USMNT 4, Bosnia & Herzegovina 3: SBI Player Grades

USMNT starting eleven

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team got off to a tepid start and their record winning streak appeared to be in real danger, but that was before they put together a four-goal second half en route to dousing Bosnia & Herzegovina, 4-3, in a historic comeback in Sarajevo on Wednesday.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann surely saw plenty of encouraging signs as his squad bounced back from a pedestrian first half to post its first ever come-from-behind win on European soil. There was Jozy Altidore’s brilliant three-goal, one-assist performance; a sparkling debut off the bench for Aron Johannsson; and another impressive display from midfield ace Michael Bradley.

Not everything was perfect. Geoff Cameron had a tough time playing in a position that he rarely sees time in these days while Mix Diskerud found it tough to leave his mark on the match during his 45 minutes on the field.

There was still more good than bad in the victory, however, especially in the second half, and several U.S. players helped improve their stocks heading into next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Here are the SBI USMNT Player Grades for their 4-3 win vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina:

USMNT 4, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 3: SBI PLAYER GRADES

TIM HOWARD (6.5)

Did well to prevent Bosnia from reclaiming the lead after Altidore had equalized, making a couple of key saves. Also made a great stop to deny Edin Dzeko in the first half, but the rebound fell kindly to the Manchester City forward.

BRAD EVANS (6)

Another solid outing for Evans, who is starting to make a real serious case for himself as a potential starting right back when World Cup qualifying resumes. He was defensively stout for the most part and occasionally offered something going forward.

GEOFF CAMERON (4)

A disappointing performance for the versatile Cameron, who was beaten by Vedad Ibisevic on Bosnia’s second goal. Granted, Cameron was playing a position that he rarely plays these days and with a centerback partner that he met a couple days prior to Wednesday’s match.

JOHN BROOKS (5.5)

Looked far from a player earning his first international cap. Was composed at the back for much of his 90-minute performance, but learned a late lesson after falling asleep a bit on Dzeko’s headed finish following a cross from the left in the 90th minute.

FABIAN JOHNSON (6)

Struggled to do much offensively as a left back, but benefited from being moved to left midfield after Klinsmann switched to a 4-4-2 formation at halftime. Johnson’s equalizing assist to Altidore looked easier than it was.

MICHAEL BRADLEY (8)

Aside from Altidore, Bradley was the best U.S. player on the field. He connected on 92 of his 100 passes, including on a sublime ball over the top that Altidore brought down into the path of Eddie Johnson for the Americans’ first strike. Bradley also had a nifty assist to Altidore on the eventual game-winner.

JERMAINE JONES (5)

Never really found his footing and gave up the ball too cheaply on a pair of occasions, resulting in dangerous Bosnia counterattacks. Not his strongest showing in a U.S. jersey.

ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (5.5)

Started the game brightly, teeing up Eddie Johnson with a nice pass from the right flank that the Seattle Sounders forward should have done better with. He tracked back well to help out Evans and showed his patented energy on the right flank before fading in the second half.

MIX DISKERUD (4.5)

Had a tough time with the physicality of the Bosnian midfielders and defenders and never left his stamp on the game before coming off at halftime. It must be said, however, that he only played when the U.S. was in the 4-2-3-1 formation that bore little fruit.

EDDIE JOHNSON (4.5)

Was to blame for Bosnia’s opener, as he was caught being too casual with the ball at his feet deep in the Americans’ half. Bounced back in the second half in his more natural forward position and scored the goal that started the epic comeback.

JOZY ALTIDORE (9)

If it was not his best performance in a U.S. jersey to date, it was pretty darn close. Altidore was a handful from the opening whistle, picking up fouls as the lone striker in the 4-2-3-1 set-up before taking it up a notch in the second half. He did well to bring down Bradley’s aerial ball before setting up Eddie Johnson’s goal, took all three of his well, including on a beautiful free kick from about 25 yards out, and even put in some defensive work. All in all, a standout showing for Altidore.

EDGAR CASTILLO (6)

Coming on at left back at halftime as the Americans switched things up, Castillo held his own at left back. He defended competently and his offensive forays forward were impressive.

ARON JOHANNSSON (6.5)

In his U.S. debut, Johannsson showed just why Iceland is upset over losing him. Johannsson provided immediate energy, showed some quality touches and always had a purpose as he attacked Bosnia’s defenders. His late decision to pass a ball backwards to safety instead of whipping in a cross to a teammate was veteran-like.

JOE CORONA (5.5)

Forced to defend more than he probably would have liked, Corona did well in helping Evans out on the right flank after replacing Bedoya.

SACHA KLJESTAN (5.5)

Filling in for Jones, Kljestan provided a bit more tidiness in midfield as the U.S. closed out the game.

MICHAEL PARKHURST (6)

Came on to provide some defense late and did just that in his 10 minutes on the field.

BOBBY WOOD (N/R)

A late cameo off the bench for the young forward marked his international debut, but he did not have enough time to see much of the ball or make an impact.

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(Editor’s Note- When it comes to grades and dealing with matches that can be considered ‘perfect score-worthy’ traditionally a perfect 10 is reserved for an elite performance against a top opponent in an important match (World Cup/World Cup qualifier). Altidore had as good a game as you could ask for in a friendly, but in the end it was a friendly, so we won’t give a perfect 10 in that circumstance. Others can choose to grade that situation differently, but that is how we at SBI handle that end of the scale. — Ives Galarcep)

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What do you think of these grades? Which player do you feel deserved a higher grade? Who do you think we were too generous with?

Share your thoughts below.

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279 Responses to USMNT 4, Bosnia & Herzegovina 3: SBI Player Grades

  1. Joe says:

    Still don’t get the love for Corona. He did little to impress and still managed a 5.5 in Ives book.On par with Brooks? I simply don’t agree. Brooks defended well for the most part, besides his gaff on letting up the goal. I realize as a defender thats your job, to keep the ball out of the back of the net, but he won a lot of headers in the box. Corona was barely on the field and gathered the same grade.

    I agree that Bedoya was a 5.5, but don’t see how Corona or Brooks gets this grade.

    Corona 4.5
    Brooks 6.5

  2. DanO says:

    3 goals and assist… No 10? What do you have to do, save a pk too?

    • DC Josh says:

      Granted, I don’t recall SBI ever giving a US player a 9.

      Getting too philosophical here, but if 10 is perfect, can a player ever achieve perfection? Even Messi makes mistakes, sometimes, well maybe not..

  3. Judging Amy says:

    Well reasoned ratings although I disagree on Mixx being that bad. I thought he took some risks to make things happened. Some games they just don’t work out. I liked his energy and creativity. He also created IMO a clear PK.

    • Jeff says:

      Agreed – Mix was good on the ball, made some dangerous runs in the box and with a different ref would have drawn a PK. He also showed some good pressure and bite.

  4. Yusef says:

    So what is the best starting XI for the USA now, or does it depend on the opponent. Other than Howard in goal, Bradley and Jones in the middle, and Jozy up top, does anyone else have a locked spot? Obviously, Dempsey will be on the field somewhere with probably Donovan and F. Johnson, but do we know what positions they will be in? I am loving this depth being shown in the pool with guys stepping up to fight for places!

    • squirtlover says:

      I gotta Believe Besler is a lock.

    • mb says:

      Jones can not be considered a lock to start. i cringe when i see that written.

      i also don’t think howard should be considered a lock. i think you can call him the current #1 but i don’t think he is a lock. there are a lot of people who think Guzan is either currently better or will be by WC time.

      • Gary Page says:

        I am one of those who think Guzan is better than Howard. But, the only way Guzan will play in the WC is if Howard is hurt.

  5. Bruce Arena says:

    Definitely not a 10 for Jozy. He could have done so much better.

    • Gnarls says:

      He was docked .5 for being lazy.

      • mb says:

        i remember a point in the game, sometime after his first goal I think, when he trotted past the Bosnian player (who had the ball) five feet from him without making any effort to get the ball or impede him. i was just look “wow. i need to cut that clip and post it to youtube with the headline Altidore making great strides to improve his defensive work.”

        mind boggling at times. it was right in front of the benches too. if i was klinsi or the captain, i would have unleashed a verbal hammer on him.

        • Gnarls says:

          I was actually being facetious. Jozy was sometimes accused of being lazy. I found (and still find) the allegations baseless. Perceptions, I guess.

          I think he deserves a 10, but Ives doesn’t hand those out.

  6. Bruce Arena says:

    Disappointing showing from Jones. Losing the ball, then just standing around.

    • Grubbsbl says:

      I agree. I just don’t think Jones and Bradley work well together. I hope to see Cameron get a run out there in the WCQ games next month.

  7. AJ Striker says:

    The midfield and forward options seem fairly settled. The back 4 – now thats a different story. Right back, left back, center backs…. The only one i’m really sold on is Besler.

  8. Yankeedom says:

    I’m not sure how Mix gets a lower rating then J Jones. I would probably flip their grades. Jones had a brutal game. I was impressed with JAB. Aron J. Impressed me with his energy, and I didn’t realize he was as pacey as he showed. Definitely knows how to play and read the game. He had a nice through ball to Jozy, which Jozy could have done better with (he ended up crossing it to no one).

    • Been There says:

      +1

    • ChrisB says:

      Agreed, I don’t know how Mix could be rated lower than Jones. Jones should’ve been the one to come off at the half, he was absolutely horrible yesterday and to say he gave the ball away on a “pair of occasions” is a vast understatement. I’m no Jones hater and I’ll chalk this performance up to preseason form.

  9. Grubbsbl says:

    As we approach the World Cup it’s becoming obvious this team is going to go as far as our CBs will take us. That Bosnia team, for all the hype, was pretty average. Nothing more than 8 players defending and 2 quality strikers. Even at 2-0 i expected a comeback. To suceed next year we have to cut out the mistakes and soft goals. Without two defenders that can actually defend, all the pretty patterns of play we are capable of will be for not.

  10. biff says:

    Jozy and MB were both excellent. Not a good day for JJ90y. He was not bad, just average. He also did not look good Saturday for Schalke against Hamburg. I hope he can bounce back to his previous excellent form, because all sorts of competition coming.

