

    I think the ratings are fairly suspect. On the other hand, I think people are being too hard on Dempsey. He hasn’t turned up for this tournament but people aren’t generally recognizing the state of his exhaustion. He has been playing non-stop for a year in a field position where movement is constant. He needs a break. He doesn’t suck, he is just tired.

    The bigger issue is how does Bradley give him a rest next year so he is fresh and where is the best place to put him on the field to maximize his abilities.

  25. thomas says:

    There’s a cool function on the FIFA website called a “Heat Map”. If you click on an individual player it will show you where they were during the game, with most common areas appearing “hotter” (red). I have no idea how they track all the players but it’s cool. Check out the difference between our two outside midfielders Donovan/Dempsey. Donovan’s hot all up the outside for each match. Dempsey is much cooler outside and is hot in the middle and in more advanced positions. It definately validates the commentators who were saying that Dempsey’s lack of defensive presence on the wings was putting extra pressure on Borenstein and forcing Clark and Bradley out of position to cover for him out wide.

    Lots of cool stuff I’ve never seen on the FIFA website. The most depressing was the team rankings for succesful passing. Not only did the US attempt the fewest passes, they were the least sucessful. They also ran more than any team whereas Spain ran the least.

  26. BossTweed says:

    jimbo: yes, i imagine the goal has to be a huge part of the ratings. What would Villa’s ratings be without all his goals? That’s not really a valid point against Dempsey because, well, he did score that goal.

  27. tim says:

    I bet the same thing happened to gooch, the goal against italy that when right by him was probably counted as a goal that he “conceded” even thought it would have been quite difficult to block.

  28. David says:

    Apparently these are not the John Harkes ratings, haha. Dempsey has been much better than advertised. People seem to be putting him in the same catagory as Beasley and that is a gross exageration.

    Does he look tired at times, yes. Is he guilty of some give aways, yes. Is he not getting back at times, yes. But could the same be said of almost every player on the Nats, YES!

    He certainly hasn’t wasted chances to go for goal like Donavan has (how many wide open looks is he going to pass up?) And he has definitely made many more through passes to open up chances for other players than anyone else on the team. Against Egypt it seemed everytime Harkes railed on him for “not getting back to cover” he put through a nice ball to create a chance which was wasted by the recipient. And honestly if there are that many times he needs to “get back to cover” than perhaps the outside backs are getting to far forward.

    The critism of Demps is way over exagerated and in large part a creation of John Harkes and his less than insightful color commentary.

  29. USA4Life says:

    Sorry TedHill, but both Dempsey and Bradley covered more ground in the match against Egypt than they did on average in the previous two matches while being a man down.

  30. William the Terror says:

    these rankings are complete BS. I mean, no disrespect to Clint for a great third goal, but Bradley, Donovan and Gooch have all been consistently superior, giving all-out effort for 90 minutes in all three games.

    statistics (which form the rankings) are great for fantasy leagues, but the game is not played on paper.

  31. Spike says:

    You have been too hard on him. However, the ratings system sucks. Number of minutes has too much influence.

  32. ETJ says:

    I really hope clubs don’t look into this silly ranking system. Players looking for a bigger club or more playing time like demerit, gooch, clark, and spector deserve a much higher ranking.

    On a separate note, Ives can you please write an article after the Confed Cup about who’s stock rose and what players on the USMNT could move up in the world?

  33. Tonerl says:

    After the fist matchdays for their respective clubs, 4 of the 20 or so best goalkeepers in the world were rated in the bottom 10% of the tournament’s players.

  34. brian says:

    He sucks. he has skill but is too concerned with trying to be cristiano ronaldo. his gaffes have led to way too many goals (honduras) and give aways. he has to put the team ahead of his own interests.

  35. Phil says:

    Well obviously goals are ranked really high in points…being that MB and Deuce are up there…then Donovan. Does that make sense?

  36. thedoc says:

    the rankings obviously favor offense, instead of defense.

    but i did notice the other day that the fifa statistics have dempsey rated as one of the highest in high activity and medium activity movement. i think that goes to show there is alot we miss when we only watch the game on our tele.

  37. Rastafari says:

    From the Stats.. Xavi needs to be heavily marked

  38. A.S. says:

    The passes completed index was very intersting – confirmed my suspicion that we can’t hold possession to save our lives. We are simply very bad passers (and receivers, I suppose) of the ball.

  39. JK2 says:

    can I ask a bigger question? why is Landon Donovan considered the leader and creative force on the US team? even with Dempsey under-performing, he’s been more dangerous than Donovan…

  40. madmax says:

    No we have not, because his effort, defense and turn-overs have been costly. As an asterisk he did look better higher on the pitch.

    Wouldn’t be a bad idea to start him up top with Jozy if his tank isn’t empty.

  41. Abe Manopla says:

    Screw the US! Mexico is a much better team than they are. Well see what happens Aug 12th. Its an embarrassment to have the US representing our side of the world. Brazil is going to destroy them.

    The Gringos got lucky to win the gold cup, and they NEVER play good against the top teams in official tournaments. Even if were not always good, at least we ALWAYS show better soccer in the world cup. VIVA MEXICO!

  42. Sean says:

    i personally think his work rate has been top notch. he’s been moving plenty, down a player in two games.

    everyone is being hard on him because he needs to produce. he is one of our offensive staples, and when he doesn’t do well, the blame is placed firmly on his shoulders.

  43. Abe Manopla says:

    i meant Spain

  44. SR says:

    Any international ratings or rankings involving the US are so far fetched its ridiculous. Don’t for one second be flattered enough to think that those stats and ratings are worth a damn.

    How is it that Gooch is rated as half the player as Dempsey? Asinine.

  45. Yossarian says:

    There’s no question that the criticism of Demps has been way off-target. As I said before, he absolutely OWNED the right side of the field against Italy while everyone kept saying he looked sluggish. If you watch the game over again, he’s constantly in possession of the ball, winning every single 50-50 ball and making smart, safe passes (except for that one to Benny) and no turnovers.

