USMNT 6, Belize 1: SBI Player Grades

USMNTvsBelize (JaneGPhotography)

Photo by Jane Gershovich/Soccer By Ives

By IVES GALARCEP

It was as dominant a Gold Cup-opening performance as we have ever seen from the U.S. Men’s National Team, but even a 6-0 victory felt a little flawed for a team still coming together.

There were a few points that needed improvement, but overall there were many more positives than negatives for the U.S. after dominating  Belize for the better part of 90 minutes.

USMNT 6, BELIZE 1: SBI PLAYER GRADES

NICK RIMANDO (6)- Had very little to do early on, but made a very tough save in the first half and dealt with the few issues that came his way in the second half.

DAMARCUS BEASLEY (5.5). Didn’t have a ton to do, and never really threatened defensely, but also didn’t get overly involved in the attack.

CLARENCE GOODSON (5.5). Not really tested that much defensively, and tried a few forays into the attack in the first half. Pretty uneventful day for him.

MICHAEL OROZCO-FISCAL (6). Looked comfortable in defense, and tried to be a threat on set pieces, delivering his second career USMNT goal in the process.

MICHAEL PARKHURST (5). Looked extremely shaky in the first half, and lost his mark on Belize’s goal, but did redeem himself with an assist on a Wondolowski goal.

KYLE BECKERMAN (5.5). Had some bad turnovers, and looked to press at times, but he kept the ball moving and did deliver an assist to Wondolowski for his third goal before being replaced at halftime.

MIX DISKERUD (6.5).

Did a very good job if circulating the ball throughout the attack, and flourished against Belize’s non-existent pressure on the ball.

JOSE TORRES (6).

A better showing than his game vs. Guatemala, Torres played with more purpose in the attack, and his aggressiveness helped him contribute much more. Much like Diskerud, he benefited from a lack of ball pressure from Belize.

JOE CORONA (5.5).

Looked rattled, or just plain off in the first half, but came out in the second half and really went at the Belize defense and showed the qualities that made Klinsmann want to start him in the first place.

LANDON DONOVAN (7.5).

Active in the first half, but really turned it up in the second half, tearing apart Belize’s defense and cementing his place as a key to this team’s attack.

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI (8).

Was fearless, moved well and took his chances excellently. That’s a second straight solid game for Wondolowski, who looks to be a very real threat for the rest of this Gold Cup now that he has shaken off the “Can’t score for the national team” label.

STUART HOLDEN (6.5).

Another quality showing for Holden, who was left out of the starting lineup to keep him from carrying a heavy work load on artificial turf. His confidence on the ball is impressive, and he looks very ready to take his place in the starting lineup for the rest of the tournament.

BREK SHEA (5).

Didn’t really show much in his 29 minutes. Might not want to pencil him into a starting role just yet. Looks like he will need a few games to really get into the flow of things.

ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (5).

Much like Shea, Bedoya couldn’t really get a grasp of the match as he entered with the blowout already decided. Did draw the penalty with his cross attempt.

JURGEN KLINSMANN (7)

He gave Chris Wondolowski, Mix Diskerud and Michael Orozco-Fiscal starts and all three came through with strong outings. The team did what he wanted it to do, focus on sending in quality service and having Wondolowski finish it off. The defense still isn’t quite where it needs to be yet, but overall Klinsmann gets a good grade for his team’s overall performance.

————-

What do you think of our grades? Who do you feel was graded too harshly? Who do you think received too high a grade?

Share your thoughts below.

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107 Responses to USMNT 6, Belize 1: SBI Player Grades

  1. QuakerOtis says:

    OMG Ives, Wondo with an 8, and all he did was score a hat-trick?!

    It’s like you’re objective or something.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      What do you have to do to get a 9?

      • SanFran415 says:

        Don’t think you can get a 9 against such a lesser quality team.

        I’ve only seen one 10 in my life from any reputable source–and it was given to Lionel Messi when he scored 5 against Bayer Leverkeusen in the Champions League.

    • downintexas says:

      In my opinion Wondolowski should have gotten a 6.5. But that WondoWlowski should have gotten a 8.5 to 9.