  11. biff says:

    Like Brad Evans a lot. Guy has heart and gets the job done. I don’t think he is a starter but he could play a role. Disagree, Franco, that Brooks was better than Cameron. Let’s hope Geoff can get his club position sorted out under Hughes and lock down a spot on one position for the whole season.

  12. biff says:

    I thought Edgar Castillo looked very good, better both defensively and offensively at LB than Fabian looked at LB. As for Fabian, yes, I know he got the assist and it was a nice one, but he was throwing the ball away too many times for my liking and I still think we have much better options for attacking midfielders. I really wanna see Castillo given a decent shot at LW.

  13. Gnarls says:

    Aron Johannsson was a pleasure to watch. I’ll withhold the superlatives for now – until he at least scores a goal – but it’s clear the Stars and Stripes got a good one.

  14. biff says:

    Contrary to some other commentators, I like Joe Corona’s gutsy style and if he can improve this next season I can see him on the plane to Brazil. The guy is a stud. Mix was a disappointment, but no one looked very good in the first 30-35 minutes of the first half.

    • Now JK knows where not to play Mix. I’m a big fan of Mix (reminds me of my sons when they were that age) and hope he fills out a little in the next couple of years so he won’t get muscled off the ball so easily as he did in this game.

      • biff says:

        I like Mix a lot also and on second thought, after seeing Judging Amy’s and Jeff’s comments down below (I hate this new system with new messages on top), I think I was too harsh on Mix. His run in the box was great, something we were not seeing much of before a couple of months ago, and he should have won a penalty. I am not so sure he needs to put on weight. Think Neymar, whose is quite awesome and skinnier than Mix.

  15. biff says:

    Previously, I felt that Fabian, Castillo and Torres were among our most technically gifted players. I now think that Aron Johannsson is the undisputed leader and he is going to break someone’s heart on the USMNT when the 23-man WC 2014 roster is named next May, not to mention the hearts of the 321,000 or so people in Iceland.

    • DCUffda! says:

      Mix’s failings were a direct result of Eddie Johnson’s atrocious showing as a wing player.

      Every pass to him killed any build up the US had in the first half. Mix did not have a great game, but you could almost see the thought process going through everyone’s heads – don’t go left , don’t go left , don’t go left. EJ’s failing had an adverse effect on every player on the left side in the 1st half.

      People can say it was a tactical failing, but there were chances to be had in the 1st half that were shut down due to EJ’s failings.

      EJohnson’s role should be exclusively in the middle where he is reacting instead of planning.

  16. mb says:

    jermaine jones is a liability- whether its turnovers, fouls, or just general positional indiscipline. i wouldn’t want to have to play next to him. should be benched to make a statement. move metronomic bradley into the shield role and let a more creative CM play in front of him. Or move cameron into the shield role.

  17. 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

    I mean, Johannsson.. yeah. He’s good.

    • Fan Futbol says:

      Had exactly the same thought during the match. And to think we used to have guys like Conor Casey fighting for spots…

      • THomas says:

        I thought something similar. I was watching our forwards out there, thinking who we left behind, and wondered how in the world we ever survived when Brian Ching was out best option.

      • 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

        I was thinking more of, I cant believe we had guys like herc gomez and wondolowski fighting for spots.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I refuse to give stick to someone who knocked in two huge clinching goals in Honduras end of last cycle. I also think you need to have seen him before the knee problems.

        • Fan Futbol says:

          Dude, I watched the Honduras match and went crazy when Casey scored (twice), as did all true USMNT fans. But, c’mon — admit you’re more excited about this forward pool than well, ever.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            If you said Ching, Findley, Bunbury, some of the people we ran out there at ebb tide the last couple cycles, I’d be there with you. But Casey before the knees was going to be an interesting hybrid of target and touch — he was in Germany a while with Dortmund, Hannover, Mainz, Karlruher — and in his prime he was better than EJ or Wondo or some of the back end of this pool.

            But I will agree this is as deep and in form as I’ve seen a US forward pool, ever. For most periods of time it’s been one guy carrying the team on his back, McBride, Wynalda, et al., and the rest of the pool is hustle players. But there are about 5-6 guys who I think can either carry a team or score on a quality side in this pool……Jozy, Landon, Dempsey, Johannson, Gomez, EJ. Now we just need to keep people healthy and happy enough to compete in the pre-roster camp next year at this level of depth, and then we take the best to Brazil. So I agree there.

            • joshw says:

              TIV, I agree. I spent a year working in Franfurt, and one of my colleagues at the firm was a huge Mainz supporter. He made a point of coming up to me at an office party to thank the USA for Connor Casey. Apparently, CC scored the goal that either kept them up or secured promotion one season (can’t recall which). And I can remember when he was a young prospect for the MNT and was so impressive. He didn’t score in those first games for the MNT team but I can remember a play where he collected a difficult ball with his back to goal, shrugged off a defender at the top of the box and rocketed a shot of the crossbar. Then he injured his knee… Despite all the injuries he’s still had a remarkable MLS career and looks like he could be very productive for years to come. Quality.

  18. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Agree with Joe. And I agree with Jozy’s 9. A 10 is u heard of unless you do it in a WC final. (I guess)

    Also the best thing to come out of this game was seeing our never say die attitude on full display, Jozy still working his magic and proving this summer wasn’t a fluke (lets hope he does it for Sunderland as well) and so many players stepping up. Correct me if I’m wrong but I can’t remember a time when competition for spots was this tight.

    Hey, why wasn’t Donovan there? thanks.

  19. dave from charlotte says:

    Grades are pretty spot on…will be interesting to see how the CB starting tandem shakes out over the next 12 months (love the increased competition). Still a bit worried about our fullbacks though. I really want to see Cherundolo back with the team. Evans is okay and solid defensively, but there were 2-3 counters or USA possessions where he needed to be upfield to swing the point of attack and he was MIA. As has been said elsewhere, I think we need to leave Fabian in the left wing spot.

    All of a sudden we are flush at forward now…that is awesome (Altidore, Aron Bacon, EJ)…through in Donovan and Deuce as well and we’ve got a lot of options on the wing and up top.

    klinsi really needs to sort out the Bradley pairing. Let’s be honest, Klinsi needs to build the midfield around him not anyone else. Preseason or not, Jermaine Jones is too eratic and hasn’t formed a good bond with Bradley. He’s too good not to be on the team, but he just hasn’t been meshing well.

  20. away goals says:

    I think brooks and cameron have been underrated by most outlets. On every site, their description includes some variation of “beaten by dzeko for a goal” or what have you.

    But on both the second and third goal, I don’t think cameron or brooks actually made a mistake. On the second goal cameron “lost” ibisevic by holding the line and we actually played him offside. Even then cameron nearly recovered and it took a perfect cross for ibisevic to connect.

    On the third goal brooks wasn’t asleep at all. He was glued to dzeko’s back, but no defender can prevent a back-to-goal flick on of a driven ball. The window for dzeko to do anything useful on that play was tiny.

    Sometimes all you can is congratulate a guy on a well taken goal.

    • Fan Futbol says:

      Brooks could have been closer to Dzeko, I think, but it was the 89th minute with a 2 goal lead. So I totally agree that Brooks (and to a lesser degree Cameron’s) performance is underrated. He’s 20. He was sure on the ball, read the game beautifully, hit tons of headers, and made only necessary fouls. Plus, he was clearly fouled on the first goal. The Bosnians are really good, have really really good strikers, and we were playing them at their home. Vincent Company could haven given up a goal in those circumstances. I’m already more confident with JAB than with Clarence Goodson. Gonzo should be worried as well.

    • TC says:

      I thought Brooks looked good as well. Dzeko might not be scoring for MC but he is leading all of Europe in WCQ goals. Can’t blame the kid too much on the last one. He is 100% better on the ball than Gonzalez. Made some good passes and he broke up some breakaways in the first half with some good positioning. This kid is the real deal.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Because the central backfield was vulnerable all night, including on the ones that didn’t go in.

  21. Dc says:

    Best hat trick by a USMNT player ever? Can anyone name a player who scored 3 nicer goals in one game?

  22. Dan says:

    BH barely applied pressure in the 2nd half. They let us have the ball all day long (not sure why). But kudos to USA for taking advantage of that.

    When we speak of Castillo’s defending have to take my first note into consideration. A few light attacks down his flank but BH really didn’t push the issue. Castillo’s big issue (IMHO) is that he makes super aggressive 1 v 1 attacks where he typically turns ball over – and then counter attacking teams storm into hole he’s just created. In BH game he gets rewarded (lead to Jozy’s free kick goal) but overall his approach creates way more problems then gains for US.

    Evans… he gets beaten by speed pretty easily out there on right wing. If a defender just runs at him and decides to not cut back and take the goal line, he’s typically toast. He’ll do but he’s not a savior. Need a CB that really understands his speed weakness

    2 cents over. ;P

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I think B&H let us have the ball because their offense worked better as a counterattack than a possession-based build-up. They really struggled to work through our midfield.

      • Gary Page says:

        I wrote before the game that I was surprised that Bosnia had so many players (8) not playing in top European leagues. And, I wrote, they look beatable. When they brought some of those guys in, they clearly suffered. I think this game shows that the US depth is much better than Bosnia’s. Remember, this was not the US’s A team. More like our B+ team since we were missing about 5 probable starters.

  23. Jody says:

    Jones with a 5 seems high. His first half was terrible. Lucky that none of his many turnovers led to goals, and I don’t really remember any positive play, either. I keep hearing that he is a CL team starter, but that rep is not translating to the MNT. Plus, Bradley clearly plays better when someone else is paired with him.

    • Shaggie96 says:

      Go back and watch the game again. I only counted maybe four turnovers and a couple of those were after he made hustle plays to try and save a mistake made by another teammate and he really had very few options. He didn’t play a great game by any means, but he’s getting more blame on here than he deserves.

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        Thank you for injecting some reason (and factual evidence) into this discussion. Jones’ play may have been a touch too slow at times, but he was mostly composed under pressure and was able to pass his way out of some tough positions in the first half. Some other people commenting here would do well to rewatch the game.