    What more does everyone want? I think some folks simply missed his activity because perhaps they were focused on another player or another aspect of the game – that happens. A second group expects Dempsey to be around the goal the whole game and they don’t realize that he has to stay back defensively. Another group are just haters who want something to complain about and a fourth group are just followers who hear others complaining and want to join in. I think the haters and followers tend to feed off each other to create a kind of mass hysteria.

    I hate it, because Dempsey has worked his butt off and deserves to be recognized.

  46. El Tri Rules! says:

    Dempsey is an awful player! B-rated like the rest of you gringos!!!

  47. Yossarian says:

    Gooch and Demerit get low ratings because they don’t possess the ball at all. The US system doesn’t call for the central defenders to possess the ball, but rather to clear it out, which they did well. Their Castrol ratings will always be low

  48. Blokhin says:

    why don’t you find the “Can Mexico still make it to the 2010 World Cup?” thread and post your thoughts there….

  49. David says:

    A note on all of Dempsey’s supposed give aways. He has the higher completion percentage on his passes than everyone on the team in the tournament besides Onyewu, DeMerit, and Kjestan. Everyone else on the team has a worse completion percentage than Dempsey, that includes every other midfielder besides Kjestan, who only played 60 minutes.

  50. Dan C says:

    i mean people complain he hasn’t worked hard but he has covered the second most ground in the tourney behind bradley. also, he has one of the most completed passes in the tourney which is really hard to do in his position. he may seem like he gives the ball away a lot but he does so by tryin to make things happen, something most of our players don’t. the fact that he has so many completed passes shows how much he shows for the ball and gets it. his ability to hold the ball in the final third has been key for us and i think Egypt was one of his best games in a national team jersey

  51. goalscorer24 says:

    It’s not that Dempsey is disliked, he certainly is a continual player for the US team. He just looks tired and needs a break. Give Torres or Adu a chance. Just like Guzan stepped in for Howard last game.

  52. EA says:

    He’s no Freddy Adu, I’ll tell you that.

    Right, Ives? I know you have my back!

  53. cf says:

    EVERYONE…

    El Tri Rules! = Troll.

    Disregard not because of Dempsey comment but ignorance that results in xenophobia.

  54. brandon says:

    Maybe Dempsey is like one of Billy Beane’s gems in ‘Moneyball’. A player that is not the most eyepleasing player, but when the stats are counted he is the guy you want on the field because he increases a teams chances of winning… either way, when Clint is on form he is an exciting player to have on the team.

  55. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Settle down, Abe. Let me give you something you obviously aren’t use to……facts. You see, your comment about the US not playing well in an “official tournament” doesn’t exactly hold water considering they BEAT MEXICO IN AN OFFICIAL TOUNAMENT!!!! Unless of course, you are suggesting Mexico is not a top team. In that case, well…you said it not me. Secondly, despite not playing very well, the US made it out of a group that includes Brazil and Italy. Nobody, including the majority of Nats fans (myself included) thought that to be possible. I think most fans of the US give Mexico their due when they succeed. How about doing the same?

  56. William the Terror says:

    @ abe:

    you really did outperform us in that 2002 world cup, didn’t you? and yeah, you got out of group in 06, but it was the weakest group and you barely survived.

    and last but not least, WE OWN YOU. so piss off, loser. piss off by a score of 2-0.

  57. Jeff says:

    I would be interested in an article covering John Harkes’s performance in the broadcast booth. As an announcer, his hindsight bias is atrocious (e.g. “If the ref gives it, it’s a red card.” or if the shot misses, “he should have passed there” or if a pass fails to connect, “he should have been more aggressive there”).

    Also, the next time I hear him waxing rhapsodic about the heart of Tab Ramos and Tom Dooley, I’ll barf.

  58. KCB says:

    I’ll just say this:

    DEMPSEY IS NOT A MIDFIELDER!

    Leave him at forward and nowhere else.

  59. Oranjebleeder says:

    Folks:

    Ratings & rankings only matter in one sport: Division I-A football (joke).

    The rest of it is garbage.

  60. Conrad Benedetto says:

    It’s amazing the extent people will go to disagree with objective analysis. Your eyes fail you; that is why there are measurable statistics.

    Gooch has stopped a lot, sure, but if you *must* use your eyes, watch how many headers and clearances go right to an opposing player, or out of bounds, or are just booted down the middle of the park.

    Now, watch Dempsey, and try to *see* what he is seeing – a run, a turn, something, that players of the caliber of Danny Murphy or Simon Davies can make, but Sasha Kljestan cannot.

    Then, go and look at how this Castrol Index works . . .

  61. milkshake of despair says:

    I anyone else concerned that since Bob has not used many subs that are players are going to get worn out against Spain? (Dempsey’s fatigue aside)

  62. kpugs says:

    I’ll go with my own eyes, as opposed to any rating system that has Dempsey amongst the best and Gooch amongst the worst.

  63. Al17 says:

    Dempsey hasn’t looked tired. He just hasn’t looked like the player we’ve seen in the past. Actually, I don’t think fatigue is an issue for him. Just because he finished a long season in England doesn’t = he’s tired.

    Where are you guys getting this fatigue stuff? Hell, if that’s the case then Onyewu should be dead considering he’s started most matches at Standard and that included their run in UEFA Cup, Belgian Cup et al.

    It’s good to see Dempsey score and hopefully it’s the start of something great but I’m not buying the he’s fatigued crap.

  64. milkshake of despair says:

    Try again:

    Is anyone else concerned that since Bob has not used many subs that our players are going to get worn out against Spain? (Dempsey’s fatigue aside)

  65. DWE4 says:

    Completed passes CAN BE a stupid statistic. The majority of Clint’s completed passes fall into 2 categories: quick lay-off passes to teammates <5 yards away; and careless 5-20 yard passes that put his teammate (and the ball) in a dangerous situation, usually resulting in losing the ball.