    • Cairo says:

      Have to agree. If Jozy scored 3 his grade would be higher

      • bottlcaps says:

        –or had an extra letter in his name. Clearly the Wonowlowski who scored the hat trick in the opening hals is an imposter.

        Why are we giving Klinsmann a seven for picking Disco, Wando, and Fiscal. He should be penalized a point for picking Torrez and Corona for approaching the game like Mexicans, just because they play there. You have to give props to Beasley who deserves his grade for NOT playing like a Mexican player

        Had we not such a conservative approach in the first half, I am certain at least two more goals would have been scored by the US(and I would have won the pool).

      • Chris says:

        You may have missed the sarcasm…

      • Colin says:

        Not against Belize.

  2. Falls City Outlaw says:

    Thanks for some JFT love! I saw Espn has Jose at a 5.5 and Beckerman at a 6.5 and I was a bit perplexed.

    • JJ says:

      They were both terrible.

      • keithbabs79 says:

        And have been for some time. Both looked to get rid of the ball as soon as humanly possible. Hence the terrible passes, even without pressure being applied.

        • Tom says:

          Agreed. It seem liked every time Beckerman got the ball, he immediately looked to play it backwards. It’s great that he wasn’t giving away possesion, but it kills any momentum you could have on a counter. Plus he did give the ball away more than once. He’s not terrible, but definitely should not be a first choice option.

  3. Freddy Adu says:

    Holden only gets a 6.5? He deserved at least an 8. Come on!

    • Toadvine says:

      Yeah, this surprised me. He did miss on a couple of long balls where you could tell he meant to do better. But his movement was good and his defensive presence was excellent. and he scored! This should have been at least a 7.5

  4. bryan says:

    the comment on Torres i don’t agree with 100%. he did play well. but he did NOT play better than against Guatemala. yes, he was more involved in the attack at LM, but looking at his distribution and ball controls stats, he was pretty bad (MLS Chalkboard). granted, it’s harder connecting from LM than CM, but i think the Belize game showed he should be at CM. honestly, his stats weren’t really any better than Castillo’s from the Guatemala game. the difference though was that Torres contributed more into the attack.

    Holden should be starting with Torres and Mix fighting it out for that other CM spot.

    • That Guy says:

      Thank you! Why Klinsmen (never get his name right) cannot comprehend that we dont need a CDM against these teams is painful. Put Holden and Torres together in the middle and I am pretty sure we will like what we see. Holden provides ample defense against these kinds of opppenets (the entire GC, not just the bottom feeders). When Goodson is making runs uncontested up the middle of the field, its a clear sign that the USMNT is just wasting a spot on the field with a CDM. If Klinsy starts Beckermen against Cuba, it should really make us question whats going on behind the scenes regarding those two.

      • SanFran415 says:

        You can’t take 5 seconds to figure out how to properly spell the USMNT Head Coach’s name correctly (it’s Klinsmann for the record), but you are fully versed and ready to tell him that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

        Regardless of the fact that we are 7-2-2 this calendar year with 25 goals scored and only 11 allowed. (7 of which came in two games against Germany and Belgium)

        That we’ve scored 12 goals in the last 2 games and you think he “can’t comprehend” something.

        Maybe it’s you who is missing something.

        • HoboMike says:

          I think I like you.

        • That Guy says:

          He beat a bunch of Concacaf minnows and everyone is defending him… Anyone remember the Belgium game? That went well… You guys be happy that we can beat countries at less than half our population and a quarter of the facilities and resources we have. The last two games were against a B team for Guatemala and Belize. That is nothing to be positive over. Those were games that were to be won and that was that. Nothing could be decided by them.