  24. batwact says:

    Great team performance all over the field, with a couple of stand-out individual performances.

    My only quibble was with the lowest grades. JJ should be lower than a 5; to me, he was clearly the worst player on the field for us. Listless, gave away possession too often, and got caught too far forward on multiple occasions.

    Mix is great on the ball and keeps his head up, constantly looking for the breakthrough pass, but he plays too lightly. He needs to hit the weight room and grow a pair to be effective at the top international level. I would have given him a slightly higher grade, though; given another ref, he could have earned a PK early.

    Geoff Cameron…I’m not sure why he is getting such a low grade. I thought he played well in a tough arena on the road, against top tier strikers, playing with a “rookie” he just met, in a position he hasn’t played in 2 years. He was responsible on the second goal scored, but he was in position, goal-side, on his man. Ibisevic just got there first. Ref missed that he was offside and committed a foul on Brooks on the way to his header. Ibisevic is an awesome player, leading Stuttgart in scoring in the Bundesliga last year with 15 goals. Anyways, I thought both Cam and Brooks deserved a 5/5.5 for individual efforts. It is obvious that they need more time together to reach their potential.

    Either way, watching the US play this summer has been the most enjoyable experience. As Klinsy stated, “This is good for the guys to see that we’re going to come to Europe and play eye to eye. We’re not here to defend or counterbreak. We’re here to play.” Amen.

  25. Fan Futbol says:

    If it’s possible to get a 10 in a friendly, Jozy surely did. If 10 only means Zidane against Brazil in the WC, then it was a 9.

    Most disappointing thing about the match: no “WOW”s from the vacationing Ives. This game would have set an Ives WOW record, I think. Next time Ives isn’t around someone should be the designated WOWer.

    • Todd C says:

      If Altodore doesn’t get a 10 for that performance that what would? c’mon now. He 100% deserves it after scoring a hat trick, including a top notch free kick which he never gets to take with the USMNT. USA! USA!

  26. 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

    Good to see Kljestan show his quality out there. Always thought he was being put in tough situations, playing out of position, being paired with someone not named Bradley… he can definitely be a useful player for this team.

    • Fan Futbol says:

      I’ve run down Kljestan a bunch of times, but he did look good yesterday. Kudos to him for showing well in his father’s hometown.

    • biff says:

      gotta agree. have never been much of a fan but that was a solid performance. was the headband magic or sompin?

      • 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

        Had to be. Anyone else see the exchange with the asst ref? The guy was like “bro, you put your eye patch on wrong” then Kljestan was like “nah dude I cut my ear”

  27. SanFran415 says:

    Where is the gaff by Brooks on Dzeko’s goal? Seriously. Someone please explain to me what he is supposed to do in that situation other than lay Dzeko out?

    Because that’s the only way to defend that–to shove the player to the ground and stop him from flicking that on. The ball came in fast, early and the player scored off the top of his head with his back to goal and the defender having goal-side position.

    How do you dock the defender for a perfect, undefendable goal?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      ‘Someone please explain to me what he is supposed to do in that situation other than lay Dzeko out?’

      jump, maybe? as opposed to others here and at espn, i thought brooks had a great game, but he was definitely caught flat-flooted by that cross (as most defenders would be).

    • slowleftarm says:

      We get it bro, you love JAB. But he can still make mistakes.

      • RB says:

        “We get it bro, you love JAB…”

        Just as we get that you hate the idea of him, or AJ or others who aren’t sufficiently American in your eyes, playing on the US team. Doesn’t mean they necessarily did wrong in any given instance, though.

        • slowleftarm says:

          All true except surely we can agree that, regardless of the player’s connection to the US, he didn’t do a great job in that particular instance. As to JAB’s performance overall yesterday, I was at work and couldn’t see the match, only highlights, so I can’t comment.

          • RB says:

            Think Ives’ summary above is spot-on, in this case: quite composed and effective, especially given the situation, even if he was caught out on that late consolation goal.

    • Increase says:

      I totally see what you mean. Jump higher was pretty much it, but as you said it came in hard and fast. Being behind Dzeko like that. There is a chance he never even saw that ball.

      • Smacking says:

        If you watch the full speed version in the highlights you can see a bit more of the play. JAB is flat footed and a bit away from Dzeko when he starts his run. This causes him to be late to the ball and not in a position to challenge Dzeko’s position. I don’t think he was anticipating the ball coming in so quickly, but it’s a split second and half step that separates players at this level. JAB is young and has a bright future. He’ll learn from this.

    • Shaggie96 says:

      He doesn’t need to shove the player to the ground. First, if he had been on top of the play a little more he could’ve made it more difficult for Dzeko to get to that spot. He definitely could’ve been more physical to try and make it more difficult for Dzeko to get the kind of touch he wanted. Sometimes all it takes is just a little contact, not enough to draw a foul, just enough to put the attacker off balance. Without a doubt, it was a fantastic header, but JAB could’ve done more there. Solid game overall, though. I’m very optimistic.

    • malkin says:

      It was definitely a great goal on a great run started before the ball came in. Dzeko got a jump start and the ball came in perfectly after.

      I think it’s funny this is mentioned and not the first goal, where he truly was watching and could have saved the second shot had he busted his arse straight back after getting beat instead of clamoring for an offside.

    • divers suck says:

      He could have got to the spot quicker, as many of the analysts said he kind of got caught “ball watching”. His reaction time will get quicker the more he plays in the Bundesliga and with the NATS…..He looks like the real deal to me. Cap tie JAB and Aron Bacon immediately!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It’s hard to stop a header goal like that but on a diagonal-ish cross I’m not sure being on his back is perfect positioning. Goalside would have been more like side-on. Instead he’s behind Dzeko, who comes out ahead in any scenario other than an overhit ball. Cross to head he can knock on goal, if the cross had been short his positioning would have made it easy to turn Brooks ballside. But if Brooks is positioned more right angle, between man and goal, instead of bodied up more diagonal, he can try to step in, and he can see the cross and react to it.

      The “ball watching” bit is a tad unfair, on a cross you need to know where both man and ball are. I think on the header he was well aware but actually positioned himself wrong to do more than bump from behind. I think there was more “ball watching” on the offsides trap goals where people didn’t seem to react back very fast. Ignoring the second runner when the first is off on goal 1 is classic ball watching, forgot their man. But goal 3 he’s ready but just could be in a better spot.

  28. Oog says:

    Ugh, just realized I’ve been reading the comments backward for the last 2 days.

  29. Hush says:

    I disagree with Jozy & JJ grades,… JJ should have been a 4 or 3.5.. Cameron got a 4 and imo JJ was just as bad, if not, worse.

    JOZY puedo should have been a 10! What else do we expect a guy to do to make a 10,.. Play goalkeeper? He scored 3 and assisted on one. And not just some chicharito slide in goals, REAL disgusting goals. Sorry, this is a 10 in my books,.. Shoot,.. Even on FIFA 2013 is difficult to pull this kind of performance by any U.S player. I’d say this was a 10!

    • jon says:

      agree! if that’s not a 10, what is? 5 goals? 3 goals in a world cup final?

    • lets win! says:

      Agreed..jj looked ill

    • Jim says:

      Please stop with the calls for Jozy to get a 10. It makes you look completely ignorant about the way grading has been used in the sport. It’s the absolute best, a kind of once in a career performance, not “really great in a friendly.”

      If you’d prefer some new standard for how grades are given out, you can go complain about it with the commentors on ESPN who have no idea of history or context.

    • Chupacabra says:

      I agree. Jozy deserves a 10, but every “journalist” is afraid to acknowledge perfection even after witnessing it. And, friendly or not, history does play a part in this. It was the first comeback from behind victory for the US on European soil.

  30. Josh says:

    For those that told me Diskerud was good enough to be on the national team…you may begin to eat your words now. I also said he would cost us goals and the kid was everywhere but in his positions. The only positive I have for him is that he finally wasn’t on his heels most of the night, but that was because he was wandering throughout the entire field. He was also shoved off the ball most of the night.

    Second, Id like to suggest a little bit different lineup. For once we are in a position with so much depth that it makes it tough to get everyone on the field. My biggest move is Jones. He continues to be a bit lacking on the offensive side of the ball with his passes and movement up top. My idea is to move him to a centerback position. It would solve our problem at centerback and get some other more attacking players in the midfield, ie. Donovan. Bradley is already a defensive minded midfielder. So here is my lineup.

    Altidore….EJ
    ?…..Bradley….Donovan….Dempsey
    Beasley….Jones…..Cameron….Evans
    timmy

    Im not saying its necessarily the best, but its something I would like to see. Im surprised it hasn’t been attempted already. As for left mid, Im still not sure we have any great left midfielders. I really miss Eddie Lewis. He always had some beautiful crosses into the box.

    • Josh says:

      sorry, flip flop Dempsey and Donovan.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Jones and Cameron at CB?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      diskerud is good enough to be on the national team. he was one of the only players who provided something (anything!) in the first half. it was probably logical that he would come off when we switched to a 4-4-2, but i thought jones should’ve have been subbed at half instead.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      You criticized Mix for typically being on his heels and for getting shoved around…then you put Beasley at LB instead of Castillo or FabJo.

      • brian says:

        Are we really trying to talk snese into someone who has jones and Cameron as the starting CB’s

        • Josh says:

          I never said Jones would be the best a center back. I just want to see what he could do. He is powerful, aggressive and has some great defending skills. Just an experiment I would like to see.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I agree with Josh on the idea of experimenting. If you have a throwaway match, then why not?

          Although in this case it feels like trying too hard to find a spot for someone instead of trying to find someone for a spot.

      • Josh says:

        Beasley has more experience than either of them and if he gets beat he can recover. He also adds tons of speed.

        • Ben James says:

          Beasley has been playing LB for a few months. F. Johnson and Castillo have played there for the majority of their careers. It’s just recently that they’ve started to be deployed at LM. Johnson tends to alternate with his club.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I was just pointing out the inconsistency of your criticism. You would bench Mix for the very traits that Beasley exemplifies.

          As for Beasley at LB: I often play goalkeeper. And the thought of having a defender in front of me who “can recover when he gets beat” makes my blood dissipate. I do not want a defender who gets beat. Period.

