USA VS HONDURAS PLAYER GRADES
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
ANDY SCHREUR - Thursday, February 7, 2013
Could things have been different with Landon Donovan and Captain Carlos Bocanegra in the lineup?

Starters:

Tim Howard: 6
Howard made some big saves and allowed the US to stay in the match. Hardly to blame for the first-half bicycle kick golazo and the defensive error leading to the second goal.

Fabian Johnson: 4.5
He didn't have a huge impact on the match and was not able to push forward as Klinsmann would have wanted.

Geoff Cameron: 3.5
Not a great match from Cameron and his blunder lead to Honduras' second goal. He also missed several clearances in the first half and did not seem to communicate well with Omar Gonzalez.

Omar Gonzalez: 3.5
Gonzalez struggled in first competitive match as a USMNT defender. He was not confident on the ball but did have several headed clearances, using his 6-foot-5 frame.

Timothy Chandler: 3.5
Chandler is now cup-tied to the US and seemed to be targeted by Honduras all match long. His failed clearance in the first half lead to the first Honduras goal and he was mostly unable to push the ball forward on the right side.

Danny Williams: 4.5
Williams was not at his best on Wednesday and looked a bit rusty on the ball. However, he was steady with his short passes but did not have a big impact and was not comfortable on the outside.

Michael Bradley: 6
Bradley was the USMNT's best outfield player against Honduras, looking confident and running box-to-box the entire match.

Eddie Johnson: 4
Johnson was on the field to provide speed on the wing, which he did well when Altidore nearly directed in his cross in the first half. Otherwise, he was dispossessed on several occasions and was clearly exhausted going into the second half.

Jermaine Jones: 4.5
Despite his beautiful assist on Clint Dempsey's goal, Jones struggled in the first half and looked tired throughout. Chandler and Jones did not seem to communicate well on the right side of defense and were constantly under pressure.

Clint Dempsey: 5.5
Dempsey's beautiful one-touch strike in the first half was one of the best goals in recent USMNT history. Otherwise, he was frustrated by not receiving the ball near the 18-yard box and was forced to drop further into midfield to provide pressure.

Jozy Altidore: 4.5
Altidore was the lone forward and was forced to try to track down long ball after long ball, which is not his game. He struggled to get the ball in attacking position and worked hard to chase down long balls from the midfield.

Substitutes:

Maurice Edu: 4.5
Edu came on for Williams in the second half and was largely a non-factor.

Graham Zusi: 4
Zusi came on to provide width and crossing. Neither really happened and nearly picked up a yellow card after a hard foul and handled the ball in an attacking position just outside the box in the 76th minute.

Sacha Kljestan: 5
Kljestan was an improvement in midfield for the short time he was on but he is essentially out of position out wide.

Coaching:

Jurgen Klinsmann: 2
The offense continues to be anemic despite the assurances from Klinsmann. Putting Altidore alone up top while playing a defensive midfield clearly did not create enough chances on goal. The US is clearly missing speed on the outside with the absence of Landon Donovan. Jones and Williams are holding midfielders being played outside and out of position. Pairing Omar Gonzalez (in his first competitive USMNT match) with Geoff Cameron, who is not playing central defense with Stoke City, in a hostile road environment, was not a sound decision. The decision to bench Captain Carlos Bocanegra in favor of Gonzalez backfired for Klinsmann today and will raise even more questions about the future back four of the United States.
DaBurgh
Friday February 8, 2013 8:19 pm
I feel Altidores rating is a little low. I thought h put a lot of pressure on the Honduras center baks when they had the ball. It could have translated into some nice turnovers if EDdie Johnson and jermane jones would have been ready to add some pressure. That's why jk needs to play natural wingers in stead of def mids out wide...
Termite
Friday February 8, 2013 7:32 pm
#1 - Once again Howard gets a pass - yes, he made some good saves, but he came out on the 2d, mistimed his run (maybe the grass), and missed the ball (was he only bending over? if so maybe he should have dived). If you come, you better get it - at least put a proper tackle in. And i dont see it as a situation where he couldnt have held his line with the particular positioning of all the attackers and defenders at that moment. He could have waited it out or succeeded and he did neither. To me, that was glaring but maybe i dont know squat about keeping. And yes, of course the other 2 screwed up - i just dont know why he always gets a pass and gets the highest rating on the team.

#2 - Bradley was the other top player, as you have ranked him. He was off his game, and his set pieces were horrible. His worst game for the nats in awhile

#3 - Harsh on EJ - MOM until moved up front

#4 - Q mark was NOT a 5, geeze louise, he couldn't do anything on the wing. Constantly muscled off, shanked a cross to the keeper, dribbled out of space,etc - terrible performance, magnifying the stupidity of even bringing him in
Andy
Thursday February 7, 2013 4:55 pm
Fair criticism...in rewatching some of Kljestan, a 5 was too high. He's always played out of position with the USMNT and his ball awareness yesterday under pressure on the wing was...not good.
ilya
Thursday February 7, 2013 12:49 pm
Bradley, Williams, Dempsey, Kljestan - are overrated, Altidore, EJ, Jones underrated - but this is not important.

Watch Honduras-USA from the previous cycle. On paper the current team is better, but in fact - much worse.

We criticized Bob Bradley for defensive tactics. Forget about it. Comparing with Klinsmann, BB was a tiger.

Klinsmann looks a little bit naive complaining for tired Europeans when he could use Mexico based players: Gomez, Torres, Castillo. The substitutions were absolutely terrible.
camparkinson
Thursday February 7, 2013 11:08 am
I completely agree, how in the hell does Sacha get a 5?! Every time he got the ball he lost it, he's slow and yea he has the skills to possess the ball but somehow never was able to... subs are supposed to provide energy and a spark and he did nothing to change the game at all.
Charles
Thursday February 7, 2013 5:04 am
Correction: Chandler IS cap-tied to the USMNT.
Quin
Thursday February 7, 2013 4:41 am
The fact you rated Sacha a 5 means one of two things...
A. you have no clue how to evaluate player performance
B. you did not actually watch Sacha play

He is a waste of a roster spot and always has been. He has little if any pace, loses possession regularly and is inept at crossing the ball into players attacking the box. why JK continues to bring this timid, mediocre player into the USMNT is inexcusable. TOTAL WASTE OF A ROSTER SPOT !!!
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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