          Knlinsy has made many mistakes during his time. He was still yet to find a team that can compete with quality soccer teams. Honduras and Belgium are still fresh in my mind.
          Instead of looking to young prospects to fill the gaps in our team, Klinsy has used older players who bring very little to the table. Example? This Gold Cup.
          This tournament was a chance to develop our future, yet guess what our average age at this tourney is? 27.9. Mexico’s? 25.9. Thats a huge difference in my book (especially bc their goalies are 27 or older). This is why I hate the Beckermen play. He is 31 and helps the USMNT in no way going foward. Torres, Diskerud, and Holden are all better and are all young enough that they can play in Brazil and Russia.
          Klinsy has not done everything right and I would (with some of the evidence I have presented) argue he has not progressed the USMNT.

          BTW, we scored 4 against a Germany B team and 2 against Belgium. Klinsmann’s response to being asked to name three positives from the Belgium game? “Um, Three? You challenge me with three?”

          • Lost in Space says:

            I too think we should have brought some younger options in for evaluation for the GC. Players with an Upside beyond this year and maybe next. Regardless of the results last night….IMO Beckerman, Wondo, Parkhurst, and either Goodson/Gooch should have been replaced with other options. Who exactly is a little more subjective….but I would have called in:
            Agudelo/Wood for Wando
            Williams/Edu for Beckerman
            Lichaj for Parkhurst
            Seb Hines/George John for Goodson/Gooch
            Only elder statesmen I actually agee with being on this roster are….Holden to finish knocking the rust off, Donovan to re-entigrate him into the USNT, Beasley to gain more experience @ LB, and Rimando as an experienced GK.

          • HoboMike says:

            So much to digest here.

            So how long are you going to keep thinking about the Belgium game, which was a game against a top 10 team in the world? We’ve won 6 in a row since then.

            Which Honduras game are you talking about? The one we lost 2-1 in extreme heat where the majority of our better players needed to travel 10 times zones over two days and were understandably exhausted? Or the one that we just won despite the fact that Honduras offered nothing going forward and was obviously playing for a draw?

            Do you not take stock in drawing Mexico in the Azetca without Jermaine Jones?

            Please name some younger players that you would have brought. Gatt was lined up to play, but he got injured (recurring theme). Everyone else is gearing up for preseason or recovering.

            I cannot stand it when people say what any coach “should have done,” especially after 2 blowouts extending a 6 game win streak. As SanFran said, there’s a reason you’re blogging in your cube.

            • That Guy says:

              Adu, Lichaj, Agudelo, John Anthony Brooks, Luis Gil, Yedlin, Spector, Ream to name a few. All young guys who have more upside then the older players called in. Ream played more games competitively then Onyewu this year. Lichaj played more than Parkhurst. Spector is 27 to Beckermen’s 31 and is now playing CM for Birmingham City. John Anthony Brooks does not know which country to choose, an invite to the USMNT may have shown him how serious we are for him. Agudelo is 21 and Wondoloski is 30. Coming into this tourney, Agudelo had more goals for the USMNT than Wondoloski (against S Africa and Argentina). Yedlin and Gil would have been a stretch with the U20. Adu impressed last tourney, why not(this is a bit of a stretch too)?

              The Belgium game was the last time we played a team of significance. I personally am looking to do well in the world cup, not just the gold cup. We could face Belgium in the first round of the knockouts in the world cup. One other team that has been part of our good run has the potential to meet us in the knockouts and its a struggling Mexico (side note, Jamaica and Costa Rica also tied Mexico in Azteca).

              make excuses for games we lose. That is the best way to move forward right? The USMNT played terrible that game, no excuses. They bounced back though, which I am proud of.

              Beating Belize and Guatemala by 30 goals each isnt important. Developing the future of the USMNT is what’s important in this tourney, and Klinsmann is not doing that.

              • HoboMike says:

                But you are naming young people just to name young people. Adu is not playing at all in Brazil. Brooks told both the US and Germany to not call him up for any cap-tying events this summer (he was invited to the U-20 tournament). Klinsmann has never rated Lichaj (personally, I don’t either). He played more than Parkhurst only when Parkhurst moved to Augsburg (he was generally seen as one of the best players in his group of the Champions League). Agudelo was hurt when the preliminary roster was issued. As you said, Gil and Yedlin just played the WC and you can’t risk burning them out. Spector, like you said, is 27, the age that you had an issue with.