          Beasley at LB is like a car with no brakes but with a solid roll cage and really good airbags.

          Yes, it’s great when a defender can recover on those *rare* occasions when they get beat, but I don’t want a guy who gets beat regularly. A smart winger simply learns that once you beat Beasley—as you certainly will, and often—you just need to hurry and get the cross off. To the opposing forwards, Beasley at LB means beautiful crosses coming in from the right all game long.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            ‘Beasley at LB is like a car with no brakes but with a solid roll cage and really good airbags.’

            love it.

            and i agree with your assessment of beasley at left back. i don’t think he’s good enough for the world cup, and hopefully fabian gets back into good enough form to replace him.

    • Jordy says:

      Bruce Arena is that you?!

  31. Smitty says:

    What I really wonder is if JK would ever bench Jones, no matter how bad he plays, the next time out? He is the Pablo M. of this group…. a destroyer…. the only thing is he tries to drive the attack and he’s not good enough to do that…

    I think he has a role but as a sub or against a physical team. We did look better with the 4-4-2 and with him off.

    • SanFran415 says:

      It’s a tough call really. You saw what happened with Mixx. He was kind of abused.

    • 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

      Kljestan. Similar to Mix, not as easily pushed around. Excellent chemistry with Bradley

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Jones was terrible. But no US CM (other than Bradley) has more solid performances than Jones. That’s the problem: there is no one I could *guarantee* would be better than Jones in any given match. Granted that’s largely due to no other CM getting as many chances as Jones, but that’s the data we have to work with.

      Bottom line: I’d still start Jones over any other CM (other than MB!). But I would give serious minutes to Kljestan and Cameron and Mix to see if they couldn’t convince me that they’d consistently do better than Jones—especially when paired with Bradley.

      • Ben James says:

        Cameron has been great at CM in 2 tries out of 2 opportunities. I would seriously consider starting him next to Bradley against Costa Rica. Jones looked horrible today and maybe being benched would light a fire under him. He’s one of only a few players who has never had his starting role questioned by Klinsmann, and I don’t think his inconsistent performances justify that. At the same time we get to see Cameron again, who seems to have great chemistry with MB. If that continues, I would say we should ride the streak.

        For the record, I do think Jones is a good player and he’s had his share of great performances, but the consistency is not there.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I agree with everything you said—except maybe the “light a fire under [Jones]” part. I’m not sure it is ever a lack of “fire” for him when he puts in a poor performance. (Sometimes, in fact, it is too much “fire” and he draws a card!) Like you, I still would prefer seeing Cameron get more starts as CM, I just don’t know that it would affect Jones’ game/attitude in any way.

  32. THomas says:

    I disagree mightily with Mix only being a 4.5. I didn’t think he was up to this level of play, but I thought he was the lone bright spot when we were in the 4-2-3-1.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Anyone have stats on how far Mix ran in the match? I’d guess 6 km in the first half alone. Yeah he got pushed off the ball, but made up for it some by putting persistent pressure on B&H.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Agreed. Mix did pretty good in the first half and I was glad he got the start after an excellent Gold Cup.

      Dude just need to hit the gym some more! Last time I said this people said but look at how small Iniesta is. Well, Mix isn’t Iniesta…

  33. matt little says:

    Please send Jermaine Jones to the bench.

    • Del Griffin says:

      The writers here clearly see something we all don’t from Jermaine Jones. It would be an awesome idea for an article to educate us a little on your reasoning. Since Klini does too, I am not saying you are wrong, but maybe give us some clues to what you see when you watch him. All I see is a bad touch and bad passing. Either his passes end up with the other team, or the intended recipient has to stop to collect his ball. Just an idea.

      • Josh D says:

        Jones even on a bad day, still influences the game more than any CM not named Bradley.

        Yesterday was an off day, but it was due to his touch and passing, both of which will get better when the rust falls off midway through the season. His tackling was crisp, his closing down of space was spot on, and he helped drive a stagnate attack. Bradley, Mix, and Jones are the only CMs whose first instinct is to push the ball forward.

        Even when Jones is playing poorly, he never backs away from the game. He just digs in harder and uses his physicality to still make his presence known. At the international level, you have to have someone who’s willing to do the dirty work. Offensively, he doesn’t shine, but we’d miss his defense too much without him.

        Plus, if you watch him at the club level, you know that game in and out, he’ll have more better games than bad, and his passing accuracy is pretty high. In September, he’ll be back to his usual self.

      • 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

        C’mon now, Jones def had a bad game but his quality is obvious. When he’s on, he’s probably a top 5 guy on the squad. For being such a tenacious presence in the middle, hes an excellent dribbler with great vision. Has a knack for making nice, timely runs as well.

        The thing with him is that he doesn’t appear to mesh as well with Bradley as others have. So its not that other players are BETTER than Jones, just thst sometimes other guys have better chemistry with Bradley.

        • Del Griffin says:

          Bradley, Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Howard are the top 5. To me, Jones isn’t even in the second tier with Besler, Zusi, Cameron.

      • Fan Futbol says:

        Jones has two problems: sometimes he’s not feeling it and loafs or plays sloppily. Not everyone gives 110% every time like MB90. His other problem is bigger: he lacks positional discipline. If he prioritized using his size, strength and skill in the disciplined way Beckerman uses his lesser size, strength, and skill, then not only Bradley could play more offensively, but we would dominate possession even more. Instead Jones prefers to follow “instinct” and drift around. I wish JK would say, “Jermaine, tighten it up out there or here’s the bench.”

    • Tim says:

      Agree. Regardles of any contributions he made to the game, Jones walking back after every time he lost the ball did not sit well with me. He has spurts of talent but how did he get this far with that prima-donna attitude? Walk to the bench next time please!!

    • Ross says:

      Jones is one of our better players game in and game out. klinsy was right, he is one of those guys an opposing team doesn’t want to see on the other side of the ball. You need a guy like that. Even if his game isn’t on he’s still making his presence felt and is making it difficult for the other team.

      • Del Griffin says:

        Yes the other team has difficulty figuring out what to do with all of his passes that land right at their feet.

  34. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Your grading, as usual, mostly makes sense but boggles in some places, which can be seen by comparing a couple of grades:

    GEOFF CAMERON (4)
    JERMAINE JONES (5)
    EDDIE JOHNSON (4.5)

    Two Bosnia and Herzegovina goals were suspect, one blatantly so when FabJo was clearly pushed in the back. (The other being an off-sides violation—though I’m willing to be proven that the player was on-sides.) How does that give Cameron the lowest grade of the match?! Especially compared to EJ who set up the B&H goal (practically deserves the assist!) and who flubbed multiple opportunities to take shots. No, EJ was easily the worst US player. Jones’ passes proved an offensive threat at times, but he didn’t even remotely provide the defensive support his “destroyer” position calls for. Conclusion: EJ, 2.5; Jones, 3.5; Cameron, 5.

    BRAD EVANS (6)
    EDDIE JOHNSON (4.5)

    Yes, I’m going to pile on EJ here. Some would excuse him seeing that he flew from the other side of the world, but so did his teammate Evans. Evans had a solid game—a 6 or a 6.5. I can’t think of a single mistake Evans made; his modest grade reflects more his lack of attack. EJ though…okay, I already pointed out his numerous costly mistakes. No way should EJ be graded within 1.5 points of Evans. EJ, 2.5; Evans, 6.5.

    GEOFF CAMERON (4)
    JOHN BROOKS (5.5)

    I think you’re awarding “circumstance points” to Brooks. Yeah, it was his first call-up etc., but the grades should reflect the actual performance and not the mitigating factors. Brooks and Cameron played equally well and made similar mistakes (neither was a real leader in the back like a top CB is expected to be). Cameron, 5.5; Brooks, 5.5.

    JERMAINE JONES (5)
    MIX DISKERUD (4.5)

    Jones gave away the ball; Mix got pushed off the ball. One of those is worse than the other. Jones offered very little defensively; Mix ran all over the midfield to apply pressure up and down the pitch. One of those is better than the other. In other words, Mix was “less bad” and “more good” than Jones. Jones, 3.5, Mix, 4.5.

    • Brett says:

      Eddie flubbed some chances but was generally positioned well and ran hard. Being there to score off of Jozy’s touch offsets the giveaway that led to the goal for B&H.

      I think Jones should have the lowest ranking. He was terrible. At one point he lost the ball, sat there, got up, stood in one spot, and then started walking all while the ball was being shuffled less than six feet away from him. I don’t know if he was just gassed, but he looked bad.

      • Josh D says:

        Jozy would have put that goal away even if EJ wasn’t there. It was a beautiful touch and a nice shift to get in front of that defender. EJ almost looks to have been in the way.

        EJ was absolutely terrible, and he can run around as much as he likes: until he’s productive with those runs and the ball, it’s useless. Might as well have a chicken in his position.

        I hope we’re doing with EJ again. He’s a super striker for the Gold Cup, but away from home, against top teams, and good defenses that reduce his speed, he’s average. He’s a faster Wondo.

        With Aron really showing skills, Donovan back in the picture, and guys like Shea, Bedoya, and Corona making the most of their wing chances, I don’t see EJ near a plane next year. Even a guy like Wood can make a better case for himself between now and then.

        • joshw says:

          “until he’s productive with those runs”…

          how many goals has he scored in the last 10 games?

          • Jordy says:

            Did you even watch this game? Right from the first possession Johnson was looking to go 1 on 1, and was holding the ball too long and killing momentum. After dancing on the wing and going nowhere a few times after positive build ups, he went ahead a gave the ball back to Bosnia inside the box like they were running finishing drills in practice. Then to top it off he was timid and non existent the rest of the half. Klinsmann put him on the right and the only touch I remember him getting was a gimme from Jozy that my little sister would have finished with ease.
            His speed doesn’t make him a threat against faster, more experienced teams that see that on a regular basis. So yeah, he scores against CONCACAF teams who won’t even make the World Cup, so why should we count on him for a deep World Cup run?

            • joshw says:

              i’m just pointing out that he had at least one productive run in this game, two at the GC and some others in qualifying. scoring goals equals production, right?