    Statistics be damned: Every time he gets the ball, I yell at the TV, “Okay Clint, how are you going to mess this one up?” And he does.

    Maybe I should keep my own statistics, but “Clint Dempsey” and “awesome pass” haven’t appeared in the same sentence for a long time.

    The Castrol numbers are stupid. Dempsey has been ineffective for a year. He scored a nice goal. I hope that breaks him out of his slump. However, he’s been the US’s 4th best midfielder in these matches.

  66. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    Dempsey, one of the best players on display?

    Observe also that 3 of the top 7 players are South African. And that Jozy Altidore is ranked far above Onyewu and Demerit.

    They will, of course, build better indices in due course.

    But this is laughable.

  67. Angel says:

    Maybe Dempsey is tired but tired of playing out position as Mr. Bob Bradley does with his player. Dempsey I think he wants to show the big clubs that he is ready and maybe he is trying to do too much, I think he is thinking of making goals so let him become a striker and let him play next to the goal and pair him with other striker like Altidore or Davis. Davis has the speed and control on the ball, altidore has the height and body to be the attacker. And for the Ranking I think is a little bit off cause Donovan have been the heart & soul of this team. He has been up, middle and defence. SO my player of this team is Mr.Landocake

  68. Ben says:

    I’ve always thought of Dempsey as a poor man’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

    A tall player with some flashy dribbling tricks and good instincts who nonetheless will be invisible for the other 90% of the game. I, for one, think it’s good for the US to have a player like that.

  69. ko'd says:

    DWE4…yea, but not really.

    “The majority of Clint’s completed passes fall into 2 categories: quick lay-off passes to teammates <5 yards away; and careless 5-20 yard passes that put his teammate (and the ball) in a dangerous situation, usually resulting in losing the ball.”

    From the index:

    Long passes 13
    Long Passes complete 9
    Long Passes completion rate 69.23%

    Medium Passes 78
    Medium Passes complete 47
    Medium Passes completion rate 60.26%

    Short Passes 33
    Short Passes complete 26
    Short Passes completion rate 78.79%

    It looks like he makes far more medium passes than short lay-offs. And 60.26% is hardly “usually” anything for medium passes. He is pretty low among all players, but has a better MP completion percentage than Bradley or Feilhaber. Plus, some of his “long passes” have created big opportunities. His LP completion percentage happens to be better than Pirlo or Fabregas. What does all of that mean? Well, not much. I am just saying that the statistics DO offer SOME insight.

    The real problem has been his decision-making on the ball in the middle-third of the field. My heavens he has done some stuff that made me cringe-really tough giveaways.

    On that note, I don’t think he is physically fatigued. I think he is mentally fatigued IF AT ALL.

  70. Oranjebleeder says:

    Dempsey did have 2 quality passes to set up strikers in the first half. One was the long ball to Donovan (the one where he passed instead of shooting) and a cutting ball to Davies or Jozy (can’t remember)

  71. Erik says:

    Honestly, Dempsey isn’t being utilzed correctly on this team. He has always performed well for the National Team as a second striker. He is not really a good right midfield player.

    Ask yourself this? On the wing, do you want a semi slow dribbler or a speedy guy who can get in crosses…

    Dempsey is not that speedy winger type so GET HIM OUT OF THAT ROLE.

  72. RK says:

    I didn’t have a chance to watch the Egypt game until today, and from what I read, I thought Dempsey had an awful game. Apparently people forgot about the two chances he created in the first 15 minutes…

  73. Mark says:

    Yes! Clint is a solid player and deserves a lot more credit than he is given!

  74. Brett says:

    I’d need to know more about the rating system.

    I’m assuming the ratings include pass completion %, distance traveled, tackles, and total shots/shots on target/goals..but I couldn’t guess to what else is considered.

    I would assume by his high score that turnovers aren’t calculated or negatively-weighted properly because Dempsey has had a ton of them.

    One thing this rating system is guaranteed not to show is how soft a player he has become. He is still brave in the air and challenges for the ball, but he has developed the annoying habit of flopping. I’m not sure whether his coaches have asked him to do this to earn more set plays, but it is infuriating to watch him flop and lay on the ground waiting for play to stop. I brag to all my foreign football buddies about how American’s don’t dive like Europeans and then have to eat crow when Dempsey goes around doing his best Steven Gerrard impression.

    Most disheartening has been his tendency to take too many touches on the ball and eventually give it away in dangerous positions for the other team to counter.

    I do not think we have been “too hard” on him. He is our talisman at this point in time, being our only field player to play regular minutes and produce in a top league, so it is natural we expect him to impact the game more than he has.

    I’d like to see him stop trying to be C. Ronaldo already. I nearly spit at my TV when he pulled off a “rabona” (for those who don’t know, it’s the kick where you take your kicking leg and strike the ball with it being in a crossed position behind your plant leg) and ruined a potential scoring chance against Brazil, one of the few times we had players running forward in numbers. It was needless, showboating play and we have no room in our game for that.

  75. Gene_SF says:

    While I am not certain whether he should be ranked so high, the criticizm on this & other blogs, as well as from that blowhard Harks on ESPN, has been off base. Admiteddly, Dempsey looked sluggish at times, and he has over-dribbled in a couple of plays. But I think we’re seeing the effect of fatigue on a player who had just finished a full season of play at the EPL. He may also be trying too hard to assume a dominant role on the team.

    But those instances are far outnumbered by the instances of Dempsey working hard in the midfield, making passes, tackling, etc. Also, those who claim that his goal was easy should remember that we don’t have too many players that could have made that header look so routine. So, I’ll take the good with the bad.

    In terms of Dempsey’s natural position, that’s open to debate. He is quite successfull at Fulham playing in the middle (tackling, setting up others with passes), but he has been complimented there by more consistent scorers on that team (Zamora notwithstanding:). May be it is worth a try in the next game to have Dempsey play forward.