                I’d argue that the future of the national team is here. Bradley is 25. Altidore is 23. Zusi is 26. Fabian is 23. Chandler is 22. Gonzalez is 24 (I think – don’t feel like fact checking that one). Those players will all be playing in both Brazil and in Russia.

                And winning this tournament is extremely important, in my mind. Winning this one gives you some leeway for the 2015 version.

              • UMF89 says:

                Hello!!!!! The World Cup is in less than 12 months….you may not understand this but JK’s job is to put the best team on the field for Brazil. Player development is for a different time in the cycle not now….if we clinch qualifying then you can play your U23 group.

              • Micah says:

                Ream blows, can we please move on from him.

              • Francois says:

                You think Tim Ream deserves to be in the National Team picture after this past season he had? You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

              • Big Kev says:

                He said Adu and upside in the same sentence! Everybody drink.

              • wandmdave says:

                Big Kev wins the thread.

          • Toadvine says:

            This is basically my complaint about playing Beckerman. Same thing goes for Wondo. I’d rather see young guys with upsides blooded in internationals rather than older guys who have already peaked and offer little going forward. There were some personnel decisions that vexed for this reason.

          • Paul Miller says:

            I remember when we were a CONCACAF minnow, and against a team like Belize, even at home, we played for a 0-0 tie. That was well before Caliguri scored ‘the goal,’ when us handful of fans didn’t dare think of actually qualifying for the World Cup and just hoped to avoid too much embarrassment.

          • Ross says:

            You really can’t use Mexico as an example for going younger when the lose to Panama.

        • Philly Union Rule says:

          I thought Klinsmann was spelled ‘Wondowlowski’…

      • blag says:

        I highly disagree in regards to not using a CDM (in regards to the entire gold cup). I do not trust the back line to handle things without that front man to be the primary disruptor. Particularly, our centerbacks are clean up crew (winning aerial balls, and collecting balls from bad passes or in the passing lane) when it comes to defense. Generally, they do not defend well 1 on 1 or against speed running at them in most cases. The defensive lines are set up such that attacks are generally forced into the strengths of the U.S. defense, which is cleaning up passes. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a CDM that makes passing in the middle difficult, thus forcing wide play (or as some teams figured out, hitting balls over the top and letting their forwards run free in space).
        I agree that the team could get away with it against teams like Belize and Guatemala (Stu. was owning the midfield in both games), but this scheme will not work for the entire gold cup.

        • bryan says:

          honestly, at least in the past two games, Torres and Holden have as good as defensive stats as Beckerman. i think that’s the issue. we all are more comfortable with a #6 in there. no doubt. especially as the tourny goes on.

          but what we are seeing is that Holden and Torres seem to be more than capable of making up for a missing Beckerman. that’s why, against Cuba, i would like to see it from the start.

          that at least gives Beckerman a chance to rest before Costa Rica.

          • keithbabs79 says:

            A chance to rest? His consistently poor form should have him resting on the pine eternally!

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        The ‘thing’ going on behind the scenes could be getting the team used to its shape, Beckerman sitting in front of the D, and those players forming a partnership in the middle. Sure, Holden is better suited to start vs Belize than Beckerman, but there is a longer term view in mind that you and almost every other mindless Beckerman basher fail to see. How you can criticize Klinsmann after this game is beyond me.

        • bryan says:

          i am not a Beckerman basher and i want him to sit for the Cuba game. looking at the stats, Torres and Holden were just as good defensively as Beckerman. two #8s in Holden/Torres could make up for not having Beckerman as a #6.

          maybe i eat crow. i don’t care. i just want to see that combo because i think those two players are more than capable of handling the midfield in the Gold Cup.

          • bryan says:

            and both (Holden/Torres) were better offensively.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            Fair point, but those stats should be seen in proper context. In the last two games, our opponents bunkered for at least 60 minutes each. Stu can play both ways, but why make him work that hard when we could use him to keep a better opponent honest? I like the Holden/Torress idea too, but not against CR, Honduras, or El Tri. I think we need Beckerman/Holden for better opponents, though I bet we see Beckerman/JFT.