              • Jordy says:

                Again, not if you’re looking make a World Cup run. Not trying to be a hater, just pointing out the fact that EJ has a hard time against world class teams. Even Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica all shut EJ down.

            • joshw says:

              You have seen the score sheet from the Bosnia game, right?

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            EJ has been fantastic in past games. He was terrible in this one. Thus, he deserves a 2.5 for *this* game, but I’m not giving him a 2.5 overall as a USMNT player.

            • joshw says:

              not a great half. granted evans had to deal with the same issues, but i think the long flight and playing out of position were factors. EJ is a lock for Brazil.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Four striker slots on the squad, who will fill them? Candidates other than EJ:

                Altidore
                Dempsey
                Donovan (though he could be listed as a midfielder)
                Gomez
                Wondo
                Johannsson
                McInerney

                These are the most likely to challenge EJ for a spot. EJ ranks high with Klinsmann now, but he’ll have to work hard to keep his spot.

              • joshw says:

                if Jozy goes down injured, EJ is the logical replacement as the strong / fast player to lead the line. don’t say boyd; don’t say agudelo.

              • Jordy says:

                I would still say he’s far from a lock. Altidore, Dempsey, and Donovan are easily in front of him. When it comes to locks you have 3 GKs, Beasley, Besler, Cameron, Bradley, Jones, Zusi, and Fabian. That’s 13. Then you’ll have at least 2/3 of Goodson, Brooks, and Gonzo. That’s 15. I’d say Dolo is a lock (if healthy) and if not then its going to be 2/3 of Evans, Chandler, or Parkhurst. That’s 17, if not 18. Throw in Castillo for depth and we’ll say 18 for depth on defense. So that leaves 5 spots for Edu, Beckerman, Diskerud, Kljestan, Corona, Shea, EJ, Boyd, Gomez, Johannsson, and Bedoya to battle for. Then throw in the possibility Klinsmann takes more than the aforementioned defensive players for depth with those 5 spots. All in all, anyone out of the starting 11 are far from a lock.

              • joshw says:

                Jordy, if Altidore weren’t available, who starts as the target forward, in a WC match, playing w his back to goal against world class centerbacks, trying to hold the ball up w an elbow in his back and running the channels to create space? Not Landon. Clint might do okay, but do you really want him to take that beating. Boyd won’t be there (has he ever scored for the US?). Gomez maybe but he’s injured now and not really that strong or that fast. Wondo? No. Johannsson? Maybe, but he probably weighs 150. McInerney? No. EJ? Yes. He’s a lock.

              • joshw says:

                KindGoogleyEye, LD and CD may both be written in as midfielders. Counting CD as midfielder, JA, CD, AJ, EJ are the forwards. Barring injury, those are your four. JM couldn’t get a game at the GC. Wondo got benched in favor of EJ (even after scoring several goals in the early stages). Gomez is a quality player, but his injury is bad timing, and he does not have physical qualities that distinguish him from other players who will be there (unlike EJ who is strong, fast and can sky). If CD is listed as a midfielder, then HG has a shot at the 23. There are a lot of quality players who will miss out on this WC. Painful for them, but the depth is a wonderful thing for us fans.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                joshw: I don’t know if you’re so persistent on EJ because you think he’s the greatest or whether you think everyone else hates him and he needs to be defended.

                Regarding the second option: No one on this sub-thread has said that EJ is terrible. The argument is that he was terrible in the friendly. I see you wrote that EJ had “not a great half,” but are you okay with anyone pointing out that EJ played miserably? And to press the point further: Do you agree that failing miserably against a moderately tough team (B&H will almost certainly qualify for WC in the toughest federation) in an away match creates reasonable concerns about a player’s capabilities in the World Cup even after he performed splendidly against inferior competition in home games?

                That, and the fact that WC is 10 months away and very much can change in that amount of time—including opportunities for Boyd/Johannsson/McInerney— leave me unwilling to chisel in stone—as you did—that EJ is a “lock.”

              • Josh says:

                The only thing that keeps EJ off the plane is him getting hurt. There’s no chance either Boyd or jack play next month. After next month, it’s likely the next truly competitive game we play will be in Brazil. How can either of those two guys (who have never scored for the US) pass a guy whose scoring in the GC and WC qualifiers? We already saw in the GC that Klinsmann prefers EJ to Wondo. That’s my logic.

        • Annelid Gustator says:

          “Jozy would have put that goal away even if EJ wasn’t there.”

          No way. Watch again, that was *the* only play that ends with a goal.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Agreed. And notice that in this case, EJ took the shot right away instead of dribbling around for 5 minutes :P

    • biff says:

      Good post. But just keep in mind that the media guys giving ratings are simply giving their opinions, just like we the fans. There are some ratings out today that have Cameron playing better than Brooks. I also have seen a couple of media types rating Castillo well above Fabian, which I felt to be the case. It is way too early for people to say that Fabian has a starting position locked up for WC 2014.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Re: Cameron and EJ

      I agree with you GoogleyEyes. Some folks in the previous posts have been melting over Cameron’s performance. Not at all his best game but, for the most part, it was a decent performance. He deserves a higher grade.

  35. I would say the USA has the makings of 2 world class strikers. Jozy and Johansson are the real deal and will give any world class defense fits.

  36. Nate Dollars says:

    ives, jermaine jones’s grade is too high. he shouldn’t, at the most, be any higher than mix or cameron.

    not only was his p@ssing off, but he would *repeatedly* lose the ball, expect a foul call that was never going to come, and then just sit there looking stunned. he was pretty awful all around.

    • jlm says:

      Agreed. And to say that it was not one of his strongest showing in a US jersey ignores the fact that is was fairly typical of his showings in a US jersey.

      • biff says:

        DisAgreed. JJ has had some great showings in a US shirt and yesterday was NOT fairly typical of his showings.

        That said, if he would continue playing in the next few games at similar levels then I would be glad to see him benched for new options. But not after just one average showing.

    • Fan Futbol says:

      JJ had the worst night of any player by far. It was also obvious he was in preseason form. His Nats performances are inconsistent, and I’ve repeatedly said Cameron should be given a starting run at D-Mid, but JJ is one of the very-few “never benched” Klinsi guys. And it’s tough to see JK sending a message to Jones with CR away and Mexico at home quals coming.

  37. Brett says:

    Evans had a very good game. I’m actually starting to feel comfortable seeing him on the right flank.

    Mix at 4.5 is slightly underrated here. He didn’t warrant anything above or below an average grade. He should have earned a PK, and maybe that would have changed the rhythm of the game. I really like his style. He’s a good depth guy and links up well between the lines.

    I agree with the assessment of Aron Johannsson. He was so lively and composed and his touch was flawless. He was only a bounce away from a goal and possibly more. Dempsey and Donovan had better stay on their game because this kid is entering his prime and he’s coming. I had watched him at Aarhus on some streams and I’ve seen highlights here and there, but after yesterday I see why Iceland was so ticked at him switching. I was a bit hesitant to endorse him for 2014 but now I don’t see how we can keep him off the pitch, let alone the plane.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Not calling you out here, but I am starting to think that people rate fullbacks based on what they do going forward rather than job one, which is defending. Evans was attacked all night and gave up a LOT of corners.I am not comfortable with him at all.

      On a night where we gave up three goals, I can’t see how anyone on the backline rates even average, let alone getting a six.

      • Seb says:

        @TiQ. That is exactly how most people grade defenders, this site included. Incorrect, but definitely how it’s done.

      • DS says:

        He gave up a bunch of corners because he was able to block a number of crosses. I haven’t been fully convinced by Evans (I’d prefer that we didn’t have to play converted midfielders at either fullback spot – especially ones who converted so late in their careers), but I do have to say I was impressed that he was able to cut out a number of balls the Bosnian wingers were trying to feed into the box (which resulted in corners).

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          Well, that’s sort of a good news bad news deal. He was getting beaten, and they were getting the cross off. A lot of them. But he did manage to knock them out. But a better full back doesn’t let them get them off and forces them to knock the ball back to a mid.

  38. Brett says:

    And Brooks showed why in a year’s time he will be our best defender. I was very impressed. Very clean on the tackle and good with his quick distribution out of danger. It’s a shame we probably won’t get to see Besler and Brooks play together.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Why don’t you think they will play together in the WC qualifiers?

      • Benny Dargle says:

        They are both left footed and that isn’t ideal in a center back pairing.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          if a left-footed CB is better in the RCB slot than any of your right-footed CBs, you still play him there.

          • Fan Futbol says:

            This. We will see Besler and JAB together.

          • Hunt Daddy says:

            I don’t understand why people think that is such a big deal? How is it any different than having 2 right footed CBs? Or two right footed CMs? It’s international soccer- you can’t (shouldn’t) play in the center of the field if you can’t play with both feet. Plus Besler is comfortable with his right and Brooks appeared comptent with his last night.

  39. HoboMike says:

    I still love Jones, but I’m starting to wonder if we wouldn’t be better off with Bradley as the lone holding mid against lesser teams. I could certainly see this against any team in CONCACAF (except Mexico), and any team in the WC in which we are expected to have lion’s share of possession:

    ———Dempsey———-Jozy———————–
    FJohnson————Donovan————-Zusi—–
    ——————-Bradley——————————–
    Beasley——Besler——–Gonzalez—-Evans

    Against stronger teams, we we could probably run with:

    ———————–Jozy————————–
    —————-Dempsey————————-
    FJohnson—Bradley—Jones—-Donovan

    Same back line.

    • Josh D says:

      Having Donovan and Bradley as your two CMs is too attacking. Donovan doesn’t know the position nor is he good at tackling or closing space.

      I’d rather we see Bradley and Mix together if you’re looking for a more attack-minded, but still possession focused, tandem. It’s the closest we have to a Bradley/Holden combo.

      Jones was only let down by his first touch and final ball. Those two will improve over the season and I think Jones will ultimately prove to be an important part of Brazil 2014. His tenacity and drive are too valuable.

      • Ross says:

        I like both Mix and Jones. Bradley/Jones against the tougher teams and Mix/Bradley against weaker teams. Or you can bring in Mix for more offense. Leave Donovan on the wing.