  76. Wispy says:

    I don’t know, I sort of view Dempsey as the Brett Favre of the USMNT: one of our best talents who does a lot of great things on the field, but occasionally (and usually in an effort to create something) makes a bonehead play. Can be frustrating, sure, but we still need him on the field, in my opinion. Some of his actions lately — the gaffe against Honduras, for example — merit some criticism, but I think we’ve been a bit hard on him. He’s nowhere near as out of formt as, say, Beasley.

  77. JohnC says:

    That index is dumb- Clint’s number is high because he has played a lot, has a lot of shots and a goal. How can anyone be in the top ten and have only complete 66% of his passes. That is dreadful. It also doesn’t take into account what those missed passed have led to, how often his man is leading the attack for the other team or how many times he has tried to pull a Zidane move that has prematurely killed a US attack. Ives I would hope you just put up this topic for a conversation starter because to think Clint is putting in the extra work when the cameras are on Bornstein and Lando on the left side of the field is absurd. Were all watching the same games including the last two WCQ and Clint has been just awful over there. His attitude and lack of fire angers me more than lack of productivity.

  78. JeffM says:

    The ratings aren’t good, and it’s not hard to figure out why: they clearly over-value goals and punish the defense collectively for goals against. Everything else (presumably distance run, percentage of passes completed, etc.) seems to be incidental. You can tell exactly how each American separated himself from the pack: Dempsey and Bradley scored from the run of play, Donovan had an assist and scored from the spot, Jozy drew a PK, and Spector had an assist. And the defenders (plus Howard) got grouped together even though they were not equally at fault for the goals. I like the idea of trying to use statistics in soccer, but these statistics aren’t any good.

  79. JB says:

    We’ve been getting really biased television play by play on U.S. games this tournament. Harkes commentary on Dempsey’s play has been overly negative such that his commentary has slanted the entire American fans perception of Dempsey as a player. The foreign observers are seeing an entirely different game than the one Harkes and Dellacamera are calling.

  80. Teddie Boy Eddie says:

    I’m afraid my fellow US supporters have always overrated Dempsey. He’s a decent player and has a nose for goal. But I seriously doubt the opposition is worried he is on the other team. I frequently read posts discussing Dempsey’s creative abilities, but these skills are infrequently on display. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting that Dempsey is just an OK player when compared to other players in the league in which he plays and also on that international stage.

    It’s also funny that anyone who dares criticize him are called haters. Seriously? Grow up. Differences of opinion are allowed.

  81. Drew says:

    “lies, damned lies and statistics”

    he had an excellent goal at the perfect time, but otherwise he just hasn’t been very effective. if he’s that high on the list and onyewu and demerit that low, then i think there is something wrong with the formula. the best way to determine a players value is by watching him play, not using some contrived formula.

  82. bw says:

    No, we have not been too critical. Dempsey has not played well in South Africa or in recent qualifiers. But, one of the reasons he has been criticized is that he is among the best players we have. Whether he is tired, misused by Bradley, both or something else, he has generally been poor of late for the Nats.

    I looked at the Castrol ratings earlier today. They seem to measure touches primarily. This measure makes Dempsey look worse. To have touched the ball so much and to have done so little is disappointing.

  83. Oranjebleeder says:

    Harkes and Dellacamera are watching the game like we do: TV. I wouldn’t put any stock in what they have to say.

  84. 49ers says:

    from fifa.com

    Distance covered:

    USA monopolise the podium when it comes to South Africa 2009’s hardest-working players, and Bob Bradley has particular reason to be proud of his son and star midfielder, who has covered an average of over 12 kilometres per match. Incidentally, the best-placed Spaniard in these standings, Xavi, lies a lowly 37th, underlining the European champions’ ability to let the ball do the work.

    The leaders: Bradley (36,426 metres), Dempsey (34,855), Donovan (34,263)

  85. Barry U says:

    I love this guy!!!!!! But he has lost the ball and not tracked back on D as much as you would like over the last 5 games. So maybe he is tired or frustrated with his teammates. Whatever the case he just has not been that good. Whoever The goal takes some of the sting out of it but still an ok perfromance so far in these 3 games.

    I like the idea of having him play up top and Benny/Adu/Torres in his midfield spot. Prolly Benny just like in the Egypt game. I was a little perplexed with that sub but after thinking about I like it. Then you take out Jozy and bring in Charlie when the D is gassed. I like that alot!!!!!

    Athough I think starting in the midfield and then moving could be good to. Charlie is a livewire it seems like and if he learns from the last game that squaring the ball sometimes is ok them we might see the begining of something special. Thre stikers that bring diferent things and can be dangerous. All three have no fear shich is kinda good (Eddie Johnson Hello).

    Overall Clint is a good player and he needs to keep playing since he brings qualities that are not found in abundance on the team. I hope the goal gave him a second wind.

  86. Matt says:

    I could be wrong here, but it looks like the ranking system is giving significant weight to the number of passes completed. That’s the only difference I can see between the highly-rated defenders, such as the South Africans, and the lowly-rated American defenders. Basically, the South Africans have had to make twice as many passes as the Americans, so that magically makes them better defenders.

  87. Tim F. says:

    Landon Donovan being ranked behind Dempsey and Bradley just goes to show how retarded those rankings are.

    Dempsey has been terrible. He has been terrible for many, many games. Just look at how many times he set up shots and goals for the other teams by losing the ball, all the while not contributing anything but one header goal in the Egypt game. The fact that he still starts and plays 90 minutes a game every game instead of giving someone else a shot just shows how retarded Bob Bradley is.

  88. Matt says:

    My two cents on Dempsey: personally, I really like watching the guy. I think the expectations for him are too great. Americans say, “Hey, he starts for a Premiership team, so he has to be really good.” Well, Dempsey (in a tie) led Fulham in goals last season with … seven. That’s not a significant number, especially compared to the number of goals you’d see from team leaders elsewhere.

    The reality is that he’s one of the Americans’ best options to score a goal, but he’s not going to be a goal scoring machine just because he plays in the most visible European league to Americans.