            • Toadvine says:

              See, I don’t really get this. Having a player who sits in a spot and offer you very little dynamism, and isn’t great at link-up play, doesn’t actually make you better against good teams. We aren’t playing Fortress Bob Bradley counter-attacking football anymore. You need your best players against the best teams and you craft a system around that.

            • bryan says:

              idk man, i think Holden and Torres are both better than Beckerman and could handle anyone in this tourny just fine. but, i do want to see it against Cuba first.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            Stats don’t tell the story of why Beckerman plays though. That is a very simplistic explanation of a more complex issue. Beckerman’s defensive positioning and discipline allow the 5 players in front of him to play with much more freedom.

            I have no doubt that Stu and Torres could get the defensive work done vs Cuba, but that is not the way our team is going to set up vs stronger opposition. We are laying the groundwork and letting partnerships form now to get ready for the knockout rounds. I don’t have a problem with resting some guys for Cuba because they are also a very weak opponent with a very short rest period between games. However, moving forward Beckerman will be the #6.

            • That Guy says:

              I cant say I agree that Beckermen allows those in front of him to play with more freedom. From what I watched, there was a very good understanding of who goes forward and who stays put, so I do not fear that Torres/Holden would shun defensive responsibilities. While I agree that Beckermen is a better defender then Torres and Holden, I feel his inclusion will hinder the offense of the USMNT in this Gold Cup when we face better opposition. Playing such poor teams scares me because I fear that having it so easy on offense may hurt how the USMNT offense does against better teams. In such a scenario, I do not believe it is smart to sacrifice offense to overcompensate for defense. I have trust that Holden, Torres, and any back line could handle any of the offenses in this Gold Cup. But that’s just me.

              • HoboMike says:

                But when we play better opposition (starting with Costa Rica), there will not be 10 men behind the ball. Better teams will throw more people forward, where a true #6 is almost a necessity for this team. Therefore, there will be more space for our attacking 5 to operate in.

                Do I think Beckerman should play against Guatemala and Belize? Not particularly. But should be play against better teams? Until we have rock solid back 4, absolutely.

              • bryan says:

                Hobo, i think you are under rating Holden/Torres ability to defend. i think they can easily make Beckerman.

            • bryan says:

              luckily it’s not my first time watching and analyzing a game. i also listened to the SBI podcast, so thanks for the re-cap. ;)

              i think playing two #8s is EXACTLY what JK is shaping for the future. Bradley/Jones play that even though we all want Jones as a #6. and when Holden comes, Bradley isn’t going to stop being a #8 and simply switch to #6.

              i am saying that i think Beckerman no longer brings enough quality to warrant that argument and i don’t agree with Ives’ assessment in the podcast. in the past, yes, that has been the case. but my point is i think we are seeing we can seriously consider playing without him as we move forward.

              i would simply like to see if i am right or wrong against Cuba. well, at least get a glimpse.

              • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

                The idea of Beckerman as the #6 on this team isn’t exclusive to Ives. I often disagree with him, but in this case, I am on his side.

                I agree that with the A team we are definitely going towards the two #8s as you describe it. I think that is the best way for that team moving forward. This Gold Cup team is a different animal though. Torres/Holden is not Bradley/Jones. Holden gets forward more than either of them and Torres does not cover near as much ground. Seeing it vs Cuba will tell us little. They are on a similar level to Belize. We could throw any 11 players on the roster on the field vs them and likely win easily.

                I’m not saying that Torres/Holden can’t work. It definitely would bring us more dynamism in the attack and could get the job done defensively. My point is that our attacking players are probably the strongest in the tournament. Our defense is our weak point. Beckerman can help protect our weakness and we will still have the strongest attack around. Additionally, if our attack is struggling we can easily pull Beckerman and throw on any number of attacking players to jump start us. If we give up a counter attack goal or 2, there is no taking it off the board and we will struggle to get back into the game. For me, Beckerman as the 6 is the safest and smartest option for this tournament.