  40. RB says:

    Not sure how Evans gets a 6.0 and a “stout defense” given his approach of stopping and hand-waving that arguably cost a goal. He nearly gets there to lead it off the line of at the least, to be an extra defender in the way, on Bosnia’s 2nd goal. If he’d just kept running instead of flailing for the call from the AR, we could well have been down just 1-0 at the half.

    • RB says:

      *to clear it off the line or at the least

      (phone posting!)

      • HoboMike says:

        I wonder if that stupid hand waving is wired into every defender’s DNA. It’s incredibly annoying to watch.

        • Nate says:

          But one of these days, an assistant ref is going to look at all those hands in the air and say to himself, “You know what? Maybe that guys WAS offside!”

          • RB says:

            Yeah, but yesterday, it at least helped cost us a goal.

            Evans was flailing those hands on the other Bosnia goal, as well, actually.

    • Josh D says:

      I thought Evans played well, surprisingly well. With a performance like that and three years younger, we’d talk about him going to Europe. He even attacked a few times.

      6.0 would be a fair grade, but these grades are very low and a bit harsh so 6.0 comes off looking really good. Given everyone else’s grade, a 5.5 would be fair for him.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I’m with you. Thought he had a rough night and made some bizarre positioning decisions. I’m with Twellman – Dolo is going to have a lot to say about right back before we’re done here.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I’m sorry but realistically Dolo is like Holden or Boca or Gooch healthwise of late, and then whatever’s going on with Chandler and JK knocks out that choice, and that’s how we got to where we are anyway. The whole reason Evans is playing is a sequence of failures ahead of him and then he has been most quietly consistent compared to other potential choices like Cameron.

        • Jody says:

          I agree. It seems unlikely to me that Dolo will be able to get past his injuries and get back to his former self. Dude will be 35 for the World Cup and just had 2 consecutive knee injuries. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping for the best. It just seems unlikely, so it surprises me to see so many people assume he will be back.

  41. Josh D says:

    Because it was a game of two halves, it’s hard to grade.

    Mix, I thought played well. He dug in, created a few opportunities. But he didn’t control the game and that’s what we needed from him. In his defense, that was a position he’s not used to and seeing how the rest of the team played, even Dempsey would have struggled in that role. I would have given him a 5.5.

    Johnson deserves his poor grade, and with Aron’s fantastic appearance, can we retire EJ once more? Sure he scored, but he was at fault for the first goal and his decision making is terrible, and to make matters worse it’s slow.

    I thought Fabian struggled a lot in the first half. As much as we want him to be a LB, he showed in the second half that he’s much better as a winger. Although I had my doubts about Beasley before, after yesterday, he’s my starting LB for Brazil at the moment.

    Castillo was a big surprise. After a poor Gold Cup, I think he rewarded Klinsi for his trust. He was solid attacking and dug in defensively. I do fear he’s the same as Fabian though and will ultimately get found out as a LB, especially as he no longer plays that role for club.

    Brooks was shaky, but he was always going to be. I thought he played as well as he could have given the situation. Cameron again showed he’s fine as a CB every once in awhile, but he isn’t comfortable with the position.

    Jones did play poorly, but it was his final touch and pass that let him down. Both of those will get better once the season really kicks off. Bradley was reliable.

    Bedoya surprised me and I’ll shut up now about him. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in France.

    Jozy – a soccer god.

    • biff says:

      “I thought Fabian struggled a lot in the first half. As much as we want him to be a LB, he showed in the second half that he’s much better as a winger”

      Agreed, Fabian was not impressive at all at LB, Castillo much better. And, yes, Fabian was better as a winger. But still, he was not that good and I think we have better options at left wing than Fabian, who I think is in danger of losing his starter status. A lot of this hinges on if he can win back his starting spot at Hoffenheim.

      • Jordy says:

        Really? Like who? Donovan is the only one I think is arguable. Johnson has had an assist to Altidore in the last three games they’ve played together. Zusi is a hustler, but Fabian’s speed, dribbling, and passing in the final third have been a big part of the USMNT’s success as of late. I’m expecting Altidore, Fabian, Dempsey, and Donovan up front fro the World Cup.

        • biff says:

          As I said someplace on this thread, Fabian’s assist yesteday was well done. But that was the only highlight of note and the rest of game at both LB and LM was generally average to weak. I think it could be argued that the USMNT’s attack with Fabian was superior or at least on the same level as what we saw in June with Fabian in the WCQs.

          • peterprinciple says:

            I like fabian the LM more than Biff, but I can’t shake the feeling that Jurgen really wants Brek Shea to be the ultimate option there. Which of course involves him healing AND returning to form- then growing into a consistent player from there. Might be a bit mush to ask in 11 months

            • Bac says:

              Pete, I remember JK’s comments about not counting Shea out… I think he wants him healthy and contributing, but I think that’s because he wants his spark off the bench. I don’t see any coach rating Shea higher than Fabian… no way- FJ is a complete player, can attack from the wing and cut in with both feet, can defend, and is a full time starter in Bund… no way he rates Shea higher

          • Hunt Daddy says:

            Fabian Johnson is just coming back from an injury that cut his preseason a bit short. Once he is fit and in midseason form he’ll be back to normal. That’s prob why JK gave him 90 mins, to help him regain fitness.

    • Doug says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head regarding EJ. His goal was a gift from Jozy’s awesome first touch. Not only did he play poorly and give away the ball trying to make a “killer move” to create space, he also suffers after being compared to an electric AJ performance. AJ came on and played like he was on fire.

      With regard to Jones, he is so frustrating to watch. I love it when he plays hard and wins the ball but I hate it when he plays reckless. His giveaways always seem to deflate an attack or initiate a counter. Although he will, no doubt, make the WC team – I think he is at risk of losing his spot on the field to someone if they step up and demonstrate they are the perfect compliment to MB. Cameron perhaps – but can we really exclude Beckerman from consideration – or Holden (if he is back in form)?

      • Fan Futbol says:

        Holden won’t be ready for Brazil ’14. Beckerman’s great at the Gold Cup level but not athletic enough against top teams. Cameron and Edu are two plausible choices to replace Jones. You and me and everyone else wants to give Cameron a shot. He knows his role as the line protector, and does not wander like Jones, which allows Bradley to play mini-Pirlo. If we qualify early, or Jones gets injured/suspended, Klinsi will do it. Otherwise tough to see.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I will be shocked if Beckerman is not on the WC squad. Klinsmann loves what Kyle brings to the team.

  42. Dennis says:

    This game reenforces what I thought of Mix, he is a skilled player, and he has some good ideas, but he tends to play too slowly and must get stronger on the ball, else when he faces strong opposition, he will give away the ball too often in bad spots.
    I thought Jones looked like he had not played much in the last several weeks (probably right), his touches were not sharp and he was not his usual self in winning the ball and recovering. I would chalk that up to not being in mid-season form. One of the next 2 qualifiers will tell us more.
    I thought Cameron showed why Stoke is using him as a midfielder and right back, he does not always seem comfortable being the last defender.
    Evans had a very good game, this was a very good team and except for giving away a few more corners than I might like, he was pretty effective in stopping the attack on his side. Also, he made a couple decent crosses in the first half, but with only a single massively out-numbered forward they came to nothing.
    Bradley had one bad give-away in the first half, but it came to nothing., thinks I think to Brooks. Else he was the engine that made the team work.
    JAB had a great game for a young player facing a very strong attack. I step slow to the ball on the last goal, but looked pretty solid but for that.
    AJ made at least 3 opportunities for himself. Unfortunately, in the end, they were fairly predictable for the keeper. Still he was the only US player outside of FJ who looked like he could dribble at the defense successfully. (Those dribbles are tough for defenders to deal with when they are getting accustomed to simply cutting off p@sses and the success of those dribbles usually means the p@sses get easier to complete, so even if the shots don’t quire come off, the dribbles are effective in unsettling the defense; it is a talent whose importance is hard to overstate.)

    • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

      Totally agree with this assessment. AJ up top with Altidore is something i want to see more of once September rolls around.

    • Addage says:

      Also agree re AJ

      It’s his first game with his teammates. As the familiarity increases, we will same others make runs off the ball that give him a passing lane. Last night, he only had the option to shoot. GK was more than ready.

  43. Chris H says:

    Here’s my opinion:
    Great offense second half, unfortunate first half that a few bounces and calls did not go our way.
    I am increasingly frustrated with Jermaine Jones, I don’t think he deserves to start, I know he is a great player who has accomplished great things and plays at a high level, but he doesn’t show it CONSISTENTLY for the national team, instead, he shows ridiculous runs that lose possession, and how to give up on a play when it doesn’t go your way. annoying. He does make the occasional beautiful pass, but that doesn’t excuse flopping, whining, giving up, etc. When he plays his best, he is a beast, unfortunately I think a good benching is needed to bring out his best.

    Lineup I would like to see next. Please note that if Brooks has an outstanding year in the Bund then he replaces Gonzo. If not, and Orozco has a great year, I’d rather see him in the lineup. If Cherundolo gets fully fit, I like him over Evans. I know Zusi is doing great, and should have a place, but when it comes down to it, I think Donovan is a bigger threat (that said, I admit Zusi could bring goals by crossing balls into Deuce and Goalzy). Until Cameron has a bad game as destroyer, I’d start him over Jones. Also, if Deuce gets things going well in Seattle and can play the RM spot, I’d swap him and Dono.

    —————–Alitidore——–
    —————————Dempsey——–
    Fabian————-Bradley————Donovan
    —————–Cameron—————————
    Beasley——–Besler——–Gonzo——Evans
    ———————-Howard——————

    • biff says:

      I like that one a lot, all except one slot. I would much rather see Timothy Chandler starting at right back.

      • HoboMike says:

        Did I just read that correctly???

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i’m gonna go ahead and assume:
        a) this is sarcasm OR
        b) this isn’t the ‘biff’ we know

        • biff says:

          Ha-ha. But seriously, I would like to know whether Klinsmann simply did not call up Chandler for yesterday’s game or whether he invited Chandler and Timothy declined. Seems to me like a simple and valid and key question that a sports reporter would ask Klinsmann.