  89. understood says:

    i think teddie boy eddie hit it on the head…since dempsey is one of our most flashy and arguably OUR best creative player (him or donovan)…we as US fans have overrated him…on the grand scheme of things internationally…hes a decent player…if he valued possession more and was a slightly better decision maker he could do more with his potential because athletically speaking he would be a better player centrally…but he turns the ball over so much that unless you put him all the way up top…it becomes a liability

  90. Jose A. V. says:

    He is a good player, but I thought he should be benched, so he can be put a bigger effert.

  91. Derek says:

    People expect magic from him, at all times. If he doesn’t score, he’s terrible, even though no one on the team has done much scoring, ESPECIALLY during the run of play.

    Attacking players lose the ball sometimes because you have to take some chances. He’s taken a few in bad positions, but losing the ball around midfield shouldn’t be catastrophic as it was when we were down a man.

    In general, he is one of the stronger guys to HOLD the ball, and he wins 50/50 balls.

    Too much criticism from people sitting at computers and former National team members.

    Let’s get behind Clint and the entire team for Spain. We have a chance to make some HISTORY!! We’re going to need subs. That is for sure.

  92. El Tri Rules! says:

    I am not saying Mexico is a top team, but my point is the US isnt either. You might own us in the US, but not in Mexico. Just to conclude, the reason we lost that game in 02 was because we were 2 confident against a bunch of american youngsters, but if that game was played 10 times, mexico would win 9 of them. Face it, even though Mexico probably wont win a world cup in my life time, the chances of US winning it are even more remote. You are NOT a soccer country! Baseball? Basketball? Football? Maybe…. Just because you created all those sports.

  93. Bill says:

    I think Dempsey is a super Forward and a miserable midfielder. I’m suprised Bradley is risking his poor defense and iffy passing ..let alone positioning.. in the midfield. But with 2 central/defensive mids covering for him it might work. My take is that it hasn’t worked well post red cards in italian and the brasilian match.

    When he was pushed up top, me did/does great (enough). I’d rather see Freddy Adu (yikes!) or Torres playing midfield over Dempsey. But, clearly Bradley has trust that he’s more versitile then either of those guys (or his other forward options).

  94. Andy in Atlanta says:

    100% agree Derek…these people are jumping on the bash Dempsey bandwagon but a fact remains..he is our best player in tight spaces… he wins more 50/50 then everyone but Bradley and Gooch. He goes on little streaks where he is ultra confident… Scoring goals in big matches is like his gift.. against Liverpool to keep Fulham up in 07, two to steal a point from Chelsea, goal in Cuba, goal in the WC, goal to keep us alive in the Confed Cup… figure it out people…

  95. soccerroo says:

    These statistics are only marginal in the developement of a game. Yes Dempsey is not as bad as we have said but he is not the player we know he can be. And his effect on the games has not translatred into as many positives as it has negatives which this does not calculate. Give a statistics person enough time and they can find positives or negatives in any situation you want.

  96. John Godfrey says:

    Generally speaking, people who make snap decisions when they’re in a highly emotional state and then feel compelled to “publish” their opinions in a format such as this one are inclined to overreact. And yes, the haters out there have been way to hard on BB, CD, MB, etc.

    Great to see the passion. Wouldn’t mind a little perspective and restraint to go with it.

  97. John Godfrey says:

    …and they tend to produce typos as well. “Too” not “to.”

  98. Man fan says:

    He was lucky that he hit the ball with the side of his face. Otherwise he would’ve sent it right to the keeper. Kudos, however, for being there and trying to snap it in.

    But he did the same thing against Honduras; messed up the header and, fortunately, it bounced off the arm of a defender allowing Bocanegra to score on a diving header.

    Dempsey holds the ball too long and is frequently dispossessed. This tournament, his passing has been short and back to the player who gave him the ball, who is then under pressure, and then loses the ball. OK, he made 2 good passes in the last game. That’s nothing to be praise. That’s the minimum one expects from a National Team player.

    He is petulant and has stayed on the ground when not getting a call after a foul, instead of getting back into the game ASAP.

    He will take ill-advised shots from distance instead of looking to pass to a teammate for a better attempt.

    His attempts to perform Ronaldino-esque moves are as laughable as they are ineffective.

    He may be a better forward, but he is not helping control the ball in the midfield and that’s hurting this team.

  99. Derek says:

    El Tri,

    Your days are over. Ours have yet to come.

    Azteca will be ours!!

    Dempsey is a stellar midfielder for Fulham. His role is just so much larger for the US. He has a lot more responsibility.

  100. Jk3 says:

    this ranking is about as bad as the BCS poll

  101. Aljarov says:

    IVES – there’s only 9 US players listed….so much for ‘ALL’ players….

  102. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Really Man Fan… “the ball hit him in the side of the face”… perhaps you go back and look at his intent…Clint headed that exaclty where he should have and wanted to… it was a great header goal from a guy that typically shows more heart and desire than everyone on the team save Michael Bradley… Clint has not been spectacular but he is still our best playmaker a majority of the time…

  103. Leonardo says:

    sure, i think i was too harsh on him. the play off the ball is really hard to rate, let alone watch. I do realize that he provides a lot off the ball that others don’t notice, but I am sure other teams do. I am sure that they watch out for Tha Deuce, and make a point to mark him.

    Go Clint!

  104. milkshake of despair says:

    This whole fatigue excuse seems just that, an excuse. Look at Torres, Villa, Kaka, etc. Didn’t they all just finish a long European season and even play Champions League games? Not sure what to make of Dempsey’s form, but I am saying the fatigue excuse is wearing thin. If indeed he is fatigued, then he needs to work on his conditioning if he hopes to play with/like the big boys.

  105. primoone says:

    I dont Blame Demps at all…He is tired after a long productive season. The guy needs a break.

    If you need someone to blame…Blame Bradley for puttin him in the position to fail in the first place. The little productivity we saw out of Demps is a testament to his skill, but what more can you expect from someone who is exausted.