            • Chodilicus says:

              What am I missing with Torres? For me, he has been the worst player in both the first two games of this tournament. He has good skill on the ball, but he is not creative enough to play a real attacking type of role in the midfield. And, no matter what the stats say, he is not nearly the destroyer that Beckerman is.

              For me, Diskerud is a bigger and faster version of Beckerman. I love his game but he is a #6 player. For me, he is far superior to Jones who is a terrible passer who always plays negatively. Diskerud has the positioning and passing sense of Beckerman but with the physical attributes to succeed at the highest level.

              The reason that JK was replacing Beckerman at half time was to go from a lineup with 2 DMF to one with 2 AMF. That is why I love the move of Holden for Beckerman, despite being a huge Beckerman fan. The problem is Torres.

              Ideally, I want to see Diskerud as our DMF with Bradley and Holden playing centrally in front of him for the WC next year.

    • Jeff says:

      His finishing could use some work.

      • bryan says:

        as expected with a regista. deep lying mids aren’t known for scoring. and when you put him at LM, you can’t complain when he doesn’t finish like a winger.

        • Jeff says:

          He has 4 goals in 190 games so seeing him in front the net so often was a little odd. I just assumed somebody had made plans to try to get him his first nats goal. Sure had plenty of chances.

  5. kmac014 says:

    Anyone know where I can watch a replay online?

    • Matt says:

      You probably mean the full game but US Soccer puts a highlight clip about 9 minutes long on their YouTube channel a day or so after the game. (It’s not up yet as of right now but individual goals are there.)

  6. johnny 99 says:

    6 – 0 would have been a nicer win.

  7. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Beasley’s grade and comments must be from 2011. Beasley dribbled into the area on a couple of occasions and ran the ball down the side, and got forward a ton. Even the commentators were remarking on how far forward he was playing, and how involved in the attack he was. Not to mention he captained a 6-1 win…7 for Beasley.

    • Jesse D says:

      agreed. Beasley was way better than the other guys with 5 or 5.5 ratings.

    • bryan says:

      he spent 50% of his time in their half! haha

      but honestly, looking at the rest of his stats, he played well, but clearly wasn’t a major impact on the game. Parkhurst, for example, made 113 p@sses while Beasley made 43. his stats are just so-so. 5.5 sounds perfect.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Beasley at least once let a ball bounce in the box that he should have played in the air, allowing possession to go to Beleize, he bizarrelu peeled of a shooter in the box allowing a clear shot (before the second goal) and was beaten to allow a cross late in the game. He did not have a good game. The rating was fair.

  8. Nick4235 says:

    Haha Rimando is standing on his toes. I was like wow Rimandos not as short as people say but nope haha.

  9. HoboMike says:

    I need to see more out of Joe Corona against these minnows. Could it be that he’s just not very good?

    • Jesse D says:

      That is my thought. He isn’t particularly physically gifted (not very fast). So when he makes more bad passes than good passes against a really bad team, I can’t help but think… he just isn’t that good.

    • jones says:

      His uninspiring performances seem more due to inexperience than a lack of quality. Needs more games to mature (vision/decision-making/consistent involvement/etc).

  10. jones says:

    Anyone know if Orozco has any experience playing RB? Just curious.

  11. Colin says:

    “even a 6-0 victory felt a little flawed”

    It was 6-1.

  12. Paul says:

    - It was good to Orozco perform well at CB. It helps alleviate concerns regarding the stability of the back line. I can see him pairing with Onyewu so Goodson gets a rest.
    – Parkhurst’s strengths are cerebral combined with tactics. It’s unusual to see him lose a mark fr Belize’s goal. But on the other hand, between this game and Guatemala, he’s shown better range in going forward to support the attack. That is good to see.
    – There really isn’t a sizable gap between the wing MFs, not at this stage of the tournament. It seems Corona, Shea and Bedoya are fairly even. For Shea and Bedoya, it’s not easy to mesh quickly as a late sub with new teammates, but that’ll improve with more games.
    – Donovan showed he doesn’t have to score goals to help the team. He linked well with the offense.
    – For the role Beckerman is supposed to play, I thought he did OK. He does the dirty work in front of the CBs. I think JK subbed him thinking it was safe to not need a true CDM against Belize, and wanted better possession and distribution. I could see him contributing in that specific position more in the GC.
    – JK admits he switched his lineup due to the artificial turf at Jeld-Wen, and comes out looking brilliant. But 12 goals in two games with a revolving lineup and a team together for a short period is impressive.

