Player Ratings:

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Bobles, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Bobles

    Bobles New Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    First off, anyone know where the heck Pope, Pablo and Gooch were? I didn’t see them on the bench during the broadcast.

    Player Ratings, 1-10, and I will try to be conservative here.


    Keller-6.5-Didn’t have to do much, was called on to make what, about 2 or 3 saves, was in the right position all night and was right to get on Sannehs case for that horrible back pass.


    Hejduk-5.0-another workmanlike performance, moves up and down that Leftmid spot pretty well, problem is he plays Left D not Left Mid. Tends to get caught up field a lot leaving Conrad alone. But you can’t doubt his speed; it tends to save him many times when he needs to get back in a hurry. Stupid dive in front of the goal, contrary to popular belief he was not touched at all and the ref was right to give him a card, but you can’t fault him for trying.

    Conrad-5.0-There were times when I forgot he was out there, tends to disappear, but it could just be that he was sticking to his position, unlike the guy to his left and the play wasn’t coming his way. I have to hold my breath every time he has to go one on one he just looks like he is winded from the start and you think he is going to lose the ball but he manages to come away with the ball. I just think he needs more play at this level and he can become the defender we want him to be.

    Sanneh-5.0-Was asked to do a lot; clearly Bruce is using this tournament to play both him and JOB into shape. He made a really bad back pass to Keller and rightly so got chewed out, but a lot of play came his way and he was up to the task. He helped keep his line together and considering these 4 have very little play together was still very organized. He just needs to have more club time play, but really, is he the best choice in a central defense role?

    Dolo-6.5-Along with Keller plays with a confidence that comes with being the captain of a Bundesliga team. The guys is just a savvy player, he stays at home and does his job well. I had remarked to my wife, the guy does nothing special, yet was maybe the best player on the field tonight. He has had trouble with tall and fast forwards who can outmuscle him, but with the smaller lighter guys we saw tonight he does very well.


    JOB-5.3-Tried to do a lot in his limited time, made some cheeky passes, and you could tell his mind is still game sharp, it is just getting his body to get into the shape to react to the game as fast as his mind does. Played some solid minutes but basically was the 2nd defensive mid out there.

    Olson-5.7-I have never been impressed with this guy, that is until tonight, was there to break up numerous plays, did a lot of dirty work for the team, and the one thing that really impresses me is that when he breaks up a play and the opposing teams players fall down and everyone looks to the ref to see if the play is going to be stopped, he keeps on playing. This guy just plays, I can’t say anymore about it.

    Armas-3.0-I told my wife that he reminded me of my son when he was three and played rec soccer for the YMCA. He just kind of ran around in circles while the bigger boys played with the ball. The guy had no business being out there, Olson and JOB can and did his job better than he can, in fact the only thing he could do well was pass the ball to the other team.

    Ralston-5.0-Was a little out of place tonight being the only offensive minded mid out there today, and not having a counter part on the left side like an Eddie Lewis meant it was left to him only, or Frankie to send the crosses in. The one thing you can always count on is that he will give you 90 minutes of solid soccer. With Dolo behind him, there was very little opportunity for overlapping runs.


    Noonan-4.5-For the life of me I cannot figure out what this guy is doing on the national team. I guess you have to be a Revs fan. But the last few time I have seen him play he has done very little or nothing. I am assuming he is tearing it up for the Revs (I don’t know) so I would expect him to show me something, anything. He comes out with that scowl on his face, he is tall, not really fast, I just can’t see him being better that McBride, or Ching, or GAM.

    Dempsy-5.0-The guy has all the talent in the world, he is relentless, and he attacks first second and third, something we have lacked, someone to take the shot when others will pass. I just ask one thing; pick up your freaking head. He could have passed the ball to an open Olson for an easy goal but elected to take on three guys instead and take the shot, selfish, maybe, but at least he is not afraid to go to goal.


    Wolff, Landon and DMB-All three seemed to be taking it easy out there. You can tell that both DMB and Baby Jesus fell totally comfortable together and should always be playing together. As for Wolff, had a nice run and shot in the box, is a good sub coming off the bench.

    Please blast away and I apologize ahead for the miss-spelling of the names.

  2. bostonbully

    bostonbully New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Nice first stab, Bobles!

    Now a few comments from someone who was sitting at midfield in row 10 but who did not get a chance to see any replays:

    Keller(6.0) - I'd knock Keller down a notch because, as you point out, he saw little action, but he's worthy of a good number for reasons you stated plus the fact he commanded his defenders well.

    FWIW: The Costa Rica keeper saved the day for the Ticos. He, in my mind, earned man of the match. But this is Player Ratings for the US...

    Hejduk(6.5) - I running for cover right after I type this, as I know BigSoccer will come hunting me arse, but Hejduk played an above normal game (for him). He was not only tireless and always hustling, he also covered not only his man but others -- really, anyone who broke free. Sure, he gave a bad pass here and there, but I can overlook that when in truth his non-stop never-get-bullied playing-larger-than-his-size performance helped stave off many attack, including those that were against some of his teammates markings. He was focal in breaking up and clearing many in-the-box CR chances -- either directly, by hustling back, or by marking appropriately. I think his pluses clearly out class his minuses. I truly think he could be a great player if he could perfect his passes. His crosses tend to be fine -- if not right one -- but it is a once in a while pass that simply scuks.