    Blame Bradley

  106. Jammer says:

    I am partial to Dempsey, I think he’s a great player. The US doesn’t have many players with the ability to execute offensively. A goal and two near assists do make up for a lot, when we don’t have many players who can do that reliably. If someone set him up with a great pass I have more confidence he will execute than anyone, especially Altidore.

    Dempsey sulks about the calls (he’s human) and he’s not always back on defense. But someone explain to me how Dempsey comes out second on the “distance covered” if he’s lollygagging around?
    link to fifa.com

    That said, the castrol index is crap.

  107. Danny says:

    Wow just because the guy scores a goal he gets praised again…Please Demps is still nothing for the NT…One goal doesn’t change anything IMO…If he can play well the next couple of games then yes we should start to talk, but right now Demps is nothing for the NT…The problem is that his not a winger…I don’t understand why Bob can’t see that

  108. Aquaman says:

    If you actually look through their “Statistics” section under “defenders” Jonathan Bornstein is the fourth best defender at the tournament based on their statistics.

  109. Johnny Boy says:

    “I’d say that Rossi had more positive impact on his team than did clint, but again, it goes back to what the castrol index values.

    I think its a flawed system, but I also think Clint probably played better than we think.

    Posted by: patrick | ”

    ________

    patrick,

    Rossi’s goals beat the US but he did not score against Egypt and Brazil. Italy out.

    Dempsey’s goal beats Egypt and is the reason the US are in.

    Obviously Dempsey’s play has a more postive ending than Rossi’s. Clint is infuriating because his giveaways resulted in Rossi’s goal. But Rossi’s give away to Kaka resulted in Fabiano’s goal…. Over all you have to give it to Clint.

    I think people forget he is asked to do much more for the USMNT than for Fulham where he has better players around him and where, obviously, there is much more team work.

    I’m not the biggest Bradley fan the but the criticism of him and the team strikes me as mostly ignorant. Managing the USMNT is a very weird, atypical situation and I would not be surprised if most “name” managers steered clear. Bradley’s bigget flaw is that he is not a foreigner and the expectations are just way out of line. After all, they will almost certainly qualify for the World Cup and the will likely win the Gold Cup. These are the only meaningful competitions for the USMNT.

    What I love the most is people who talk about not “deserving” to advance, as if anyone does. Ever look at the Italians WC record? They have made an art form out of looking like crap early on these kind of tournaments, just barely sqeaking in and then turning it on just enough to get into the finals. I’m not suggesting the US is near the Italian talent level, but the US certainly has enough talent to where they can get hot in short tournaments and then……you never know. Greece won Euro 2004, a competion much harder than this one, with talent similar to this USMNT.

    Besides, regardless of what they say Spain is looking past the US to Brazil. If the USMNT can make them pay for that, then the US will have learned the “Italian” lesson: results, not crowd (or blogger) pleasing play is what gets you far in these kind of tournaments. So to get those results every little thing matters. If the US had just held on for a few more seconds in the Italian game, Rossi maybe doesn’t score the third goal. This would have made the Egypt game much easier.

    If they learn this lesson then this tournament is a success. Lets hope they come out and leave it all out on the field against Spain. Of course, if Bradley starts any one of Beasley, Klejstan, Adu or Torres, I’ll be the first to ask for his head.

    as a practice gasme

  110. xrnflyer says:

    There are only 87 players ranked with eight teams participating, who were the others and/or why were they not ranked?

  111. SG says:

    Dempsey will be fine and he is still one of the better players on the field. It would probably be better off keeping him on the field and let him do what he can do. He still shows why he is a starter and I don;t see anyone stepping up and taking his spot.

  112. Man fan says:

    Really Andy in Atlanta, how can you say, “Clint has not been spectacular but he is still our best playmaker a majority of the time…”?

    His passes are U-10ish.

  113. Yossarian says:

    If you write a sentence starting with, “I don’t understand why I’m a hater just because…” when no one has specifically pointed you out as a hater, then some part of you already knows what a ridiculous hater you are.

    By the way, JohnC – Deuce’s completion rate is highest among all US midfielders and forwards. So you may want to look up the word “dreadful” in the dictionary. Get a clue – the US doesn’t play a tic-tac-toe style short possession game. You’re not going to hit 80% of passes

  114. Here is my prediction for Dempsey, he will be riding the pine in the first month for Fulham.

    The last time he was out of form, he was tired. He really needs a rest.

    He is not going to be playing game in and game out next season. Fulham have too many games to play.

    Have we been hard? No, because he would not be getting away with some of his lax play under Hodgsen. He knows that Zoltan Gera is one step away from taking his spot. On the Nats team, we obviously don’t have that competition from depth.

    That is the difference, he knows he has a spot.

  115. matt says:

    I have a Love / Hate relationship with Dempsey… Right now I Love him… I love this t-shirt design we did too: link to store.objectivo.com

  116. daisy says:

    “I would be interested in an article covering John Harkes’s performance in the broadcast booth. As an announcer, his hindsight bias is atrocious”

    So true. I found it ironic when he was telling Lals at half time that if it was “their team” in the locker room that guys would have other guys pinned up against the wall at halftime giving them a dressing down. Reeeealll professional Harkes. Lalas just looked at him like – dude I don’t think we were supposed to admit that on TV.

  117. SG says:

    I just think the current players need to find their identity. Maybe this tournament will enable that to happen.

  118. Leonardo says:

    FIFA.com – Dempsey’s long road to hero
    link to bit.ly

  119. Brett says:

    ‘Really Andy in Atlanta, how can you say, “Clint has not been spectacular but he is still our best playmaker a majority of the time…”?

    His passes are U-10ish’

    Yea… A player who passes the ball (the most integral part of the game of football) at a U-10 level plays regularly, and with success, for a top 10 side in the toughest league in the world.