    A comparative lightweight Cuba Saturday in Sandy, Utah, then a couple days off and a couple of time zones travel for Costa Rica Tuesday outside Hartford. I think JK’s roster management will be key for the games on Saturday and Tuesday. Maybe rotate a few key players out on Saturday, and rest them for a stronger opponent on Tuesday.

  13. HoboMike says:

    I’m still not sold on Goodson. He is extremely weak for his size. He was pushed off the ball once or twice, which is fine against anyone not named Belize.

  14. Jesse D says:

    Orozco was fine, he was usually in the right spots. He was not a problem. He will have more trouble with the Tico strikers. They are much more skilled.

  15. MiamiAl says:

    Wondo will be in the running for Golden Boot of the tournament.

    • AcidBurn says:

      If he scores a hat trick against Cuba, maybe. I bet that the #1 Denny’s customer in Torreon, Mexico is starting against tougher competition.

  16. DUDEEROO says:

    Rimando with the dubious entry into his resume that he allowed Belize to score a goal. That isn’t good.

    • JC says:

      He should never let Parkhurst hear the end of it for missing his mark.

    • HoboMike says:

      Agreed, but no goalie in the world can do much with a free header from 5 yards away.

    • Brain Guy says:

      Whoever it was that missed his mark on the goal (Parkhurst? some reports said Goodson) should have to carry Rimando’s equipment at the next practice. The guy was so open it looked like he must have been invisible and then suddenly materialized when the ball arrived.

    • Neruda says:

      Nothing any goalie could do on that one. Belize player was all by himself for the easy header.

  17. Jeff says:

    By the standard of picking the right players at the right times, then getting the most out of them, JK is looking pretty good as a coach right now. Pretty good track record this year of his “surprise” starters having an outsized impact on games. Wondo just the latest example.

  18. AJ Striker says:

    I wouldn’t rate WONDOLOWSKI that highly. I think a 7 would be more apt, as he does have to get some credit for finishing. However, his goals were not in and of themselves special ones, and they were certainly against inferior competition. It’s kind of like Torres winning the Golden Boot in the Confed Cup for scoring 4 times against Tahiti….not really that impressive. Also, Eddie Johnson scored a bunch of goals against similar competition in the past, and now he’s just the guy who comes in to do a bunch of flashy step-overs. If that’s Wondolowski’s future for the USMNT then he’s better left to B squad competitions.

  19. PD says:

    If there was ever a time to try Torres in the middles it’s now. Just don’t get why he’s not getting a look there.

    • jones says:

      He played there against Guatemala and has been used as a CM in several other matches. Though not really as a more strict DM, however.

    • bryan says:

      and not paired with Beckerman. Holden + Torres.

    • Mat says:

      I think the best position for Torres on the USMNT is anywhere but on the field. One of our most overrated players to be frank. Anytime Torres has played for the Nats against decent opposition he’s basically been trash to be frank. A pretty average midfielder playing in a pretty average league… with average technical skills and inferior physical impact; we have tons of better options these days.. pass

  20. JC says:

    Why can’t they ever take a photo with all the front row players in the same stance?

    • David says:

      Great question! Although maybe Beckerman went lower so Rimando could be seen in the picture.

    • Bob Saget says:

      Seriously, stupid Beckerman. “I gotta be lower, guys. I’m just that cool/high.’

    • Matt says:

      Agreed – why don’t the photographers (or somebody) tell some players to bend less, bend more, until they reasonably line up?

      Aside from that, I genuinely want to thank Ives and Jane Gershovich for providing a large picture of the starting XI. I like to use them as wallpaper for a week or so on my computer but most lineup pictures are never larger than 800 pixels wide and look dinky on anything other than a tablet or phone.