          • Jacknut says:

            Still coming back from injury and incredibly out of form.

          • bryan says:

            dude, JK already cleared that up. he said Chandler simply didn’t make the cut. he was too low on the depth chart. he said it doesn’t mean anything other than that. but Chandler was not called up for this game because there were people ahead of him on the depth chart.

            • biff says:

              yeah? i didn’t see that.

            • biff says:

              I see that now from none other than Brian Straus. Thanks for the heads up. That is good to know, means the door should finally be wide open for Erich Lichaj if Klinsmann has lost faith in his fave Chandler.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I like Chandler and feel he offers more upside than any healthy RB in the pool currently, but something is off, and if he’s not called for this game or so many others recently when will he get called? I doubt he gets the call for the next set of qualis either, because this game was a tryout of sorts for people who missed the summer or were borderline.

      • bryan says:

        holy #$@! biff, i’m speechless.

    • AlexH says:

      I like this lineup. This is basically the team that put us at the top of the table and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It swaps out Jones for Cameron and Zusi for Donovan but that is probably the right call right now. I hope JK gives LIchaj a shot because I think the fullback positions are the most in need of an upgrade at the moment and the kid should be allowed to compete for them.

    • bryan says:

      i’d like to see Bradley/Mix combo as well. either way, Jones will be the starter for awhile unless he has a total collapse.

      • biff says:

        I would say JJ90Y has a couple more chance to redeem himself. If he shows poorly in September Klinsmann will have to make a change in October and unlike others who say it will never happen, I disagree. Klinsmann will drop him like a ton of bricks if he loses form.

        • bryan says:

          right, IF he collapses. but i don’t see it happening yet because he hasn’t had a full collapse. we’ll see though, hopefully he has a good season.

  44. Dan says:

    Kljestan should be higher. Best USMNT match I’ve seen from him.

  45. Steve says:

    If I had to pick 23 as of today, this is my selection:

    FW: Altidore, E. Johnson, Donovan, Johannson, Dempsey
    MID: F. Johnson, Corona, Bradley, Jones, Cameron, Zusi, Bedoya
    DEF: Beasley, Castillo, Besler, Brooks, Gonzalez, Goodson, Evans, Parkhurst
    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando

    Just outside: Boyd, Mix, Edu, Beckerman, Shea, Orozco-Fiscal, Dolo, Chandler, S. Johnson

    • Dinho says:

      I like it…for the most part. A couple thoughts:

      1. You don’t need Gonzo, Goodson and Brooks. You leave one of them at home and bring Orozco.

      2. If Dolo is healthy, you bring him before Parkhurst.

      3. I have a hard time leaving Mix at home (although you may be right).

      But, well done.

      • bryan says:

        i do agree that Orozco-Fiscal should be there. i’m not sold i would swap him the same as you though.

    • mb says:

      i like this. thoughts:

      Dolo- can probably make his way onto the roster if he gets and stays healthy thru the club season. scary if he gets hurt at WC though.
      Shea- I think he still finds away onto the roster b/c he is just such an offensive wildcard to throw on late in the game.
      Jones- as i keep saying, i don’t trust him. i certainly don’t think he should be a starter and if he doesn’t play well for his club, he shouldn’t make the roster. i don’t see him being a positive bench presence.
      Klejstan/Mix- i think both can play themselves onto this roster with strong MNT and club performances.
      EJ- i think a dip in form and emergence of johannson could see him dropped for someone like Shea, Boyd, or Gomez.

      overall, this is a strong roster and one that i think can truly compete with any team. exciting times these are.

    • braineater000 says:

      I’d rather see Mix and Beckerman than Jones and Cameron, personally. I’ve just never really been impressed with Jones or Cameron.

    • Hunt Daddy says:

      Looks good for the most part.

      I agree with Dinho- no need for Besler, Brooks, Gonzo, Goodson if Cameron is going. And, if Dolo is healthy and fit he goes because that back line desperately needs leadership.

      I don’t see a need for Castillo with Beasley and Johnson on the roster.

      Mix over Corona. Kljestan for Castillo as extra CM cover. Shea for Brooks as a super sub.

  46. The Imperative Voice says:

    Let’s be real, though, the players who excelled, like Jozy and Bradley, were never any doubt anyway, they were brought in to maintain the core since they were already in Europe. With the exception of Johannson I felt like a lot of the people who profited by the game were the ones idle last night, but who were previously involved in the qualis.

    I mean, only Evans didn’t embarrass himself much in the back; a lot of the attackers besides Jozy had mixed bag or quiet nights. So there were no real answers to the defense, and I didn’t see many of the Gold Cup attackers making an undisputed claim to an incumbency.

    • peterprinciple says:

      I agree. Beasley should love last night, Klins obviously wants Fabian to be the LB, but kid just can’t handle it. The good news for us is that he is an International class LM. Castillo was OK, but Beasley was still better.
      The CB tandom played like you would expect the #4 and5 choices to play. Evans was fine, seems that’s about as much as anyone can say about any of our RBs.

      Mix, Joe, Bedoya all held up well, but didnt do anything to push Zusi, Donovan or Dempsey down. EJ was bad at mid, but showed he could play up top if they need him. His secondary run onto the goal was well done as well. Then there is Jones. He is plenty good enough, but the things he does takes away from the things our actual best player can do.

  47. Scott e Dio93 says:

    I would give :

    Brooks 4.5 but with positive spin on it.

    Eddie Johnson 4. Eddie Johnson is good enough for CONCACAF but Eddie Johnson isn’t good enough for this International level, his career on abroad is proof it.

  48. Lost in Space says:

    Overall was very impressed with the way the team played yesterday. With the performances displayed over the past 2 months I’m very excited to see who JK and staff bring in over the next 4 qualifiers. IMO we still have some weaknesses (outside backs, Inexperienced CB’s, etc….) but am looking forward to the players & ultimately the teams continued development.
    I may not be sold on our current Wing Defenders, What our best formation may be, or who should be starting where……but I am sold on what JK and the Players have accomplished and look forward to finishing a strong run to qualifiers….and the World Cup.
    Next Question will be how to pick 23-25 players from the pool of players who have impressed….
    Attack: Jozy, Donovan, Dempsey, Johannsson, EJ, Gomez, Boyd, Agudelo, Wood, (OTHERS – ?)
    Midfield: Bradley, Jones, F. Johnson, Zusi, Diskerud, Bedoya, Corona, Edu, D. Williams, Kljestan, Shea, Torres, Beckerman, Gyau, (OTHERS – ?)
    Defense: Beasley, Chandler, Evans, Dolo, Parkhurst, Lichaj, Castillo, Cameron, Besler, Gonzalez, Goodson, Brooks, Orozco, (OTHERS – ?)
    Keepers: Howard, Guzan, Rimando, S. Johnson, Hamid, (OTHERS – ?)
    Am excited to see how this plays out over the next 6 months.

    • Dennis says:

      Clearly JK has a lot of hard choices to make. If you told me any player except Bradley, Altidore, Dempsey or Howard would lose his presumed starting spot I would not be surprised (but I’m not all that sure about Howard and Dempsey). Things seem to be very dynamic right now and with relatively few games left, any player who has a bad couple of games could lose out to someone who steps in and performs well. (I just don’t see any players in the pool who have the capabilities of Altidore and Bradley so can’t see who would replace them.) There are lots of choices at nearly every position where good arguments can be made for more than one player being the preferred starter.

      • Bitman says:

        Spot on. Third after Bradley and Altidore would be Fabian Johnson, but even he is not as locked in as are those two.

        Exciting times.

        • biff says:

          After yesterday’s performance Fabian is very far from locked in…

        • paulwp says:

          I would go further and say just Bradley. I could see our lineup working fine with anybody else out… but who replaces MB’s skill set? The only one in our pool is Holden… we know how that is… The next one? Jones? Mixx? We’d be screwed.

  49. Jim says:

    —————–Wondowlowski——–
    —————————Wondowlowski——–
    Wondowlowski————-Wondowlowski————Wondowlowski
    —————–Wondowlowski—————————
    Wondowlowski——–Wondowlowski——–Wondowlowski——Wondowlowski
    ———————-Howard——————

  50. Mr_A says:

    Ives, I think you should just give solid numbers, not halfsies. Taking a stand on a number its better than half a stand, and will better show what you truly think about how EJ compared to Evans, for example. And EJ was def worse than you gave.

    And if you’re going to organize the comments with most recent at the top, it’s easier to make the ”add comment” section up top as well. And comments about comments should be expandable/collapsable for better reading. Love the site anyway, just hoping for that some time.

  51. Bill says:

    SBI would have a disclaimer about ratings. If you need a disclaimer, you’re doing a poor job

  52. Gary Page says:

    Let’s give credit where it is due. Klinsmann has fashioned a team that, depending on the draw, could make a deep run in the WC. There is serious competition at almost every position on the team. When someone like Dzeko scores a header like he did while Brooks was on him is more because Dzeko is a world class player than because of any failing by Brooks. People in Bosnia won’t soon forget the name Altidore. A few random thoughts. I saw Tijuana Xolos play Pumas last week and Corona was really good and Xolos played like Klinsmann wants the US to play–constant pressure and attacking. Both Castillo and Corona have shown the ability to play this way. The US is blessed with talent like never before. Jones had a terrible game, but everyone does occasionally; it is much too soon to write him off. I’m sure he will be starting in Costa Rica. When EJ is playing defense, he needs to just get the ball out of there. Still he has the speed to get behind defenders like no other US player and so he will be kept on the team for that reason. Don’t forget he saved the bacon for the US in the rain storm in Antigua and Barbuda.

    • Riggity21 says:

      That song u did with Diddy for the Godzilla movie was sickkk

      • peterprinciple says:

        Klinsy deserves credit for building depth AND now being able to play 2 different formations…Can they hang onto their form? Is this the new “normal” for american footy? I hope so!

  53. AlexH says:

    Tim Howard did better than a 6.5. None of the scores were his fault and he stopped everything that could be stopped and was were he needed to be. Can’t ask for more than that.