  120. papa bear says:

    I looked at the video explaining the rankings and it seems like is number is right but it’s stilted. The ranking seems to take for granted a player who is very active in the play.
    However, if Deuce scores one goal and completes 2 out of 3 passes in the attacking end and does nothing the rest of the game his number is gonna look huge. (unjustifiably huge)
    Which is why someone like Donovan who has CLEARLY had a bigger impact on the team’s play isn’t as high because he has been getting the ball a ton and let’s face it when you are passing the ball 40 times like he is they aren’t all gonna be gems.

    As for Gooch’s number, they seem to really penalize goals against (as much as they reward goals for) so in that regard he is deservedly low. I mean I think he’s played OK but let’s face reality here, he has been the leader of the backline and they’ve let 6 goals through. That is simply not good I don’t care who you are playing. You can argue about the short corner debacle not counting but you have to. It’s his job to get back. Sorry.

  121. Austin says:

    mexicans have no need to bad mouth US soccer as i saw above….the beaners lost like 4 or 5 nothing to argentina and we tied them….we play spain tomarrow losing to them only one to nothing a while back we will see who sucks tomarro

  122. M2 says:

    The problem with Dempsey is he’s an affront to the Cult of Landon. Dempsey made the mistake of completely outplaying Donovan at the last World Cup and now he’s gone on to succeed in a top Euro league while Donovan keeps getting bounced back to L.A. According to the Cult of Landon, America’s balding boy is the greatest player ever to don the U.S. jersey and the team’s entire fortunes rest in his hands (so give him the ball dammit).

    For the past three years, every time Dempsey doesn’t connect on a pass, it’s a crime. Forget that he’s consistently one of the most accurate passers on the team. Dempsey spoils their Landocentric view of the world and they want him out of the way.

  123. camiller000 says:

    Deuce may not be at the top of his game right now but he is our best overall player when he’s in form. All haters get a major grip on yourself.

    I’d prefer to sit him tomorrow and only bring him on up top late i the game if it’s warranted (i.e. we are down a goal with 25 to go…)

    Otherwise rest him. He will play a key role through the rest of qualifying.

  124. Adam M. says:

    This debate reminds me about the debate about Derek Jeter. The stats say he is regularly one of the worst defensive shortstops in the league, but as anyone who watches the Yankees knows, he rarely misses the balls he gets to, always seems to make big plays in big moments, and has had several career-defining all-time great defensive plays. I think Dempsey’s problem is that he doesn’t look good in the moments when you would expect more from him. In the Egypt game, he had two great long passes that should have been goals and his goal, but in other times where perhaps he could have done more, he seems to take too many dribbles and loses the ball, makes poor passing decisions, doesn’t shoot, or does so weakly. Think of Feilheiber’s Mexico goal — he will eat off that goal forever, but I don’t think CD has had that kind of defining moment yet, much less the series of defining moments that will make us overlook his rather lacadasical appearance (in spite of what the stats say) or the fact that he always looks like he needs to eat something. The bottom line, I think, is that we WANT CD to be a regular goal scorer and a creative force because we see that potential in him. But if CD has hit his ceiling, then he really never was quite as good as we hoped he would be, even if he remains better than just about anyone else we have.

  125. FCB says:

    @Johnny Boy

    “Dempsey’s goal beats Egypt and is the reason the US are in”.

    More like: Charlie Davies, Luis Fabiano, Luis Fabiano, Andrea Dossena, Michael Bradley AND THEN Clint Dempsey are the reasons the US are in.

    Wonder if anybody saw that one coming beforehand?

  126. Rastafari says:

    Latest odds

    Spain / USA at 12-1
    Brazil / South Africa 10-1

  127. ThaDeuce says:

    Gooch and Demeritt have been awesome and clutch. That is really all you have to say…but I’ll say more, they rarely make inaccurate passes, though often needed clearances don’t go to a USMNT player. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good clearance or a necessary play to avert immediate danger. This probably hurt their ranking. They have been rock solid back there winning all kinds of loose balls, and one more thing, when they get fouled they immediately get right back up and win the ball back, they NEVER EVER stay on the ground. The ranking presented by the great soccer powerhouse “Castrol” ain’t (CRAP). Robots still aren’t as good of a judge of soccer ability as the couch potatoes that are Ives’ readers. Sorry Castrol, but your products SUCK.

  128. Scott C. says:

    I think the rating is justified; but of course you have to take it with a grain of salt. There is no perfect rating system and there never will be. While it seems to do a terrible job with defenders, it seems to do better with the more attacking players…

    But Dempsey’s stats don’t lie:

    – 2nd in tournament in distance covered = high work rate. Being a man down does not give you extra fitness…

    – highest completed passing % on the US midfield; suprised?

    – 2nd most passes – not surprised… I think he touches the ball more that any other US player in the middle third of the field

    – tackles – third on the US team; although those numbers seem awful low…

    In the Egypt game, before Harkes mentioned that he wanted to know how many giveaways Dempsey had, I think Dempsey was playing great; he really had only a couple giveaways, they just came in a string. He had also played a beautiful long ball to Donovan and a great through ball to Bradley…

    He has been guilty of a couple of giveaways in the final third, but so have other players; the commentators seem to be harping on Dempsey’s mistakes…

    I know he probably does not get back and defend as well as say Donovan, but he does have a high work rate, just more on the attacking side. For sure he is our best at holding and relaying the ball under pressure; without him we would have to resort to even more long ball…

  129. ThaDeuce says:

    I think if we all sat down and watched his game against Brazil again even after looking at the “Castrol” index, we’d all agree our first judgement was correct, and NOT THE MACHINES’!!! Maybe after the goal people have forgotten about his frequent naps on the grass, how often the ball was taken in the middle of the pitch that sometimes resulted in goals, and his lack of hustle. I think everyone would feel anger and blood boiling when they watch him try to be ronaldhino with a back heel through ball in the dying minutes of the game that was unneccessary and awful….mine sure did. No we haven’t been to hard on him. HE deserved it. And the ROBOTS SURE CAN’T PLAY SOCCER, AND THEY CAN’T COMMENT ON IT EITHER. OIL SCHMOIL.