  21. AcidBurn says:

    I get it now…WondoWlowski gets a 9 and Wondolowski gets a 7, so averaging them gets an 8.

  22. Aaron says:

    Cobi and JP both get 0’s. Is there a worse duo than these two clowns?

    • Yeah – Cobi is a typical player turned commentator. If they were out there, they would not be making all the mistakes. They all say, “They “have” to make that play or that play.”

      Funny…the best former players are Kasey Keller and Brian McBride. They are low key and respectful of the players.

      Even Taylor Twellman who I loved as a player can get too judgmental on players while he is commentating. I find it quite annoying. Yet, he did not win any championships, nor did he excel for the national team.

      And, would someone shut Brian Dunseth and Kyle Martino up. Mediocre players that seem to think they know it all.

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        Martino was actually a really promising young player whose career was cut short due to injuries. I think he’s one of the better and more insightful American commentators in the game. Just because he knows more than you doesn’t make him a know-it-all.

  23. OB Rick says:

    Donovan is still better then Zusi by a good amount.

    • Dc says:

      having them both on the field at the same time would be nice. they seem to offer different skills. but agreed, donovan is so much more dynamic. imagine if he shot as much as dempsey? dude would have waaaay over 51 goals.

    • HoboMike says:

      You’re right. It’s incredibly easy to see this after two games against D+ opponents.

  24. StevieBob says:

    Diskeruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. JJ says:

    Jose is so much fun to watch I love having him on the field

  26. Mat says:

    I actually thought Torres was pretty weak, missing a few sitters as well. I just don’t get what he brings to the team and why he keeps getting looks, but perhaps there’s something I’m not seeing. I can’t see him breaking into the WCQ roster at this point.

    On the bright side, Landon looks very sharp and will definitely improve our A team where he should replace Zusi.

  27. Hunt Daddy says:

    Best ratings I’ve seen, although I think Beasley played a little better than a 5.5. He did make an effort to get forward early on, but as the game got stretched the team needed his speed to cover Belize’s counterattack more than it needed support in attack.

  28. Godfrey Ingram says:

    My ideal lineup Brazil 2014:
    Altidore Dempsey
    Donovan Holden
    Bradley Jones
    Chandler Gonzalez Besler Cherundolo
    Howard

    • AJ Striker says:

      I agree for the most part, but would like to see if Gooch can sneak his way in to a CB spot, and maybe see if someone else can emerge at Right Back (Chandler, Lichaj, Spector – but i’m probably dreaming there on Lichaj and Spector). Left back ought to be manned by whoever performs better – Fabian Johnson or Beasley.

  29. Paul Miller says:

    One general comment I’ve got is, sure, this was against Belize in a B-team tournament, but we still scored six.

    I don’t know if it’s because of JK or deeper pool of players or what, but a decade ago it didn’t seem like we were racking up blow-out wins as often as we are now.

  30. Kfre says:

    As usual, Ives, your ratings appear to be pretty objective. No real quibbles with the numbers. My only comment is the phrase “looked shaky” which you have used a few times with regard to describing the play of defenders. IMO, The use of that phrase comes off more subjective compared to your typical objective review. Said another way, it’s almost a substitute for “I can’t explain it but it just didnt feel or look right”. I guess it would be helpful to be more descriptive than shaky. You have solid views and perspective and I’m interested in hearing it.

  31. hush says:

    I might be in a small minority when I say this, but I can care less if Wondolousy scores 15 goals in one game. I still believe he is waaay below average and not USMNT material when it matters. He had a good gm,.. I give him that. But imo he should be in the MLS playing right now. Please don’t reply to me with that whole shenanigans about who should we had played in his position instead yesterday,.. cause I’m going to say, Onyewu or Castillo,.. anyone but Wondolousy at forward

    It’s hard to rate the U.S less than 8.5 because of the opposition. Although that 1 goal Belize managed on our “D” is really embarrassing …. seriously embarrassing. E M B A R.. well you get my drift.