    Mix did better than a 4.5! He was unlucky not to get the PK and was the most active player we had in the first half.

    Brad Evans needs to be docked a point for waving his hand instead of playing defense on the first 2 goals. It wouldn’t have made a difference with the second but he had a chance of stopping the first had he focused on playing the game rather than playing the linesman.

    • Ben James says:

      In Evans’ defense, Brooks and Cameron both raised their hands as well on the first goal, which caused them to hesitate getting back and stopping the rebound shot.

    • Beto says:

      Agreed on Mix and Timmy. Evans was the most stable part of the defensive line deserves his 6

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t see where Evans comes into it. The problems I saw were CBs getting caught out of position on the offsides traps, FJ getting beat to the line at LB, and a general failure to rally back to the ball fast enough in situations where the goal did not get knocked in immediately. You could also chide Brooks slightly for being on Dzeko’s back on the header goal instead of goalside (sometimes being goalside means more like side-on), because then maybe he can step in between, whereas his only hope posted up is the cross is long. In fairness, running the trap is difficult and I thought Dzeko’s header was the sort of thing that might go in even if you’re positioned right.

      But, getting back to where I started, little of this was Evans’ fault. I’m not his biggest fan but he was the least problematic or culpable of the bunch.

    • Hunt Daddy says:

      It looked like Evans reacted the fastest of the 3 covering the goal line. I think that’s harsh on him.

  54. Joe says:

    OMG. My comment was moderated. All I did was post an opinion contrary to Ives. No slander, no ad hominem attacks, nothing out of line other than my opinion. What a joke!

  55. Bean says:

    Cameron was definitely in preseason form against a very dangerous attacking side. It also didn’t help that midfielders were losing the ball in dangerous places.

    • DCUffda! says:

      Cameron looked about the same as he did the last time he played CB, if I recall correctly, vs Honduras.

      Common denominator between the poor communication that allowed Honduras to score GWG and the US not reacting quickly enough to EJ’s unforgivable give away…Cameron.

      If he is going to be in the CB mix then he needs to play CB at his club. otherwise RB and DM are his 2 positions.

      • Bean says:

        I agree, he is out of form, like I said before. When he was playing CB he looked much better, and had a great match at Azteca. I’m not so sure that he can beat Huth out of his spot at Stoke, so barring injury, I think that he’ll be a midfielder again, or a fullback.

  56. sushant says:

    Seeing the play of Aron & Jozy, I think we need to have more (all?) of our offensive players train with AZ. Jozy in his time at AZ has improved so much and Aron, man, wait till he plays with the first team a bit more. He’s really something as well.

    Imagine if player like Mix, Corona, Bedoya, etc got some time with AZ and developed their offensive game (movement off the ball, moves with the ball, etc) more?

    I think if Adu is ever going to get back to the USMNT, he’s going to need to go to AZ first :-)

    None of the defensive players should go there though. They give up lots of goals.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Like that wasn’t an eredivisie score anyway (4-3)? Ditto these other friendlies. Even the Gold Cup we give up one and score a few.

      Worth throwing in that JK seems to have some affection for wingbacks who can get forward, to the point where I think he sometimes overlooks defensive issues in his selection (eg, Castillo, FJ). That may result precisely in the eredivisie scenario where the player helps you both score and be scored upon. I used to have that opinion of Spector when he was a pool regular.

  57. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’m surprised the CB discussion has been more about Brooks than Cameron because Cameron was repeatedly getting caught wrong side of his man all night. My standard opinion on Cameron as a CB dating back to the Dynamo is he is a strong intuitive defender if the play is in front of him and fairly direct, but that he can get caught sleeping or over-aggressively out of position in a more subtle approach. Felt like yesterday was an object lesson in that weakness, which I think he shares with Gonzalez.

    • Bean says:

      Dzeko tends to put a hurt on teams. An out of form CB, and a young inexperienced CB were no match for the Bosnian attack. Fortunately the Bosnian central defense was worse.

  58. The Other Jeff says:

    Harder than usual to assign individual player ratings in some of these cases, because of coaching decisions. Two CBs who had never played together before. An attack-minded outside mid (EJ) playing in front of an attack-minded LB (FJ) which left a void that BH adjusted to exploit in the first half (thanks to Evans and Bedoya shutting down the right wing – have not seen anyone give Bedoya his due for his part in that). Mix tossed into a too-congested part of the field underneath Jozy. I have no problem with JK continuing his mad-scientist ways and trying this out to see what happens in a friendly, esp. since he so deftly fixed everything at half time and brought out a tremendous performance. But ratings from the first half are pretty complicated to assign to some of these individuals.

  59. Kyle B says:

    Mix wasn’t all that bad. Did well showing for the ball and pressing high when it was lost. Had a great turn that should have been a penalty. He does need to get used to the more physical play that comes with the international game.

    EJ had a horrendous game from the go. Wasted two great chances 1 on 1 in the box (jozy showed him how to do it later), was completely at fault for the first goal. And generally stood on top of the central midfielders not allowing them any space to operate. Sure he tapped in a goal, but really didn’t add much up top except to give jozy a bit more time and space which was all down to the formation change. Think EJ (and Herc for that matter) on the outside is done as we have enough options (Zusi, Corona, Torres, FJ, Castillo, Beasley, Shea, Bedoya) where they should no longer have to play out of position. Still EJ can contribute at FWD and this doesn’t undo the good he has done in much more meaningful games.

  60. Joe A. says:

    And lost in all the commotion is the fact that sacha kljestan actually had a decent game for the nats.

  61. AH says:

    Aron Johannsson looked awesome in his short appearance.

    I have to temper my enthusiasm by reminding myself that the first few times I saw Timmy Chandler play, I thought we had an absolute world class outside back in the making. His skill, his technical ability, his speed bombing down the wing to whip in dangerous balls. Lately (commitment issues aside) on the rare occasion when he’s played for country and on the occasions I see him playing for club, he just doesn’t look good at all. I have no idea what happened to him.

    So short promising stints can fool you… But I’m still pretty fired up about Johannsson.

  62. Joe A. says:

    If I were Brek Shea I’d be worried about Aron Johannson

  63. Scott says:

    “gave up the ball too cheaply on a pair of occasions”? If by pair, you mean every 5 minutes. I like JJ, but he was a turnover machine that should have been subbed earlier. Very poor outing and another game that showed that Bradley looks better with a different partner. JJ seems to alternate between MOM and maybe he is not the partner for Bradley.

  64. bottlcaps says:

    I think it was unfair to give both Cameron a 4 and then give Brooks a 5.5 when both were equally responsible for two of the three goals. To be fair to both of them, they came into the game in pre-season form, and looked it.

    The same could be said for the Bosnians, where all of them were preparing for their domestic season or their foreign league season. It make Altidore’s feat all the more significant.

    • jake says:

      Brooks was the final guy before Howard from the 10th to the 89th. The goals all happened when he wasn’t the last line of defense, except that last one.

      Yeah, that last goal….his fault. He had a great night for his DEBUT, without that last goal he could have been a 6.5/7.

  65. Malcolm says:

    I don’t have an issue with most of the grades, but I think Bradley played as well , if not better, than Altidore. Granted, putting the ball in the net is important, but Bradley was involved in almost all the goals. Also, I think Klinsi should have made him the captain – no disrespect to Timmy.

    • AH says:

      Goalkeepers should never be captain. Yeah I said it.

      • Mike says:

        So Buffon should not captain Italy?

        I understand where you’re coming from but c’mon…

        • Seriously says:

          Buffon will actually come out and do captain stuff, he doesn’t care where the fouls take place.

          In all seriousness though, why not Pirlo? Goalkeepers as captains just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when they can’t do the actual job that comes with wearing the armband like a field player can.

  66. KingGoogleyEye says:

    btw, Does anyone know why the US played in the Where’s Waldo kit for this match? I thought the “senior” squad had graduated to the nice new kit that they’re wearing in qualifiers and that’s why the so-called B-team played as Waldos in the Gold Cup. But here the “seniors” were in stripes again.

    Maybe the new kit is for bona fide World Cup matches only?

    • billy says:

      The grown-up kit (white jersey, large crest, blue shorts), which I also prefer, was officially the Centennial kit, meaning it was for celebrating the anniversary over the summer and no more. Sadly they’re back to the “real” kit, i.e., the hoops. Even the warm-ups are back to the terrible Windows ’95 Clip Art US Soccer crest, from the lovely large stars & stripes crest we enjoyed over the summer. Someone should start a petition.

  67. Mueller says:

    I don’t care if he loses the ball. I love the nasty of Jermaine Jones. Poor Neymar.

    link to youtube.com

  68. downintexas says:

    Sacha’s mustache gets a 8.

  69. billy says:

    A thought: could Bedoya play fullback? Has the lungs, athleticism, could overlap suitably, seems a quality defender tracking back from MF. Seems at least as plausible as Brad Evans would have in March of this year. Discuss.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I like the idea, but I’m more concerned about the apparent frontrunner at LB (Beasley) than RB (Evans). So, if we lock qualification early and can afford to experiment against a team still trying to qualify (you know, so they are fighting hard), I’d love to see Bedoya at RB and Shea at LB—with Zusi as RM and FabJo at LM.

      (I know this line-up would leave Donovan or Dempsey on the bench, but the point isn’t to identify The Starting Eleven, it is to identify some possibilities.)

      Also, one small defense of Brad Evans. You said, “[Bedoya] seems at least as plausible as Brad Evans would have in March of this year.” That’s true in large part, but Brad Evans is a very smart player who has played multiple positions for his club. That combination of experience and intelligence makes him a good candidate for playing “out of position.” (By no means am I saying that Bedoya is dumb, of course.)

  70. Addage says:

    Klinsy

    It might be useful to take a stroll down memory lane.

    6-12 months ago, many lamented that US played the same as under Bradley and that we had a rigid, unimaginative roster of players.

    Today, we can have real arguments about who should start in most positions. Coach K has developed the player pool extremely well.

    There is clearly a Klinsmann style that the team plays and that is be instituted all the way through the development system. And it is attractive, entertaining, offense focused soccer.

    Bless you Juergen. And kudos to Gulati.