  130. ThaDeuce says:

    One last comment. He sure did turn things around in the Egypt game, and nobody can really take that away from him. He had an amazing game. (HECK), the WHOLE TEAM HAD AN AMAZING GAME. So you got to give the guys credit when they earn it, and earn it THEY DID (Including Dempsey). But you got to hold their feet to the fire when they fail (and miserably they did)! We did that, and from listening to Baby Bradley, I think it worked!!!

  131. ThaDeuce says:

    ummmm, where did my other 2 posts go?

    First of all, and all you really got to know, is that Demerit and Onyewu have been spectacular. I’d assume many of their necessary clearances don’t go to a USMNT player, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great play! also they hustle and when they get taken out, they get right back up and make the play.

    Hell no we weren’t too hard on Dempsey. When players play well, they deserve praise. When they play terrible, they deserve criticism. That is how everything in this world works, and if it doesn’t you either have an abused person or a spoiled one, instead of one who is improving himself.
    He played terrible, then had a good game. Robots still can’t judge like us humans. Sorry. And they have missing data, which as anyone who studies statistics knows you can’t have. One of those missing players, probably a sub, was rated the highest over all and they had to take him out so he wouldn’t ruin their “rating system”. Its all bull crap, just another oil advertisement.

    No we were not to hard on dempsey.

  132. ThaDeuce says:

    oh, sorry. both of those needed editing ; )

  133. ko'd says:

    From the fifa.com bit: “underlining the European champions’ ability to let the ball do the work.” Yea. Remember when the ball did the work under Andrew Boyens’s foot? The ball does a lot of work against New Zealand, Iraq, and South Africa.

    Oh, just watched the first 20 minutes of the U.S.-Egypt game. Dempsey made some serious mistakes in the middle of the game, but I think the first 20 minutes of the game were 20 of the best minutes I have seen Dempsey play in a U.S. uniform. I am not going any further than that, so hold your rants. I just liked what I saw in those 20 minutes and hope that he keeps it up.

  134. Isaac says:

    Here are some facts to get us away from the Dempsey argument

    Landon Donovan has had 7 completed crosses

    Tim Howard has had 17 saves

    Jay DeMerit has had 6 tackles

    Michael Bradley has the 5 shots on target, the same amount as Fernando Torres.

  135. SuperChivo says:

    Can any of you in any way substantiate the rumors that agents of the Mexican Football Association have infiltrated U.S. based fan web sites and are seeking to sabotage the U.S. Men’s Soccer program? There are claims on the web that saboteurs, suspected of being funded by Galavision, the Michoacan Cartel, and the Tigres del Norte are fearful of suffering an Aztecazo at the hands of the ‘Nats and have a top-secret operation to sow mistrust, disunity, and idiocy amongst gringo supporters by starting a Mexicanization program against the US Soccer Federation and its leaders, Sunil Gulati and Bob Bradley, with the aim of manipulating U.S. media and thereby overthrowing the head coach so as to leave the program leaderless and rudderless in the final, crucial year of qualifying and preparing for South Africa 2010.

    link to facebook.com

  136. JB says:

    Without commenting on the rankings, I think the criticism of Dempsey has been way over the top, it’s a perfect example of perception becoming reality.

    A perfect example is when he played Bradley through on net early on against Egypt, it was good vision and a perfectly weighted pass giving Bradley an open shot on net. Bradley struck a mediocre effort too close to Egypt’s keeper. Still, Harkes focused on Bradley’s shot (actually praised it) and there was no mention of the set-up. Only on ESPN. There’s just been very little focus on the impetus he provides us in midfield.

  137. Doug says:

    *********

    Without commenting on the rankings, I think the criticism of Dempsey has been way over the top, it’s a perfect example of perception becoming reality.

    A perfect example is when he played Bradley through on net early on against Egypt, it was good vision and a perfectly weighted pass giving Bradley an open shot on net. Bradley struck a mediocre effort too close to Egypt’s keeper. Still, Harkes focused on Bradley’s shot (actually praised it) and there was no mention of the set-up. Only on ESPN. There’s just been very little focus on the impetus he provides us in midfield.
    ********************

    Come watch all the games again, Dempsey is just loafing around most of the time. He loses the ball and instead of fighting to get it back, he gives up and walks back. Hell Landon had to go back several times to cover Demps butt while he walked back. Are we being harsh, I think we are all little but criticism of his play is well deserved. He is not on game at all.

  138. kevin says:

    Onyewu has been fantastic this tournament… the fact that he’s rated so low shows that the rankings are way off.

    Also I watched the video describing how the rankings are calculated and I just don’t think that there are too many variables not taken into account for them to be very accurate. Kaka and Torres are rated really high cuz they’ve scored a lot… that’s not rocket science.

  139. MarkVA says:

    those rankings have bornstein rated higher than onyewu. they are bogus.

  140. Mike Caramba says:

    When you’re right, it’s “I”.

    When you’re wrong, it’s “we” or “people”.

    I’m not saying no one else agreed with you (I, for one, still think Dempsey has been pretty mediocre since the end of the EPL season). I’ve just noticed this for a long time and I think it’s kind of funny.

    Scenario 1:

    You post a story about a transfer rumor.

    Outcome A, it comes true:

    “As reported by SBI…”

    Outcome B, it proves to be nonsense:

    “The widely-circulated rumors proved untrue…”

    Scenario 2:

    After a bad performance by Frankie Hejduk, “…a performance like this makes you pray for Marvell Wynne to start getting more minutes.”

    After a good performance, “…all the Frankie haters can shut up now.”

    Don’t worry, Ives! WE’RE just busting your chops!

    Much love.

  141. yosirius says:

    These rankings are gross. Dempsey is creative and lethal, if erratic, on attack. But he’s a liability on the wing on defense. Check out a report on the Castrol Index Rating System on Footsmoke.com.