    Conrad(6.0) - For the most part I was impressed with Conrad. I was surprised at how much confidence he earned from me. By the middle of the 1st Half, I didn't worry much when the ball went his way. Between Hejduk and Conrad, they both seemed to work well in marking their men together, especially when one had to cover for the other.

    Amen. Dolo had a good game.

    Well said. You could see the wheels turning in his mind when it came time to creating plays. When the ball had been slotted to him in the CR penalty box with a clear shot at net, I jumped from my seat and yelled, "One touch shot!" He touched the ball out in front of him and before he could get a second touch the CR defenders mobbed him. Grrrr!

    I personally thought you were describing LD's performance when he finally got into the match. LD was a serious NO SHOW. A pity at that. Even in warmups LD looked to be on vacation. Now for Armas. I'd give him a 4.5. I didn't think he did nearly as bad as you say.

    Dempsey(6.5) - Dempsey got so many chances on net, many of which he created out of not much. Sure there were times when he should have passed, but I can overlook that when he created solid chances at goal when there otherwise would be a pass back or break up.
  3. Riceman

    Riceman New Member

    Jul 26, 2003
    I fault him and so does Bruce Arena.

    I've never seen Bruce dress down a player in the press like this before.
    I think Frankie is off the Nats until he can prove he can play smarter.
  4. Bobles

    Bobles New Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    You know I could have given those certain players a higher rating, they did well, but I was paying attention to the scoreline also.

    I don't think it is enough to just play well, I think you have to shut down an opposing offense to the poin that it leads to your team to have an offensive explosion.

    I look at a lot of these same players performances against Portugal in 02, now there was a performance.

    Finally, where the heck were Pope, Gooch and Pablo?

  5. jri

    jri Red Card

    Sep 28, 2000
    This is the salient point about a 22 year old rising talent. It is much harder to create a talent like Dempsey (who creates so much out of nothing...really high-level professional stuff that WOULD WORK at higher league levels) vs. some MLS players that are so ordinary in thought/skills, but get enough goals, assists on plays/holes that would not exist/just get swallowed up at higher levels.

    Dempsey is oh-so-close to a major breakthru. I think with just a jump in fitness (at the end of day, it helps), and determination (the kind that allows a #5 tennis player get to #1 in the tough points)...he can do it. Everything is there for the jump. Now its up to him.

    (I do hope he watches his nutrition...). I recognize it takes tremendous energy to be a 'something-out-of-nothing' player. Its mentally/physically exhausting..
  6. Heathens '87

    Heathens '87 Member

    United States
    Mar 4, 2004
    RSC Anderlecht
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I'll join Arena and Riceman in faulting him for it. You don't try this crap when you're already carrying a yellow card......

    I love Hejduk's aggressive approach to coming forward, and you're right, he usually makes up for it with his pace or with a friend in the centerback position. No problems there, as you know what you're getting when he's out there.

    But that dive was just plain stupid given the've got to deduct a couple of points just for costing the team his services in the next game.
  7. JRNoblin

    JRNoblin Member

    Jun 29, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    An Arena Quote

    The best part of the ESPN linked article to me was this exhange by Arena:

    Afterward, Arena was asked to carry the player of the game trophy back to the locker room for goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

    "Really?" Arena asked. "Does he have to make any saves to get these things?"

    One thing about the Bruce, he doesn't sugarcoat it.
  8. bostonbully

    bostonbully New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Great point!
  9. michael greene

    Oct 31, 2002
    Kasey Keller – 6. So little to do, could have applied Rogaine.

    Steve Cherundolo – 6. Clone him.
    Tony Sanneh – 3. I miss Mike Burns.
    Jimmy Conrad – 4. 14 mins of his 15 mins of fame are up.
    Frankie Hejduk – 4. Is it me, or is that cast getting bigger?

    Chris Armas – 4. Remember when it was a blow losing him? Now it’s a blow having him back.
    Ben Olsen – NR. I’ve blocked the horror from my mind.
    John O’Brien – 5. Gets the 5 simply for staying healthy. Let’s hope he’s just rusty.
    Steve Ralston – 6. Can play vs. CONCACAF. Can he play against good teams?

    Pat Noonan/ Clint Dempsey 6. 4 for what they did on the field, and 2 because I think they could become excellent additions to the team, esp. Dempsey.


    Donovan- 5. Going through the motions.
    Beasley - 4 – Is he auditioning for a holding mid slot?
    Wolff – 4. His 15 mins ended hours ago.
  10. Aquarius21

    Aquarius21 New Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Plano, TX
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You don't remember him blasting Donovan during/after the Confederations Cup in '03? Some harsh things were said too but I can't remember exactly what was said.
  11. dcole

    dcole Member+

    May 27, 2005
    I don't think Bruce went, or will go, that far.

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